Superman and Me By Sherman Alexie

Superman and Me By Sherman Alexie 

The analysis should pick apart Alexie’s subtle argument about his own development as a writer, and about how writers become successful.  

Please read over the following assignment PROMPT for Unit 4. 

  • Format: Typed, double-spaced, submitted as a word-processing document.
    12 point, text-weight font, 1-inch margins.
  • Length: 1000 words (approx. 4 pages)
  • Overview: in Unit 4: Writing Analysis, students will develop an analytical argument that shows original thinking and offers insight into their topic. They will offer conclusions that address the implications of how their perspective might influence the way the topic is perceived or practiced. 

Assignment

Write an analysis of a journal article, magazine article, editorial, speech, book, or website.

Analysis is a common form of academic writing that asks us to think critically as readers and make connections between arguments and their larger contexts. For this project, you will identify an issue relevant to the community you investigated in the previous unit. Then, you will explore the written arguments surrounding that issue, eventually narrowing your focus to a single journal article, magazine article, editorial, speech, book, or website. After you choose this text, you will analyze the context, subtext and appeals of a particular text, focusing on both textual analysis (close reading of the text itself) and contextual analysis (analyzing the text within its larger context). Your final analysis should offer a better or richer understanding of how the text represents a topic (concept, issue, or other idea) that has significance for a specific community or communities (168).

Objectives

These questions help to guide discussion and inquiry for this unit. The goal is not necessarily to answer these questions, but to explore them through the work of class discussions, writing, and reflection.

  • What is analysis? What is the purpose and value of analysis in classroom settings and outside of school? 
  • What potential does writing have to make change in the world? What are the implications of written arguments? What impacts can arguments have on communities? 
  • How can I use writing to explain and break down complex ideas into parts that audiences can understand? How can writing allow me to share my insight with others? 
  • How can I use writing to advance larger points or ideas that I want to communicate? How can I advocate through writing? 

In  some  ways,  analyzing  a  written  text  is  relatively  easy  because  the  elements  are  literally  printed  or  posted  in  black  and  white.  However,  written  texts  have  many  elements,  not  just  words but layers of implication and suggestion. There are subtleties lurking between, beneath, and around the text itself. No matter what you are analyzing—a blog, magazine article, jour-nal article, or even a book—the process involves a sizable set of questions.

Point of Contact
Your  target  text  can  be  any  written  published  document.  We  suggest  that  you  choose  something easily accessible—a text that you can review often or even annotate as you read. Consider one of the following options for your analysis. And for more information on each category, see pages 442–445 in Chapter 15:

Journal Articles: Journals are written for scholars in a specific academic field such as history, linguistics, rhetoric, engineering, nursing, or chemistry. The information is specialized—sometimes so highly specialized that following the logic proves difficult  to those outside of the field. Still, not all journal articles require years of study or expertise. In fact, finding a journal related to your chosen field may generate good  analytical focus. If you are studying psychology, for instance, you might find an  interesting article in Psychology Quarterly.

Magazine Articles: Magazines are aimed at general audiences rather than scholars in a specific discipline. The information is presented so that nonspecialized readers can easily follow the ideas and consider the claims. You might think of magazines in two—very broad—categories: the widest possible readership and special interest. The first category usually provides highly accessible articles. They are brief (less than 500 words), accompanied by photos, and come to quick conclusions. Some titles include Better Homes and Gardens, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated, Women’s Day. The second category offers more in-depth reporting, longer analyses, and even personal essays written by specialists in a field. Titles include The Economist, Forbes, National Geographic, Orion, Scientific American.

Books: An entire book could serve as a target text—especially if the book makes a sin-gle and coherent argument or stays focused on a particular event. The upside of taking on a book is the sheer amount of material. There is plenty to consider. However, the amount of text could also pose a challenge. If you are dealing with hundreds of pages, you might find it difficult to narrow down the main idea—the thesis, the supporting premises, or even the purpose. 

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