How to analyze a narrative articles?


Analyzing a narrative article should focus on what the article will basically tell, how it tells what it wants to tell, but also why it wants to tell that narrative in exactly the way the journalist has chosen to do it. This why can be done at the overall level by answering why the journalist has chosen to write in that genre rather than a news article or a report. What the journalist achieves by writing in narrative journalism. But it must also be done by observing many of the details that are characteristic of the article you are analyzing.

What the text tells is the first thing to look at. Typically, it may be in the heading and sub-heading if the article follows the news triangle, as many narrative articles do to arouse the reader’s curiosity.

Then follows the study of how the text is created this what and why it has been conveyed in that way.

The composition

Examine the composition of the text. How is the article structured? What does it start with – and why does it start with it? For example, media res – and why so? What important information is presented to the reader at the beginning of the article – and are we presented with the conflict? Why are we presented with just that information, and why does the article start like this?

These considerations of structure must continue through an analysis of the composition. Take a look at the narrator model, but always keep in mind that you also get reflected on how conflict escalation takes place – maybe even purely linguistic. And why the journalist uses a conflict escalator.

Study the language

How is the article conveyed? Here you can both look at the overall characteristic, but you can also look at some key passages in places in the text that are particularly interesting.

In the overall characteristic, you analyze the characteristics of the whole article. Are there any particular features to the article as a whole. It can be a great deal of imagery or of direct speech. Why did the journalist choose it?

As you go down into individual passages that stand out, or analyze the language in places where something crucial happens, analyze what is linguistically: how is it conveyed but also reflects on why one is conveyed like that. How does that affect the story? How does it affect the reader?

Examine the narrator type

Which narrator type did the journalist choose? And why? What does the journalist achieve by that narrative type?

Examine the protagonist – and the protagonist’s project

How is the protagonist described and what is the protagonist’s project? Why is the protagonist described this way?

Investigate the use of fact and fiction codes

Analyze the use of fact and fiction codes. Here again it is important to look at the effect the application has – that is why a fact code or a fiction code is used right there.