√ How to Analyse Texts Critically – Critical Thinking – English



and welcome we're going to be looking at today is we're going to be looking at how critical thinking can be used to analyze your texts and basically how you will analyze a text interpret or interpret a text using critical thinking skills okay so basically we'll just go down into the basics first every ideas theme and concept in text is open for interpretation so nothing is set in stone everything can be interpreted and requires your interpretation not only to understand what it is it's happening in text but also to to have relevance and meaning to you and for basically for you to be able to engage with a text it must be able to give you something that you can interpret so something that you can read something that you can feel something you can think about a reaction to reading it all those things come for just basically for reading a text or for watching a film or anything else like that so if you see a movie and it gives you that really feel-good ending at the end it makes you cry a little bit then that's basically you interpreting the text and getting that really sad feeling at the end of it or really happy feeling if it's a happy feel so this meaning can basically change in virtually any text now don't assume common knowledge because even facts can basically need to be proven you can't just basically say that's a fact it's true because it's a fact you need to actually prove it's true alright so if you're answering a question you're not just basically listing fact you're proving why your answer is correct so for that reason you can actually choose to ignore some more common analysis and really come up with your own so you don't necessarily have to stick to the tried and trued methods of analyzing a particular text so if you're looking at a romance story you don't have to necessarily say it's a romance story so I have to talk about being about love you can talk about a lot of other things which may be important to the text and may contribute just as much to its meaning as love but so there's not necessarily a common an out or a common ground on how you need to analyze the text it isn't purely up to you now as I said text can be analyzed independently which means they can be analyzed intent independently not just by you but they can be analyzed independently of their context and by of their offer as well which basically means that you are analyzing it not of what someone else wants or by the opinions a lot of different people you can analyze it purely on what you think and really in English that's what we're trying to get you to do is to analyze it in your own words in your own voice and using your own arguments I mean if we want you you use someone else's argument we get them to write it but that's not what we want you to do we want to be about you so what you can do now there is no set consensus on how you should analyze a text only that you are able to justify the how and why in your argument so in other words you must be able to prove it now you can use your opinion all you want but you need to be able to prove it and you need to write it in such a way where you're using objective reasoning and that in other words that you are writing about an objective kind of way you're not putting your own personal opinion in there or basically not taking it personally what it's trying to do but you are including your opinion in such a way that you're talking about what facts are important to the overall meaning and the text that's your opinion but you're writing about an objective way and now it doesn't really make sense but when you're basically writing an essay or writing any sort of response require and critical thinking you need to just do more than provide your opinion you need to be able to back it up now being able to back up something with facts is more objective than this subjective so even though it is your opinion you're writing a you're still writing about in the objective way which I know is is different from basically the idea of opinion as such but as essentially it's one of those paradoxes that makes it English a very English interesting subject and very confusing at times but basically you're writing about in such a way we're not just saying I think this is true because you're saying it is true all right so you're basically you're using your opinion just not calling it that all right it requires basically breaking down the tax in this key sections a bit of note-taking which is always handy but obviously we read that read it or watch it first and for you to make some very clear distinction so be able to basically interpret it in a very very clear sort of way so you're not sort of going through and arming and hiring and coming up with all these ideas that really don't make a lot of sense you've got some very clear things that you're talking about some very very clear ideas and agendas which you're going to be used throughout your critical analysis and your own interpretation of the text so you interpret in such a way that other people can understand it and other markers particularly on the people who are going to be marking your work will be able to understand it okay so first let's look at construction of story and basically there is a lot to analyze in just how the story is construction now basically the way language and structure use is important now you might be wondering okay how does structure really affect something like meaning well if you think about it stories aren't really written in the same way each time they're written differently so your structure is something that basically from text to text changes and it does affect the mean particularly if it is things like flashbacks if it changes the order of which the story is told if it goes so forwards and backwards wherever it starts with a different sort of introduction all those things they affect meaning and they make storytelling interesting but also they make virtually any text a little bit different and a little bit more interesting and separate from its from its basically other texts and basically what it's doing is through its structure a text is able to be independent and be able to stand out on its own and language obviously not only do you read and interpret or watch an interpret language just for the sheer literal meaning of the words or what is on screen but you can actually get meaning through language basically for interpreting it in an abstract Soloway which is to look at it in terms of being critical in terms of actually working out things for yourself about what they mean what a symbol means what a metaphor means all those things so both of those things and the way that those stories are constructed helped to contribute to the meaning of the text next thing is that basically an author's style in other words house an offer as poor a story together affects communication so how am basically this authors way of writing or way of putting a film together or whatever the text is how they able to shape and affect meaning through that and that's basically one of the other things that's related to construction of stories so it's very similar to that idea of how language and structure are used but it may refer to more stylistic features of a particular author and particularly if you look at something like Shakespeare for instance which you may do quite a lot then Shakespeare has a particular style and it's one that you'll often be asked to talk about in essays or responses that require you to talk about the style of Shakespeare now some things you might be looking at in terms of construction of story is medium as in is a film is a poem what kind of text is and why why does that particular idea and what does or basically how does medium affect the meaning so a film will tell its story for pictures and for sounds upon walls will tell it for images and really abstract terms a novel or a longest extended short story will use lots of description and lot of different plot twists and things like that to create ideas and storytelling so there are lots of different aspects of medium which is different next thing is john ram so okay is it a sci-fi story as the romance story what effects does that genre have on its construction of meaning does it does it sort of set it apart does it focus on telling a story in a particular kind of way just because it is set desired that kind of genre the style of prose and poetry so doesn't use run doesn't not use Rome is it dark is it bleak is a satirical is it optimistic is all those sorts of things plot devices so flashback varied an array is climax so all those things contribute to meaning as well formatting editing how its put together and particularly in terms of the film how is it edited how is it set up meaning okay so is there anything there where you have to interpret its meaning how are things represented all those things you can interpret and all of these things you can think critically about so by looking at all those things together and being able to basically take notes on all of these things you're starting to construct a your own critical interpretation of just the construction of the story so that's something to look at when you are when you are putting together your response is looking at basically being able to interpret all of these things and on top of that be able to put things like language for instance now language refers to basically visual and written techniques which you're used to interpret a text now basically you must both think and analyze how and why they used so in other words how has the text been written and why has it been written that particular way and how visuals used and why they use in a particular way so actually really going and focusing on the language individually as in each sentence each line each word you must constantly challenge the use of such techniques so you must look at particular key sections of the text and look at okay why has it been written in this particular way why is it an action or a setting being described in a particular sort of way what about this language technique or or this sort of visual cue has been placed to shape meaning in in some sort of way in some sort of significant way so some of the things look for emotional imagery sensory language all those lots of things basically language which sort of creates a sense of mood and atmosphere metaphor is another one particularly specialist one there's really interpretive ones visual layout and particularly if you're looking at a film or a visual text this is a particular important one camera and film techniques the same again a visual layout dialog so in terms particularly of a play format for instance then dialogue becomes an important language technique that you look at contrast paradox in juxtaposition so anything which is compared and contrasted to itself and basically any sorts of irony things that come across through the types of language which II which you used and through your analysis of all these language techniques you start to get a bit of an interpretation about how a text is put together just through word by word sentence by sentence or scene by scene helps to shape meaning and again you just like construction of story you can think critically about all these things and it gives you a lot of variety now being critical requires you to be selective so being selective of all those things means you don't use them all but you use the ones which are relevant to your argument and particularly what your arguments asking for it may I ask you for one of these things to interpret in which case you've got to focus just on that one thing and not any of these other ones it also sort of goes to indicate the amount variety that is involved in basically analyzing language constructionist story and next one we're going to look at which is characterization now characterization might not seem such an important point but it is particularly when you're looking at character based stories and the way that characters shape a story so they are a very important consideration for critical analysis and by analyzing our characters portrayed you're better able to discuss and to analyze their motives and purpose now characters and stories are constructed in a certain way they are constructed in the way which is basically meant to create meaning for the audience it's not the same as describing a character and what they do so not saying he's evil you're writing about how they are portrayed so here's portrayed as evil because of the fact that he's dressed in black all right that gives a little bit more than just simply describing a character and saying he wears black all the time what does that mean as it is he because these are the funerals because he's evil so by actually describing their motives and purpose and by linking that to the characterization and the mannerisms and all the things that a character does you're able to analyze them a lot better now characterization can also be indicated for basically the voice of narrator so the narrator themselves can be a character and something that's definitely worth interpreting when you look at it but more importantly if you're looking at any other character if you're looking at the story which is written in the third person in particularly description and dialogue are key elements of characterization which particularly knowingly can you be critical about them and analyze what they contribute to our connection to that character and how they are portrayed and how we are meant to feel about them but it gives you some sort of validity to the character's role and their purposes within the story and what you believe a certain character does so let's look at it this way when you watch a film for instance and I know a lot more of you probably watch films than read books then you would some people would look at a character and go I really like that character because of the fact that he does this and it's really cool whereas someone else might go I don't really like him because he has a really annoying voice and it grates on me a bit and it's pretty much the same sort of thing when you look at it this way so how does the way a character portrayed indicate their role in the story is it something that's likable or is it one of those things that as your friend might do in this case is not likable now obviously you're not testing whether or not a character is likable on story but you are testing their role and their role isn't set in stone either it's one of those things that you can interpret and you can still say what their actual role is in the story you can a that a villain is the hero of the story it might take a little bit of work it will take a lot of work in fact it might be very very hard to argue and justify it may be a very weak argument but you can still do it and that's one of the beauties of the English language is that you can actually interpret things in your completely your own way provided that you have enough evidence to prove it and that's one of the tough things about it is not only do you have to sort of say what you think about that character you have to prove why that's the case okay now you can indicate a character and their manner is through dialogue so the way they talk the way they speak descriptions of them so an author or filmmaker will choose to describe a character in a certain way so you're made almost to feel about them in a certain way a character's role whether they are the hero or they are the antagonist or they are the comic foil who always gets sort of caught up in the middle and is that the fall guy in a lot of cases their relationship so how they get on with other people change in narration so if there are more on one character or if it's a story with a first-person narrator does the narration change as that character changes as that person's opinion on life becomes different it might be language techniques and their effect on their on the appearance of that character so if you describe a beautiful person in an ugly way why is that done why what does that change about that person so or that character for that matter so there are lots of different things there which again can be interpreted now the final thing we're going to look at is theme now theme is probably one of the harder ones to interpret because of the fact that it is purely interpretive now stories won't tell you what a theme is they won't say the theme of this story is this you have to interpret them you have to justify them and argue and the thing about them is you can really literally write about any theme in the story provided that you go deeply into it and that the theme is deep enough that you can actually talk about it as having relevance to the story so if you're talking about a big action movie and you're saying the theme is like because the character falls in love and has a kiss at the end that's not really a theme that encompasses the whole story and it's not one you can really justify as being significant to the story so you need to be very selective of that now thin can be interpreted for a key idea or effective attacks so something that sort of goes through or is basically the predominant idea of what the text is trying to achieve through its for its construction for its characters and through the language that it uses so through the combination of all those things you start to get theme and it's one of the more integral parts of the critical analysis now there can be ideas relating to things like philosophy and psychology so you can make a very philosophical statement and say that is the theme is trying to make a philosophical statement or to do with something of the mind or the human experience it can be feelings so it can be a sort of emotion that is trying to get people to whether it be a theme of fear or something along those lines personal issues so basically things like family relationships communities all those sorts of things and how people relate with their world basically so not communities as such but how people relate to their world political or social so that again those two ideas all relate to society in the way that society is culture or how cultures are and things like religious and spiritual sorts of ideas so to do with people's spirituality belief in a higher power or afterlife or something like that and life in that stages so it might be just about being young and old and the meaning of life those sorts of things so there's lots of again things you can interpret that's basically it for how to quickly analyze a text so remember the four main categories of things that you'll be looking to interpret you'd be first of all looking at construction of your story so how the story is constructed how its put together next thing you look at is language so the sorts of language techniques and devices which are used throughout the text next thing you'll be looking at is your characters and particularly things like know in the way that things are detailed and finally your themes and for a combination of all those things you should have a fairly you should be able to construct a fairly detailed analysis of a story and have lots and lots of things to talk about in terms of how you understand and how you interpret a text now remember it's something you do in your own way and particularly a lot of texts are quite quite highly interpretive so in other words there text which completely wants you to come up with your own interpretation so think about what they sort of mean to you look at the text obviously in isolation first so basically you watch it and you get your own ideas about all of these things and then you start to take notes and start to think about some things which are significant to you and which are going to be significant to your answers later on so this basically is about how to critically analyze texts so until next time I'll see you later

20 thoughts on “√ How to Analyse Texts Critically – Critical Thinking – English”

  1. I greatly appreciate your contribution to the world of the English language. Just a piece of constructive criticism, however, swallow first then sentence.

  2. Thnks sir… make more video to understanfing british american novel etc… i am from india thats whay i am always unable to understand every paragraph accurate meaning….

  3. I really need this
    When trying to analyse boring texts I don't analyse good!
    When it's a text I like I analyse better!

  4. If I could have a dollar for every you said basically 😂😂 really helpful though, so thanks so much

  5. Thank you for this I have to take the English 3 regents exam tomorrow and I need to pass it to graduate next week this video helped me out

  6. I found this short essay by George Orwell useful for my writing. It may help others also so here it is: http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit

  7. Tysm for this, I have my IB English exam tomorrow and I was looking for a good analysis guide for hours! You're a lifesaver

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