How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

Updated: June 14, 2023

In essence, a literary analysis essay involves dissecting a piece of literature, be it a poem, novel, or any other work, to identify its various components. To accomplish this task, a student must have a deep comprehension of the literary work and the ability to analyze it and draw conclusions.

During the analysis, students should identify the main ideas, themes, and literary devices employed by the author to convey their message. For example, if the author, such as Virginia Woolf, is known for using the stream-of-consciousness technique in their works, the student should locate the specific passages where this technique is used.

Additionally, the essay’s conclusion is a crucial component that summarizes the analysis. However, it’s essential to avoid certain pitfalls while writing a literary analysis essay.

For instance, the essay should not retell the author’s background or plot. Instead, students can use quotes and facts to support their analysis, but retelling the entire story is irrelevant and redundant. Doing so suggests that the student lacks the necessary analytical skills and understanding of the literary work.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay?

So, what is a literary analysis essay, and how to complete it? It is a complex piece of writing that requires attention to detail and good knowledge of the original work that is analyzed.

To start, get acquainted with the piece you need to analyze. It means you need to read it from A to Z and make sure you understand the main theme, highlight the most impressive figures of speech, and can identify how the theme is supported by the arguments and examples.

The next step will be creating the outline for the paper. It can be changed in the process, it is not an obligatory document, but helpful. The outline creates a framework within which you can create your analysis.

Remember that all ideas you present should be divided into different passages.

The main body section contains the largest chunk information in the essay. Present one idea in one paragraph. Build the paragraphs according to the importance and chronological order in which ideas appear.

The last paragraph of the main body should be the concluding one, but remember that it is still not a conclusion. The summary and your final verdict are going to be presented in the conclusion which is the last paragraph or two of your essay.

Start in Advance

If you are new to this, then start by looking through the literary analysis essay definition. As soon as you understand it, move on to the next step.

Analyze Requirements

Although you can find standardized literary analysis essay example online, it happens that the instructor adds more requirements, or modifies them. Hence, your task is to know what your purpose is not to miss any important detail.

Gather Reference Sources

You will use a lot of resources to conduct the analysis, depending on the size of the literary piece, your list can be quite extended. Include the original book/novel, and the theoretical sources you used.

Write From Scratch

The basic recommendation on how to write a literary analysis essay is to avoid plagiarizing. It should be written from scratch with your words, and the sources used should be cited. If you insert quotes, you need to cite them according to the formatting style you were given in the requirements.

Edit & Proofread

A point often overlooked is editing. After you finish the analysis, you need to read it again and check if the logical structure is there. Maybe some paragraphs need to shorten/ extended, or changed places. Look if you can differentiate between the introduction, main body, and the conclusion of your essay. It should not be one solid unit.

Literary Analysis Essay Example

The outline of any paper is a useful piece for a student. It helps to structure the thoughts and smoothes the writing. The literary analysis essay outline of the paper may look different, but the basic components are:

  • Introduction 1.
  • Main body (topic 1, topic 2, topic 3).

– Topic 1 (paragraph).

– Topic 2 (paragraph).

– Topic 3(paragraph).

  • Conclusion 1.

The main body may contain as many ideas as needed but they should be divided into paragraphs.

Literary Analysis Essay Example

The purpose of this essay is to conduct a thorough analysis of the story written by Kate Chopin. The short novel called “The Story of an Hour” displays the social status of women in the society of the 19th century. It illustrates the helplessness, meaningless existence of women caused by the male society of that time.

The protagonist of the novel is placed in a situation where she does not have a right for an honest reaction to something that happened in her family. One day, she receives the news that her husband passed away. What everyone thought came as a shock for Mrs. Mallard felt like a burden came off her shoulders. Since she lived with her husband since the time she was a young girl, she never knew any other life than being a housewife. She always wanted to be something else, but was never given a choice. Now that he passed away, she feels free.

The author managed to perfectly transfer the feelings and emotions of helplessness to the reader with the help of the technique the flow of consciousness. The flow of Mrs. Mallard’s consciousness runs through the whole story and is supported by impeccable narrations of Kate Chopin.

In conclusion, Kate Chopin takes the breath of the reader away by killing the protagonist. Mrs. Mallard finds out that her husband is alive, and dies. The relatives think she died of a shock, when in reality the reader understands that she died knowing her cage is not broken, and she needs to go back.

Literary Analysis Essay Help

When looking for sample literary analysis essay, high school students often go online and download the first thing they see. It is a common mistake and a lie that people fall for. Foremost, any analysis has special requirements, and your teacher has most probably sent them to you. If you download the pre-written piece, the high chances are that your classmate did the same, and you will end up in trouble.

What are the solutions then? This creative and demanding task needs an individual approach, as well as an expert. Firstly, it should be someone who read the full piece you were given and knows what special features it has. Only by pointing out the undiscovered features of the piece will your essay be authentic. If you provide the quotes that nobody paid attention to before, your essay will have an A grade.

So, do not torture yourself with understanding the sophisticated literary language and get assistance from the pro essay writer.

George Lynch
George Lynch
Literature, Psychology, Religion
Experience: 3+ years
I’ve been enjoying academic writing since day one in college. Today, having a full-time job, I’m still looking forward to writing essays and research papers online for others.
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