What Is Textual Analysis?

You can describe textual analysis as a method for describing, interpreting, and understanding texts. Different kinds of information are usually extracted from the text. This is because it reveals the text’s meaning to the subtext, symbolism, assumptions, and all the values it shows.

To conduct textual analysis, the steps to follow depend on the survey’s area and objectives.

First, What is text?

The term “text” is broader than you can imagine. Text can be written in different forms, such as a book, email, or transcribed conversation. A text contains the significant message you want in an image, a film, and a place.

There are different methods used to analyze text, which vary depending on the type of subject and the purpose of your analysis:

  • Short story analysis can focus on images, narrative perspective, and text structure.
  • Not only dialogue but also cinematography and sound can be relevant for the analysis of a film.
  • A building can be analyzed based on its architectural features and the way visitors walk through it.
  • You can analyze the rules of the game and the types of behaviors that players want to encourage.

Although text analysis is most commonly applied to written language, keep in mind the scope of the term “text” and the variety of methods used.

Textual analysis in cultural and media studies

The use of textual analysis in researching cultural and media studies is very important, as well as understanding our society to get more texts and facts. Researchers in these areas take media and cultural objects, such as music videos, social media content, billboards, and treat them as texts for analysis.

It is important to know the benefits of textual analysis in this field. You can analyze the different aspects of the text, such as the following:


  • The design elements
  • Choice of words
  • Place the text
  • Targeted audience
  • Relationship with other texts

Text analysis in this context is often creative and qualitative in approach. Researchers seek to shed light on the political or social context underlying the cultural object they are researching.

Textual analysis in the social sciences

Textual analysis is mostly used to text messages such as transcripts of interviews and surveys and many types of media in the social sciences field.

Text analysis in the social sciences sometimes has a more quantitative approach, and texts’ characteristics are measured in numbers.

There are many different methods of text analysis in the social sciences and some of which are mentioned below:

Textual analysis in literature

Textual analysis has been known to be a fundamental method in literary studies. All text in this field should be thoroughly analyzed, such as novels, poems, or plays (learn about the rise of English novel).

Since it is literary writing, this type of text analysis emphasizes intentionally constructed text elements, for instance, in the narrative perspective of a novel, a rhyme, or an estimate in the poem.

In textual analysis, some steps serve as guides to writing the text. The step by step guides are as follows:

  • Choose the topic you are interested in writing on
  • List the text important to the question from your own knowledge and experience
  • Research for more text
  • It is also essential to watch many examples of the programs to note how textual elements work in each of the examples.
  • Get as much knowledge you can of the world of meaning to know how this text would fit into the context at large.

Wrapping It Up

As discussed in this article, a textual analysis entails that your focus should solely be based on the texts or research materials you are working on. It would be best if you also focused on all that you can find in the text or research material and not on external factors related to the text or research material.

Textual analysis definition

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