Literary Analysis Essay Format
These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments.
For more on the parts of literary works, see the Glossary of Literary Terms at the end of this section.
” “Why do pigs keep showing up in Lord of the Flies ? ” “How does Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter remind me of my sister?
When you’ve examined all the evidence you’ve collected and know how you want to answer the question, it’s time to write your thesis statement.
Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole. Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book?
If you can figure out how that pattern weaves through the work and what the significance of that pattern is, you’ve almost got your entire essay mapped out. Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities.
A thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by evidence and arguments.
The thesis statement is the heart of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to prove this claim.