reading analysis paper

These papers are exercises in active and critical reading/writing. You are not only reading the article for facts and information, but also to understand the larger significance of the essay and how the author puts together their argument and evidence. Your essay is an analysis of how the author poses a research question and how they answer the question.


While reading, consider the following questions:

–what is the subject of the article? What topic is the author writing about?

–what is the thesis – where is it stated? What does the author wish to discover and prove about their subject?

–how is the essay organized? How do they prove their point through argument and structure?

–what is the author’s evidence? Do they engage with previous scholars and why?

(looking at the essay’s footnotes helps)

–what are the author’s conclusions?

–what are the author’s assumptions: can you discern any biases or sense of what the author finds valuable?

–in other words, how does the author set about their goals? Does the author succeed?

How does this essay add to our understanding and knowledge of the subject?


Your paper should be organized and clearly written, with its own thesis, introduction and conclusion.

–please provide a title, double-space, use 12-point font, and one-inch margins

–paper length should be three-to-four pages

–check your grammar and spelling

–n.b. minimize quoting and even paraphrasing (your paper should NOT have substantial quotes from the article)

– summarize the essay’s content, discuss what it achieves, how it achieves it and whether or not it does it well.

You will be graded on your accuracy, understanding, thoughtful analysis, and clear writing.

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