Introductions to literary analysis papers

Most published papers also have abstracts: brief summaries of the most important points of the paper. Abstracts appear in academic database search results so that readers can quickly determine whether the paper is pertinent to their own research. If a peer or professor asks you what the essay is about—what the point of the essay is—you should be able to respond clearly and concisely in a single sentence.

What this handout is about

That single sentence is your thesis statement. It presents an overarching argument and may also identify the main support points for the argument. In essence, the thesis statement is a road map, telling the reader where the paper is going and how it will get there. The thesis statement plays an important role in the writing process.

Frequently referring back to that thesis statement will prevent you from straying off-topic during the drafting phase. Of course, the thesis statement can and should be revised to reflect changes in the content or direction of the paper. Its ultimate goal, after all, is to capture the main ideas of your paper with clarity and specificity. Academic writers from every field face similar challenges during the writing process.

You can improve your own academic writing by avoiding these common mistakes. Share Flipboard Email. Olivia Valdes is a college admissions consultant and the founder of Zen Admissions. Clear and limited focus. The focus of an academic paper—the argument or research question—is established early by the thesis statement.

Every paragraph and sentence of the paper connects back to that primary focus. While the paper may include background or contextual information, all content serves the purpose of supporting the thesis statement. Logical structure. All academic writing follows a logical, straightforward structure. Some plays follow a traditional three-or five-act structure, while others are a series of loosely connected scenes. Some authors deliberately leave gaps in their works, leaving readers to puzzle out the missing information. Point of view The perspective from which a story is told.

In first-person point of view , the narrator involves him or herself in the story. In third-person point of view , the narrator does not participate in the story.

Writing a Literary Analysis Essay

Omniscient narrators see and know all: they can witness any event in any time or place and are privy to the inner thoughts and feelings of all characters. Remember that the narrator and the author are not the same thing! Diction Word choice. Whether a character uses dry, clinical language or flowery prose with lots of exclamation points can tell you a lot about his or her attitude and personality. Syntax Word order and sentence construction. Ernest Hemingway, for example, is known for writing in very short, straightforward sentences, while James Joyce characteristically wrote in long, incredibly complicated lines.

Definition of Literary Analysis

Tone The mood or feeling of the text. Diction and syntax often contribute to the tone of a work.

A novel written in short, clipped sentences that use small, simple words might feel brusque, cold, or matter-of-fact. Imagery Language that appeals to the senses, representing things that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched. Figurative language Language that is not meant to be interpreted literally. A good thesis will be: Arguable. Provable through textual evidence. Trace Choose an image—for example, birds, knives, or eyes—and trace that image throughout Macbeth.

Debate Is the society depicted in good for its citizens? However long it is, your introduction needs to: Provide any necessary context. Present your thesis. This usually happens at or very near the end of your introduction. Indicate the shape of the essay to come. Your introduction should not: Be vague. Open with any grandiose assertions. Wildly praise the work. Go off-topic.

The organization of this middle section of your essay will largely be determined by the argumentative strategy you use, but no matter how you arrange your thoughts, your body paragraphs need to do the following: Begin with a strong topic sentence. Fully and completely develop a single thought. Use transitions effectively. A good conclusion will: Do more than simply restate the thesis. Synthesize the arguments, not summarize them. Move from the specific to the general.

https://therfcompcoxe.tk

Writing Perfect Literary Analysis: Outline, Essay Structure

Stay relevant. Avoid making overblown closing statements. Antagonist The entity that acts to frustrate the goals of the protagonist. The antagonist is usually another character but may also be a non-human force. Character A person, animal, or any other thing with a personality that appears in a narrative.

What Is an Analytical Essay and How to Write it Successfully?

Climax The moment of greatest intensity in a text or the major turning point in the plot. Conflict The central struggle that moves the plot forward. Imagery Language that brings to mind sense-impressions, representing things that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched. Motif A recurring idea, structure, contrast, or device that develops or informs the major themes of a work of literature. Narrative A story. Narrator The person sometimes a character who tells a story; the voice assumed by the writer.

The narrator and the author of the work of literature are not the same person. Plot The arrangement of the events in a story, including the sequence in which they are told, the relative emphasis they are given, and the causal connections between events. Point of view The perspective that a narrative takes toward the events it describes.

Protagonist The main character around whom the story revolves. Setting The location of a narrative in time and space.

Setting creates mood or atmosphere. Subplot A secondary plot that is of less importance to the overall story but may serve as a point of contrast or comparison to the main plot. Symbol An object, character, figure, or color that is used to represent an abstract idea or concept.