Narrative Analysis Review


  1. Approach a communication phenomenon as a sign system.
  2. Identify the (smallest) separate expressions (signifiers ) of meaning such as words, sounds, and images.
  3. Each type of sign may produce separate or complimentary meanings. Identify anchoring or intended meanings, but analyze the other available signs first.
  4. Recognize and identify how a sign communicates as icon, index, or symbol, and determine the significance, if any, of the importance of that type of sign in relation to its meaning.
  5. Try to find the most basic denotative meaning of images, for example, before interpreting the words (which are intended to communicate the meaning of accomanying images or sounds).
  1. Audio must be analyzed through its temporality--that is, it must be explored over time. The smallest unit of image, however, is the single frame which will embody a sign system. As explained above, separate different forms of expression for analysis. First analyze individually, then together.
  2. Describe the story at the denotative level as a chronological sequence of events.
  3. Describe the characters and existents and the connotation of events through appropriate application of theoretical perspectives.
  4. Draw conclusions as to the meaning, purpose, or influence or the narrative.



Polysemy and interpellation can overlap.

Dominant ideology and a preferred meaning (encoded) are not necessarily the same.