The text analysis is one of the most important types of essay in the school or university and for a further processing of each text type. After all, the majority of German lessons consist of understanding, analyzing and interpreting various types of texts. Text analysis is about capturing the details of a text and its relationships with each other.
In principle, each text can be analyzed, whereby we distinguish between the analysis of literary texts and the factual analysis with regard to the department of German. While our focus is always on a different focus, the procedure for such an investigation is the same and can be applied to the various texts.
In the text analysis, we try to decompose a text into its individual components and carefully examine, organize and evaluate these components afterwards. This is followed by the interpretation of the text, which means that we attribute importance to the results of our investigation.
Note: The word “Analyze” is derived from Ancient Greek (ἀνάλυσις, analysis) and can be translated with “Resolution”. This translation illustrates quite well what we actually do when analyzing: we solve something in its components to be able to examine it afterwards.
Prepare text analysis
Before we can venture to write such a text analysis, we should prepare a few things, so that the formulating and writing down is easier.
Obtain the appropriate work material before processing. In any case, different colored pencils (text markers), a ruler and also a pencil are recommended in order to underline and mark important text passages.
Now read the selected text in its entirety. Usually just several times, to really understand and interpret all passages.
If there are ambiguities in the reading, these belong directly to the edge of the text. There is always the ideal place for notes, if we notice important details when reading or have questions to the written.
Furthermore, we can try to find out the time of the text, to make comments on the author, and perhaps to find out where the text is (comment, report, gloss, etc.)
Before we devote ourselves to the writing, we should remove all confusion. Are there words we do not understand? Do we ever know what it’s all about? Many of these questions can be answered with a duden or reference book.
Note: Basically there is no right or wrong opinion in the text analysis. It is important that we can document all our later statements on the analyzed text and not claim any things. So, if you’re accurate, you’re doing everything right.
Structure of the text analysis
Note: The following structure of the text analysis is to be understood as a guide. Since this contribution considers the general way of working, the following points should not simply be understood as a checklist. Rather, we would like to offer you a work proposal here.
Introduction of the text analysis
Title of the text
Name of author (from whom is the text?)
(When was the text written?)
Textsorte (commentary, essay, poem, letter, etc.)
What does the text mean? (→ interpretation hypothesis)
Main part of the text analysis
Topic of the text (What is the problem?)
What action or what happening is shown?
Short description of the content (→ write content)
Location of the plot (Where does the whole thing take place?)
What are the characters? (→ protagonist, antagonist?)
How are these figures described? (→ Characterization)
How do the figures relate to each other? (→ figure constellation)
What is the relationship between heading and content?
How is the text structured? (Structure)
How does the text begin and end? (Is there a classic structure?)
Is there a tension arc?
Do we find highlights? Maybe several?
If so, is there a turning point? What is the effect of this?
Is there a narrator? Does this manifest?
What narrative perspective does the narrator take? (→ auctorial, personal, neutral, self-narrator)
What is the narrator’s point of view? Does he even comment on the happenings?
Are internal processes of the figures depicted? (→ inner monologue, speech)
Play telling time and told time a role?
Are there temporal ruffles or strains?
Is there an argumentation strategy? (Are the arguments valid?) → Argument types)
Does the language look outdated or modern?
Abnormalities in the language (few adjectives, many nouns, etc.)