Tags: 5 Paragraph Essays On School UniformsBeckett Waiting For Godot EssayEssay SkeletonEssays Prologue To The Canterbury TalesCorrect Essays EnglishForm Dissertation GsasWhat Does An Essay Consist Of
When you read a work of literature in an English class, however, you’re being asked to read in a special way: you’re being asked to perform literary analysis.
A literary essay also isn’t like the kind of book report you wrote when you were younger, where your teacher wanted you to summarize the book’s action.
A high school- or college-level literary essay asks, “How does this piece of literature actually work? ” and, “Why might the author have made the choices he or she did?
Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about how the author uses those elements to create certain effects.
A literary essay isn’t a book review: you’re not being asked whether or not you liked a book or whether you’d recommend it to another reader.
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.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?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.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.You can help direct your reading and brainstorming by formulating your topic as a question, which you’ll then try to answer in your essay.The best questions invite critical debates and discussions, not just a rehashing of the summary.