Literary Analysis Essay - Complete Writing Guide (2023)

In academic life, students get to write many different types of essays. All types of essays have their importance. Also, essay writing is something that a student can never bypass.

Similarly, a literary analysis essay is a type of analytical essay for which an outline is very essential. There are certain elements that an outline is composed of. For more details on the outline, aliterary analysis essay outlinewill help you in making a good outline for your essay.

This essay tends to enhance writing and analytical skills. Also, writing a literary essay helps develop some excellent interpretive skills.

In this blog, get to know how to write a literary analysis essay. Examples and samples given below will help you to understand how a well-written essay looks like.

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Literary Analysis Essay - Complete Writing Guide (1)

What is a Literary Analysis Essay?

As the name of the essay “literary analysis” suggests, it is an analytical type of essay that analyses literature work. This essay can also analyze a small piece of content related to literature. Mainly, it is written to analyze and explain the main idea or the theme of a book you’ve read. Also, a literary analysis essay can be written on a play, short story, or drama.

From this, you should know that a literary essay is a type ofcollege essay. It can be about any book or any literary topic you can think of.

What is the Purpose of a Literary Analysis Essay?

Every essay type has a purpose of serving. A literary analysis essay aims to prove that a writer has examined and evaluated a work of literature in detail. But things might change according to the requirements. Your instructor might ask you to only focus on one particular part of a book or piece of literature.

In general, the purpose of a literary analysis essay is as follows:

(Video) How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay?

  • It allows you to analyze a particular aspect of the book or poem that you have read.
  • A literary analysis essay should allow you to express your thoughts and also your intellectual concept towards it.
  • This essay should also allow you to think and write as a critic.
  • In this essay, your goal should be to convince the reader that you’re making a valid point with your analysis.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

Literary essays can’t be written like any other essay type. As they aim to analyze a specific book or literature, it must be written in a very expressive and logical way.

Writing a literary essay on a book is not just about rephrasing it in a summarized way. To write this essay, you need to study the book first. Afterward, you will have to follow a particular writing format. To compose this essay, you will need to follow the following steps.

  1. Thoroughly read the chosen piece of literature. This will help you to write your literary analysis essay like professionals. Try to understand the plot and theme of the book and analyze the characters in detail.
  2. Choose an interesting literary topic for your essay.
  3. To write a high-quality essay, try to gather information from different but relevant sources.
  4. Create an outline for your essay. An outline will provide a definite structure for your essay.
  5. Make sure to start the outline with a hook statement and then develop your stance about the text.
  6. In the outline, include an introductory paragraph and also state your thesis statement.
  7. After the introduction, write down the body paragraphs, state all the supporting evidence to stand for your point of view.
  8. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence.
  9. Write a formal and concise conclusion to wrap up your essay.
  10. Once you are done writing your essay, proofread and revise it at least twice. This way, you will make your essay error-free.
  11. Once you are done with the writing and proofreading. Now it’s time that you work and understand the purpose of the literary analysis you have just written.
How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

Literary Analysis Essay Outline

An outline is an essential element for all kinds of essays or research papers. The outline provides the logic of the essay to the reader. Also, it serves as a guide for the reader throughout the essay. A good thesis always has a strong outline.

A literary analysis essay is a type ofanalytical essayfor which an outline is essential. There are certain elements that an outline is composed of.

A writer needs to follow a proper pattern and format to write those elements in the outline. Let us see what those elements are and the correct way to write them in an outline.

  1. Literary Analysis Essay Introduction

    The first part of a literary essay outline is the introduction. It is in the form of a paragraph, in which a writer is supposed to explain the aspect of the book or poem you’re going to analyze. In this part, you may also include the following elements.

    • Try to start the introduction with a hook sentence. You may use a quote, the context of which refers to the main idea of your essay.
    • Include some background information that is relevant to the piece of literature you are aiming to analyze.
    • Before you end the introduction, include a thesis statement for your essay. Usually, this is a single-line statement but may exceed two or a maximum of three small sentences.
  2. Literary Analysis Essay Body Paragraphs

    Once you are done writing the introduction, you explain the essay using the body paragraphs.

    (Video) Literary Analysis: A Beginner's Guide to Writing a Literary Analysis Essay

    In a literary analysis essay, there are usually three body paragraphs. Each paragraph is written to explain one of the critical elements. Make sure that you start writing the body paragraph with a topic sentence.

    A topic sentence is like an introduction to that particular paragraph. It gives an idea to the reader that what element will be discussed in the following paragraph.

    To end the paragraph, make sure to use a transitional sentence. This sentence will help you to create a logical connection with other parts of the essay.

  3. Literary Analysis Essay Conclusion

    Write a conclusion is the most technical task for essay writers. In this part, the writer needs to wrap up the essay in a meaningful way. The conclusion should present the way your literary work reflects the idea of the author.

    The conclusion should not be very extensive, and neither should it be very concise. Generally, the length of the conclusion is equal to or less to the length of the introductory paragraph. In conclusion, a new point should never be added as this will not give the reader a sense of completion.

    If you are wondering, what is the fundamental characteristic of a literary analysis essay? An ‘outline’ is the answer to this question. Being a student, you must know how tocreate an outlinefor your essay. A good outline will do half of your essay writing job.

Literary Analysis Essay Example

Examples help to understand things in a better way. Here are a few good examples of a literary analysis essay. Read them thoroughly to see how a well-written essay looks like.

Literary Analysis Example
Sample Literary Analysis Essay

Most of you must have heard about the famous series “The Lord Of The Rings.” Here is the literary analysis of its book.

The Lord of the Rings

Almost all of us have heard about The Great Gatsby. In the literary analysis of The Great Gatsby, literature is a medium that allows authors to express personal beliefs and value to others in a variety of ways.

Here is a well-written literary analysis of this famous book.

(Video) How to Do Literary Analysis (It’s Easy!)

The Great Gatsby Literary Analysis Essay

Literary analysis essays are assigned not just to higher educational levels but also to high school students. Here is an example of a literary essay written for students of 8th grade.

Literary Analysis Example for 8th Grade

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Literary Analysis Essay - Complete Writing Guide (3)

Literature Analysis Essay Topics

To write a good essay, you need to have a good topic. Here we have summed up some fantastic and exciting topics to help you write an excellent literary analysis essay.

  1. Analyze the historical context of the book ‘forty rules of love.’
  2. Analyze how does an author’s background influence their writing niche?
  3. Review the most potent literary devices used by the author.
  4. Analyze the significance of a book and its influence on other writers.
  5. Discuss the settings and background and how they support the storyline.
  6. Evaluate the mood of the story and its effect on your emotional state.
  7. Analyze the antagonist’s motivation and raison d’être.
  8. Assess the efficiency of foreshadowing in the book.
  9. Advantages and disadvantages of playing video games for children
  10. Is addiction a personal choice or disease?
  11. How does single parenting affect the physical and psychological well-being of a child?
  12. How are upbringing and personality related?
  13. Investigate the writer’s inspiration and hidden meanings.
  14. Effect of peer pressure on a child’s personality

Essay writing is a time-consuming task. Students already have a bundle of assignments to take care of. In many cases, it is seen that academic stress can lead the students to have a disturbed mental state.

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(Video) Write an Introduction for a Literary Analysis Essay

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Literary Analysis Essay - Complete Writing Guide (4)


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For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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