“The spirit of analysis is about slowing down to look at your subject with the spirit of openness and neutrality. It takes time, but the analysis will be your own, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”
Suspend bad habits: judgement, opinion, generelization, over personalization;
Simply ask questions & observe. What is it?
Who is it for?
Who wrote it?
Why was it made?
Look at it under a microscope:
Make useful comparisons.
Avoid judging the subject based on what you like or dislike, or in abstract terms; rather, ask specific questions:
Which details stand out to you? Why do these details stand out?
What do I find most interesting, revealing, or strange?
Make statements describing why you notice the details you notice. Focus on ideas rather than opinions.
Look for patterns of repetition, contrast, and anomaly:
Repetition: list groups of similar kinds of details and words;
Contrasts: List explicit contrasts or binary opposites.
Implicit contrasts: look for structural contrasts, such as sentence styles that are dramatically different, fluctuations in rhythm or ‘voice,’ or content that might contradict itself.
Anomalies: Notice content that does not seem to fit or stands out as very different from the rest.
Again, look for significant, strange, or interesting repetitions or contrasts.
Write a paragraph describing the patterns you noticed and why you noticed them.
You can repeat this step with any number of