Literary Analysis: How to Succeed in It

While dealing with such kind of academic writing as literary analysis, one needs to demonstrate research skills, critical thinking, and ability to analyze and distil the main information. Clearly, writing a literary analysis is not a simple task, so we broke it into basic elements for you to have a better idea of how to handle it.

What Is a Literary Analysis?

Before tackling the writing techniques and tools, let us figure out first: What is a literary analysis? This concept may vary in different colleges and universities, but in general, it can be defined as a complex critical overview of a certain work of literature that aims at evaluating the writer’s masterfulness and the work’s efficiency. Based on such literary analysis definition, you should aim at scanning the work and making objective judgments about it.

Types of Literary Analysis

Now that we are aware of what is a literary analysis essay, let us list its main kinds.

  • Character Analysis: analyzes the personal traits of characters and their roles for the plot;
  • Point of View Analysis: defines the author’s point of view and what tools helped him to persuade the readers in it;
  • Analysis of Style: strives to understand how the language tools word choice contribute to the character of the book;
  • Analysis of Setting: makes an overview of the setting that the events take place at and its importance;
  • Analysis of Theme: digs for the main idea of the work of literature;
  • Analysis of Structure: strives to explain why the book is arranged in one or another way.

If you wonder how many literary theories are still acceptable to use in literary analysis, we suggest choosing one major theory and using other approaches as complementary.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

Regardless of your year of study and course specialization, you need to know how to write a literary analysis essay, as this assignment will occur in your learning process sooner or later. To cope with it, you need to know the proper order of analyzing a work of literature, practice the specific style of writing, and arrange the information into a well-structured paper. The tips provided below will help you to understand how to write a literary analysis paper.

Focus on the Aim of Your Essay

First of all, ask yourself: what is the purpose of a literary analysis essay? What does literary analysis mean to you personally? This will determine the general direction of your work and its style. Sometimes, the aim is defined by the literary analysis rubric provided by your professor, while sometimes, you need to find it on your own. In general, a literary analysis essay should strive to provide an objective deconstruction of a book, supported by strong arguments and related illustrations. However, choosing one of the types of analysis mentioned earlier, you can find a more specific niche for your paper, devoting it to a certain aspect of the book. This is also useful when deciding how to write a literary analysis thesis.

Structure it Properly

It is better to design the structure of the paper before starting to write it. Thus, making a literary analysis outline is absolutely necessary to avoid a messy arrangement of ideas. The main elements you need to include in your paper are provided below.

  • Topic. Choose one of the literary analysis topics that interest you, and build your paper around it. The topic should be reflected in the title as well.
  • Thesis statement. Formulate a strong argument that will be a key idea of your work.
  • Introduction. Present the work of literature to the readers and express your vision of it. When deciding how to start a literary analysis, think of it from the point of view of readers, who have not read the analyzed book.
  • Discussion. Address the main literary analysis questions in the body of your paper. Place each idea in a separate paragraph, supporting it with arguments and examples from the analyzed text.
  • Conclusion. Briefly summarize the main points discussed in your essay.

Find a Good Literary Analysis Essay Example

In order to have an idea of how the works of such kind are done, you might consider referring to a literary analysis essay example. The numerous online resources offer free literary analysis examples that can be downloaded, but remember to use them only for information and inspiration: do not copy from them. Also, mind the academic level of the referral paper, as a sample literary analysis essay of high school level will have a structure and style different from the one of university level. In case you need a literary analysis thesis example, it is better to find it at a library or university database, as the random websites can be unreliable for such complex papers.

Finish it Correctly

The overall impression about your essay depends not so much on the literary analysis introduction as on its conclusion. If you are writing an everyday use literary analysis, such as the ones we can meet at websites with books descriptions, the conclusion should be concise and pretty formal. However, if you are dealing with one of the literary analysis essay topics that can influence your final grades, it is worth trying your best to make the paper stand out. In such case, the conclusion has to be witty and intellectually stimulating, giving the readers something to think over after they finish reading your essay. Avoid vague ideas and sentences without a clear message: your writing has to be sharp and constructive.

Do Your Best

We hope that the tips provided in our article inspired you and boosted your confidence. Whatever approach and topic you choose, remember to always do the best you can while working on your essay. Excel in your research, strive to perform the most objective critical analysis, polish your writing skills, and your grades will be proportional to your efforts. Never stop and always aim for the best results!