How to Write a Literary Paper
It is hard to explain what a literary analysis paper is. Some argue that it is just a piece of writing where we use the lexicon and literary style of writing. It is not exactly so. The aim of a literary analysis paper is a critical rethinking and interpretation of a chosen composition. Therefore, usually, each literary analysis essay consists of your interpretation, argumentation, and thoughts, critical evaluation, and judgment, in-depth work with the author's lexicon, style, ideas, paper structure, and hidden content.
How to start: literary analysis and work thesis
There are many various literary analysis essay topics. First of all, you should read author's story a few times. Thus, you will have an opportunity to find out the most essential and strange descriptions or events in the text. During your reading, you should also take some notes. It may be whatever that catches your attention. Thus, you will be familiar with author's style, main plot, and characters. It will allow you to find some draft idea concerning your literary analysis essay topic. Also, profoundly examining such things as characters, setting, plot, theme, dialogue, imagery, figures of speech, tone, rhythm, and point of view may also help you to choose a literary analysis essay topic.
For instance, literary analysis through character observation can give you a lot of additional information. You may divide all characters into four types. "Dynamic" – one who changes own views and actions during the story, "static" – one who is stative throughout the composition, "round" – one who has some unique character traits, and "flat" – one who is "nothing special." Also, you may define whether a person is good or bad, real or unreal, etc.
Literary analysis of such three main components as plot, theme, and setting will allow you to form the background knowledge. For instance, the literary analysis of plot may consist of such questions as relations between main events and plot structure, whether the author is logical or diachronic, how the author goes to the climax, etc. Examining all these things, you should also pay attention to the theme – the primary author's idea. Try to explore how the author represents his opinion, whether he explains the topicality, which characters he uses mostly, etc. Also, it will be easy to notice the relationship between setting, theme, and character's mood (in which way the author support his thesis) through the literary analysis of the background.
Another thing you should notice during your literary analysis is the imagery and figures of speech. Many authors claim that thanks to the imagery they can express their feelings and ideas better and make them more understandable for readers. So, you should find out such expressive and emotive parts of the text and scrutinize them. Usually, literature text is full of such stylistic devices as metaphor, metonymy, simile, euphemism, paradox, zeugma, etc. Thus, through the literary analysis, you may get a lot of valuable and unique materials for writing your essay.
There are also such exciting things for literary analysis as dialogue, tone, rhyme, and rhythm. All these elements impact on general text perception. So, you may find out how and where the author uses dialogue, whether there is some regularity, or in which way (polite, playful, formal, and casual) and in which situation the narrator or the characters speak. Also, answer the question when, how, and why the author uses rhyme and rhythm or why he does not do that.
The most straightforward part of the literary analysis concerns the point of view. As you know, there are three points of views – the first, the second, and the third. Also, it might be an omniscient narrator in the story who knows all about everyone, what they feel, why, and where.
Thus, through the literary analysis of all these components, you will be able to formulate your literary essay topic without any difficulties. Based on the received information, you may realize what the author's main idea, why it is essential for him and readers, how he uses stylistic devices to make the story better. Therefore, the last step is to form your work thesis, choose evidence and argumentation from the text, structure your thoughts, and write your literary essay paper!