How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

In order to write an essay, you need a plan to adhere to the correct structure and composition. When the idea of ​​writing appears in your head, write it, because inspiration is fleeting. It may seem that a literary essay is much more difficult to write than any other type, but with our advice, you will surely succeed. So how to write a literary analysis essay?

What is a literary analysis essay and what is its purpose?

The purpose of a literature essay analysis is to evaluate and examine a particular literary work or some aspect of it. It describes the main topic or idea of the book you read.

This can be achieved by breaking the work down into composite analysis. In order to better understand a particular literary work, it is necessary to study its main elements. And in different genres of literature, you will refer to different schemes. For example, in the analysis of the poem, you will touch upon various types of paintings in the poem or the relationship of the content and form of the work. When analyzing the play, you can revise the whole plot and describe its analysis or, for example, study the main tragic hero, his shortcomings or advantages that will be visible in his development along with the text.

How to start a literary analysis? When you just read a book, it draws more attention to your own emotions and experiences that provide the pleasure of reading. But while writing a literary analysis essay, the main thing is to consider these points:

  • Subject
  • The style of the work
  • Form for submitting ideas
  • Main theme
  • The relationship between form and content
  • The relationship between the main plot and the subplot
  • Strengths and weaknesses of characters
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the plot

Writing is a pointed, focused expression of thought and study. When you develop in writing, then along with this, your perception of the world develops and your critical thinking and analysis skills improve. You develop creative thinking and ideas because without them there would be no writing. The main goal in a literary and analytical essay is to appeal to the reader in such a way that he sees what position you hold and goes over to your side. There must be concrete development, the writing of the text must be decisive and has no right to stumble.

As you can see, control, structure, and adherence to the rules for writing an essay are important. The first thing you need to find is the main idea. In other words, a thesis in which there should be several paragraphs. This is necessary in order to show the gradation of thought: how thoughts grow and develop from one central idea. You must do everything to develop the thesis and to convey your main idea to the reader. Ideally, the reader would be inclined to accept your idea correctly and be on your side.

Here are the basic principles of this essay:

  1. Your work should fully highlight the topic you are writing about.
  2. The essay should have the main idea, which will be the starting point for the development of all work.
  3. The structure of the essay should be written in such a way that the reader comes to conclusions regarding the main idea that will be described.

How to write a literature essay?

  1. Read the book you will be writing about. After that, decide which aspect you will describe (if the teacher has not given you a specific task): the conflict between the main characters, the gradation of the main character, plot, structure, etc.
  2. Think about the questions. Everything that seems important to you is most likely really important. Ask yourself questions about the plot and give answers to your work.
  3. Prove your point. Have you answered all the why’s? Now prove that your opinion is correct.
  4. Thesis and presentation. You cannot prove your thoughts simply with the phrase "trust me." Here you need to use quotes that will confirm your opinion and make the reader adhere to the same thought.
  5. Strong conclusions. Your main idea should be confirmed by quotations. And all this should be completed and summarized in a worthy conclusion, which once again will confirm your opinion.

What must literature essays include?

The main thing here is to avoid having to write all the thoughts that come to your mind after reading the book. Always stick to the structure.

  • Formulate a specific topic, which will proceed from the central idea about which you want to tell the reader.
  • There should be a central thesis from which it will immediately become clear what your work is about. It should be understandable. Everything that you write in your essay should relate to this thesis and confirm it.
  • The basic structure of any form of academic writing includes an introduction, a framework, and a conclusion. This formula must be adhered to while writing a literary essay.

Examples of literary analysis:

In “A Worn Way”, the author Eudora Welty creates a fictional character, Phoenix Jackson, who collects traits such as determination, faith, and cunning to illustrate the indestructible human spirit.

This is a very strong thesis because everything is collected here: the work itself and its author are indicated, and character as well to be analyzed. The emphasis here is on the word "creates." Because here the author of the work will explore the character of the hero and his main characteristics. This element emphasizes what the hero’s analysis will be based on created determination, faith and cunning.

Other examples of literary analysis:

The image and character of the Nurses in Romeo and Juliet envelops the main character - Juliet - with warmth, joy, and wit, but at the same time helps the reader realize the tragic catastrophe.

The works of poets such as Rumi, Hafiz and Kabir use such strong emotional symbols as the lover's longing and the destroyed inn, which demonstrate the desire of a person (his soul) to reunite with the Creator.

How to write an introduction to a literature essay?

Literary analysis introduction:

1. Your thesis, as the beginning and basis.

2. The highlighting of the subject, which relates to the work and is based on the basic idea of the work.

3. Use a trick (quote, statement, or a rhetorical question) that uniquely catches the reader.

What does a literary essay body paragraph contain?

What do they write in paragraphs of a literary essay example?

Your basic idea, which seems like a literary essay, should be developed from different angles. To do this, give answers to the questions of why, who, what and how. The body of your work is the development of a central idea. There should be three main paragraphs and in each of them should be:

  1. Subject. Here your main thesis should be indicated and emphasized, thanks to which all the details of the paragraph will be logically linked and completed.
  2. Text evidence. This is a detail that will confirm the main point (and sub-clause) of your thesis. Use a quote from a book or paraphrase the main points of content. This part draws attention to your ability to analyze and understand literary works.
  3. The final sentence. This is the closing, which should be logical to end your paragraph. For conclusions, you can simply recount the main points in order, and you can describe it in such a way that the sequence of your thoughts in the work was obvious and without an emphasized recount of points.

How to write a conclusion of a literature essay?

What should be the final word in a literary essay?

  1. Do not be afraid to remind once again the main problem of the essay. Its question. This will emphasize the meaning and importance of the work again.
  2. Briefly outline the main thesis of the essay. But avoid repetition and another retelling of the whole work - this is deprived.
  3. Write your opinion about the book you read. Regardless of whether you liked it or not, indicate this and explain why. And remember that your explanations should not contradict anything that you tried to convey to the reader throughout the work.

And most importantly, do not forget to re-read your work, correct defects or typos before handing it over to the teacher.

Writing a literary essay is not so difficult if you carefully read the book and take all the requirements for writing such works seriously. Be attentive and uphold your thoughts. Only in this way can you create a worthy essay.

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Cecil holds a Master's Degree in Education Arts from Stanford University. She is a competent writer with five years' experience in online academic writing. Over the years, she has gained enough expertise in fields such as Business, Medicine, Psychology, Engineering, Communication, and Philosophy, among other areas of specialization.

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