Analytic Essay


Azar Nafisi, Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran 
Alva No, Air Guitar Styles 


Authors Alva No and Azar Nafisi both explore enthusiasms for art, style, and culture, yet both writers also consider the broader impacts of these choices. For your first analytic essay assignment, write an essay in response to the following question: 

To what degree does personal expression translate to political power?

Your essay should put forward an original thesis statement that responds to this question, drawing from the terminology and examples discussed by Nafisi and No to do so.


Some questions you might use to organize your thoughts on this topic:  

  • Is the personal realm always, sometimes, or never political?
  • What counts as political power and to what degree should/does such power belong to individuals?
  • What role do privacy and publicity play in personal expression? To advance personal expression, is it better to preserve privacy or modes of publicity?
  • Is there appreciable political power in writing, imaginations, or interactions that remain hidden from the state or from society at large?
  • To what extent is personal expression aligned or in tension with dominant culture? To what degree does it challenge or rely on dominant institutions?
  • What role does spontaneity play in personal expression, and is spontaneity healthy or dangerous for society or political entities?
  • If popular culture encourages a kind of identity-based tribalism, is this potential healthy or dangerous for civil society?


  • For the Final Draft, your essay should include an introductory paragraph that introduces your main themes and your readings, and builds up to your thesis statement. For the Rough Draft, you are not required to include an introductory paragraph.
  • You must provide three or four body paragraphs, each of which is focused around one main idea stated in a topic sentence, and centered around the connection between direct quotes from both authors.
Please use evidence from both text, it is an analytic essay by the way.  To what degree does personal expression translate to political power.? This is the question you have to answer

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