How to Write a Literary Analysis
By Charlotte Decker and Jordan Smith
- Read the book and notice things
It is important to read the book you are analyzing and notice themes, character development, and most importantly author’s purpose.
Daniel is strolling cooly through school. Daniel’s vans are blue. They become red. Daniel’s vans change color. Finally, Daniel’s vans are white. A viner approaches and whips out phone, eying and recording his vans. He says, “Damn, Daniel. Back at it again with the white vans!”
Why does the author emphasize his white vans? Take note of the possibly purposeful theme of vans.
- Pick topic
Choose area of things you noticed that most resonate with you. For example, Daniel’s thematic white vans.
- Write thesis
Your thesis is key to the line of inquiry of your essay. Create a thesis using complex sentence structure, independent clause, dependent clause, subordinating conjunctions and all.
Through the author’s strategic repetition of white vans, the author emphasizes how damn cool Daniel’s white vans are.
- Pick quotes and analyze; relating to thesis
Choose quotes of importance that chronologically contribute to the development of your argument. Be sure that quotes lead to inference, not summary. Quotes dense with literary elements and not with plot text are cool. Analyze dissecting the author’s purposeful language in relation to their overall purpose and your thesis.
“Damn, Daniel. Back at it again with the white vans!” (last line)
The author strategically incorporates the literary technique alliteration with his opening statement in the viner’s dialogue, “Damn, Daniel”. Doing so, emphasizes the awe that the viner feels upon seeing the legendary white vans. The author further employs methodical punctuation in order to excite the reader, especially with the concluding exclamation point.
- Form introduction
Form your introduction with the following structure.
- Big world problem
- for example, Vans production
- Preview of literature
- for example, author name and vine name
- bridge to thesis and general overview of your topic
- (stated above)
- Form topic sentences
Form at least three planned body paragraph, stating intent regarding each body paragraph. Topic sentences should be complex
- By initially opens with Daniel’s blue vans, the author introduces Daniel as a character owning one of vans.
- Through changing Daniel’s vans color, the author develops complexity within Daniel’s character.
- Through the inclusion of the alternate perspective provided by the viner, the author reveals the final awesomeness of Daniel’s white vans.
- Write your conclusion
Restate your thesis and form your conclusion in somewhat of an upside nature of the structure of your introduction.