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Literary Analysis Definition

When you are assigned a literary analysis, your main goal is to examine and study a certain piece of literature to understand what main points it aims to render. Such work is usually assigned to students at high schools and colleges, who study literature or humanities. The use of such a task is very broad: students read a book, learn how to analyze it and research information on the background and author.

There is no general pattern of how to write a literary analysis, as it greatly depends on the piece of work you need to discuss. For example, the length of your work, number of paragraphs and formatting will be completely different for a poem and for a novel.

However, here are some of the general issues you need to address in your essay:

  • Genre and type of the literature you are analyzing;
  • Analyzing the main characters;
  • Main ideas and plot of the book;
  • Review of the topic;
  • Symbolism of the composition;
  • Writing style and structure.

All these elements should be addressed in a clear order, starting from the major points. Make sure you divide information into paragraphs to make the text smooth and readable.

If you want to make your essay flawless, try to avoid the following mistakes:

  • Weak topic. If you are lucky enough to choose the piece of literature on your own, you need to make sure it is chosen according to your tastes and interest of the audience. This will keep you passionate and the audience interested in the text. You can write down several topics, compare them and choose the one you like the most;
  • Common phrases and boring vocabulary. The best part of a literary paper is that you don’t need to sound professional and reserved. You can show your opinion, feelings and passion about the matter without a fear of being judged. That is why try to be involved in the plot, using vivid language and bright lexis;
  • Lack of research and analysis. You will surely get additional points for backing your thoughts with a thoughtful research of the history behind the composition or personal issues of the author. Such stories are appealing but most students simply don’t have enough time to study various sources;
  • No conclusions. Even though you should only analyze a given piece of literature, you still need to make your own conclusion, making forecast for the future and explaining how the composition can influence the reader.

Once you are familiar with the most typical mistakes, it is a right time to note the tips, which will help you to succeed. They include:

  • Write down your thoughts while reading the text. Such a list may help you to create a future structure for your work;
  • Make notes on various literary devices used in the book;
  • Take into account the historical background of the composition;
  • Formulate your argument and thesis based on all the notes you have made;
  • Write an outline of your future work, which will help you to follow the accepted structure;
  • Start every paragraph with an introductory sentence and then support it with evidence;
  • Avoid phrases like ‘in my opinion’, ‘I think’ and so on. Use transition words and phrases instead;
  • Read your essay aloud to notice weak parts and imperfections;
  • Ask your friends to read your paper and correct any mistakes.

Now you are ready to start your work and meet all of your professor’s requirements!

Literary Analysis Essay Example

Many students find it quite difficult to choose the topic on their own or understand how each type of literature should be structured. In such a situation, a literary analysis essay example is of a great use and can greatly assist in completing the assignment.

All you need is to download a literary analysis example on a similar topic, adjust it to your demands, write down the key points and follow the structure, when completing your own essay. This can’t be taken for a fraud and will surely give you a direction for the future paper.

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Literary Analysis Outline

The first thing you need to concentrate on is the literary analysis essay outline. With its help, you may greatly speed up the process and improve the quality of your future work. An outline is a sort of a plan, which highlights the main sections of your essay. Just write down all the things you want to talk about and consult this list any time you are starting a new paragraph.

An outline is a great way to fight a fear of getting started or to avoid mixed thoughts. With its help you will know what to write about next and your text will be readable and smooth.

Here are the main sections of your outline:

  • Introduction. Here you need to write about the main ideas of the composition, your thesis statement and the flow of your future work. Add a hook to make sure you have full attention of the reader. This hook may be based on an anecdote, a fact, statistics, a personal story or any other appropriate detail. Make sure you interest the reader and make him or her want to learn more about the subject;
  • Main paragraphs. Their quantity depends on the number of arguments you have. Discuss one argument in a separate paragraph, backing the topic sentence with evidence and analysis. If you use sources, don’t forget to properly cite them. Every source should be credible and published only by reliable publishing houses;
  • Conclusion. In the final section of your work, you need to restate your thesis and draw conclusions based on the given analysis. Don’t add any new details to this section, as it may confuse the reader and leave unanswered questions.

In case you are still puzzled how to write an outline for your literary analysis paper, you may find examples online. However, don’t forget to tailor them according to your demands. If you still doubt, you can always contact your professor or a reliable writing company and get comprehensive assistance.

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Literary Analysis Essay Topics and Ideas

In case you are stuck with choosing a topic for your literary analysis essay, you can just select the one listed below and forget about tortures of choosing.

  1. What is the most popular detective story in the world? Explain why;
  2. Is it right to pursue your dreams instead of living the real life? Explain your point of view based on the novel ‘On mice and men’;
  3. Can Robinson Crusoe’s solitude be called an allegory of living in the XXI century?
  4. Can love overcome time and destiny? Back your opinion with a book example;
  5. How ‘The Rocking Horse Winner’ can be an example of cheating in the modern world;
  6. Peculiarities of love in Shakespeare’s plays;
  7. Discuss the theme of family relationships in ‘Hamlet’;
  8. How good and evil, love and hatred are performed in ‘Romeo and Juliette’;
  9. How figurative speech is used in Macbeth;
  10. How does Macbeth develop throughout the plot?
  11. Structure of Macbeth;
  12. Describe the main character of the contemporary literature who could become a true leader of society;
  13. Analyze importance and influence of comic books on teenagers;
  14. How the topic of race is revealed in Harper Lee’s ‘To kill a mockingbird’;
  15. Evaluate the importance and impact of Jane Austin’s novels.

To get a high grade on a literary paper doesn’t mean you have to be a book worm. It only means that you need to possess all the necessary instruments and a great topic!

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