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Writing a Literary Analysis Essay

Before writing a literary analysis paper, you should define which fundamental elements of the chosen literary work prove its significance in literature. Literary essay examples that you can find on the net will help you in the process of identifying such important aspects of the chosen literary work. Therefore, find a literary essay sample and carefully examine which structure is needed for this kind of an academic paper.

How to Write a Literary Essay?

Consider the following literary essay tips:

  1. Organize a strong and attention-grabbing introduction. It should be interesting enough to encourage the readers to continue reading your essay. If you have no ideas how to do it, find a literary essay example and see what types of introductions make you read the essay further.
  2. Come up with a strong and clear thesis statement. Keep in mind that it should be argumentative. Try to provide a distinct and detailed answer to your main essay question. As a rule, a properly written thesis statement should comprise of at least three main points that you are going to elaborate in the body paragraphs. From your thesis, it should be clear to a reader why your argument is significant. Search for literary essay examples to get better understanding how to formulate a strong thesis.
  3. Develop well-organized body paragraphs to support your paper argument. If your literary writing consists of five paragraphs as a whole, then three of them are body paragraphs. However, if the essay is longer, then you should write more than three body paragraphs. Make sure you highlight one major aspect in a separate paragraph and provide examples and supporting evidence to it. Essay writing examples will help you properly format quotes and citations when needed. Double-check whether the arguments you are developing fit your formulated thesis.
  4. Pay attention to the context of the chosen literary work and research the author’s background if needed. For example, in analytical types of essays, it is advisable to critically analyze the effect the author’s background or upbringing had on his/ her usage of specific literary devices or excessive symbolism in literary works. Actually, the concept you choose to analyze will depend on the essay topics.
  5. Provide a conclusion that properly summarizes the main focus of discussion in your paper. If you are hesitating on what information to include, search an essay sample on the net and get the idea of what a conclusion should look like.

General Guidelines on Writing a Good Literary Essay

  1. Pick an appealing title. If you cannot come up with a great title before writing, leave it till the paper is finished.
  2. Narrate in the present tense regardless of the tile the literary text was written.
  3. Avoid using the first- or second-person pronouns (“I,” “we,” “you”). Do not use the first person unless you are asked to provide personal opinions in the paper. For further information and examples, please see some example essay.
  4. Use literary terms and provide examples from the literary text in the essay. Please see some examples of college essays and how writers provide a literary analysis of the literary work. Find epithets, metaphors, similes, comparisons, hyperbole, allusions, irony, sarcasm, etc.
  5. Use secondary sources to support your point. Look through some college essay samples how to properly format quotations and citations.

What to Omit When Writing a Literary Essay:

  1. Do not focus on just summarizing the plot. Summary is not the same as analysis.
  2. Do not confuse the author with his/ her main character in the book/ poem/ short story, etc.
  3. Do not plagiarize from some online sources.

What Should Be Done When You Finished Writing a Paper:

  1. Check for grammar, punctuation, spelling mistakes as well as typos.
  2. Let someone look through your work and provide you with a feedback. These could be your parents, friends, group mates or professors.
  3. Double-check the formatting requirements.
  4. Review the content and structure of the essay.

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