10 Tips For Writing A Literary Analysis

A literary analysis is, in short, a detailed examination of a piece of literature. They generally focus on a central aspect of a written work and expound upon its meaning in regards to the work as a whole. Writing a well-constructed analysis can be tedious but here are 10 tips to help you along the way:

  1. Plan your discussion points around the required length of the paper. This is particularly important when thinking about what you want your thesis statement to be. Ordinarily, these kinds of essays are short in length, maybe a few pages at most. Picking a fairly specific topic will often be in your best interest; however, make sure you have enough to talk about if you go this route.
  2. Make sure your thesis statement grabs the reader’s attention immediately. Your thesis statement is the foundation for the entire paper, so you need to make sure it’s a good one. Your statement needs to encompass an aspect of the literature that an average reader might not have noticed in a first read.
  3. Make an outline. One cannot stress enough the importance of using an outline to structure your paper. One way to determine if your thesis statement is a good one is to list all your talking points in a structured format. If it’s too short than you need to make your topic more broad. Contrastly, if you have too many things to talk about than your topic might not be narrow enough.
  4. Develop an introductory paragraph that transitions the reader into the rest of your paper. The purpose of this paragraph is not only to state what the purpose of your analysis is, but also to guide the reader into your discussion. Therefore you need to make sure that the transition between your intro and your first discussion point is organic.
  5. Use evidence from the text (i.e. quotes, chapter references, etc.) to prove your point. Although this is not research paper, you still need to give the reader a reason to take your observations about the text seriously. Whenever you make a claim about the text you must also provide an example.
  6. Check to make sure your discussion points do not go off on a tangent. Every sentence needs to relate back to your thesis statement in some way.
  7. Avoid being repetitious. This applies to word usage as well as the content of your sentences. Ask yourself if each sentence adds something new to your overall paper.
  8. Be consistent in your tense usage. Switching between tenses makes your writing harder to follow and less coherent as a whole. As you are writing your paper it may be helpful to double-back every so often to make sure your tense use is consistent.
  9. Write more than you need to. It may seem counterintuitive at first but it gives you some flexibility in the long-run. Having more information than necessary can only be beneficial. Often you will discover that you have more to say about certain points than others. By having more on the page to work with, you allow yourself the ability to cut out the less developed points in your analysis.
  10. Finish strong. Your conclusion might not be the highlight of your paper but it is the last thing your reader will see. This part of your paper needs to remind your readers of what they just read in addition to holding their intrigue. One way to do this is to add a thought provoking question or an interesting quote at the end of this section.

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Hello! I'm Josh, and I'm a college student. Research paper writing is a kind of a hobby for me, maybe because I love the things I study. I hope that my experience will help you to get better grades.

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