Argument at UC Berkeley

Home » Humanities » Literary Criticism: Humanitism

Literary Criticism: Humanitism


These papers usually ask for you to analyze several authors/concepts and come up with your own point of view on the issue; this point of view is defended by the texts you used to analyze. These papers usually consist of 2 or more authors and a complicated prompt, asking to think of the authors and their concepts in an unorthodox and complex way.



You must have a clear argument and thesis. Depending on the prompt, usually the thesis is an abstract one; in which you would need to analyze the concepts deeply and formulate a distinct argument that was not recognized initially. Sometimes your thesis should have “bigger implications.” For example: language is not only a form of communication, but language acts as a medium through which our thoughts and perceptions of reality are stemmed. 


The body paragraphs should display great knowledge and mastery of the concepts and texts. The body paragraphs should use textual evidence effectively; not reiterating what the author said, instead using the evidence they provided to argue your point


  • Where to start?
  • These are complex texts, so you need to spend time comprehending theses texts fully.
    • Then play around with the contrasting concepts and think of how they contrast, understanding what exactly they are arguing explicitly and implicitly.