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.
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.
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.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.To analyze something means to break it down into smaller parts and then examine how those parts work, both individually and together.Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length? ” “What happens to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird ?“Are Romeo and Juliet’s parents responsible for the deaths of their children? ” “What do the other characters in Julius Caesar think about Caesar?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.” “Why do pigs keep showing up in Lord of the Flies ? ” “How does Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter remind me of my sister?” 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.