How to analyze newspaper language

I’m writing this from the Greek island of Rhodes. One of the biggest pleasures I have on holiday is reading, I’ve brought a number of books with me but I also love the fact that I have time to read newspapers. I have always encouraged students to read newspaper articles as it is something that most people can find time to do in their busy lives, it also helps to consolidate your English. Newspapers are a great source of vocabulary, particularly phrasal verbs in the tabloid press. I am going to pass on some tips about newspaper language to help make them more accessible.

I thought I would start by explaining some of the terminology and features of newspaper language. In the UK we have tabloid and broadsheet newspapers.


  • For example, The Sun, The Mirror, The Express, The Mail
  • Smaller in size with shorter, less serious articles (typically about celebrities, crime and amusing stories)


  • For example, The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Financial Times
  • Larger in size with more serious stories and longer, in depth articles

Headline Language

Short Words

Headlines often use very short words to make an impact. These are sometimes violent words e.g. Thugs battle. A thug is a violent person and a battle is a fight (it is a noun and a verb). This headline could also read Some thugs have been fighting, however this does not have the same impact as the short headline above.

Omitted Words

Headlines often don’t include verbs and articles, for example, More MP resignations over expenses row. If we put this into spoken English then the sentence would read More MPs have resigned over the row about expenses. This means that Members of Parliament have left their jobs because of the disagreements over what they should be able to claim on expenses.

Another example would be New flood alert. This means that there have been warnings that there could be more flooding.

Word Play

A key part of newspaper language is word play. Words with two different meanings in English can be used in an amusing and entertaining way. This is called a pun. For example, Short-staffed? That’s fine by Mr. Sarkozy. This headline plays with the word short. Short-staffed means that there are not enough staff to do the job. However, this article refers to the fact that during a visit to a factory all the staff he was introduced to were short because he is only 1.7m!

Another example would be Police found drunk in street. This headline plays with the word drunk.
One meaning is that the Police were found drunk in the street. The second meaning is that the Police found a drunk man in the street.

Noun Strings

It is also common to have a row of nouns in a headline. For example, Prime Minister’s traffic headache. This means that the Prime Minister has had some sort of problem with traffic.

Another example would be Teenage pregnancy increase. This means that there has been an increase in teenage pregnancy.


Alliteration is when a sound is repeated. It is often used in poetry as well as newspapers. Newspapers use it to attract the eye and make it more memorable. For example, Media makes Madonna Mad. The ‘m’ is repeated 4 times.


Headlines are often ambiguous making the reader look at the article. If we take the above headline the word ‘mad’ is ambiguous because it could mean insane or it could mean very angry. Also, the word drunk is ambiguous in the word play example above.

Verb Changes

Verbs are often changed in headlines. The simple tense is used instead of the continuous or perfect tense and the infinitive is used for the future. For example, Brown resigns. This is used instead of Brown has resigned.

Another example would be PM to visit USA. This is used instead of The Prime Minister’s going to visit the USA.

Understanding Headlines

In order to help you to understand the article you can ask yourself questions about the headline before you read.

Referencing and Relative Clauses

To avoid repetition newspapers use referencing a lot. This is using a pronoun or another noun instead of a name. Next time you read an article find the main subject and see how many different ways the writer refers to this. In the extract of the article below Madonna is also referred to as the singer and she. Relative clauses are used to give more information about the noun and also save space on the page. In the extract there are two relative clauses, the first tells us that Madonna is in America and the second that she is 50.

Madonna, who is currently in America, saw red when a photographer got too close. The singer, now 50, shouted abuse before she was led away.

I hope that this short insight into newspaper language will encourage you to read more articles from English newspapers. With most of them available online it is easy for you to find one that you enjoy. It is also interesting to read the same story from two different newspapers and compare the language and see which you find easier to understand.

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Posted: 16 August 2017

Categories: Communication skills

Analyzing a news article properly is a skill that can be acquired. Newswriters are taught to be objective, but their personal opinions and biases sometimes may affect their articles.These might influence a reader’s attitude and behavior. The prudent reader will learn how to uncover the journalistic techniques and will be able to read the material objectively. This is important for correctly and adequately analyzing a news article.

Structure of News Articles

Check the credentials or background of the journalist who wrote the article you are going to read if possible. Ask yourself the following questions: Is the author a famous person? Is he/she known for biases? Does he belong to a particular political party or organization? Is the person writing a personal opinion that is only acceptable in an editorial or op-ed column, or is this a factual account of the news?

Study the structure of the inverted pyramid that many journalists use. Look at the headline. Does it give you an idea of what the article should be about? Read the first paragraph, known as the lead. Look for the main point of the story and/or a summary of the major ideas. See if the lead gets you interested in reading the article. Look for the lesser important materials that generally follow.

Look for the 5 W’s. These answer Who? What? Where? When? and Why? Jot these down in your notebook to help you get the main point of the article. Refer to this list as you read the remainder of the article. Emphasize the “Who”. Who is the focus of the story ? Think about the “What.” What happened to the person to make the story newsworthy?

Check for fact and opinion. A news article should be factual with statistics, proven studies and authorities backing up a claim. An opinion article, one based on emotion or personal experience, does not belong in a news article. Learn to distinguish between the two.

Look for conflicts or issues being discussed. Ask yourself if the writer is educating you with the facts or if he is trying to get you to think a certain way or follow a given action. Look at both sides of the argument. Consider the solutions proposed if he gives any. Was there enough information to support the ideas?

Study the graphs or pictures if there are any. Ask yourself if they are clear. Do they adequately and fairly represent the news they are supposed to be illustrating? Make sure the pictures are not cropped to eliminate some unfavorable material.

Make a list of unfamiliar words in your notebook. Look them up in the dictionary. Reread the sentences that contain them to reinforce the definitions.

Look at another newspaper with the same news article. Check to see if there are similarities in their treatment. Analyze the differences before accepting either one as correct.

1½ pages


English Language

Universität Duisburg-Essen – UDE

How to analyse a newspaper article

What is the title of the article?

What kind of article is it?

Who wrote it and where was it published? What kind of newspaper is that?

What is the topic of the article?

What is the article about? (summary of important aspects – concentrate on the aspects that are asked for in task 1!)


Into which main parts can the article be divided? What are the different parts about?

Does the author follow the typical structure of a newspaper article? (In the first paragraph the wh-questions are usually answered. After that the information within the article is arranged in the following way: the most important information comes first, less important information towards the end of the article.) Why? Why not?

Why has the author chosen to structure his article in this way? Why does he start the article like this? Does he arouse the interest of the reader? How? Why does he finish it like this? What does the reader keep in mind?

Is the structure of the article logical and convincing?

Can the way of argumentation that is presented in the article be followed easily?

If the article is a comment: Does the speaker present real arguments that are supported by examples and proven by facts?

Does the author arrange his arguments in a certain way to underline his opinion? Does he finish the article with the arguments that support his opinion? Why does he do so?

Does he present pro and contra arguments or does he just focus on one side? Why? Which side is more convincing and why?

What is the author’s intention? What does he criticize? How is that shown in the content of the text?

Which function do the titles have? Does the author give his opinion in the title? Do they arouse the readers’ interest? What kinds of words a. [read full text]

How To Analyze a Newspaper Article

Although newspaper readership has declined over the past several decades due to the emergence of television and the internet as dominant news formats, the news article is still prominent in today’s society. Whether read in print or online, the news article hasn’t changed its format of using text and photographs to create a story for hundreds of years.

The newspaper article, also sometimes called a newspaper story, takes the facts of a particular event or situation, and is molded by writers/editors to create a cohesive story that has a beginning and end. Just like other forms of media, newspaper articles are crafted with people who want to send a specific message into the world about a certain topic.

Although we would hope that the people bringing us the news would have no bias when doing so, this is simply not possible. Everyone has a bias about something, even if they don’t realize it. The best we can expect is to realize the bias exists and determine for ourselves whether we’ll accept or reject the story being told to us.

Below are some ways to analyze newspaper articles or stories.

Note: You can learn a lot more about this topic by buying our book, Practical Media Literacy: An essential guide to the critical thinking skills for our digital world. You would be supporting our work so that we can bring you more great resources.

1. Who wrote the article? Is the author connected in some way to the issue being discussed? Is the newspaper or news organization affiliated with people who want to project a particular point of view (like a company or a political party)? Does the author’s political affiliations conflict with the integrity of the story (surely it does). The author will take sides and project the values he/she believes in.

2. Why did the writer write the article? Is the purpose to inform the public? Is the purpose to ridicule someone or something? Maybe the purpose is to create fear? Or maybe the author wants to create controversy and sell more papers?
3. How might other people view the article? Are there stereotypes in the article about people of a different gender, race, social class, or religion? Would anyone be offended by what the author wrote about?

These are just a few things to think about. There are always more questions to ask about every topic. Below are links to some news organizations that might have current articles worth analyzing.

CNN (the original cable news network)

Fox News (a recognized conservative cable news outlet)

Yahoo! News (collects news from various sources and presents them together)

The Los Angeles Times (a local mass-market newspaper)

Want more ideas on how to analyze the news? Visit our forums and join the discussion.

You can learn a lot more about this topic by buying our book, Practical Media Literacy: An essential guide to the critical thinking skills for our digital world. You would be supporting our work so that we can bring you more great resources.

The media has an important role. Newspapers especially have a significant impact on society. They deliver information on a daily basis. This information is not only vital to relaying information to the masses. News articles document the world’s history and provide an archive of the way people think, feel and behave at any point in time. It is important to analyze the way a news article is written because objective journalism is key in reporting events accurately.

Select A Newspaper

Pick a newspaper that is of interest. It can be a major newspaper or a local alternative paper. Select a news article and read it from beginning to end with an eye the way the information is delivered. Pay close attention to the reason the news article is being written. Make sure that the article directly relates to the main point and that it provides additional information to help the reader understand the point of the article. The headline should not be misleading.

Determine if the article is biased in any direction. Read for implications or judgment within the story. According to Media Awareness Network, the article should not be slanted in any one way or be written so that a corporation, idea or person is sponsored either directly or indirectly. The writer should not have a conflict of interest in regards to the piece and all the work should reflect all ideas within the story in a balanced fashion.

Determine if the news article states its sources and attributes its information correctly. The Reuters Handbook of Journalism details the journalist’s duty to report all information sources to the reader. The story cannot make a generalization or provide information without any way to back it up. Sources, too, must be balanced.

Determine if the material is accurate. Read for blatant exaggerations or hype and take note of any false information. According to the Reuters Handbook of Journalism, all news articles must be free from exaggeration or falsified information. Articles should use words that honestly represent the reality of the piece. Words should be chosen carefully and thoughtfully.

Determine if the use of unnecessary obscenity or graphic images of a violent nature are displayed simply for shock value. The news aims to alert readers to realities that may be graphic or violent in nature. However, there photos and information that are included should accurately reflect the situation at hand and not be used in a way that will offend or titillate the readers.

Things You’ll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Computer

If a news article is not objective or falsely reports any information, readers can write to editors and express their concerns. Most newspapers have printed contact information, while many web news sources have email links.

By Rachael Roberts

10 March 2014 – 17:01

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philhearing, licensed under CC BY 2.0 and adapted from the original.

How should teachers use ‘authentic’ texts like newspapers in class? Author, trainer and teacher Rachael Roberts gives advice on the example of newspapers.

Back in 1981, Vivian Cook wrote:

‘One of the words that has been creeping into English teaching in the past few years is ‘authentic’. It has a kind of magic ring to it: who after all would want to be inauthentic?’

Teachers and students are naturally attracted to authentic texts (by which I mean any text which has not been produced for the purpose of language-learning). Finding that you can read something designed for a native speaker is motivating, and developing ways to deal with ‘real’ texts enables students to read more confidently and extensively outside the classroom.

But, as Cook goes on to say, we also need to consider just how helpful the authentic text we choose actually is for our students. Many of the features of authentic texts, especially newspaper texts, are far more complex than we might realise at first glance.

First challenge: Text organisation

For example, how clearly is the text organised? This can be a real headache with newspaper texts, which often have very short paragraphs, not necessarily linked clearly to the surrounding text. I remember an activity where the students had to order the paragraphs of a newspaper article. It was virtually impossible, because the links weren’t clear enough and because the students weren’t made aware that the first paragraph of a newspaper article usually sums up the whole story.

Second challenge: Headlines

Newspaper headlines can also be hard to decipher. They often use puns or cultural references. This is particularly true of tabloid newspapers, which you might think would use simpler language, but are in fact about the hardest to decipher. Look at this headline, for example, which appeared on the Mirror website not long ago:

It’s Bradley Zoo-per! LEMUR grabs keeper’s camera to join the selfie craze

To understand this headline, we need cultural knowledge – in this case, the knowledge would be that someone called Bradley Cooper took a ‘selfie’ (a popular form of self-portrait using a camera, often a mobile phone) at the Oscars (film awards) recently. We also need to know what a keeper is (a zoo-keeper, who looks after the animals) and we need to be able to understand the syntax of the headline (A lemur took his keeper’s camera and used it to take a self-portrait).

Understanding the genre

If we are going to work with news articles, students need some help and training in understanding the features of the genre. For example, the headline is frequently confusing, but there is often a subheadline to makes things clearer, e.g.:

After actor Bradley Cooper’s Oscars snap went viral, London Zoo’s lemur Bekily gets in on the act

And then the first paragraph usually summarises the story:

This ring-tailed lemur didn’t want to miss out on the selfie craze – so he snatched his keeper’s camera and took his own.

This first paragraph nearly always contains what journalists call the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where and why). Getting students to try and find the 5 Ws (or as many as possible), just using the headline and first paragraph, is a way of leading them into the rest of the text, which usually just adds detail to these main points.

Third challenge: Identifying what certain words refer to

Another common feature is the use of reference devices. Obviously, we find these in all texts, but because of the concise way newspaper texts are written, it can be particularly hard to follow the chain of reference. For example:

Bekily, 12, was watching Tegan McPhail photograph animals at London Zoo at feeding time. Perhaps inspired by Bradley Cooper’s mega-selfie with fellow stars at the Oscars he decided he wanted to pose for one himself.

I think a lot of students would assume that the highlighted ‘he’ referred to Bradley Cooper, because he has just been mentioned (or even Tegan McPhail, mentioned in the previous sentence) when it actually refers right back to ‘Bekily’. To help students with this, we could ask them to underline the reference words and then draw arrows to what they refer to.

Fourth challenge: Idioms

And, as you will have noticed, there are also a lot of idioms, especially in the tabloids. With a short article like this one, you can ask students to underline any idioms they find (go viral, get in on the act, mega-selfie) and look them up. They could then try and rewrite the article (or a section of it) without any idioms, putting the original idioms in a list below. If the students have read different texts, they could then swap and ask their partner to try and rewrite the article using the list of idioms given.

Comprehension tasks

Either of these activities could be used with any news text, thus saving preparation time. But what about comprehension questions? Teachers often spend a lot of time thinking up exercises to exploit news articles. And, because they date, the material can rarely be used again.

One solution is to provide a generic task, such as the ‘5Ws’ task outlined above. Other possibilities:

  • Ask learners to choose, say, no more than five sentences that seem to carry the main points of the article. This can then be checked by a peer (while you monitor).
  • Ask learners to rewrite a short article, changing some of the information to make it a lie (as outrageous as they wish. For example, Bekily might take photos of the keeper. A partner then reads it and spots the lies.
  • Ask learners to write their own headlines, and talk to decide on the best one (which will involve discussing the content of the text).

While there are certainly some pitfalls, up-to-date and topical news items can be very motivating for learners, and ways of helping learners to deal with them are a useful tool in any teacher’s toolkit.

Rachael will be delivering a live-streamed presentation from Belfast on writing effective classroom materials, 11 March 2014.

Find more seminars for teachers on our TeachingEnglish site.

“Flip that pyramid.”

News stories are written in a very clear way. Why are they so easy to read? Students will find out. Using the inverted pyramid as a guide, students will analyze the structure of a news story, and practice finding the main idea while they’re at it.

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

Students will:
—Identify the main idea of a news story
—Determine the order of information in a news story
—Explain why they think a news story is written in the order it is
—Consider whether a specific news story

45 minutes (or longer, depending on how many news articles you’d like to read)

—The most recent Week in Rap video
—Flocabulary Main Idea video
—Link to a news story from the Week in Rap information text box
—Inverted Pyramid worksheet
—Newspaper or additional news website (optional)

You can use Part 1 of this lesson to introduce the concept of the inverted pyramid. You can use Part 2 to dive into a specific news story in the most recent Week in Rap video.

Part 1: What is the Inverted Pyramid
1. For a Do Now: Ask students to think of their favorite story. Do the big important pieces of information come all at the beginning, in the middle, or in the end, or spread out?

2. Choose a news story from the most recent Week in Rap. Read the article together as a class. Ask students what the main idea of the story is. You may want to use the Flocabulary main idea video to review. Once students have identified the main idea, ask them to say where in the article the main idea is.

3. They’ll likely notice that the main idea is near the beginning of the story. Tell students that journalists do this on purpose. Ask students to reflect on why in news stories, all the important parts are at the beginning. (They may say: To get the reader’s attention, because most people don’t finish the article. )

4. Introduce the inverted pyramid, using the worksheet. Explain which elements are in the news story. At this point, you may want to move to part two.

Part 2: Analyze a news story
1. Review the concept of the inverted pyramid.

2. Watch the most recent Week in Rap and choose a story of interest. Choose a story to start with.

3. Read the story through once, and discuss the main idea.

4. As a class, work through the story to determine the key details, and fill them into the inverted pyramid.

5. Discuss any ways that the story differs from that style, and why.

6. After you’re done, have students choose another news story of interest from that week. Have them fill out another copy of the inverted pyramid sheet.

Extension activity: Read the newspaper
Bring a newspaper into class, or access a news website. Invite students to browse the newspaper and find a story of interest that you haven’t yet discussed. Have them identify the main idea and share with the class, either casually or with the worksheet.

Candidate for the presidential post Volodymyr Zelensky, who gained the majority of the votes at the second tour, promises to analyze the law on the state language approved the Verkhovna Rada as his press service reported.

It is noted that the mentioned document was considered during the election campaign and it became the prisoner of the political rhetoric. Moreover, the law was adopted without public discussion, according to Zelensky.

“2,000 amendments were made to the draft law and it witnesses the absence of the agreement on some of its points even at the Verkhovna Rada. Today, it is very difficult to predict the consequences of the adoption of this law; its final text, considering all amendments, is unavailable. After I become the president, the careful analysis of this law will take place to make sure that all constitutional rights and interests of all citizen of Ukraine are observed in it. On the results of the analysis, I will respond, according to the constitutional authorities of the president of Ukraine and in the interests of the citizens,” Zelensky said.

He also emphasized that it is necessary to initiate and adopt laws and decisions, which are going to unite the society due to the number of challenges faced by Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian language is the only one state language in Ukraine. It was so, it is so and it will remain so. Concerning this issue, no compromise is possible. The state should take care of the development of the Ukrainian language, extension of the sphere of its use. It is also out of the question and the whole society agrees on it,” the message said.

“My principal position is that the state should provide the development of the Ukrainian language by the creation of the incentives and positive examples instead of bans and punishments, increasing the complexity of the bureaucracy, increasing the number of the posts for the officials instead of their cutting,” the message noted.

On April 25, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted the draft law #5670-d on the provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state one on the second reading and in general.

Earlier we reported that the status of Ukraine’s state language will be endorsed over the course of the next ten years when the government implements the respective program.

On February 28, 2018, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine produced a ruling in regards to the law “On the principles of the state language policy” #5029-VI (the so-called “Kolesnychenko-Kivalov” law).

If you find an error, highlight the desired text and press Ctrl + Enter, to tell about it

BCSSTA Conference 2009 and CISVA Workshop 2010




  • SS 9: 1500 -1815 A.D.
  • SS 10: 19TH C.
  • SS 11: 20TH C.
  • HISTORY 12: 20TH C. +


  • HISTORY 12

How to analyze an editorial or controversial article

Editorial Rubric A 5 point rubric with performance descriptions for the editorial mode of writing

Scan the article.

Do you believe what is written in the article? Pull out the main arguments made by the writer, and quotes, statistics and facts

Identify clearly what the controversy is about briefly mentioning both pro and con.

What issue(s) is (are) addressed?

What is the main argument and/or conclusion?

• What evidence is put forward to support the argument(s) and/or conclusion(s)?
• What are the differing points of views related to the issue?
• What side of the issue is not represented?
• Why is it difficult to resolve this issue?

State the controversial topic ( pro versus con)

Summarize the article using standard journalists’ questions (notes only)

Identify the stakeholder group that the writer belongs to.

What kind? (Government; Industry; Journalistic source; Nonprofit organization; Peer-reviewed source)

Would the stakeholder have a reason to sway the opinion of the reader?

. .
Summarize the article

2. EVIDENCE (proof: facts, statistics)

2. EVIDENCE (proof: facts, statistics)

2. EVIDENCE (proof: facts, statistics)

CONCLUSION: This article is PRO. NEUTRAL. CON (circle one)

Did the writer leave out important information? If so, what?

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

Two shoppers visit your website: one has visited before and one has not. Which one is more likely to convert?

Absent other information, the one that has visited before is typically more likely to convert. He or she is more likely to be familiar with your brand, has probably been cookied, may have been retargeted, and may have received a promotional or recommendation email from you.

However, with additional information the answer can quickly change. If we know the new visitor is looking to quickly buy a gift during their lunch break and the returning visitor is there to find cleaning instruction for the product they already purchased, suddenly the new visitor is much more likely to convert. But how do we possibly know this if we can’t read the shopper’s mind?

We observe the shopper’s digital body language.

Digital body language , the deliberate and passive actions we take while shopping, can reveal even more about our intentions as our physical body language does in a bricks and mortar store. This is because during an online shopping session we can analyze hundreds of thousands of data points using machine learning to determine what it means. Although store associates are amazing, this is impossible for humans to do.

Retailers typically focus on using high level data to target shoppers based on deliberate actions. If the shopper viewed a baking sheet, we target them with baking sheet. If the shopper opened a savings email, we target them with more savings emails. While this is low hanging fruit to take advantage of, it misses a much larger opportunity. We must use behavioral shopper data to analyze digital body language and truly dig into why the shopper is on the website, what their goal is, whether they are on a path to achieve that goal and purchase and, if not, why they may be hesitating.

Are they looking at the baking sheet because they just moved into their first apartment, because it’s time for an upgrade or are they trying to find a gift for that hard-to-buy-for-relative? Are they hesitating to pull the trigger because they’re not sure if it’s a good deal, because they’re not sure if this is the best baking sheet to purchase or because they’re not sure if it can be easily returned?

The next level of retail personalization incorporates the hundreds of micro actions a person takes every second while shopping online, down to the smallest mouse movements. This leads to hundreds of thousands of data points during a typical shopping session. The only way to analyze this data in a useful way is apply machine learning technology. Much in the same way our brains analyze the physical body language of shoppers in our stores, machine learning can analyze digital body language online but with the capacity to analyze exponentially more information—exponentially quicker.

A well-trained machine learning technology can detect why a shopper is on the website, what they’re trying to accomplish, when they are or are not going to purchase and the reason they are hesitating to complete a purchase. The top retailers in the world are using this technology today to gain an advantage.

-Jeff Lawrence, Founder and CEO of Granify

Media have tremendous power in setting cultural guidelines and in shaping political discourse. It is essential that news media, along with other institutions, are challenged to be fair and accurate. The first step in challenging biased news coverage is documenting bias. Here are some questions to ask yourself about newspaper, TV and radio news.

Who are the sources?

Be aware of the political perspective of the sources used in a story. Media over-rely on “official” (government, corporate and establishment think tank) sources. For instance, FAIR found that in 40 months of Nightline programming, the most frequent guests were Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Elliott Abrams and Jerry Falwell. Progressive and public interest voices were grossly underrepresented.

To portray issues fairly and accurately, media must broaden their spectrum of sources. Otherwise, they serve merely as megaphones for those in power

  • Count the number of corporate and government sources versus the number of progressive, public interest, female and minority voices. Demand mass media expand their rolodexes; better yet, give them lists of progressive and public interest experts in the community.

Is there a lack of diversity?

What is the race and gender diversity at the news outlet you watch compared to the communities it serves? How many producers, editors or decision-makers at news outlets are women, people of color or openly gay or lesbian? In order to fairly represent different communities, news outlets should have members of those communities in decision-making positions.

How many of the experts these news outlets cite are women and people of color? FAIR’s 40-month survey of Nightline found its U.S. guests to be 92 percent white and 89 percent male. A similar survey of PBS’s NewsHour found its guestlist was 90 percent white and 87 percent male.

  • Demand that the media you consume reflect the diversity of the public they serve. Call or write media outlets every time you see an all-male or all-white panel of experts discussing issues that affect women and people of color.

From whose point of view is the news reported?

Political coverage often focuses on how issues affect politicians or corporate executives rather than those directly affected by the issue. For example, many stories on parental notification of abortion emphasized the “tough choice” confronting male politicians while quoting no women under 18–those with the most at stake in the debate. Economics coverage usually looks at how events impact stockholders rather than workers or consumers.

  • Demand that those affected by the issue have a voice in coverage.

Are there double standards?

Do media hold some people to one standard while using a different standard for other groups? Youth of color who commit crimes are referred to as “superpredators,” whereas adult criminals who commit white-collar crimes are often portrayed as having been tragically been led astray. Think tanks partly funded by unions are often identified as “labor-backed” while think tanks heavily funded by business interests are usually not identified as “corporate-backed.”

  • Expose the double standard by coming up with a parallel example or citing similar stories that were covered differently.

Do stereotypes skew coverage?

Does coverage of the drug crisis focus almost exclusively on African Americans, despite the fact that the vast majority of drug users are white? Does coverage of women on welfare focus overwhelmingly on African-American women, despite the fact that the majority of welfare recipients are not black? Are lesbians portrayed as “man-hating” and gay men portrayed as “sexual predators” (even though a child is 100 times more likely to be molested by a family member than by an unrelated gay adult—Denver Post, 9/28/92)?

  • Educate journalists about misconceptions involved in stereotypes, and about how stereotypes characterize individuals unfairly.

What are the unchallenged assumptions?

Often the most important message of a story is not explicitly stated. For instance, in coverage of women on welfare, the age at which a woman had her first child will often be reported—the implication being that the woman’s sexual “promiscuity,” rather than institutional economic factors, are responsible for her plight.

Coverage of rape trials will often focus on a woman’s sexual history as though it calls her credibility into question. After the arrest of William Kennedy Smith, a New York Times article (4/17/91) dredged up a host of irrelevant personal details about his accuser, including the facts that she had skipped classes in the 9th grade, had received several speeding tickets and-when on a date-had talked to other men.

Is the language loaded?

When media adopt loaded terminology, they help shape public opinion. For instance, media often use the right-wing buzzword “racial preference” to refer to affirmative action programs. Polls show that this decision makes a huge difference in how the issue is perceived: A 1992 Louis Harris poll, for example, found that 70 percent said they favored “affirmative action” while only 46 percent favored “racial preference programs.”

  • Challenge the assumption directly. Often bringing assumptions to the surface will demonstrate their absurdity. Most reporters, for example, will not say directly that a woman deserved to be raped because of what she was wearing.
  • Demonstrate how the language chosen gives people an inaccurate impression of the issue, program or community.

Is there a lack of context?

Coverage of so-called “reverse discrimination” usually fails to focus on any of the institutional factors which gives power to prejudice—such as larger issues of economic inequality and institutional racism. Coverage of hate speech against gays and lesbians often fails to mention increases in gay-bashing and how the two might be related.

  • Provide the context. Communicate to the journalist, or write a letter to the editor that includes the relevant information.

Do the headlines and stories match?

Usually headlines are not written by the reporter. Since many people just skim headlines, misleading headlines have a significant impact. A classic case: In a New York Times article on the June 1988 U.S.-Soviet summit in Moscow, Margaret Thatcher was quoted as saying of Reagan, “Poor dear, there’s nothing between his ears.” The Times headline: “Thatcher Salute to the Reagan Years.”

  • Call or write the newspaper and point out the contradiction.

Are stories on important issues featured prominently?

Look at where stories appear. Newspaper articles on the most widely read pages (the front pages and the editorial pages) and lead stories on television and radio will have the greatest influence on public opinion.

  • When you see a story on government officials engaged in activities that violate the Constitution on page A29, call the newspaper and object. Let the paper know how important you feel an issue is and demand that important stories get prominent coverage.

Setting is a description of where and when the story takes place.

  • What aspects make up the setting?
    • Geography, weather, time of day, social conditions?
  • What role does setting play in the story? Is it an important part of the plot or theme? Or is it just a backdrop against which the action takes place?
  • Study the time period which is also part of the setting
  • When was the story written?
    • Does it take place in the present, the past, or the future?
    • How does the time period affect the language, atmosphere or social circumstances of the novel?


Characterization deals with how the characters are described.

  • through dialogue?
  • by the way they speak?
  • physical appearance? thoughts and feelings?
  • interaction – the way they act towards other characters?
  • Are they static characters who do not change?
  • Do they develop by the end of the story?
  • What type of characters are they?
  • What qualities stand out?
  • Are they stereotypes?
  • Are the characters believable?

Plot and structure

The plot is the main sequence of events that make up the story.

  • What are the most important events?
  • How is the plot structured? Is it linear, chronological or does it move back and forth?
  • Are there turning points, a climax and/or an anticlimax?
  • Is the plot believable?

Narrator and Point of view

The narrator is the person telling the story.
Point of view: whose eyes the story is being told through.

  • Who is the narrator or speaker in the story?
  • Is the narrator the main character?
  • Does the author speak through one of the characters?
  • Is the story written in the first person “I” point of view?
  • Is the story written in a detached third person “he/she” point of view?
  • Is the story written in an “all-knowing” 3rd person who can reveal what all the characters are thinking and doing at all times and in all places?


Conflict or tension is usually the heart of the novel and is related to the main character.

  • How would you describe the main conflict?
    • Is it internal where the character suffers inwardly?
    • is it external caused by the surroundings or environment the main character finds himself/herself in?


The theme is the main idea, lesson or message in the novel. It is usually an abstract, universal idea about the human condition, society or life, to name a few.

  • How does the theme shine through in the story?
  • Are any elements repeated that may suggest a theme?
  • What other themes are there?


The author’s style has to do with the author’s vocabulary, use of imagery, tone or feeling of the story. It has to do with his attitude towards the subject. In some novels the tone can be ironic, humorous, cold or dramatic.

  • Is the text full of figurative language?
  • Does the author use a lot of symbolism? Metaphors, similes?
    An example of a metaphor is when someone says, “My love, you are a rose”. An example of a simile is “My darling, you are like a rose.”
  • What images are used?

Your literary analysis of a novel will often be in the form of an essay or book report where you will be asked to give your opinions of the novel at the end. To conclude, choose the elements that made the greatest impression on you. Point out which characters you liked best or least and always support your arguments. Try to view the novel as a whole and try to give a balanced analysis.

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

Students often read newspapers for a wide variety of reasons, not least of which is to keep informed in English. As you know, newspaper writing style tends to have three levels: Headlines, leading phrases, and article content. Each of these has its own style. This lesson focuses on calling students’ attention to this type of writing style on a deeper, grammatical level. It ends with students writing up their own short articles with a follow-up listening comprehension opportunity.

The Lesson

Aim: Improved writing skills and understanding newspaper writing style

Activity: Writing short newspaper articles

Level: Intermediate to upper intermediate


  • Use the provided example newspaper article, or take a newspaper into the class.
  • Ask students to read the newspaper article and summarize the contents.
  • Have students analyze the difference between the headline, leading sentence and article content in terms of tense usage and vocabulary in small groups (3 to 4 students).
  • As a class, check that the differences between headline, leading sentence and article content are clear. Here is a short guideline to the main differences:
    • Headline: Simple tenses, idiomatic, flashy vocabulary, no use of function words
    • Leading sentence: Present perfect tense often used to give general overview.
    • Article content: Proper tense usage, including a change from present perfect to past tenses to give detailed, specific information about what, where and when something happened.
  • Once the differences have been understood, have students split up into pairs or small groups (3 to 4 students)
  • Using the worksheet, small groups should write their own newspaper articles using the headlines provided or come up with their own stories.
  • Have students read their newspaper articles aloud allowing you to incorporate some listening comprehension into the lesson.


A fake painting supposedly by Vincent Van Gogh has been sold for $35 million in Paris.

Paris June 9, 2004

Imagine this: It’s the chance of a lifetime. You have the necessary cash and you have the opportunity to buy a Van Gogh. After purchasing the painting and placing it on your living room wall to show to all your friends, you discover that the painting is a forgery!

That’s what happened to an anonymous telephone bidder who purchased Sunflowers in the Wind at the Peinture Company in Paris, France. The first (supposed) Van Gogh painting to have been auctioned since last year’s record sale of $40 million, the forgery was sold for $35 million. The painting had also been reported to be the last ever offered for sale, Britain’s Daily Times reported Thursday.

Unfortunately, shortly after the masterpiece had been transferred to the buyer’s home, the Academy of Fine Arts released a statement saying that Sunflowers in the Wind was a fake. Upon further investigation, the report proved to be true. The unlucky buyer was forced to recognize that he or she had indeed purchased a forgery.

Choose a Headline and Write Your Own Newspaper Article

Newspaper Article 1


Leading sentence: Provide your leading sentence.

Article content: ​Write at least three short paragraphs about the incident.

Newspaper Article 2


Leading sentence: Provide your leading sentence.

Article content: Write at least three short paragraphs about the incident.

Newspaper Article 3


Leading sentence: Provide your leading sentence.

Article content: Write at least three short paragraphs about the incident.

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

How to Analyze Newspaper LanguageThis post is an extension to my previous guide: Journalism 101: Language Analysis. The ability to analyse how language is used to persuade an audience is critical to any journalist; it is also handy knowledge for daily readers of the news so they can avoid being manipulated by crafty journalists. Once you have learnt all of the different persuasive techniques from the previous guide, you would be wise to find an article in the paper, get a highlighter and a pen and try to pinpoint all of the persuasion tactics being employed. This is analysing how language is used to create a certain response from the reader. Once you’ve made your notes, the next step for a student of journalism is to be able to construct an essay outlining and explaining each of the persuasive techniques that have been used. Every article uses at least one or two! Below is a bulletproof skeleton for constructing such an essay.

  • Text details – author, source, type of text, date, in response to another article? Audience? Tone shifts (eg shifts from sarcastic to empathetic) how does this change the overall mood of the article? Does the shift in tone keep the reader on their toes? Does it make them more likely to acknowledge the writer’s words? Does the tone attempt to make the reader hate a certain person or situation?
  • What is the issue?
  • How/Why has the issue been brought to light?
  • Contention – point of view/key argument, what does the writer want the reader to think?
  • Intention – what does the writer want to achieve with his/her article? Eg to create awareness, to stop people from littering, to stop people beating up little kids on the street etc
  • DON’T list any techniques in the introduction, make it brief. Also, you don’t have to mention tone in the introduction but it’s a good idea to get it out of the way quickly.
  • Argument/Mini-intention – what does the writer employ to position the reader towards his/her contention?
  • Feature – persuasive language, structure, punctuation (eg abrupt sentences quickly and effectively assert a point of view, as though no elaboration is needed and therefore the point is considered to be stronger eg “Alcohol and study simply don’t mix.”), visuals, change in tone etc.
  • When picking out a persuasive feature, make sure you quote it.
  • Discuss the effect the persuasive feature has on the reader eg the writer makes heavy use of hyperbole to create feelings of distress and uneasiness in the readers mind. By using exaggerated phrases such as ‘spun dangerously out of control’ and ‘youth crime explosion’ strong emotional responses such as panic and anxiety are aroused in the reader and they are more likely to accept the writer’s contention
  • The articles used in the exam are usually written specifically for language analysis so they are therefore loaded with language techniques, some sentences may even contain 3 or 4 different features: eg: ‘a wage in the hand of a kid, is like sand through a sieve’ – this sentence is a strong generalisation, makes use of a simile, uses imagery which paints a picture and sticks in the readers mind (picture paints a thousand words) and is also a huge exaggeration (hyperbole.)
  • The whole point of language analysis is to analyse how the writer positions the reader to believe his/her contention, so that’s all you have to do, keep it short and sweet.
  • Reinstate intention
  • Don’t ever express your own opinion, even if the article is written by a feminist pansy whose opinions you don’t agree with, it is never o.k to judge a writer’s opinion when writing language analysis essays.

If you can analyse an article and write a language analysis essay using the above guidelines in less than an hour, then you’re doing very well and your journalistic pencil is almost completely sharpened!

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Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.

What is the Toulmin Method?

Philosopher Stephan Toulmin developed a method of looking at arguments which focused on examining bias, support, and assumptions. His method works best when writing about controversial subjects.

This kind of analysis and writing helps you to find places of agreement with your audience so that you are more convincing. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Think About Your Audience: This technique asks you to think carefully about your audience and what they believe so that you can argue more effectively.
  2. Consider Assumptions: In addition, you will have to provide strong backing for your ideas and consider your assumptions and those of your audience.
  3. Be Willing to Change: You might also state whether you might be willing to change your position, or else qualify your argument to say when and where it applies.

1. Types of argument claims.

2. How to use the method in writing.

3. How to evaluate your audience.

4. How to read using the method.

5. Biography of Toulmin

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

jamesoladujoye CC) Public Domain via Pixaby

5 Types of Argument Claims

Your first job is choosing a topic. Look at some of my articles for topic ideas if you need help. Next, you will turn your topic idea into a claim statement, which means the actual idea you want to argue for.

As you answer these questions, you will be able to identify what sort of argument you are making. It is important to identify what kind of a claim you are making, to be sure that you don’t try to say too much:

  1. Fact: What happened? Is it true? Does it exist? Is it a fact?
  2. Definition: What is it? How do we classify it? How should we define it?
  3. Cause: What caused it? What are the effects? Why did it happen? What will be the results on a short and/or long-term basis?
  4. Value: Is it good or bad? Effective or ineffective? Moral or immoral? Who thinks so? What criteria shall we use to decide?
  5. Policy: What should we do? How shall we solve this problem? Who can solve it? Do we need changes in laws, education, institutions, or people?

4 Ways Toulmin Method Backs Up Arguments

In a Classical argument, the facts and the conclusions are stated without the assumptions and bias being discussed. The assumption is that the audience and the author have the same bias and assumptions, but that is not always the case, especially when controversial topics are discussed.

However, the Toulmin Method offers not just reasons, data, and evidence to support an argument but also:

  • Warrants: to show how the data is logically connected to the data.
  • Backing: to show that the logic of the warrants is realistic and believable.
  • Counter-arguments: to admit the other sides of the question.
  • Rebuttal: to explain why the counter-arguments are wrong, or to limit or qualify the argument so that the counter-arguments are minimized.

Classical vs. Toulmin

Classical arguments are usually structured as:

  1. Claim statement
  2. Reasons and support
  3. Objections and rebuttal.

Toulmin’s arguments assume that your audience is not going to be easily convinced only by your reasons. To get them to agree with you, you need to:

  1. Explain the background values that make you believe this.
  2. Explain how the values that you and your audience share (common ground).
  3. Connect the reasons you believe with those values.
  4. State and answer objections.
  5. Show how you are willing to limit or qualify your argument (optional).

How to Develop a Toulmin Argument

Here is the structure along with questions you can ask to help you develop those parts of your argument:

  1. Claim: I want the audience to believe _________________ (this is your thesis).
  2. Support/sub-claims: They should believe this because (list reasons).
  3. Warrant: What values do I hold which make me believe this claim? Are these the same as my audience? How can I create common ground?
  4. Backing: Who is my audience? Do they have the same warrants that I have? What warrants do my audience and I have in common? What evidence or reasons can I give to make my audience believe we have common ground?
  5. Rebuttal: What are the other positions on this issue? Which ones do I need to discuss in my paper? How can I show that my position is better?
  6. Qualifier: Should I state my argument in absolute terms (always, never, the best, the worst) or add some probable terms (sometimes, probably, if, or possibly)?

Meet the document.

Type (check all that apply):

Letter Speech Patent Telegram
Court document Chart Newspaper Advertisement
Press Release Memorandum Report Email
Identification document Presidential document Congressional document Other

Describe it as if you were explaining to someone who can’t see it. Think about: Is it handwritten or typed? Is it all by the same person? Are there stamps or other marks? What else do you see on it?

Observe its parts.

Who read/received it?

When is it from?

Where is it from?

Try to make sense of it.

What is it talking about?

Write one sentence summarizing this document.

Why did the author write it?

Quote evidence from the document that tells you this.

What was happening at the time in history this document was created?

Use it as historical evidence.

What did you find out from this document that you might not learn anywhere else?

What other documents or historical evidence are you going to use to help you understand this event or topic?

Materials created by the National Archives and Records Administration are in the public domain.

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

This week I observed that in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the level of task complexity and the level of thinking necessary to complete tasks both increase over time, which makes it more challenging to scaffold text complexity. For example, at the beginning of the year, my students started out utilizing text-based details that accurately addressed the writing prompts. We applied this to reading informational and literary texts.

Last week, we began analyzing text structure, comparing and contrasting how two authors utilize information from historical events when writing in different genres: nonfiction and poetry. Teaching students how to analyze author’s craft is challenging. It is even more challenging to engage them in higher thinking activities while increasing text complexity as we approach the end of the year. A pattern emerged in my quest to meet the instructional goal. The activities below depict how the focus began with comprehension of the text and then shifted to analyzing the author’s craft.

Essential Question

In what ways do authors use details from historical events to create writing in different genres, informational and descriptive?

How to Analyze Newspaper LanguageFor this unit, you will need at least two paired passages based on a historical event, nonfiction and fiction or nonfiction and poetry. I have a subscription to Scope, so I have access to paired passages.

Sample materials include:

  • The nonfiction article “Imagine” on the Dust Bowl, by Alex Porter and Kristin Lewis, from the March 12, 2012, issue of Scope.
  • “Dust Storm” excerpt from Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse.
  • Alternative descriptive passage: excerpt from The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Chapter 1 describes the dust storm.
  • Sticky notes.

Day 1

Goal: Read for information.

Activity: Students read the article and engage in a think-pair-share discussion in response to multiple-choice comprehension questions. They answer the questions, discuss their answers with a partner, and come to an agreement on the answers. One handout is submitted for grading.

Day 2

How to Analyze Newspaper LanguageGoal: Analyze the text structure of a nonfiction article.

Activity: Students reread the nonfiction article. Working in mixed-ability groups of three to four students, they discuss how the article is structured or organized, paying particular attention to the headers. They reread the article, focusing on the cause and effect of the dust storm. Each group records one cause and effect on separate sticky notes, selecting accurate, relevant text-based details from the article. They create a class-size graphic organizer on the board, using sticky notes to place details in the appropriate cause and effect columns.

In this particular article, the structure is complex. It introduces the events on Black Sunday through a biographical lens. However, the structure shifts as the authors embed cause and effect information. For this reason, it offers great fodder for group discussion on text structure. Questions and answers might include:

  • Q: How do the authors present the information at the beginning of the article?
    A: The biographical approach hooks the reader and provides a personal account of the historical event, as well as a sequence of events.
  • Q: Why do the authors use a flashback?
    A: The authors use the flashback to introduce the causes of the dust storms, which are followed by the effects.
  • Q: How do the authors close the article?
    A: The authors revert back to the biographical approach. They bring closure to the article, or a type of resolution, by informing the reader about Ike’s life after the dust storm.

Day 3

Goal: Explore the elements of plot in narrative verse.

Activity: Students read the excerpt “Dust Storm” from Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Since this is the first time my students are exposed to narrative verse this year, it is guided, scaffolding toward independence and complexity. As a whole class, we discuss the plot structure (i.e., point of view, exposition, characterization, and conflicts), annotating the text. I project the eBook version of Out of the Dust onto my SMART Board, so the students can add digital annotations during our discussions.

Day 4

How to Analyze Newspaper LanguageGoal: Compare and contrast how two authors use information from a historical event in their writing.

Activity: In small, mixed-ability groups, the students work to complete a compare and contrast matrix. Each group has to identify one similar or different text structure to add to the matrix and present to the class. In the beginning, the discussions focus on identifying the authors’ craft, and then we explore why the authors made these choices. Observations might include:

  • The point of view differs depending on the author’s purpose, to inform or describe.
  • Authors use sensory details in both genres to create imagery.
  • Authors use figurative language in both genres to create imagery.
  • Nonfiction writers chunk information together using headers.
  • Nonfiction and fiction writers use transitions to indicate change in time.
  • The nonfiction writers use a flashback, transitioning from biographical writing to expository writing to inform the reader of the causes of a natural disaster.
  • Nonfiction writers use text features such as headers, pictures, and captions to add information beyond that of the text.
  • One author uses informational writing while the other uses descriptive writing to depict a historical event.
  • An author’s choice of words gives clues about how they feel about the subject (tone).


At first, I felt awkward exploring these uncharted waters, but in the end, my students enjoyed the shift to studying author’s craft. The students concluded that authors, depending on their purpose for writing, use varying structures and literary devices to meet their writing goals. This activity segues into a thematic unit based on the historical novel The Devil’s Arithmetic. During this thematic unit, the students read and analyze paired text from multiple genres. They will practice and reinforce these skills in their reading circles.

Author’s craft is a challenging concept. We welcome your ideas for studying it. Please feel free to share how you teach text structure in your classroom.

When your teacher asks you to perform a certain kind of academic writing assignment, the first and the most important thing to be done is to understand what kind of essay you are going to write. For instance, your mentor may assign you to write a rhetorical analysis paper. Sometimes, you might be asked to perform a self-analysis paper.

So how to write an analysis paper and what kind of essays do they belong to?

Critical Analysis Paper

Writing an analysis paper often means to analyze, but not summarize. You don’t have to retell the story or report the events that have recently happened to you or somebody else. Your main task is to show how these things may influence your life or whether they are good or bad. To cut a long story short, you have to criticize and evaluate.

How To: Write an Analysis Paper

If you study an analysis paper example, you will see that this type of academic paper consists of three main parts: introduction, body and conclusion. Critical analysis paper example is often a subjective writing performed to express the writer’s opinion about a book, a painting, an essay and etc.

Students who don’t know how to write a critical analysis paper should get ready to break down the whole into pieces and then study the part. All in all, this academic paper assignment consists of two main parts: critical reading and critical writing. The main purpose of these two parts is to identify author’s thesis and all main ideas, to make an outline of the work and write a description of it.

Don’t waste your time and order a flawless paper right now!

Literary Analysis Paper

If you were assigned to analyze a poem or a book, you should also complete a kind of a critical analysis paper. To be precise, you need to find and study a good literary analysis paper example. Overall, this academic paper is often performed to discuss the main idea of a literary work.

Knowing how to write a literary analysis paper often means organizing your work in several stages. It’s always highly recommended to start with a close reading. While reading the text, try to make marginal notes, underlining and put down your thoughts into a reader’s diary. Sometimes it’s necessary to reread the text to find certain literary elements.

Sample: How to Write an Analytical Essay

Example: How to Write an Analysis Essay

Remember that the main aim of writing such kind of essay is to find a deliberated thesis and then support it with adequate arguments.

Today, we’ve tried to give a brief answer what an analysis paper is. Hope that our hints and clues will help you understand and write excellent essays in the future.

The objective of an analysis paper can be easily derived from its name: in an analytical paper, you are expected to present detailed analysis on a matter. The matter can be different: you can be tasked with analyzing a piece of writing, a film, or even simply an idea or concept. The subject of your analysis can be different, but the requirements and rules for writing an analysis paper are largely the same. Here is how to write your own analytical paper.

Analysis Paper Example

Many students insist on producing 100% original works and never use papers written by other students, but the truth is that an analytical paper example can be very helpful for your work. Whether you’ve done this type of writing before or have never created an analysis paper, seeing a sample work can give you the complete idea about what your own paper should look like.

There are so many things that can go wrong in writing an analytical paper that the example of an essay can be the only way to avoid any mistakes and present a paper that will get you the highest grade. A sample paper will give you information about every aspect of the writing, from choosing the correct format to writing a thorough outline. Plus, you can find samples for any academic level, including BA and MA, which can be particularly useful for an especially important assignment.

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

This is only a sample, to get your own paper you need to:

Analysis Paper Example

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

This is only a sample, to get your own paper you need to:

Analysis Paper Outline

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

This is only a sample, to get your own paper you need to:

Sample Analysis Paper

How to Analyze Newspaper Language

This is only a sample, to get your own paper you need to:

How to Write an Analysis Paper

Analysis Paper Outline

The outline of an analysis paper, ideally, should be the first step in your writing. Before you write a single letter of your thesis, you need to know what you’ll be writing about, and an outline is the best way to do it.

Moreover, it will help you make notes and references that you can later use in the main part of the work. If you’re not sure you know how to do this job, you can always find a template for an analysis essay and use it. Your analytical paper needs to include the four following parts:

  1. Introduction;
  2. Thesis;
  3. Body;
  4. Conclusion.

Now let’s cover each of those four mandatory parts in detail.

  1. Introduction. The introduction serves as the opening to your paper and it should grab their attention and give them an idea about what they will find in your work. However, the introduction does not need to be detailed. In a couple of sentences you should explain the topic of your work, which methods you used for examining the topic, and the conclusion;
  2. Thesis. This may be the shortest part of your analysis paper, but it may also be the most essential one. The thesis lays the groundwork for your writing and should be addressed at every point of the work that follows. The thesis needs to be clear and definite with no ambiguity;
  3. Body. The body of an analysis paper is the largest part of your essay. This part should consist of you presenting points and evidence to support them. Here you can use different methods for making your point visible, but it’s important to be consistent. The secret for writing a great body of an analysis paper is to use the outline to list the most vital points of the narrative, so that you can always refer to your notes and know which part of the body paragraphs is coming next;
  4. Conclusion. The conclusion of your paper doesn’t need to be long. Plus, you shouldn’t present any new ideas or points in the conclusion. Use the conclusion to merely sum up everything that has been said in the previous parts of the analysis paper and once again state how you managed to get your point across.

Understanding the specifics of the analysis paper format is easy when you’ve dealt with this kind of writing before, but if it’s all completely new to you, you can always refer to an analysis paper sample on our website that contains the example of excellent writing!

In the movie Frozen, only the princess Elsa is portrayed with high power and positive agency, according to a new analysis of gender bias in movies. Her sister, Anna, is portrayed with similarly low levels of agency and power as Cinderella, a movie character that debuted in 1950. Credit: University of Washington

At first glance, the movie “Frozen” might seem to have two strong female protagonists — Elsa, the elder princess with unruly powers over snow and ice, and her sister, Anna, who spends much of the film on a quest to save their kingdom.

But the two princesses actually exert very different levels of power and control over their own destinies, according to new research from University of Washington computer scientists.

The team used machine-learning-based tools to analyze the language in nearly 800 movie scripts, quantifying how much power and agency those scripts give to individual characters. In their study, recently presented in Denmark at the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, the researchers found subtle but widespread gender bias in the way male and female characters are portrayed.

“‘Frozen’ is an interesting example because Elsa really does make her own decisions and is able to drive her own destiny forward, while Anna consistently fails in trying to rescue her sister and often needs the help of a man,” said lead author and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering doctoral student Maarten Sap, whose team also applied the tool to Wikipedia plot summaries of several classic Disney princess movies.

“Anna is actually portrayed with the same low levels of power and agency as Cinderella, which is a movie that came out more than 60 years ago. That’s a pretty sad finding,” Sap said.

The team also created a searchable online database showing the subtle gender biases in hundreds of Hollywood movie scripts, which range from late 80s cult classics like “Heathers” to romantic comedies like “500 Days of Summer” to war films like “Apocalypse Now.”

In their analysis, the researchers found that women were consistently portrayed in ways that reinforce gender stereotypes, such as in more submissive positions and with less agency than men. For example, male characters spoke more in imperative sentences (“Bring me my horse”) while female characters tended to hedge their statements (“Maybe I am wrong”). However, the bias is not just in the words these characters speak, but also in the way they are portrayed through narratives.

To study the nuanced biases in narratives, the UW researchers expanded prior work presented in 2016 on “connotation frames” that give insights into how different verbs can empower or weaken different characters through their connotative meanings. The study evaluated the power and agency implicit in 2,000 commonly used verbs, where the connotative meanings were obtained from Amazon Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing experiments.

The power dimension denotes whether a character has authority over another character, while the agency dimension denotes whether a character has control over his or her own life or storyline. For each verb, turkers were asked to rank the implied level of power differentials and agency on a scale of 1 to 3.

“For example, if a female character ‘implores’ her husband, that implies the husband has a stance where he can say no. If she ‘instructs’ her husband, that implies she has more power,” said co-author Ari Holtzman, an Allen School doctoral student. “What we found was that men systematically have more power and agency in the film script universe.”

Verbs that imply low power or agency include words like ask, experience, happen, wait, relax, need or apologize. Verbs that confer high power or agency include words like finish, prepare, betray, construct, destroy, assign or compose.

Using the movie scripts, the researchers automatically identified genders of 21,000 characters based on names and descriptions. Using natural language processing tools, which employ machine learning, they looked at which characters appeared as a verb’s subject and object. They then computed how much agency and power were ascribed to these characters, using their crowdsourced connotation frames. The researchers also accounted for the fact that male actors spent more time on screen than female actors and also spoke more, accounting for 71.8 percent of the words spoken across all movies.

The team calculated separate power and agency scores for male and female characters in each movie. They also created scores based on words that the characters spoke in dialogue and on words that were used in narration or stage direction to describe those characters — exposing subtle differences and biases.

In 2010’s “Black Swan,” a movie centered around a female lead — a perfectionist ballerina who slowly loses grip on reality — the movie’s dialogue gives more agency to female characters. But the language used to describe the characters in stage direction and narration gave male characters more power and agency in that film.

In the 2007 movie “Juno,” about an offbeat young woman who unexpectedly gets pregnant, male characters’ scene descriptions and narratives also consistently score higher in power and agency, though the two genders come closer in their dialogue.

The UW team’s tool yields a much more nuanced analysis of gender bias in fictional works than the Bechdel Test, which only evaluates whether at least two female characters have a conversation about something other than a man.

The tendency for male characters to score higher on both power and agency dimensions held true throughout all genres: comedy, drama, horror, sci-fi, thrillers. Interestingly, the team found the same gender bias even for movies with female casting directors or script writers.

“We controlled for this. Even when women play a significant role in shaping a film, implicit gender biases are still there in the script,” said co-author and Allen School doctoral student Hannah Rashkin.

Next steps for the team include broadening the tool to not only identify gender bias in texts but also to correct for it by offering rephrasing suggestions or ways to make language more equal across characters of different genders. The methodology isn’t limited to movies, but could be applied to books, plays or any other texts.

“We developed this tool to help people understand how they may be perpetuating these subtle but prevalent biases that are deeply integrated in our language,” said senior author Yejin Choi, an associate professor in the Allen School. “We believe it will help to have this diagnostic tool that can tell writers how much power they are implicitly giving to women versus men.”

This article has been republished from materials provided by University of Washington. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Published on November 21, 2019 by Jack Caulfield. Revised on August 24, 2020.

Newspaper articles are cited much like other periodical sources in APA style, with the specific publication date included if available, and the name of the newspaper written in italics.

Print newspaper citations include a page number or range; online newspaper citations include a URL.

Using the buttons below, you can explore how to cite an online newspaper article with one or more authors.

With the APA Citation Generator, you can automatically create citations for print or online newspaper articles and build your reference list.

Table of contents

  1. Citing newspapers in print
  2. Citing newspaper articles accessed online
  3. Online-only news sites
  4. Frequently asked questions about APA newspaper citations

Citing newspapers in print

Printed newspapers are sometimes divided into sections, which are identified by a letter before the page number (e.g. A1, B4). Always include the letters when page numbers are formatted in this way.

Newspaper articles may also appear on discontinuous pages (for example, an article which begins on the front page but continues on page 20). Make sure to only cite the relevant pages, separating different pages and page ranges with commas:

Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.

Note that with newspapers, unlike with other source types, APA requires you to write “p.” (for a single page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before page numbers in your reference list entry.

7th edition updates

The 7th edition of the APA manual recommends omitting “p.” or “pp.” and just writing the numbers alone in the reference list entry, as with other source types.

Citing newspaper articles accessed online

If you accessed the article on the newspaper’s website, include a URL instead of page numbers. APA recommends linking to the homepage rather than the specific article, because article links can stop working:

Schwartz, F., & McBride, C. (2019, November 18). Trump administration says Israeli settlements aren’t illegal. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

7th edition updates

The 7th edition instead recommends linking directly to the article, and omitting the words “Retrieved from”:

Schwartz, F., & McBride, C. (2019, November 18). Trump administration says Israeli settlements aren’t illegal. The Wall Street Journal.

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How to Analyze Newspaper Language

Online-only news sites

Don’t use the newspaper citation format for articles on news sites that are not linked to a print newspaper, such as Reuters or BBC News.

Instead, use the format of a website citation. The URL links directly to the article, and the name of the site is not included:

7th edition updates

The 7th edition introduces a specific format for online-only news sites. The article title is italicized, the name of the site is included (not italicized), and the link is not preceded by “Retrieved from”:

Ahmad, J., & Shalizi, H. (2019, November 19). U.S., Australian hostages freed by Afghan Taliban in swap. Reuters.

Frequently asked questions about APA newspaper citations

When no individual author name is listed, but the source can clearly be attributed to a specific organization—for example, a press release by a charity, a report by an agency, or a page from a company’s website—use the organization’s name as the author in your reference list and in-text citations.

When no author at all can be determined—for example, a collaboratively edited wiki or an online article published anonymously—use the title in place of the author. In the in-text citation, put the title in quotation marks and shorten it if necessary.

When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage from a source, you need to indicate the location of the passage in your in-text citation. If there are no page numbers (e.g. when citing a website), you can instead use section headings, paragraph numbers, or a combination of the two:

(Caulfield, 2019, “Linking” section, para. 1).

Section headings can be shortened if necessary. Kindle location numbers should not be used in ebook citations, as they are unreliable.

If you are referring to the source as a whole, it’s not necessary to include a page number or other marker.

Depending on the number of authors a source has, an APA in-text citation is shortened by using “et al.” (meaning “and others”) after the first author’s name.

Sources with 3–5 authors are written in full the first time and shortened from the second citation onwards. Sources with 6+ authors are always shortened, even the first time.

  • First in-text citation: (Taylor, Kotler, Johnson, & Parker, 2018)
  • Subsequent in-text citation: (Taylor et al., 2018)

APA style usually does not require an access date. You never need to include one when citing journal articles, e-books, or other stable online sources.

However, if you are citing a website or online article that’s likely to change over time, it’s a good idea to include an access date. In this case, place the month, day, and year directly after the word “Retrieved”, and before the URL.