How to write a literary analysis essay: manual from expert writer

One of the most common writing projects that any student in a literature class will write is the literary analysis essay. These writing projects usually involve novels, short stories, poems, memoirs, and other nonfiction pieces. Instructors will vary the lengths, but most of them are no shorter than five paragraphs. As students move through their schooling, the projects get longer and more complicated. This is why it can be helpful to learn how to write this type of paper.

Advice from an Expert

There are several tips that will help students craft a high quality, scholarly literary analysis. You can read more about the process to become a student who earns top grades on their projects. These tips involve the basic steps to writing an analysis and how to meet the requirements that individual instructors put on the assignments. The best advice that any student can take is to pay close attention to the requirements that the instructor wants to see in the essay. If you do not meet the requirements, then you will not get a good grade.

Important Components

Most literary papers require need to have three components: an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Within those components are several smaller ones. The introduction will need a thesis statement that shows what the paper will be analyzing. The body paragraphs will need topic sentences that refer back to the thesis statement as well as several examples from the literary piece that is being analyzed. The conclusion will need to restate the main idea and the points that support it.

How to Succeed

While the introduction is vital to the success of the paper, the body paragraphs get the point across. The introduction needs to have an attention-getting hook that eventually transitions into the thesis. But, the rest of the paper needs to prove that thesis. Each body paragraph should have a highly organized structure that includes several excerpts from the text along with thorough explanations. These excerpts need to be documented in the style the instructor requires, which will most likely be MLA - since the paper is a literary analysis.

Dive Deeply into the Topics

Most papers of this style require a solid grasp of literary elements. This includes topics like theme, characterization, figurative language, and plot structure. Students will need to go deeply into their chosen literature to look at how the author managed to convey a message using these elements. In some cases, students will be asked to compare and contrast a larger piece of literature to smaller ones. They might also be asked to decide what piece of literature used the literary elements with the most success. Instructors might also look at the history of the piece and how it reflects the time in which it was written.

Students will not succeed if they do not pay close attention to the essay assignment and the requirements that the instructor wants to see. It is wise for students to pay close attention to the lessons and literary elements.

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