A literary analysis essay is an argumentative analysis that carefully evaluates a piece of literature by looking at the characters of the story, theme, tone, setting, plot, and other literary devices used to narrate the story. It encourages a reader to explore how and why the author wrote the novel, poem, or play. It involves analyzing the key elements in the literature, therefore, it should be brief and not t explains every single point of the plot of the story. An argument can be raised by exploring the author’s intentions and attempting to explain their significance or from a personal viewpoint where the original text has to defend and account for the argument to the reader.
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The Purpose of a Literary Analysis
The main aim of writing a literary analysis is to demonstrate why the author used specific characters, themes, settings, imagery, etc. to persuade the reader in a story. It helps identify the key theme and then examines the literary devices used by the author to reveal that theme. The literary analysis also helps students develop critical thinking skills by challenging them to look beyond the literal meanings by analyzing the story to see how the pieces fit together.
Steps on how to write a Literary Analysis Essay
The following expert guidelines will help you come up with an excellent literary analysis essay.
- Choose and Focus on the Topic
Writing an excellent analysis requires you to thoroughly read the work to ensure you understand the characters and plot of the play, poem, or novel. Having a clear understanding of the story will enable you to come up with a convincing analysis. Picking a topic interests you will make your writing easier since you will have more confidence and a better understanding of the topic. Consider your topic’s scope. If your topic is too broad, it may be challenging to find focused and relevant information. The topic also should be focused enough that it is meaningful to your audience. If it is very narrow, it may be hard to find adequate information. If your topic is highly focused, be flexible and extensive in your search strategy.
- Gather Evidence
It’s crucial to conduct thorough research on the topic before writing. Collect enough material to help you answer or support your question. The evidence you present in your essay will convince your readers that your argument is reasonable and credible. It’s crucial to select the most important supporting details for your argument.
- Create an outline
Before you begin writing your paper, create an outline that will help you construct and organize ideas in a clear and logical order. Creating an outline before the actual writing will allow you to select the relevant information from sources giving you a steady framework when beginning the writing process. Doing this will make it easier to develop a clear and rigid thesis statement.
Begin by choosing a topic and establishing a purpose. If you have not been assigned a topic you may need to brainstorm what you will write about. Next, think about which direction or argument you will take and how you will support this, the main points you will include and how you will defend them. Write down the main points for each topic you have, and the sources you will use to defend your ideas. Identifying the main aspects of your paper will help you have a clear idea of your argument and the tone you will use.
- Introduction to a Literary Analysis Essay
The introduction to a literary analysis essay should be presented clearly and concisely since it makes the first impression on a reader. An excellent introduction should provide relevant background information about a particular aspect of a work of literature and show the direction the paper will take. A literary analysis essay introduction should include a book, author, title, main characters, summary, and thesis. A thesis appears as the last sentence in the first paragraph and will focus on the three main points you wish to address in the main body of the essay.
- The Body of a Literary Analysis Essay
The purpose of the body is to develop the thesis or argument presented in the introduction fully. Each paragraph in the body discusses one major point in the development of the main case. The body of your essay plays a vital role in arranging and discussing evidence that will convince the reader of your argument. Ideas or thoughts should be presented in a clear and logical organization. Outline your main points and give relevant facts and supporting evidence. The main ideas or points should be backed by facts and evidence in the same paragraph. The main ideas presented in your essay should relate to the thesis statement highlighted in the introduction.
- Conclusion of a Literary Analysis Essay
This is the last paragraph in your essay which should reflect how your essay topic relates to the book as a whole. Your conclusion should restate your thesis statement by keeping it narrow and focused on your topic. You should also summarize the main points of your paper by providing a brief overview of critical points. A logical conclusion should not only emphasize on the thesis statement but also show the audience the significance of your research.
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