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English 110C.01. Day #3. Five Analytical Moves. The five analytical moves is a tool that aids in analysis. Analysis – examining a complex whole by breaking it down into its component parts. Why The Method works:

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Five Analytical Moves

  • The five analytical moves is a tool that aids in analysis.

  • Analysis – examining a complex whole by breaking it down into its component parts.

  • Why The Method works:

    • It enables you to look for meaningful patterns that will help you determine what things are significant.

    • This technique also incorporates making observations and close reading.

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

  • Move #1: Suspend Judgment

    • Suspending judgment is a precursor to analytical thinking.

    • Rather than say “this essay was boring,” ask: what did I find most interesting about the essay?

    • Avoid responding to the readings in like/dislike and agree/disagree evaluative modes.

    • Ask: why did I have this particular reaction?

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

  • Move #2: Define Significant Parts and How They’re Related

    • Divide the subject into its main parts.

  • Consider how the main parts are related.

    • How they are related to each other.

    • How they are related to the subject as a whole.

  • Remember: all analytical writing pays attention to detail.

  • Consider: how do the main parts contribute to the meaning of the subject as a whole?

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

  • Move #3: Look for Patterns of Repetition and Contrast (The Method)

    • The Method is a procedure that helps you know which details are significant.

    • It is useful to think of The Method as preliminary outlining that prepares you to do analysis.

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

  • Step #1: Locate exact repetitions

    • List identical words or details and the number of times they appear in the text.

  • Step #2: Locate repetitions of same/similar kinds of details/words (strands)

    • Explain how the details/words are connected.

    • Ask yourself: what do these details and/or words have in common?

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

  • Step #3: Locate binary oppositions

  • Q. What is a binary opposition?

  • A. details and/or words that are part of an oppositional pair

    • Examples:

      • right/wrong

      • empower/disempower

      • rationality/irrationality

  • Select the most important binaries

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

  • Step #4: List and Rank

    • Two most important exact repetitions

    • Two most important strands

    • Two most important binaries

  • Step #5: Final Selection

    • Choose one exact repetition, one strand, or one binary that you take to the most important.

    • Explain why you chose what you did.

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

Why The Method works:

Performing The Method allows you to spend more time noticing significant details rather than trying to make meaning of what may be a difficult subject.

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

  • Move #4: Make the Implicit Explicit

    • Making the implicit (what is suggested but not directly stated) explicit (directly stated) is an interpretive move, not simply an observation.

    • This move can be a difficult one if you are resistant to analysis and think in terms of “hidden meaning” or “reading between the lines.”

    • Meaning is not “hidden;” rather, making meaning requires analytical thought.

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Five Analytical Moves (cont.)

  • Move #5: Keep Reformulating Questions and Explanations

  • The analytical process requires that you ask questions of your subject matter:

    • Which details seem significant? Why?

    • What does the detail mean?

    • How do the details fit together?

    • What details don’t seem to fit?

    • How might the details that don’t fit be connected to a different pattern?

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The Method: Looking for Anomalies

  • Q. What is an anomaly?

  • A. An anomaly is something that seems out of place or does not fit a pattern.

    • Example:

  • Why it works:

    • Looking for anomalies can get you to consider other possible interpretations.

    • It moves you away from limited ways of thinking.

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“10 on 1”

  • Q. What is the “1”?

  • A. The “1” is a representative example or pattern taken from The Method procedure.

  • Q. What are the “10”?

  • A. The “10” are:

    • Observations about the “1”

    • Interpretations about the “1”

    • Ask yourself: what patterns, repetitions, etc. do I notice?

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“10” on “1” (cont.)

  • Why “10 on 1” works:

    • “10 on 1” allows you to be more specific.

    • “10 on 1” helps you discover the complexity of the subject you are dealing with.

    • “10 on 1” deters you from making generalizations and only following your first claim about the subject