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To analyze a text(s), you may want to break the stories down by examining particular scenes, point of view, and so on.In short, you'll want to ask: What are the components of this story, and how do these components contribute to the story's theme?
Moreover, if you are this short story in an upper-level literature class, you will want to be aware of different critical perspectives on Alexie's work and on American Indian literature in general, so that you can "place" your argument within the larger ongoing conversation.
When you sit down to write an academic paper, ask yourself these questions: Can I answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, how? What historical or cultural influences do I know about that might be important to my topic?
How do they contribute to the author's work as a whole?
When you analyze, you break the whole into parts so that you might see the whole differently.
What's not in the text that might be contributing to your response?
In asking these questions, you are straddling two intellectual processes: experiencing your own personal response, and analyzing the text. This step in constructing an informed argument asks you first to consider the parts of your topic and then to examine how these parts relate to each other or to the whole.Much of what you learned in high school will be useful to you as you approach writing in college: you will want to write clearly, to have an interesting and arguable thesis, to construct paragraphs that are coherent and focused, and so on.Still, many students enter college relying on writing strategies that served them well in high school but that won't work well for research papers.It may not even require you to have mastered the terms important to literary criticism -- though clearly any knowledge you bring might help you to make a thoughtful response to it.However, if you are asked to write an academic paper on the short story, then you will want to know more.But how do you know when a topic is relevant and appropriate?First of all, pay attention to what your professor is saying.The first thing that you'll need to understand is that writing in college is a particular kind of writing, called "academic writing." Academic writing might be defined in many ways, there are three concepts that you need to understand before you write your first academic paper. Academic writing is writing done by scholars for other scholars. As a college student, you are part of a community of scholars engaged in activities that scholars have been engaged in for centuries: you will read about, think about, argue about, and write about great ideas. Academic writing is devoted to topics and questions that are of interest to the academic community.When you write an academic paper, you must first try to find a topic or a question that is relevant and appropriate.In the process of analysis, you find things that you might say. When you analyze, you break down a text into its parts.When you synthesize, you look for connections between ideas.