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How To Compose A Top-Quality Literary Analysis Essay


When you’ve been asked to analyze a piece of literature, there are specific steps you should follow. This will help you to produce a top quality literature analysis essay. Even if this is your first time writing this type of paper, following a plan will really help to get the creative juices flowing and help you to compose your essay and get a good grade.

Remember the reader wants to know the why and how. Simply providing a summary of the written work is not interesting. You need to delve into the details and ask questions, give your opinions and theories, and really get into the nitty gritty of the piece of writing.

Steps you should follow in writing your paper

  1. What was the original author’s purpose? What did they set out to accomplish? Was there a main theme or idea they wanted to get across. What feelings did they want the reader to have after reading the piece? What understanding or philosophy were they trying to impart?
  2. Analyze the tone, plot, characters, rhythm, imagery and setting. How were they used as literary devices? Was the author successful in fulfilling their purposes with each of these tools? Did the reader learn what the writer intended them to learn?
  3. Ask yourself why, in your opinion, did the author choose to use certain devices in the way they used them? For example, why did they choose the type of characters they used? What imagery was used and why was it effective or ineffective? Did their use of each tool help the reader and in what way? Did the intended theme shine through?

Writing an outline for your literary analysis essay

At first you may think it would save time to forget the outline and just start writing. In reality, it usually ends up saving time to sketch out an outline and then use it to provide structure and logic to your paper. The parts of your outline would include:

  • A catchy title– this is the first thing that sells your reader on wanting to read your essay.
  • Introduction – provides your reader with an overview of what your essay is all about. This is the first paragraph and it also contains your research question or statement.
  • Body – composed of several paragraphs, each with its own supporting topic. They all provide more verification to your thesis statement or research question.
  • Conclusion – a final summary of the body of your essay.
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