Perfect Literature Essay
Literary Analysis Essay
A literary analysis essay is an argumentative analysis that carefully examines a piece of literature by looking at the characters of the story, theme, tone, setting as well as the plot and other literary devices used to narrate the story. It encourages a reader to think about how and why a novel, poem or play was written. It's meant to be an analysis of a key element in the literature thus you should refrain from writing a paper that explains every single point of the plot of the story. An argument can be raised by looking at the author's intentions and attempting to explain their significance or from a personal perspective in which case the original text has to defend and account for the argument to the reader.
7 TIPS TO WRITE A LITERATURE REVIEW
The Purpose of a Reading Analysis
The purpose of a literary analysis is to demonstrate why the author used specific characters, themes, settings, imagery, etc. to persuade the reader in a story. It tries to identify an important theme and then investigates the literary devices that the author used to reveal that theme. The literary analysis also helps to develop critical thinking skills in students by challenging them to look beyond the literal meanings by dissecting the story to see how the pieces fit together.
Literary Analysis vs. Reading Analysis
From a general view, literal analysis delves into the why and tries to understand the obvious and hidden meanings that lurk beneath the main plot. It causes one to not only reflect on the story itself but to understand the bigger picture of history, human condition etc. Reading analysis, on the other hand, is the act of reading to extract information.
5 Steps on How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay
The process of learning how to write a literary analysis can be daunting and overwhelming at first, but as you gain more practice with this kind of thinking, you can craft a method that works best for you. Here is a guide that outlines everything you need to know to write a good literary analysis.
1. Choose and Focus on the Topic
First, you need to read the work thoroughly and ensure you understand the plot of the play, poem or novel and who the characters are. An analysis is only possible when you have a clear understanding of the story. Always pick a topic that interests you as it is easier to start off with something you enjoy. Brainstorm a list of potential topics (themes) by asking yourself questions like, What was striking in the text? Why did the author write this? How are characters developed? How are the literary devices used? and try to look for connections and patterns by mapping out the different aspects of the chosen element.
2. Gather Evidence
It's important for students to research the topic before writing. Collect enough material to help you answer or support your question.
3. Introduction to a Literary Analysis Essay
The introduction to a literary analysis essay makes the first impression on a reader so it's essential that you bring it out in a clear and concise manner. A good introduction to a literary analysis essay should provide relevant information about a particular aspect of a work of literature and orientate the reader to what will follow. The introduction must, therefore, include a book, author, title, main characters, short summary, and thesis. A thesis appears as the last sentence in the first paragraph and will mainly allude to the three main points you wish to address in the main body of the essay.
Here is an example of a good thesis statement for literary analysis:
In a Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens demonstrates the process by which an unfruitful and wasted life can be redeemed. Sidney Carton's intense love for Lucie Manette transforms him from a hopeless man into a hero and star whose life and death bring so much meaning.
4. The Body of a Literary Analysis Essay
After the introduction, you will move towards the body of your essay where you present the paragraphs (usually three paragraphs for a 500-750 word essay) that support your thesis statement. Each paragraph in the body should include a topic sentence, textual evidence (paraphrase or quotation), commentary/explanation and a concluding sentence.
5. 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. You will need to summarize all that you have discussed in the essay without introducing any new ideas.
Formatting a Literary Analysis
Literary analysis papers are generally written using MLA citation style formatting guidelines unless specified otherwise by your professor. Here is the article about MLA essay format with the example:
MLA ESSAY FORMAT
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Dr. Obermeier'sSample Paper Files
You are advised to peruse these sample papers previous students have written for my classes. The papers are either pdf files or HTML files, in which I have embedded comments to explain why they are superior efforts. The comments refer to the following sentence, phrase, or word. Clicking on the comment link will bring up the content. You have to close a comment window before proceeding to the next one. Clicking on the header will give you instructions on how to make such a running header for your papers. Because of HTML restrictions, the formatting might appear slightly off. You still need to keep your papers double-spaced with 1/2-inch paragraph indent. Even if there is no specific explanation for a specific paper, the papers generally share the following superior qualities: descriptive and analytical titles; analytical theses; superior analysis of the texts; correct inclusion of quotations and formatting.
For instructions on how to do a running header for your paper in MS Word, click here.
Click on your class in the lineup.
For Engl. 250
- Paper 1 "Sheppard" Characterization
This paper has it all: outstanding thought and content, excellent organization, superior sentence structure and diction. This student's command of the language is superb. A few minor problems could have been edited out. The paper received the grade of 96/A.
- Paper 1 "Girl" Characterization
- This paper is an excellent example of superior analysis coupled with stylistic economy and succinctness that avoid anything superfluous. The introduction and organization deserve high praise. The paper received the grade of 96/A.
- Paper 2 Explication of "Sonnet 46"
- This explication of a Shakespeare sonnet is superbly done. The student outstandingly fused the analysis of the poem with an excellent and virtually error-free style. The paper received the grade of 98/A+.
- Paper 2 Explication of "Sonnet 42"
- This is a very good example of a Shakespeare sonnet explication. The student clearly understands the nuances of the sonnet, with great sections on metrical discussion. The paper received 94/A.
Here are the high-scoring essays for our assignment two. Per announcement in class, these uploads are not following the format as faithfully. I just wanted to get you the info without having to worry about getting everything lined up to MLA standards. Note also that I am providing these examples for the sophistication of the explication, the students' knowledge of technical aspects and detail of analysis; the essays, however, may still contain other weaknesses.
- Paper 3 Explication of "The Victim at Aulis"
- The student provides a superbly analyzed and written thematic poetry explication. Notice that the paper is organized around the student's thesis, ie., the major players in the myth and the poem, and not just the chronology of the paper. The paper received the grade of 98/A+.
- Paper 3 Explication of "Cassandra"
- This paper is an excellent example of a thematic poetry explication, demonstrating superb intertextual understanding and control of the primary texts. Note the student's concise and honed style. The paper received the grade of 96/A.
- Paper 4 Synthesis of Millay Poems
- This paper offers a beautiful synthesis not only of three poems but also two critical approaches: Feminist and Freudian. It is almost flawlessly written and received the grade of 98/A+.
- Paper 4 Synthesis of Mythology Poems
- The paper is up, but I am still working on the comments..
- Paper 5 Shrew Research Paper
- This is an exquisite research paper utilizing a postmodern approach to Taming of the Shrew. Notice that the critical approach is incorporated into the paper; therefore, there is no extra Barry page. The paper received 98/A+. Sorry, no comment boxes yet.
- Paper 5 Yankee Research Paper
- This is another outstanding research paper. It shows the incorporation of the research especially well. Notice that the Barry page is appended after the works cited page.The paper received 98/A+. Sorry, no comment boxes yet.
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