What is a textual analysis?

The goal of a textual analysis is not to analyze what a writer is arguing, but to analyze how the writer is presenting the argument. You’ll do this by analyzing the use of rhetorical strategies in the form of audience, purpose, ethos, pathos, and logos.

What will you read for this essay?

You will use the article called “Why Asking for a Job Applicant’s Facebook Password is Fair Game” written by Alfred Edmond Jr. and published by Black Enterprise magazine:

What will you analyze?

Ethos: Examine what gives this article ethos. Who is Alfred Edmond Jr.? What is in his background that makes him qualified to speak on the topic of Facebook passwords and hiring? What sources does he use in his article? Does he provide any personal experience that might lend him credibility? Does he include a discussion of opposing viewpoints in his article? Where was this article published? Why is this publication credible?

Logos: You will want to pick out THREE different strategies that Edmond Jr. uses in his article. In considering a text’s use of logos, you will want to focus on issues such as how the text is constructed. For this you will need to address the organization and composition of the text. You will discuss the strategies the text uses to communicate its point and the evidence used to support its claim. Describe what kind of data/information is provided in the text and how it is being used as a strategy in the article.

Pathos: Here, you should identify any attempts to evoke a particular emotion. What emotions are evoked from the reader in this article? The emotion can come from one part of the article or a general emotion experienced after reading the whole thing. You will want to choose a specific emotion (happy, sad, hope, anger, fear, concern, guilt, etc.). Then provide an example from the article that exemplifies this emotion.

Purpose: In this section you will discuss the purpose of information presented in Edmond Jr.’s article. Is the author attempting to inform or persuade, or both? In your discussion you will describe the author’s intentions and provide examples from the text to support your analysis.

Audience: Your analysis of audience will include a discussion of THREE different targeted audience groups of the article. Who are they? Discuss each audience group separately. What are their qualities as an audience for this topic? What are their interests? What are they likely to know about the topic already and what information might they be interested in learning? Provide some examples from the text that suggest and support how this is the audience.

Example: You can read a textual analysis example using this link

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