Step-by-Step Guideline on How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay


A literary analysis essay is one of the most common assignments and thus every student must understand how to deal with it. This sort of essay presupposes analyzing a certain literary work and then presenting your analysis and observations. It may not be easy but drawing a literary analysis outline can make this difficult task much easier.

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In your literary essay, it is absolutely appropriate to apply a five-paragraph essay style. Keep in mind that the first step to writing a literary essay is to read a literary work itself. You cannot avoid this because otherwise, you will not be able to conduct an in-depth analysis of your piece of literature.

Step-by-Step Guideline on How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

In the process of reading, jot down crucial information. Pay particular attention to characters' words and actions as they can help to predict imminent events.

Having put down key points, define the focus of your essay. It is also a good idea to discover how famous scholars commented on this piece of literature and cite them in your essay. Now you can start your literary analysis. Here are the steps you need to consider:

  • Draw a literary analysis outline.
  • Define your thesis statement.
  • Write an introductory part.
  • Write the body of the literary essay.
  • Write your conclusion.
  • Proofread and edit your essay.

A literary analysis essay is an essay, which thoroughly analyzes the smallest details and pieces of a book to see how they are combined in the literary work. You will need to split this work into smaller parts and analyze them, and then, to find out what is going on within the storyline.

Remember that a literary analysis and a literary summary have nothing in common. It is wrong to believe that by rehashing the storyline, you will have a good literary analysis essay. Your task is to concentrate on a certain element of the piece of literature and analyze it.

Literary Analysis Outline

Creating an outline for your literary essay is a crucial step in your writing process. Without it, you will not resist the temptation of describing the storyline at length. Do not rush, concentrate on the element you opted for and draw an outline on the basis of it. Your outline must cover a lot of points, which base on this one element. For instance, you may center on a certain character, a certain action or a symbol of the literary work. You can make your outline more detailed by inserting paragraphs and this way, it will be interesting and informative.

Creating an outline is the most significant part of your literary essay, except for reading the piece of literature itself. If you want to see a literary analysis outline example, you can do it by browsing the Internet.

Topic Selection

Deciding on which topic to write your literary analysis essay requires you to narrow your focus. You can opt for any book, for instance, Alice in Wonderland, but your topic should focus on something like the white rabbit, or maybe the Cheshire Cat’s disappearance.

If you are free to select your own literary analysis topic, take a fascinating book, which you are familiar with and start dividing it into parts. If you are assigned a book, read it thoroughly and choose a feature, which you will consider. It is essential to remember that your whole essay must center on this single matter.

 Literary Analysis Essay Format

The first paragraph of the essay should consist of a few sentences that will give readers the insight into what they are about to read. It must present the literary work you have taken, as well as the element that you will analyze. Your introduction must also contain a thesis statement, or the main idea you are trying to convey.

The way you present your introduction is also significant. It can be the first time the reader has come across the book, which you are analyzing in your essay. Thus, your introductory part must be riveting and catchy enough to grab their attention and make them read the whole essay.

Then you will need to work on the body of the essay. As a rule, it consists of three or more paragraphs that prove your theory. Each point must be organized in a separate paragraph and back up the original thesis sentence.

In the conclusion of your essay, you have to repeat the thesis but with new wording, and summarize the whole essay. Here you also need to present the final conclusion of your analysis so that the readership can understand what you intended to tell them and what your opinion of the literary work is.

A top-notch literary analysis must engage readers and make them want to read this literary work. It is useful if you present some riveting points that give insight into the literary work.

Eventually, remember to proofread and correct all the imperfections your essay has. It must not contain any errors and has to be readable. Do not forget that your whole essay should be meaningful. If you worked with some resources while writing, do not forget to reference them in the reference section.

Although most students consider writing a literary analysis essay challenging and complex, you can succeed in your literary essay writing providing that you understand its nature.  In particular, you must be able to pick a literary device in a book and analyze it in your writing.

Here the template may be particularly handy, as it contains a sample, which will help you to get you started. Click HERE to read our free literary analysis essay sample.

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