Text analysis can be a very powerful tool for determining appropriate writing style and format for your text. This method takes all parts of a paper into consideration, from the large scale formatting, such as including graphics, headings, and titles, to more minute details like word choices. If youíve ever looked at an article and been impressed by its appearance or wondered about a word choice, youíve done textual analysis. This technique, like all analysis, is most useful once you complete your rhetorical analysis and know the target audience.
Using Knowledge About Your Audience: Knowing the audience allows you to determine what conventions will be most helpful and appropriate for your readers. For example, documents written for children often use larger fonts, shorter sentences, and more basic word choices. Text analysis also includes the documentís overall appearance. You must decide whether or not to use columns, pull-out quotations, and visual aids, among other features. Each of these decisions has the potential to engage your reader; by neglecting text analysis, you risk alienating your readers and losing your audience.