How to analyze texts

The following set of questions is one tool you will use to analyze texts. We will use it together to analyze “In the Garden of Tabloid Delight.” You may wish to employ it in the future as we analyze other texts together and as you work on your portfolio. In order to do an effective and complete analysis, consider all questions under each heading, and then write a paragraph describing the particular area of the text under consideration, giving specific examples from the text to support your answer. Rather than answer each specific question, use the questions to guide your analysis. Group your answers under the respective headings.

What, specifically, is the text about? In other words, what content does it attempt to cover and/or explain? What “type” of text is it? That is, under what discipline or field would you categorize it? What overall purpose does the text serve? For example, is it meant to answer a question, pose a problem, add to research on a given topic, introduce a new idea, summarize someone else’s ideas, or some other purpose? How can you tell?

Who are the authors of the text? Is any biographical information given about them? What qualifies them to write on this subject? Are the authors “present” in the text through the use of personal pronouns (“I” or “we”) or self-reference, or are they never referred to?

Where does this text appear? What, from the journal or magazine or from the article itself, can you tell about its anticipated readers? For example, are they well versed in the topic, novices. What specific details lead you to these conclusions about the audience? What would the reader have to be interested in to read this text? What do the authors seem to expect their readers to do or think based on the argument/information presented in this text? Do you feel you are part of the intended audience of this text? Why or why not?

Topic and Position

Is the authors’ opinion clear or is the information presented as “objective”? Do the authors include and/or critique other viewpoints? Are other viewpoints presented as critique of the authors’ viewpoint, so that the authors can refute them, or simply presented? How do the authors position this piece? In other words, does the piece refer to current events, personal experience, and/or a review of research or discussions on the topic to show how this piece “fits into the conversation” about this topic?

How great a role do previous research and sources play? When references are used, which ones receive the most discussion? Which ones the least? Why might some references warrant more discussion than others? Are authors or studies ever referred to without formal introductions or explanations? Where? Why do you think the authors refrain from explaining or introducing these sources?

What type of proof, if any, is used to defend conclusions or main ideas in the text (e.g., references to other work, interpretations of other work, original research, personal experience, author’s opinions, critical analysis, etc.)? Try to name every type of proof that is offered.

Is one type of proof used more often than another or to the exclusion of all others? If so, which one? Why might this type of proof be used more? What type of analysis is the proof subject to, if any? In other words, do the authors simply present something as a fact? Do they argue for a conclusion’s validity? Do they analyze a piece of information in a certain way? Do they ever qualify their argument? What kind of proof seems to carry the most weight? What proof is the most authoritative in terms of the audience accepting it without question? The least?

Is the text broken up by sub-headings? If so, what are they? If not, construct a “backwards outline” in which you list the different parts of the text and what purpose they serve. For example:

First two paragraphs: The authors critique other people’s readings of the novel.

Paragraph 3: They explains that their own reading is more accurate because it accounts for the details others leave out.

Why might information be presented in this order? Does it begin with background information or context, definition of terms, etc.? What needs of the reader are the authors attempting to meet by presenting the information in this order? Where (if anywhere) is the authors’ position on the topic made clear? at the beginning? the end? only by implication? What can you conclude about why the text is organized as it is? Is the organization driven more by the content (the information that needs to be presented), by the authors’ argument, by the needs of the audience, or by some combination of the three? For example, an author may use chronological organization because the order of events is important or so the reader can follow the steps of a process when trying to use the process.

Look at the pronouns in the text. If the authors refers to themselves as “we,” why would they choose to do that? Do the authors ever refer to other readers or include them by using “we”? Why would they choose (or not choose) to do this? Look at a “chunk” of approximately ten sentences. What percentage (roughly) of your “chunk” could be considered technical terminology or jargon? (Technical terminology or jargon are words or uses of words that are understood in a particular way by a certain community. For instance, the word “crash” has a particular meaning for emergency room personnel that is different from common usage.) If technical terminology is at least fairly common in the text, make a list that includes up to 10 examples of technical terms or jargon. Are these technical terms ever explained? Which ones receive an explanation and which do not? Why would the authors choose to explain the ones they did? What percentage (roughly) of your “chunk” could be considered informal or conversational language? What purpose does this informal tone seem to serve in the text? In considering the authors’ word choice (diction), are there any phrases or words that are particularly telling of the authors’ values or underlying assumptions? (For example, if the authors use the term “relationship” without qualifying it as “monogamous” or “heterosexual,” then that shows they assume relationships are monogamous and heterosexual rather than including the possibility of other types of relationships.) List and explain them. Finally, look at other aspects of style such as sentence structure/complexity, figurative language, rhetorical questions, etc.

Drawing Conclusions

Review your answers to the above questions. Use the results of your analysis to answer the following questions. As always, use plenty of specific details to support your answers.

How to analyze texts

In order for a reader to be able to read and understand a text there is a great deal of work that they must do in their head. As shared in The Importance of Strategies , readers use a variety of strategic actions and strategies to process what they are reading. Analyzing is one of twelve strategic action we will explore in this Strategic Action Series .

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Strategies Change Over Time

When young children begin reading, they may use very simple strategies like memorizing or remembering the words in a story and reciting them as they see the pictures. As they learn more about letters, words, and books, they will begin using strategies like:

  • Pausing when something doesn’t make sense (self-monitoring)
  • Looking at the picture, thinking about the sentence, and looking at the first letters to make sure what they have read “looks right,” “sounds right,” and “makes sense.” (cross-checking sources of information)
  • Reread a word to read it correctly when they misread the word the first time. (self-correcting)

As young readers have more and more time to read and experience books, they develop their ability to use more sophisticated strategic actions as they read.


It is important to note that readers use strategic actions simultaneously. Unfortunately, many children view them as separate actions or even as their goal of their reading. This may be the case if you’ve ever heard your child say, “This week I am inferring.” This happens when strategies are talked about in isolation or if your child does most of their strategy work with worksheets. Even though we may attempt to strengthen a strategic action by talking about it in isolation, it is always important to remind your child that they use many strategic actions and strategies to understand what we are reading.

Here is an example shared by Fountas and Pinnell in Guided Reading (2e)

  • A child who is monitoring her understanding of key words might solve one by taking it apart by syllables, connectto known words, gain insight into or infer the motives of a character, and predict what the character will do to resolve the problem she has analyzed.

Even though these actions are listed in a sequence, many take place simultaneously. Our brains can work so quickly and can do such much.

Now let’s take a look at Analyzing, a strategic action identified by Fountas and Pinnell ( Literacy Continuum , Expanded Edition, 2017).

Generate text statistics and analyse the content of a text. Use our free text analyser to generate a range of useful statistics about a text and calculate its readability scores.

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Our advanced text analyser gives a much more detailed analysis of text with many more statistics.

Test Your Readability. Discover how understandable your text is.

Use these readability statistics to help you assess the complexity of a text and how hard it is to read and understand. These industry-standard tests are designed to give you a statistical analysis of the difficulty of your text, allowing you to see if it’s going to engage with your desired audience.

  • Hard Words (three or more syllables and doesn’t contain a hyphen)
  • Long Words (more than 6 characters) (part of our advanced text analyser) (part of our advanced text analyser) (part of our advanced text analyser) (part of our advanced text analyser) (part of our advanced text analyser) (part of our advanced text analyser)

Word Length Breakdown. Does a text use long or short words?

The word length analysis page displays a list of words grouped by their length. You can see a graph of the distribution of all words by word length alongside a graph showing the percentage of words by word length.

How to analyze texts

Following that you have access to the raw word-length and frequency data in the form of a table:

How to analyze texts

Word Frequency Cloud. Which are the most frequently used words?

Lastly, we help you visualise the word frequency of a text via the word frequency cloud, which shows each word in a bigger or smaller text size, depending on how many times it is found in the text. The bigger the word, the more frequently it occurs. Very common words have been removed to allow you to see the important words in the text. Note: The results work better with longer texts.

How to analyze texts

Our Advanced Analyser. Get even more statistics about your text.

The advanced version of our text analyser gives a much more detailed analysis of text with many more statistics, analysis by word length, by word frequency and by common phrases.

With Common Core standards on the rise, many ELA teachers are concerned about teaching students how to analyze text closely. Text analysis constitutes referring back to a text to find evidence to support a conclusion. Evidence can be direct or implied, with implied evidence being the more challenging. Students new to this concept, especially younger or “less advanced” students, will struggle with this skill unless the teacher successfully scaffolds.

This year, I have experimented with the Common Core standards in my classroom. (In Tennessee, the Common Core is not required until the 2013-2014 school year.) This is the method I have used to teach text analysis.

Collaborative Annotation

Students are already used to making personal connections with text. Although the Common Core standards de-emphasize opinionated responses, a teacher could guide students into text analysis by starting with the familiar. I like the collaborative annotation activity. Follow these steps:

1.Group students heterogeneously. The preferred group size is 3-5 students.

2.Explain what a collaborative annotation is. It is a process in which a group of students write their thoughts about a text on a copy. Students are encouraged to interact with each other via writing during this process. The text itself should be something interesting to your particular class. The copy should be attached to a larger sheet of paper, such as a poster-sized piece of butcher paper. Each student gets a different color of pen and must record his or her name on the document in the chosen color. This color-codes the responses so you know who wrote what.

3.Show students what a successful annotation looks like; you should use a different document from what you are giving to the class. Read sample comments to the class.

4.Give each group the materials (article + pens/markers). Each group receives only one copy of the article, so it is necessary for you or a volunteer to read it aloud. Afterward, assert that students are to remain silent throughout the activity. If they have something to say, they must write it. (As you can see, this is a decent activity to support written communication and thought articulation.)

5.During this activity, you should rotate with your own colored pen and make comments for groups that seem stuck. Ask students question (on paper) about their thoughts related to an issue in the article.

6.For closing, ask students to share their group responses. Require students to write some type of response to the article. You could also give each student an exit ticket to ask them how they felt about the activity. Most students give positive feedback about the activity.

At some point, instruct students about the definition of annotation; this could be prior to or after the collaborative activity. Explain how students related personally to the text (aka: text-to-self) and how they will need to begin making broader connects with the text, which include analyzing the text itself for the author’s unique writing style and devices (text-to-itself), linking the text to other non-fiction or fiction items they have read (text-to-text), and associating the text to past or current events or situations (text-to-world). You must provide examples of these types of text analysis. Depending on the level of your students, you may want to work your way slowly from one type of analysis to the next. If you have to choose only one other type of text analysis to make in addition to text-to-self, you should consider text-to-itself. Now, you can jigsaw the collaborative annotation activity.

Jigsaw with Collaborative Annotation

Prior to this activity, you should define the different areas of text analysis. This includes but is not limited to rhetorical devices, author’s attempt to relate to the audience, author’s purpose, diction, and overall critique of the piece. Once students understand how to analyze the text, preferably after you share examples of text analysis, divide them into groups once again.

1.Assign each group a different area to analyze.

2.Give each group one copy of the text to analyze. The text should be simple yet high interest. As students get better at analyzing text, you can use more complicated pieces.

3.Read aloud the text and remind students that they are to silently analyze the text for the area you wish them to focus on.

4.Rotate around the room and help students who are stuck with prompting questions.

5.Have groups to share their findings while the rest of the class takes notes.

6.Assign students to write a text analysis (aka: rhetorical analysis) of the piece. (You should probably show them how to organize their information or provide them with a graphic organizer.)

7.An alternative to this method is assign each individual member a different area to analyze, then have group members talk amongst themselves about their findings once the silent portion is completed. You should still have each group share their findings, too, so that they can give and take ideas from one another. You could also try this version of the method after they have tried the original jigsaw.

As students develop their analysis skills, you can provide more complicated tasks and longer writing assignments. You also need to wean them from the group and have them analyze and write independently. For certain classes, you could start slowly by placing students in pairs before you place students on their own. Even when students are independently working, you should still consider peer revising. (I also wrote an article about a more interesting way to implement peer revision. Check it out!)

Text analysis is difficult. As with any difficult assignment, do not expect students to enter into the process alone. Most importantly, do not sell your students short. I know of some teachers who have no faith in their students’ abilities to analyze text whatsoever. They may attempt a different strategy to jump start the process, but their lack of faith taints their attitude which in turn affects the students.

Even if you do not teach Common Core, many of us ELA teachers are still required to teach our students how to analyze text. May this strategy support your endeavors!

You’ve read the story, questioned the characters’ motives and tried to predict the next plot twist. Now, the hard part begins: analyzing the narrative, examining its elements to determine how they create a collective meaning. Whether you’re reading a novel for a book club or writing an essay for English class, analyzing a narrative can reveal important details related to the story’s theme, development and overall craft.

Plot Points

Stories, essays and novels all feature a sequence of events that begins with exposition, or introduction to the characters, setting and conflict, gradually builds to a climax and ends with resolution. As you analyze plot, consider what events in the story might represent each of these stages. You might examine how the narrative’s opening scene sets the tone for what’s coming, the logic in the sequence of events and the significance of the story’s ending. You can also identify the major conflict the characters face in the story, what’s at stake for them and how the plot structure portrays its challenges and resolution.

Character Journeys

Analyzing the characters’ personalities, behavior and relationships can point to significant meaning in a narrative. You might look closely the characters’ actions, their appearance and mannerisms and what other characters think of them to determine their important qualities and traits. You can also consider which characters change the most as a result of the events, or don’t change at all. Narration is another important element of character analysis. Examine whether a character uses first person point of view to directly tell the story, or a more objective third person narrator from outside the story.

Speaking Figuratively

Analyzing a narrative means looking at the authors’ language choices as well as global elements like character and plot. Figurative language, the use of nonliteral comparisons to describe things or evoke sensory detail, creates images of characters and settings and evokes an emotional attitude, or tone. In the narrative, analyze the author’s use of techniques such as similes, comparisons that use the words “like” or “as,” and metaphors, which make direct comparisons without these words. You can also look closer at images the author describes and consider whether they carry symbolic meaning to the story as a whole.

Setting the Time and Place

Setting in narratives includes both the physical location of the story, and other elements such as the time period, weather or season when the action occurs. Analyze the time and place of the narrative and consider how the choice of era or location can help you understand the characters and their experiences, as well as how the choice of place helps to reinforce the story’s meaning. Since settings often serve a symbolic function in narratives, you can also consider whether the location could represent a larger idea or theme within the narrative.

Tackling the Theme

Ultimately, all narrative elements work together to create the story’s theme, the main idea that lies behind the text. You can analyze the primary characters, setting, images and plot points to determine what ideas it seems to illustrate. For example, you might consider whether the protagonist gets what he wants or fails at his quest and what implications this choice carries for meaning. You can also search the text for any repeating symbols or images that could point to this main idea or explore the prevailing tone that characterizes the piece.

  • Germanna Community College: Writing a Literary Analysis Paper
  • Bay-Arenac Independent School District: Narrative Text: Lesson Planning Guide
  • Pearson Education: Analyzing Literature: A Guide for Students
  • Indian River State College: Analyzing a Short Story

Kori Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has been crafting online and print educational materials since 2006. She taught creative writing and composition at West Virginia University and the University of Akron and her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals.

How to analyze texts

Texts are not displayed in logon language. It is assumed that the respective translation is missing.

Reason and Prerequisites

SAP products are translated into more than 30 languages.
Additional languages are supported. If a language is supported by SAP, it does not necessarily mean that SAP delivers translations for this particular language for a particular product and / or release.
And even if translations are delivered by SAP there is an difference as to how “broadly” and “deeply” a particular language is translated.
To ensure system stability with regard to texts in different languages, we recommend that you run language supplementation in client 000 and in the working client (which is different from 000) after importing languages and after importing Support Packages and / or AddOn Packages.
Only language EN is a “so called 100% language” where every text should exist.
So EN is the preferred language for language supplementation.

Please find further information about supported SAP languages at
-> Language Information

This note gives you information on finding the reason for missing texts in an SAP system and provides a checklist for analyzing the issue and finding a feasible solution.
There are steps which can / should be done by customers themselves.
Other steps should be done by SAP Support.


Language import – correct components? // Customer (and SAP Support)

    Check if the correct language file is imported.

To check if the correct language file is imported please call transaction SMLT and expand all “language nodes”.
Compare the imported language file with note: 330104
Please double check table CVERS (using SE16) for software components which are present in your SAP system versus those which are covered by the installed language file.
Please be aware that it is technically possible to import a language file for SAP NetWeaver (which covers SAP_BASIS,SAP_ABA and SAP_BW) into an SAP ERP or SAP CRM or an SAP SCM system. But this does NOT make any sense because than all “application specific translations” will be missing later on of course. And it is not necessary either because those language files for SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP SCM, and SAP SRM already contain the respective SAP NetWeaver texts anyway.
The texts for DE (German) and EN (English) are in every SAP system by default. Running an extra language import for DE / EN is usually not necessary.

Language import – correct sequence? // Customer (and SAP Support)

    Check if the language import has been carried out in the correct sequence concerning import of Support Packages and or further AddOn products.

Usually the ideal sequence would be:
– Importing language then
– (Optionally installing AddOn , then)
– Applying Support Packages
If this ideal sequence is not used further steps have to be carried out after the language import is done.
There may be separate language files for AddOns. There is an SAP note for every AddOn which describes if there are separate language files and which languages are translated for the AddOn. If so, then these language files should be imported now.
On the other hand translations for an AddOn can be part of the AddOn installation / upgrade transport file. These translations have to be extracted from the data file now. The same applies for Support Packages. There the translations are part of the Support Package data file. Note 195442 describes how to extract those texts from Support Package / AddOn data files.
Starting with ERP 2005 (ECC 600) SAP introduced the so called “Switch Framework”. So former AddOns became SAP standard and could be switched on or off (default).
There are texts which where delivered in BC Sets for “switched application parts”. After importing an language file using SMLT these texts have to be “unpacked” / distributed from the BC Set tables into the target tables of the “switched application”. This can be done using SFW5. See note 876718.

Client dependency of texts // Customer (and SAP Support)

    Are the texts missing in Client 000 or an Client other than 000?

Language import has to be carried out in Client 000.
Parts of the texts are not client-dependent.
Other parts of texts are client-dependent.
Note 2857 describes how the different table classes are handled concerning client data.
The ideal sequence concerning language import and clients would be:
– Importing language (including AddOn languages and Support Packages)
– Doing the client copy
If the texts are present in Client 000 but are missing in an Client different from 000 there are different tools to bring the texts from client 000 into the Client other than 000.

– RSTLAN_SUPPLEMENT_UNI, described in notes 43853 and 211226
– Client Maintenance function in SMLT
– (only valid up to SAP_BASIS 6.10: RSREFILL, described in note 48047)

Please keep in mind:
Data in clients other than 000 are treated as customer data. Existing texts will not be overwritten there. (see Note 2857)

Runtime representation of texts // Customer and SAP Support

    The texts are present in Client 000 and Client different from 000 but are not displayed correctly.

Before texts are displayed, a runtime representation is compiled for them.
To be sure that the runtime is current please run RSLANG20 as described in note 110910.

If you belive that everything is fine up to here but the texts are still missing, then create a problem message for SAP.

In this message please describe as accurately as possible which texts are missing and how to reproduce this in the system. Screen shots will only help in the last phase of analysis to identify the “missing texts” on a particular screen.

Necessary information for a Problem Message // Customer

    Helpful information in the customer problem message:

Please attach a screen shot of the contents of table CVERS of the system. Contents of CVERS can be shown using SE16.
Please attach a screen shot of SMLT which should show all imported language packages for the language where the texts are missing.
Please provide logon data.
Please put the message onto the application queue where the missing texts are probably located.
Ask the application experts to clarify where the missing texts should technically come from / where they are stored / which technical objects they belong to.
Ideally, the following information is required:
– the transport object,
– the software package and
– the software component for which the texts are missing.

Thorough reading is key to ensure that you have analyzed a text properly. No matter what type of writing you are dealing with, do not be afraid to take out some colored pencils. Underline words or sentences that catch your attention, that connect with another part of the text, that you don’t quite understand. Later, when looking over this you will be able to analyze and understand each highlighted section as its own and as a part of the larger text.

Always remember that even though it may not seem like it, each word was carefully thought through by the writer to add meaning and detail to what you are reading. By observing descriptive words that the writer uses you can more easily understand the bigger picture he/she is trying to project. Think about ‘how’ and ‘why’ the text was written.

Pay special attention to:

Plot – the writer will use foreshadowing, suspense, crisis, conflict and other elements to build up the plot of the story; be aware of the flow of the story, where these elements surface and why.

Characterization – the author chooses how he/she presents each character and the role they play in the developing story; appearance and actions will reveal a lot about the character.

Imagery – this literary element is used to engage the reader’s senses and help them imagine and feel the scenes of the story.

Symbolism – a very important part of stories, it is a reoccurring object (idea, color, anything) that represents a big idea in the text.

Figurative language – refers to expressing meaning through words without relying on the literal meaning of those words -> metaphors, similes, personification.

These are just some basic literary elements to look out for! There are many more, and a lot are specific depending on whether you are analyzing prose or poetry. The most important thing to remember is to dissect the text into literature elements and then piece them back together to find the message. All literary works are written for the reader to enjoy them and interpret them in a unique and personal way, so never be afraid to express what you think or feel about the text!

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