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Exploring Perspectives: A Concise Guide to Analysis

(12 reviews)

Randall Fallows, University of California Los Angeles

Pub Date: 2011

ISBN 13: 9781453311455

Publisher: Saylor Foundation

Language: English

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Reviews

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Reviewed by Virginia Garnett, Lecturer of English, UNC Pembroke on 2/2/18

Fallows does not purport to offer a complete handbook and in fact states that this volume would be most useful as supplemental reading assigned during the first two weeks of a semester. That said, it successfully covers a wide range of topics... read more

 

Reviewed by John Wallace, Senior Lecturer, University of California at Berkeley on 2/2/18

The scope of this book is to provide a basic approach for writing an analytic essay for college students unfamiliar with the practice. In that it never forgets its audience and takes care to provide structure and advice for "beginning" students to... read more

 

Reviewed by Lisa Jensen, Adjunct Instructor, Saint Paul College on 6/21/17

The book focuses on analysis and breaks the subject into easy-to-use chapters. While not deep or entirely comprehensive, the book does provide a baseline explanation that instructors can add to as needed. I could see using my own examples, for... read more

 

Reviewed by Rosalind Sibielski, Assiatant Professor of English and Film Studies, Rhode Island College on 4/12/17

The strength of this book is that it is limited to exploring one very specific type of academic writing: the analytical essay. Over the five chapters included in the book, it provides students with a step-by-step breakdown of the process of... read more

 

Reviewed by David Bockoven, Adjunct Instructor, Lane Community College on 8/22/16

The first two chapters show the most promise in discussing the concept of analysis, but the development is very thin. In later chapters, I was hoping to see more of a pay off from this initial promise. Instead, it seems to devolve into a typical... read more

 

Reviewed by Andrea Hills, Instructor, Portland Community College Portland, Oregon on 1/8/16

This is an engaging text that clearly covers the the purpose, strategies, and writing process for an analysis assignment for a variety of disciplines. The most comprehensive sections of the text are the descriptions and examples of various aspects... read more

 

Reviewed by Stephen Walton, Assistant Professor of French, Portland State University on 1/8/16

This textbook gives a thorough presentation of the process and steps involved in writing an analytical essay. It provides a general but systematic method for students to use in approaching writing assignments in a number of areas (especially... read more

 

Reviewed by Erica Parker, Instrutor , Colorado State University on 1/8/16

Fallows uses a conversational tone to share a stirring range of helpful insights. He frames each chapter with objectives and takeaways while offering examples to highlight his points throughout the middle. There is no index or glossary. However,... read more

 

Reviewed by Jennifer L Foray, Associate Professor, Purdue University on 7/16/14

This book provides a thorough, far-reaching introduction for students in various disciplines, at different stages of their academic careers; the discussions and gudelines contained in this work are specific enough to be helpful yet broad enough... read more

 

Reviewed by Angelica Duran, Professor, Purdue University on 7/16/14

The text was insufficiently comprehensive for me to adopt, although i am interested in seeing it in a future state, so that I can. There was no title page, Table of Contents, glossary, or hyperlinks to navigate readily through the document,... read more

 

Reviewed by Amy Wiley, Lecturer, California Polytechnic State University on 7/16/14

The text covers a number of areas of analytical writing comparable to many other for-sale textbooks. The areas into which the text is divided suggest tremendous usefulness, and I applaud the intent of the book to concentrate on analysis... read more

 

Reviewed by Sari Pinto, Lecturer, California Polytechnic State University on 7/16/14

The text primarily explores analysis of literary and cinematic texts but also, to a lesser extent, some discussion of other objects of analysis: personal, cultural or fictional events and personal or political decisions or policies. Some... read more

 

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Analysis for Multiple Perspectives
  • Chapter 2: Setting the Stage for Writing
  • Chapter 3: Developing Assertions: From a Close Reading of Examples
  • Chapter 4: Explanations and Significance: Developing Your Analysis
  • Chapter 5: The Analytical Essay: Expressing Your Points of View

About the Book

The reason why Randall Fallows wrote Exploring Perspectives: A Concise Guide to Analysis is simple: to help give students a better understanding of how to discover, develop, and revise an analytical essay. Here is how his 5 chapter book goes about doing just that:

The first two chapters focus on the nature of an analysis and what's involved in writing an analytical essay.

  • Randall shows that analysis consists of a balance of assertions (statements which present their viewpoints or launch an exploration of their concerns), examples (specific passages/scenes/events which inspire these views), explanations (statements that reveal how the examples support the assertions), and significance (statements which reveal the importance of their study to personal and/or cultural issues).

After showing why each feature should be present throughout an essay, he reveals how to "set the stage" for producing one of their own.

  • He first helps students to evaluate their own views on a subject and to examine how these views emerge from their own experiences, values and judgments.
  • He, then, shows them how to research what others have said about the subject and provides suggestions for evaluating and incorporating this research into their own perspectives.

Finally, Randall discusses the nature of writing, not as a linear procedure, but as a recursive process where the discovery and clarification of a concept occur simultaneously.

The remaining three chapters reveal more specific advice on how to develop an analytical essay.

Exploring Perspectives: A Concise Guide to Analysis by Randall Fallows is a great text to prepare any student to write analytical essays for the argument and persuasion courses.

About the Contributors

Author

Randall Fallows is a lecturer and writing two coordinator for the Department of Writing Programs at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He holds an M.A in Rhetoric and Composition from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of California, San Diego. He has published articles on composition theory, popular culture, literature and philosophy in The Journal of Popular Culture, Rhetoric Review, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, American Drama, Americana, and contributed to the books Conversation: Theory and Practice, Taking South Park Seriously, and Americana: Readings in American Culture.

Since 1982, he has been teaching courses in writing, composition pedagogy, literature, and American Culture at SDSU, UCSD, and UCLA. He also spent two years teaching at ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary. When he’s not teaching or writing articles, he participates in both standup and improvisational comedy at various venues throughout Los Angeles, and likes to spend his summer traveling with his wife, Tamar Christensen.