• Literary Analysis Essays

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    Literary analysis is a type of expository essay that analyzes or looks closely at a specific aspect of a piece of literature, such as the characters, theme, setting, symbolism, and so on.

    Literary Analysis Overview
    To write a literary analysis, you need to decide what aspect of the piece of literature you are going to focus on, and then you state your opinion about it in a thesis statement.  After this, your body paragraphs provide examples and evidence (in the form of quotations from the text) to support your thesis.  Finally, you end with a conclusion that restates your most important points.

    How to write a literary analysis:
    1. Choose a story.
    2. Decide what aspect of the story you want to analyze.  You can focus on a character, the setting, the theme, or a literary element like irony. 
    3. Think carefully about your thesis statement.  What are you going to try to "prove" in this essay?
    4. Write your introduction.  For help, click here: how to write an introduction using the A.N.T. technique.
    5. Think of three reasons or examples that will prove your thesis to be true.  Write your body paragraphs.  For help, click here: how to write the body paragraphs using the TIQA technique.
    6. Write your conclusion.  For help, click here: how to write a conclusion to a literary analysis.
    7. Edit your own work.  Check to make sure that you have followed the Literary Analysis Essay Outline and included all of the required parts.  Be on the lookout for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical mistakes!  Spell check doesn't catch everything!
    8. Have someone else edit your work.  Use this Peer Editing sheet. 
    9. Review what your peer editor has said and make necessary changes.
    10. Turn in your work in this order: rubric, final draft, peer editing sheet, rough draft.

    Handouts & Directions

    Things to remember:
    • In formal essay writing, DO NOT use "I."  This means no "I think," "I feel," "in my opinion" or "my first reason."
    • Use 12 point in a normal, plain font like Times or Helvetica.
    • Double space the whole essay.  Do not put extra space between paragraphs.
    • The titles of short stories are in quotations marks and the titles of novels are underlined or in italics. 
    • When you quote a non-spoken passage from a text, use regular double quotation marks like this ".........."
    • When you quote a quote (something a character actually said), you need to use a double quotation mark and then an single quotation mark together like this "'..........'"