What Is a Literary Analysis Essay

What Is a Literary Analysis Essay

We all read literature to enjoy it. But sometimes, when your study requires it, you have to make a literary analysis of the text. Writing literary essay is not an easy task, while it includes all the elements, such as setting, characters, tone, and the way the author used them for making certain effects. But be sure to distinguish literary analysis essay from a book report or review. You should learn and master this special skill.

There are several types of literary analysis essay. This paper covers various disciplines, including social studies, history, marketing, literature, and many others.

In order to have a clear analysis essay outline, read the following descriptions carefully.

  • It means that you have to exploit the theories which concern the topic and main idea. The agenda-setting theory, for instance, is to be applied when you discuss the way of forming social opinions.
  • Close reading. This method includes really attentive reading and text interpretation. You have to discuss main ideas, address the details, explain different parts of the text completing a paper, etc.
  • Synergetic (comparative). As you can guess from its name, comparative paper involves a comparison of two or more alternatives. When the topic is about democratic and socialist systems comparison, for instance, you are supposed to define the differences between the systems decomposing their core elements.
  • When writing an applied paper, you should make an analysis of the issue from a practical standpoint.
  • Contextual (historical). It may be applied to different disciplines, one of which is history. At times, it is necessary to explain different elements with the help of the in-depth historical analysis. When making this kind of analysis, you are able to rely on various critical sources, which can be found on the internet or in the library.

Thus, depending on the discipline, you can choose from these essays types. It’s crucial to choose the paper properly for it to be strong and have a clear focus.

What Is the Structure of Literary Analysis Essay?

Before writing your literary essay, you should understand what its typical structure is. As a rule, it includes introduction, body, and conclusion. Let’s look at each of them in turn.

  • The aim of introduction is to make the context clear for the reader. It’s also possible to discuss the background briefly, in order to get a sense of the issue under discussion. What should you include to your introduction? You should provide the full name of the author and the title. The first lines are to draw the attention of the readers and make them wish to read your whole work, so think well about them. When it comes to academic writing, this rule is really essential.

Body. The body should include the retold writer’s story. It’s good to write a brief summary, it will show your ability to synthesize. After that, you should develop your thoughts and show all your observation concerning the issue. This type of essay is recommended to contain up to 1.000 words. This size would be perfect; however, it is up to you if you want to overuse them. You should also show your analytical skills to a professor, so it’s necessary to rewrite and rephrase the story. In the process of writing, you should learn different critical articles and show your own style and personal observations. As a rule, the essay body consists of three paragraphs. Each of them should contain an argument and its justification relating the thesis statement. In each paragraph, you should focus on certain issues relating to the main subject of the discussion. If we take an essay example where you discuss the main book character, it’s necessary to underline its behavior and temper, his conflicts or relationship with other characters, etc.

Conclusion. This part contains all the points of your essay which you should summarize. The conclusion has to be strong and pretty short. It should make a final impression of the essay you wrote. You should not include any additional or unnecessary information to your conclusion, just a brief summary of the developments you made. The readers have to get a sense of completion, that’s why you have to add a short description of your arguments. Do not forget to mention why the book is important.

What to Write About?

Before starting to write your literary essay, you should prepare, while it depends on what you are going to analyze, a plat, a novel, or short story, a poem, etc. For that reason, it’s necessary to know the peculiarities of the citation style of your future essay. And the first thing to consider is the topic. Literary essay topics contain the core idea of the essay and your future essay must cover the topic you are writing about. Some of the most popular topics given to students include:

  • “The Great Gatsby”: an emotional journey.
  • The conflict between aestheticism and morality in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.
  • The use of allegory in Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.
  • Giovanni Boccaccio, “Decameron”: how understanding that context can help the reader understand that work.

The variety of literary essay topics is huge and it’s necessary to write a thesis conveying a unique idea about that work. The thesis is about the text and your ideas are to be supported by the evidence from the book. Your thesis must relate to the theme of the piece and show how the idea is revealed by the author.

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