Back to navigation  | Flash site | About this site
Analysis: Research and Resources

Analysis: Research and Resources

Identifying the elements of something complex and the relationships among those elements.


Oregon State University's Writing Center

Provides excellent ideas for lessons and lectures, paper assignments, activities, and handouts.

Write Design Online

A collection of many ways you can help students understand the conceptual structure of something using graphic organizers. Especially useful for the college classroom are the Analyze and Compare and Contrast organizers.


Anderson, L.W. & Krathwohl, D.R. (Eds.), (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

An update on the classic taxonomy that has informed educational research for decades. Includes a second dimension of the taxonomy, and several vignettes demonstrating the new version in use.

Browne, N.M. & Keeley, S.M. (2010). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking (9th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

A compact and concise critical thinking classic, with two chapters directly relevant to analysis:

  • Chapter 7 - How good is the evidence: Intuition, personal experience, testimonials, and appeals to authority? (pp.71-88)
  • Chapter 8 - How good is the evidence: Personal observation, research studies, case examples and analogies? (pp.89-102)

Halpern, D.F. (2003). Analyzing arguments. In Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking (4th Edition), (pp. 182-230). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Explores the structure of both oral and written argument, evaluating strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and provides a framework for argument analysis. Common fallacies of arguments are also provided to help students avoid pitfalls in reasoning.

Svinicki, M. D. (2004). Learning and motivation in the postsecondary classroom. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.

This book is a highly-readable and very illuminating explanation of how cognitive and motivational theory explains the value of many classroom activities, with an emphasis on concept learning for which analysis is crucial.

Rose, M., & Kiniry, M. (1997). Critical strategies for academic thinking and writing. (3rd Edition). New York: Bedford/St.Martin's Press.

Packed with examples from many disciplines, this book is a no-nonsense look at how to help students develop their abilities in six critical-thinking areas: defining, summarizing, serializing, classifying, comparing, and analyzing.


All, A.C. & Huycke, L.I. (2007). Serial concept maps: Tools for concept analysis. Journal of Nursing Education, 46 (5), 217-224.

Concept maps make visual the features of a concept and the relationships among those features. This article describes the insights into students' thinking that concept maps can provide over time, and describes four types of concept maps:

  • hierarchical
  • spider
  • flowchart
  • systems

Anderson, D. (1992). Using feature films as tools for analysis in a psychology and law course. Teaching of Psychology, 19(3), 155-158.

Current feature films are engaging because the topics within them are current, based in real world scenarios, and concrete for students. This article describes a structured way to integrate feature films into course content so students can take a position on the film and use course material to defend that position. The exercise is intended to be a learning tool for analysis questions that appear in essay questions on exams and within term papers.

D 'Angelo, B.J. (2001). Using source analysis to promote critical thinking. Research Strategies, 18, 303-309.

Source analysis refers to the in-depth analysis of a variety of resource materials and the merits of selecting a specific source for a given purpose. Because college freshman may not arrive at college with strong information-literacy skills, this article describes an activity in which students analyze the merits of different information sources and when each may be applicable to the topic and type of assignment the student may be assigned.

Henry, M. (2002). Advertising and interpretive analysis: Developing reading, thinking, and writing skills in the composition course. Teaching English in the Two Year College, 29(4), 355-366.

Because advertising is a pervasive and influential medium in students' lives, it offers a way to teach analysis through understanding, critiquing, and relating course material to the messages promoted in advertising. The author's proposes that analyzing advertising is directly relatable to students' lives and thus often a more powerful tool for cultural analysis topics when compared to typical reading materials required in courses.

Kronberg, J.R. & Griffin, M.S. (2000). Analysis problems: A means to develop students' critical thinking skills. Journal of College Science Teaching, 29(5), 348-352.

These instructors used problem-based learning to incorporate critical thinking into a biology course. The article provides several examples of the problems they used, ideas for how to integrate analysis into classroom assignments, and guidelines for constructing analysis problems that tap higher order thinking skills.

Lown, J.M. (1986). Teaching issue analysis and critical thinking through role playing. Journal of Education for Business, 62, 20-23.

The author proposes that role-playing exercises offer a practical and applied approach to teaching analysis skills. Furthermore, role-playing offers a way to generate student interest and participation in the learning process. This article describes how one teacher uses role-playing to integrate course material with current events.