Writing Literary Essay Structure
” No one is born knowing how to analyze literature; it’s a skill you learn and a process you can master.
As you gain more practice with this kind of thinking and writing, you’ll be able to craft a method that works best for you. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you.
Maybe the title Happy Days totally disagrees with the book’s subject matter (hungry orphans dying in the woods).
Maybe the main character acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his friends and associates.
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.
If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay. Maybe you were surprised to see a character act in a certain way, or maybe you didn’t understand why the book ended the way it did.
Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a sweater: if you pull on it, you can unravel the entire thing.
” Once you know what question you want to answer, it’s time to scour the book for things that will help you answer the question.Maybe you’re looking for inspiration, guidance, or a reflection of your own life.There are as many different, valid ways of reading a book as there are books in the world.Eventually, you’ll start making connections between these examples and your thesis will emerge.Here’s a brief summary of the various parts that compose each and every work of literature.But until then, here are seven basic steps to writing a well-constructed literary essay: When you’re assigned a literary essay in class, your teacher will often provide you with a list of writing prompts. You’ll have a much better (not to mention easier) time if you start off with something you enjoy thinking about. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: What struck you?If you are asked to come up with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little panicked. Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long time?Remember, you’re looking for something you can prove or argue based on evidence you find in the text.Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: is this a topic you can adequately address within the word or page limit you’ve been given?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.