Your professor asks you to write an analysis of a piece of literature. You don't know where to start. Your professor says she wants you to focus on a specific passage, but all you can think about is the whole essay. Your professor says she wants you to chose a paragraph and write about the paragraph. She wants you to demonstrate your critical reading ability. She wants you to grasp the idea of how all the paragraphs are related. Your professor wants you to be specific and use examples from the text. So you must quote the passage. You must show how you arrived at specific theme. Below is an example. Look closely at the style used for textual analysis and you can imitate this particular style. This approach will work for just about anything you wish to analyze.
Phillip Lopate's "Brooklyn the Unknowable" discusses distinct differences between living in Brooklyn and Manhattan; the first is filled with a multitude of ethnicities and races, a rough and tumble place with territorial gangs and graffiti. The later is sophisticated, well-educated, and wealthy . He says they are like "champagne [Manhattan] and Ovaltine [Brooklyn], and will forever be split." Manhattan is sophisticated?Brooklyn is not. I know this because Ovaltine is a cheap, powdery hot chocolate or milk drink, and good champagne is ...