Thursday, September 15, 2011

Extraordinary Analysis

Writing a critical analysis is often tricky for college freshman. Instead of writing high school book reports filled with plot summary and description, they are now compelled to write beyond the text -- to "stick his or her neck out." John Trimble reminds writers that "The critic's job is to explain and evaluate--that is, to bring his readers to a better understanding of his subject". But what does that mean?

It means you need a top notch thesis statement. Sometimes it's easier to understand what a critical analysis is by looking at examples of good topic questions.

Here again Trimble gives some good examples:
"How is Hamlet like Horatio--and unlike him?"
or "How does King Claudius win over the enraged Laertes?"

If you think of comic books like any other piece of literature including Hamlet, you can come up with good topic questions that will lead to a great thesis statement.

If we look at Trimble's examples and apply them to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, writers can create topic questions like:

How is Captain Nemo like The Invisible Man--and unlike him?
or how does Mina Murray win over the enraged Mr. Hyde?

The key is to ask how and why questions, questions that can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no."

Questions like, how is Captain Nemo a science pirate?

In addition to reasoned arguments, graphic novels and comics offer writers another resource for evidence--visuals can also be used to back up thesis statements.

What other how and why topic questions would you ask as a prelude to a critical analysis of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

2 comments:

  1. The book was good and I like it while reading. I enjoyed the fact that I learned many things about character and graphic reading in this book. This is one of the interesting comics classic literary that is good to know for inspiring writer and stories.The League works as a team and they succeed on their mission together. I love reading it for the league of extraordinary has a great graphic novel.

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  2. To be honest, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is my first comic book I have red. Not only did I find it very interesting, but I also found it to be fun to read. The type of how and why questions I would ask as a prelude to a critical analysis of this comic book is questions such as how is the invisible man different compared to all other characters.
    Another question I would ask might be something like why is Miss Murray the only female character in this comic book.

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