7. Analytical language

Art analysis involves discussing the relationship of the elements of the artwork and other information and ideas. You show your interpretation of the art and justify the reasons for your views. These words and phrases are often used in analytical writing:

Analytical verbs:

Show : represent, portray, depict, reveal, demonstrate, convey, illustrate, give an impression

Imply : suggest, indicate

Use : apply, employ

Create : construct, build

Emphasize : highlight, stress, focus

Analytical phrases:

This (x) shows that…

This (x) illustrates…
This (x) represents how…

This (x) is important because…
This (x) is significant because…

Your essay discusses important, significant and interesting aspects of the artwork and its context. The adjectives important and significant can be combined with these nouns in your discussions:


Nouns commonly used with the adjective


aspect, feature, element, factor, role, issue, consideration, implication, tool, technique, development, quality, stage, area, approach, decision


impact, difference, effect, change, role, development, influence, result, factor

The adjectives meaningful, key, main, and relevant could also be useful in your analysis.

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EWRite is an open access online literacy platform for PolyU community that has two major objectives:

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This platform provides access to generic genre guides representing typical university assignments as well as links to subjects offered by faculties with specific disciplinary genres and relevant support materials.

The materials can be retrieved by students by choosing the genres that interest them on the landing page. Each set of materials includes a genre guide, genre video, and a genre checklist. The genre guide and video are to summarize the genres in two different ways (i.e. textual and dynamic) to fit different learning styles. The genre checklist is for students to self-regulate their writing process. The genre guide and checklist include links to various ELC resources that can provide further explanation to language items (e.g. hedging and academic vocabulary).

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