For this assignment you will write an analysis of the writing found in a major journal from your academic discipline. Your paper will be between 1200-1400 words in length not including your bibliography.
Part 1: Journal Analysis (600-700 words) Your essay will focus on 5 recent articles within the journal (published in the last five years). In your analysis be sure to answer the following questions. Use headings to organize your responses: Scope Aim and Content Context of Disciplinary Conversation Subject Scale of Readership Thesis Statements Article Length Organization Paragraph Length Sentence Length Lexicon Images/Figures
Part 2: Article Analysis (600-700 words) Choose one article from the journal that you believe best represents the scope aims content and style of the journal.
For this second part of the analysis provide a more detailed description of the article. You will read the article for the purpose of analyzing the rhetorical features in the text and write a short analysis of the paper explaining the features that categorize it as an exemplar of this disciplinary community. In your paper be sure to address the following questions. Use headings to organize your paper: Content Organization Source Use Language and Style Additional Guidelines: What topics issues or debates are included in this journal? What types of studies are published? Do these articles shed light on a historical event problem or period? How do they fit into the â€œbig pictureâ€? What incidental information can you glean from them by reading carefully? Such information is important for constructing a narraÂtive of the past; our medieval authors almost always tell us more than they intended to. Taken together do the documents reveal anything significant about the period in question (research in the last 5 years in your discipline)? What kinds of topics are discussed in the articles? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? Do your documents support or contradict what other sources (vidÂeo readings) have told you? Do the documents reveal a change that occurred over a period of time? Is there a contrast between documents within your set? If so how do you account for it? How globally dispersed is the journalâ€™s readership? Hint: look at the institutional affiliations of the editor editorial board and recent authors. What kinds of observations can you make about the use of thesis statements? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? How long is each article? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? What features such as topic sentences headings and subheadings are used to organize the text? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? How long are different paragraphs? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? How long are typical sentences? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? What kinds of vocabulary words tend to be commonly used? Are there any words that you might not find in other venues/disciplines? What kinds of images and/or figures are used? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? Topic: What is the text about? Provide a short summary of the research article. Audience: Who is the text written for? How do you know? What do the documents reveal about the author and his audience? Why were they written? What can you discern about the authorâ€™s motivation and tone? Is the tone revealing? Does the genre make a difference in your interpretation? How do the documents fit into both their immediate and their greater historical contexts? Article length: How long is the text? Sections: How many sections does the text have? What does each section focus on? How long is each section? Thesis statement: Is there an explicit thesis statement? If so where is it? If not how does the author convey the central idea of the text? Topic sentence: Are topic sentences used? If so where are they? If not how does the author present the key message of a paragraph? Paragraph length: How long are different paragraphs? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? Sentence length: How long are typical sentences? What patterns/exceptions do you notice? Do you notice any special features of the textâ€™s organization? Are sources used in the text? How much information is provided about each source? Are all sources cited in the text? Is direct quoting or paraphrasing used in the text? How many direct quotes are included in the text? How many paraphrases? What documentation style is used in the text to cite sources? Is there a reference list included at the end? What documentation style is being used? Style: How would you describe the language style of the text? Provide examples to illustrate your description. Here you can quote the text. Vocabulary: What kinds of vocabulary tend to be commonly used? Are there any technical words that you might not find in other disciplines/writing? What is not said but implied? What is left out? (As a historian you should always look for what is not said and ask yourself what the omission signifies.) You must select articles (not book review essays which tend to appear toward the end of the journal and are much shorter in length than articles). Be sure that your answers to each of the questions go beyond making obvious observations.
Include a References list that follows the formatting guidelines of your journal such as APA MLA CMS etc. Note that many journals have their own specific style formatting guidelines. Your bibliography should include all the information for the five articles including a link to the pdf.
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