A literary analysis essay is one type of essay that every English student has to master. In this type of essay, you will examine a piece of literature and write about your analysis. It requires some practice to become good at it, but a literary analysis template can help you get better at it much faster than trying on your own.
How to Write a Literary Essay Step by Step
Your literary essay can be written using the five paragraph essay style. However, before you begin writing, you need to read the story. There’s no substitute for sitting down and reading a book from start finish, so if you really want to ace the literary analysis, this is the best way to go.
As you read, take notes of significant points. Notice what the characters are saying and doing. Their actions and words may be used to foreshadow another event, or to indicate a certain process has begun in the story. Write it all down for use in the essay.
Once you have all the main points written down, decide what your focus will be. You can also look at what noted scholars have to say about the same piece and reference them in your writing. Now you’re ready to actually write your literary analysis.
1. Create an outline.
2. Determine your thesis statement.
3. Write the introduction.
4. Write the body of the literary essay.
5. Write your conclusion.
6. Proofread and polish your essay.
Follow these steps to end up with a properly written literary analysis essay.
Literary Analysis Essay Definition
A literary analysis essay is an essay that carefully examines the smaller details and pieces of a story to see how they work together to create a full picture. This is exactly what you’re doing when you write a literary essay. You will break the story into smaller chunks to process them and figure out exactly what is going on within the storyline.
Keep in mind that literary analysis is not the same thing as a literary summary. You cannot just rehash the storyline and expect it to work. Instead, focus on a specific element of the story and work with that.
Literary Analysis Outline
The outline for your literary analysis is one of the most important parts. Without an outline, you’ll find it tempting to ramble and cover more of the story than you really need to. Take the time to focus directly on the element you’ve chosen and write an outline based on this.
Literary Analysis Essay Outline
Your outline will include a number of points based around one element. For example, you may focus on a specific character or a specific action or symbol that is used throughout the story. From here, you can flesh out the outline with more detailed paragraphs to add interest and information.
The outline for your essay is the most important part, aside from actually reading the literary work. This is what will help you create a properly formatted essay that will impress your teacher.
Literary Analysis Essay Topics
Choosing literary analysis essay topics requires you to narrow your focus. You may choose something like Alice in Wonderland to write about, for example, but the actual topic would be something like the white rabbit, or perhaps the Cheshire Cat’s disappearing act.
You may be permitted to choose your own literary analysis topics, so take a book that you know and enjoy and start breaking it down. If you’re assigned a book, read it carefully and pull out a literary device to work with. The trick here is to keep the essay tightly focused on that single element.
Literary Analysis Essay Format
Like many essays, the literary analysis essay format can follow a five paragraph format. You will begin with the introduction.
This first paragraph of the essay should just be a few sentences long and will let the reader know what they are about to read. It should introduce both the literature you have chosen, and the element you will be examining. Your introductory paragraph will also cover the thesis statement, or the main point you are trying to make.
Also important is how your intro reads. It may be the first time the reader has heard about the book you’re writing about, so make sure it’s interesting enough to grab their attention and get them to read the rest of the essay.
Next you will write the body of the essay. Usually, this will be three or more paragraphs that cover more details and examples of your theory. Each point will have a paragraph to itself and will support the original thesis sentence.
Finally, your essay conclusion will repeat the thesis, usually with new wording, and recap the entire essay. It will also present the final conclusion of your literary analysis, so the reader can see exactly what you meant to tell them and what you think about the story.
A good literary analysis should keep your reader interested and make them think harder about the original story than anyone normally would. Ideally, you will make some excellent points that will showcase the highlights of the story and make the reader want to read it.
Finally, make sure you proofread and polish that essay. It should be error-free and easy to read. It’s also important that the entire essay flow and make sense. If you’re using resources to help with the writing, be sure to reference these in the reference section.
For most students, writing a literary analysis essay is a challenge. You need to know exactly how to pull a literary device from a book and write about it, examining it on paper. It will be easier to do this if you’re working with a literary analysis essay template. The template will help you analyze the book you’re working with and contains sample text to get you started. If you’re not sure how to start out, then this is an excellent option to keep your writing moving.
Firstly to understand What a Literary Analysis Essay means, it’s a way to determine and understand the work of an author, even if it is a single work or an entire body of work. Literary criticism is a description, analysis, evaluation, or interpretation of a particular literary work or an author’s writings as a whole.
Many students, writers, and english scholars are told to write an academic paper on different literary analysis essay topics because this type of assignment helps and makes essay writers to think about the reason why a poem, short story, novel, or play was written. To analyze literature, writers will need to remember that authors have specific decisions for particular reasons. Your essay should point out the author’s decision and try to explain their intentions.
Learn How to properly write, structure and format related types of analyis essay: poem, poetry, character, process.
Content of a Literary Analysis EssayThere are many topics for literary analysis, but it all depends on the kind of work that a writer analyzes. For instance, the approach is not the same in poems as it is in the case with a play. Before writing it is important to know what you want to analyze in the literature that you have read. That brings us to types of literature analysis. How can a writer analyze the literature? This is done by:
- Character Analysis
- Symbolism Analysis
- Theme Analysis
- Setting Analysis
- Structure and Style Analysis
- Diction, Imagery, and Denotation Analysis. etc.
Steps and Structure in Writing a Literary Analysis Essay:When writing this kind of academic paper, there are several inputs that a writer should keep in mind.
- Firstly CHOOSE & READ your story. Read to understand the literature in general; it’s necessary to read more than once.
- Do some research! learn about the author, what do other critics think about the book, what opinions do other authors have about the book, and its historical content.
- Decide on what exact part of the literature you want to analyze. React personally to the literature, like what part you find most Intriguing.
- Determine the theme of the literature that is getting to know the main idea of what the author was writing about. Note that if one can effectively point out the author’s reasons and explains its implication in the literature, the end product is a well written and comprehensive analytical essay.
- Develop a Thesis or Analysis Statement. A good thesis should:
- Indicate the 3 intriguing points you wish to talk about in the main body of the essay.
- It should point out the organization and major part of the argument.
- Explain the significance the argument.
- It should be present in the first paragraph but at the end of the paragraph, as it is part of an introduction to your approach.
Now let’s discuss the structure and plan in putting your literary analysis into writing
Literary Analysis Essay Outline
Planning and Plotting:
A writer will outline the plot well before he or she starts writing. Like where does your essay START? Where does it END? Writing up a quick list of the major plot points is a good way of making sure that all the high points are touched, it helps to limit things as much as possible. You can do this on a separate paper. Every essay needs an intro, a body, and a conclusion.
Essay Structure###Introduction Introduction should be sophisticated and creative, and it should catch the reader’s attention, so they can read the rest of the essay. A literary analysis should not sound boring. It should create some enthralling and fascinating quotes, reflection or motives. The main sentences of the introduction should give backdrop facts so that the analysis will make sense; facts such as Title of the Book, Name of Author and little information about the book. Don’t write bulky details of the book the reader would have read this book and they just want to read the analysis. Make sure that your backdrop information and your thesis statement are short and transitional. To make the reader understand and connect to the literature and what exactly is been analyzed. The analysis or thesis statement is what you will prove in your essay, and it should come at the end of your introductory paragraph. The Intro could be more than one paragraph but about 5 important sentences.
Body of the Essay
The body must be very convincing. Here start rendering evidences of the argument. A convincing body will have at least three to four paragraphs or more.
Also, do not go out of context the question has to be related. How does it relate to the overall theme of what the analysis?
Make emphasis on the ways in which these elements bestow to the entire quality of the book.
Emphasize one major point per paragraph in this section. No need to rush all of your evidence into one idea.
Do more reading and analyze different factors in your literary analysis. Argue on a character's development, for example how the individual changes from the beginning to the end of the book. Center core on a character's fatal flaw and query or question the person's mistakes.
The conclusion should end dynamically and energetically.
Start rounding up the literary essay paper in the last paragraph.
It should include all the major points that have been made in the aforementioned statements of your literary analysis.
Also, make emphasis on the on the implications of your argument.
Here's a video that illustrates principles of literary analysis:
Download a sample literary analysis essay from our site!
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