By knowing how to write a literary analysis, a student can interpret any piece of literature he has read. Reading & comprehension are the integral parts of the learning process, and it is difficult to imagine perfect writing without mastering these skills. This article will help every student who asks, “What is a literary analysis?”
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What Is a Literary Analysis?
The primary thing to cover is a literary analysis definition. It is a type of Literature/English Composition 101 assignment, which reflects student’s reading and comprehension skills as well as the chosen author’s attempt to explain his choices’ importance. In “The Great Gatsby,” for example, Scott Fitzgerald tries to display the face of American nation of the middle XX century through the images of Bohemia against the poor people. The author shows what money can do with people. Various economic theories could be applied to analyze the characters from the offered novel – that is a clue for the student.
Students may need to learn how to write a literary analysis paper to discuss how and why a specific literature piece was composed:
- Short story/Essay
It is impossible to analyze the chosen text without remembering that each author has specific reasons to come up with a certain story. If a person wonders how to write a literary analysis, he/she should realize this assignment is old. Read the article and analyze your skills. If you feel like some of the essential skills are missing, skip it to the closing paragraph where we explain the best way to deal with any homework assignment.
Literary Analysis Outline: Student’s Action Plan
Literary analysis essay outline looks like the outlines of other academic papers, but it may have more paragraphs depending on the writer’s flow of thoughts. An outline is an action plan, which helps to survive. Building materials into a pile on the ground makes no sense – the writer may lose the point in the middle of the process. The prompt barely asks the students to develop outlines. Experts recommend to come up with a good literary analysis essay outline if you want to understand how to write a literary analysis of A-level.
Make each point of the outline in a way that it responds to one of the questions that may appear while discussing the chosen piece of literature. An outline helps to reveal the gaps in writer’s knowledge. Each gap alarms a student needs to conduct additional research to get the answers to various important questions. Do not start working on an outline without studying the grading rubric in details.
How to Write a Literary Analysis of a Short Story: Learn the Grading Rubric!
- A: A paper engages in a sophisticated, unique assessment and in-depth analysis of the author’s themes and techniques used to compose a chosen piece. It contains a complex analysis of the given literature.
- B: A paper offers to probe literary evaluation & criticism along with the piece’s themes and techniques.
- C: A paper contains a simple analysis without going into the details; the student offered an assessment of the basic level.
- D: There is no analysis & criticism in work. No specific themes or techniques used by the story’s author were properly evaluated/explained by the student.
How to Start a Literary Analysis?
The opening paragraph of an academic literary essay is an introduction, and it is important to make the reader want to read the whole piece from cover to cover.
A literary analysis introduction: The primary thing to do is introduce the topic. Grab the attention of the potential reader to make him read to the end by inserting one of the available hook sentences:
- Famous quotation
- Provocative/Rhetorical question
- A short anecdote/joke
- A startling statement
- Mix of these hooks
Do not forget about the background information. It must contain the title of the selected piece of literature, author’s name, main characters, and the main idea of the story’s plot. The last element in the introduction is a thesis statement, which points to the significance of the given story. A thesis could be made of more than one sentence. Example:
Moving to the Body of Your Work
Body paragraphs: 2 things should appear in every new body paragraph – the topic sentence & interpretation along with the textual evidence. The information in each paragraph should be related to the thesis statement. Tie the details of the paragraph together. To relate some paragraph about the American society after the World War I, the student may recall the fact that John Gatsby survived as a soldier during the war. Drawing parallels with real-world events is a good idea. It helps to make the audience understand the writer’s point better.
Do not forget to add in-text citations, direct & indirect, to provide extra evidence to support the topic sentence/thesis statement. It is necessary to add several citations from the analyzed piece of literature to deliver the spirit of the story to the reader.
Literary Analysis Conclusion
How to end a literary analysis? It’s about dealing with the conclusion: The closing paragraph must provide a sense of completeness and inform the reading audience this is the end of the text. Use different words to rewrite the thesis statement. Unlike in introduction, in conclusion, the thesis statement comes at the beginning to remind the reader of the main argument (read more about argumentative analysis essay). After that, make a summary of the main points introduced in the body paragraphs. A student may include a relevant comment about the analyzed book or story from a different perspective, but without starting a new topic for discussion.
Literary Analysis Essay Example
The article offers a literary analysis essay example for every part of the paper: from its introduction to the conclusion based on different samples.
Example #1: Introduction
“One can say that “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway is a story, which looks simple on the surface but complicated and puzzling deep down. The author narrates the main events in short sentences. He uses a minimum of figurative language, but the story raises many questions without giving evidence for the final answers.”
Example #2: Body paragraph with the quote
“Sammy’s descriptions of the A & P introduced an ugly and boring setting. The chain store is something not unusual in the modern world, and the target audience can feel similar to Sammy’s uniformity. He adds the fluorescent light is as blandly cool as the "checkerboard green-and-cream rubber tile floor" (486).”
Example #3: Conclusion
“In “My Last Duchess,” the redeeming traits of the Duke do not show up in the poem, so I believe the author meant he does not have any. By the end of the Browning’s story, the reader does not favor the character of the Duke, and it is obvious the author wanted the reading audience to feel this way.”
It looks like the author succeeded with his intentions. The readers almost hate the character of the Duke on purpose.
The final thing left is the list of great topics to make each student understand how to write a literary analysis by choosing the correct issue to analyze.
20 Inspiring Literary Analysis Essay Topics
The last thing to observe is the list of top literary analysis essay topics!
Macbeth Literary Analysis Essay Topics
- Interpret the usage of figurative language in Macbeth
- Discuss the reversal of characters in relation to Macbeth and his wife
- Provide the evaluation of the Macbeth structure
- How is the suspense used by Shakespeare to create tension?
- In what way Macbeth develops during the plot development?
Romeo & Juliet Literary Analysis Topics
- The way Shakespeare reflects the archetypal star-crossed lovers
- Discuss the theme of time in Romeo & Juliet in the context of the lack of time
- Explain a cliché for romantic fatalism throughout the prism of Romeo & Juliet’s tragic love
- Is the love doomed by fate in Romeo & Juliet?
- What about the good & evil, light & dark in the famous Shakespeare’s play?
XIX & XX Century Literary Analysis Topics
- There is no more famous detective story than Sherlock Holmes (list the reasons why)
- Struggling to survive on the island is the allegory of living in a modern society in “The Lord of the Flies.”
- Forecasting racing outcomes as an example of fraud in our world (“The Rocking Horse Winner”)
- Is it right to claim that love is stronger than time on the example of “The Princess Bride”?
- Does it make sense to follow your dreams instead of focusing on real life? “Of Mice & Men” is the perfect novel to discuss
- Mortality in “Hamlet”
- Women and misogyny in “Hamlet”
- Madness and mental illness in “Hamlet”
- The most iconic moments and quotes
- Modern model applied to “Hamlet”
“What is a literary analysis?” You know the answer after reading the proposed article. How do you feel? If the student has no time to read the entire text of the assignment, lacks time to compose the entire paper, or dislikes the idea itself, we can offer a single way out. The most reliable, cheapest solution is an academic writing service online. The most qualified academic writers will solve any problem, read any text, and create the most impressive literary analysis essay on any topic in the world within the set timeframe.