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Factual analysis

The Factual analysis is an essay type and of course a form of text analysis. The subject of the discussion are factual texts of all kinds. We encounter factual text analysis for the first time in German lessons at the upper level and is certainly one of the simpler types of essays, as we can usually work through a consistent pattern.

That is because of thatthat the factual text analysis is in principle no interpretation of the written, but only an analysis of the linguistic stylistic devices, the content and of course the respective text. This means that we cannot be completely wrong when we write, we just have to be mindful and attentive to cover the most important thing.

Note: In this article we would like to explain to you what a factual text analysis is, what structure we should keep in mind when writing and how you write a factual text analysis yourself. We would also like to give you some tips on how to design the text analysis.

What is factual text analysis?

As the name suggests, this is about the analysis of factual texts. What is questionable, however, is what factual texts are and how they differ from other types of text.

Texts are called factual textwhose function or intention (intention) is to provide many facts about an issue or to provide further information on such a situation. If we now think of information, it is clear that the factual text is primarily in the area of ​​reporting (Newspapers, news) plays a role, but also in all types of text that provide us with background information, such as scientific papers, Wikipedia articles or legal texts.

We are talking about an analysiswhen we break down an object into its smallest components and then sort, evaluate and functionalize them. So we look at what the respective elements of a text are all about and draw our conclusions from them.

In terms of factual text analysis, that meansthat we take apart a factual text and break it down into the individual components (heading, language, style, content, etc.) in order to then organize and describe them in great detail. We can then draw conclusions from the result.

In school, the newspaper usually serves as the basis for factual text analysis, where we then the text types Message, comment, glossary, report, interview, review / criticism or that report can encounter. Nevertheless, all types of text are treated in the same way, even if they differ from one another in some characteristics → characteristics of a report.
Note: Basically, however, all texts that deal with these types of text are themselves factual. Accordingly, all known types of essays are always factual in themselves. Also the finished factual text analysis or, for example, a characterization or table of contents.

Prepare the factual analysis

Before we actually start writing, it makes sense to prepare a few things. This ensures that we don't overlook or forget any important details in the text later.

  • Read The respective text several times and attentively by. In doing so, you underline words that you do not understand or that do Ambiguities gives.
  • Also, lay down different colored ones Highlighter aside and underline all of them abnormalities in the respective factual text. Perhaps there are special linguistic means that you notice or strange sentence constructions that you would like to shed light on later.
  • Make yourself Some notes in note form to the text. Sometimes you already notice important things. Arrange them thematically (language, content, etc.)
  • When reading for the first time, you can also make a note of who is author of the text is in which year this was written and maybe you will determine it right away Text type.
  • Note: If you do not remember or notice the type of text, you can still write a factual text analysis, because the correct mention is at best a matter of form.
  • Much more important is that you recognize what the Intention of the text is. Does he want to provide information, clarify, summarize, report or specify a norm (normative ~ legal texts).

Structure of factual text analysis

We would now like to provide you with a brief overview of the structure of a factual text analysis. We would then like to propose a detailed guide to you.

  • Structure of factual text analysis
    • Opening sentence with formal features (Mention of author, title, type of text and subject of the text)
    • Brief introduction into the topic and what questions it deals with.
    • Table of contents → Write a table of contents
    • Way of reasoning & rhetorical meansthat prevail in the text → Stylistic devices, argument types
    • Naming the goalsthat the text is tracing (Intention)
    • rating of the factual text (What position does the author take, is the text convincing?)

Note on construction: In principle, you can work with this simple structure and do not have to pay much more attention to the analysis. To make it easier for you to get started with writing, we would also like to suggest a detailed guide to factual text analysis.

  • Detailed structure of the factual text analysis
    • introduction
    • Bulk
      • content
        • Brief introduction to the problem (What questions could one ask about the text? or a link to a current event or a brief definition of one of the most important terms in the factual text.)
        • Play the content (→ write table of contents)
        • Guiding principle (What is the main message of the text?)
        • Sense sections (How can the text be subdivided in terms of content?)
      • Structure of the text (Argumentation → macrostructure)
      • language (→ microstructure)
      • intention (Intention)
        • What are the aims of the text?
        • Who should the text address?
    • Enough
      • Rating the position that the author occupies
      • Review the reasoning on Soundness and conclusiveness
      • Does the author succeed in realizing his goals through the text?
      • Conclusion in your own words on the factual text (no interpretation!)

Note: This outline should only be used as a guide for writing a factual analysis. You can of course set your own priorities, focus on certain things or change the order of the individual points. The only important thing is that you get involved in building introduction (Thematic classification), Bulk (Examination of the essential aspects), Enough (Evaluation of the analysis results).

Overview of the argument types
  • Factual argument: Relies on a statement of fact. so something is one way or the other. This makes the factual argument sound and correct. Should be checked, however.
  • Normative argument: Appeals to general norms and standards. However, these can be set differently for different people, which is why it is sometimes incomprehensible or seems controversial.
  • Authority argument: Appeal to an authority in an area. Maybe a scholar or the editor of an important book on the subject. However, there are also opposing opinions on most of the views.
  • Analogizing argument: Draws a comparison to another area of ​​life. Sometimes, however, this parallel is not plausible or simply incomprehensible.
  • Indirect argument: The argument of the other side is invalidated. At first glance, this seems conclusive, but it is essential to check that it is correct.
  • → Detailed article on the types of arguments

Final words on factual text analysis

In principle, factual text analysis is not really problematic. This is because we don't have to interpret the text. Nevertheless, we would like to give you a few tips.

It is important that you do solid preparatory work And even if you have to work under time pressure (exams, tests), it makes sense to use a third of the allotted time for the preparations. Maybe you can create a smaller amount of text, but we don't get bogged down or forget important details.

It is also important to clear up any ambiguities immediately. If you cannot understand the meaning of a word, reach for the Duden and under no circumstances ignore it. Sometimes this word can change the whole meaning of a text.

In addition, it is no problem to write an individual factual text analysis. It is not important that you stick to our outline proposal in every detail and it is even useful to set your own priorities. You can't parse every punctuation mark anyway.

Note: If you need further suggestions for the preparation of analyzes or the individual types of essays, you will find information and tips on design in the “Writing” area.