Textual Analysis of Drafts Assignment


For this assignment, students examine drafts to analyze the changes made to a work of literature before its publication. It is an informal assignment that does not require a thesis or introduction, instead pushing students to focus entirely on the significances of the changes to the draft. Students will not need to return to the reading room to complete this assignment

    After completing this assignment, students will be able to

    • conduct archival research
    • read library catalogue and finding aid information
    • practice appropriate care and handling of archival materials
    • use close reading skills for textual analysis
    • understand writing as a process

    In order to make the most of your time during your Rose Library Session, please be sure to prepare your students in advance.

    • Instructor should provide a clear goal of what students should accomplish during rotations
    • Prior to the session, students should understand what they are looking for while examining the materials
    • Students should have a clear sense of what they need to know about an object to complete the assignment successfully
    • We strongly recommend using digitized materials as a brief example in class so that students will know what to expect during the session

    Here’s what you can expect during your class session

    • Introduction to the Rose Library (if this is the first class visit)
    • Introduction to the materials in use
    • Care and handling instructions
    • Student will examine materials either individually or in groups, depending on instructor preference.

    Students will write a paper of approximately three pages analyzing the changes in the drafts.

    Most of our collections containing drafts are suitable for this assignment. Please consult with Rose Library staff to determine how our materials can best serve your course goals. The following are particularly good options: 

    To cite this page:

    Chase, Elizabeth. "Textual Analysis of Drafts," Rose Library Teaching with Archives Portal, [date of access], http://rose.library.emory.edu/instruction/portal/assignments/textual-analysis.html.

    Please cite this portal and give credit to the creator when using this assignment.


    Dr Elizabeth Chase
    Laney Graduate School alumnus and former Coordinator of Research Services at the Rose Library

    Head of Collections, Assessment and User Engagement for the MacPhaidin Library at Stonehill College

    Used In
    English 181 Writing About Literature: Writers on Writing

    Intensive writing course fulfilling first-year writing requirement, with a focus on writers writing about writing.


    • suitable for 100-level literature and composition classes in English or Comparative Literature
    • can easily be adapted to emphasize either literary close reading or rhetorical analysis
    • can be adapted as a low- or high-stakes assignment

    Highlighted Materials
    Sally Fitzgerald Papers

    Course Materials
    Printable Assignment Sheet