The issue of a Language Analysis piece refers to what big idea is being discussed. This differs from the contention in that identifying the issue is simply a matter of pointing to the wide topic being discussed as opposed to the writer’s particular feelings on it. For example, identifying the issue as same-sex marriage while identifying the author’s contention as being in support of legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Identifying the broad issue is essential, particularly in comparative analysis where writers may not share the same view point of that issue.