A Step-by-Step Guide for Literary Analysis
Helpful Hints on Literary Analysis
An important part of life-learning is to enjoy and gain from literature. An ability to analyze literary works can help enhance understanding and appreciation of literary works. For this purpose, I have designed The Step-by-Step Guide for Literary Analysis.
This Guide contains 'Literary Analysis Worksheets' which aim to provide concrete step-by-step help for analyzing a literary work, be it a novel, a play, or a movie. When used as directed, the 'Worksheets' can help you develop an independent ability to explicate, analyze and appreciate works of literature.
Before you use the Worksheets, let's understand and emphasize these:
- In order to acquire an independent ability to analyze literary works, it is crucial that you do not do any research or read anything on a literary work before , during and after reading it. NO research of any kind!
- You want to read the primary work closely page-by-page on your own for an original, independent reading experience.
- When reading, try to trace the story-line for major happenings. You may not want to stop midway, for example, to check the dictionary for a new word, unless that word has appeared several times and is important for comprehension. Just try to follow and enjoy the plot, reading with a positive, open, relaxed and focused mind.
- After you finish reading the work, you can start using the Worksheets in the given sequential order. Do Worksheets A (Plot), B (Characters), C (Theme) first, since they can help you gain a good general understanding of the literary work. As such, they can be regarded as the 'Foundation Worksheets'.
- Then, you can proceed to using other Worksheets such as D (Character Analysis) and E (Relationship Analysis) for more in-depth analysis of the work.
- Since a literary analysis essay cannot cover every aspect of a literary work, you need to choose a clear and manageable focus. Whatever you choose to focus on, be sure to tie your analysis to your theme interpretation. In other words, your theme statement governs the analysis essay, just like a thesis.
- A literary analysis paper has the same requirements as a college essay. It should be complete with a title, an introduction with a thesis, body paragraphs headed with topic sentences, and a conclusion. It should be focused, organized, coherent and well supported.
- A literary analysis differs from other college essay assignments in that it uses the primary source for supporting details. For clarity and credibility, it is crucial to use quotation marks and cite the source whenever using words directly from the work, like this: " " (Last Name page).
Enjoy Literary Analysis!