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- How to write a literary analysis essay | A step-by-step guide
How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay | A Step-by-Step Guide
Published on January 30, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on September 2, 2022.
Literary analysis means closely studying a text, interpreting its meanings, and exploring why the author made certain choices. It can be applied to novels, short stories, plays, poems, or any other form of literary writing.
A literary analysis essay is not a rhetorical analysis , nor is it just a summary of the plot or a book review. Instead, it is a type of argumentative essay where you need to analyze elements such as the language, perspective, and structure of the text, and explain how the author uses literary devices to create effects and convey ideas.
Before beginning a literary analysis essay, it’s essential to carefully read the text and c ome up with a thesis statement to keep your essay focused. As you write, follow the standard structure of an academic essay :
- An introduction that tells the reader what your essay will focus on.
- A main body, divided into paragraphs , that builds an argument using evidence from the text.
- A conclusion that clearly states the main point that you have shown with your analysis.
Table of contents
Step 1: reading the text and identifying literary devices, step 2: coming up with a thesis, step 3: writing a title and introduction, step 4: writing the body of the essay, step 5: writing a conclusion.
The first step is to carefully read the text(s) and take initial notes. As you read, pay attention to the things that are most intriguing, surprising, or even confusing in the writing—these are things you can dig into in your analysis.
Your goal in literary analysis is not simply to explain the events described in the text, but to analyze the writing itself and discuss how the text works on a deeper level. Primarily, you’re looking out for literary devices —textual elements that writers use to convey meaning and create effects. If you’re comparing and contrasting multiple texts, you can also look for connections between different texts.
To get started with your analysis, there are several key areas that you can focus on. As you analyze each aspect of the text, try to think about how they all relate to each other. You can use highlights or notes to keep track of important passages and quotes.
Consider what style of language the author uses. Are the sentences short and simple or more complex and poetic?
What word choices stand out as interesting or unusual? Are words used figuratively to mean something other than their literal definition? Figurative language includes things like metaphor (e.g. “her eyes were oceans”) and simile (e.g. “her eyes were like oceans”).
Also keep an eye out for imagery in the text—recurring images that create a certain atmosphere or symbolize something important. Remember that language is used in literary texts to say more than it means on the surface.
- Who is telling the story?
- How are they telling it?
Is it a first-person narrator (“I”) who is personally involved in the story, or a third-person narrator who tells us about the characters from a distance?
Consider the narrator’s perspective . Is the narrator omniscient (where they know everything about all the characters and events), or do they only have partial knowledge? Are they an unreliable narrator who we are not supposed to take at face value? Authors often hint that their narrator might be giving us a distorted or dishonest version of events.
The tone of the text is also worth considering. Is the story intended to be comic, tragic, or something else? Are usually serious topics treated as funny, or vice versa ? Is the story realistic or fantastical (or somewhere in between)?
Consider how the text is structured, and how the structure relates to the story being told.
- Novels are often divided into chapters and parts.
- Poems are divided into lines, stanzas, and sometime cantos.
- Plays are divided into scenes and acts.
Think about why the author chose to divide the different parts of the text in the way they did.
There are also less formal structural elements to take into account. Does the story unfold in chronological order, or does it jump back and forth in time? Does it begin in medias res —in the middle of the action? Does the plot advance towards a clearly defined climax?
With poetry, consider how the rhyme and meter shape your understanding of the text and your impression of the tone. Try reading the poem aloud to get a sense of this.
In a play, you might consider how relationships between characters are built up through different scenes, and how the setting relates to the action. Watch out for dramatic irony , where the audience knows some detail that the characters don’t, creating a double meaning in their words, thoughts, or actions.
Your thesis in a literary analysis essay is the point you want to make about the text. It’s the core argument that gives your essay direction and prevents it from just being a collection of random observations about a text.
If you’re given a prompt for your essay, your thesis must answer or relate to the prompt. For example:
Essay question example
Is Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” a religious parable?
Your thesis statement should be an answer to this question—not a simple yes or no, but a statement of why this is or isn’t the case:
Thesis statement example
Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” is not a religious parable, but a story about bureaucratic alienation.
Sometimes you’ll be given freedom to choose your own topic; in this case, you’ll have to come up with an original thesis. Consider what stood out to you in the text; ask yourself questions about the elements that interested you, and consider how you might answer them.
Your thesis should be something arguable—that is, something that you think is true about the text, but which is not a simple matter of fact. It must be complex enough to develop through evidence and arguments across the course of your essay.
Say you’re analyzing the novel Frankenstein . You could start by asking yourself:
Your initial answer might be a surface-level description:
The character Frankenstein is portrayed negatively in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .
However, this statement is too simple to be an interesting thesis. After reading the text and analyzing its narrative voice and structure, you can develop the answer into a more nuanced and arguable thesis statement:
Mary Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.
Remember that you can revise your thesis statement throughout the writing process , so it doesn’t need to be perfectly formulated at this stage. The aim is to keep you focused as you analyze the text.
Finding textual evidence
To support your thesis statement, your essay will build an argument using textual evidence —specific parts of the text that demonstrate your point. This evidence is quoted and analyzed throughout your essay to explain your argument to the reader.
It can be useful to comb through the text in search of relevant quotations before you start writing. You might not end up using everything you find, and you may have to return to the text for more evidence as you write, but collecting textual evidence from the beginning will help you to structure your arguments and assess whether they’re convincing.
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To start your literary analysis paper, you’ll need two things: a good title, and an introduction.
Your title should clearly indicate what your analysis will focus on. It usually contains the name of the author and text(s) you’re analyzing. Keep it as concise and engaging as possible.
A common approach to the title is to use a relevant quote from the text, followed by a colon and then the rest of your title.
If you struggle to come up with a good title at first, don’t worry—this will be easier once you’ve begun writing the essay and have a better sense of your arguments.
“Fearful symmetry” : The violence of creation in William Blake’s “The Tyger”
The essay introduction provides a quick overview of where your argument is going. It should include your thesis statement and a summary of the essay’s structure.
A typical structure for an introduction is to begin with a general statement about the text and author, using this to lead into your thesis statement. You might refer to a commonly held idea about the text and show how your thesis will contradict it, or zoom in on a particular device you intend to focus on.
Then you can end with a brief indication of what’s coming up in the main body of the essay. This is called signposting. It will be more elaborate in longer essays, but in a short five-paragraph essay structure, it shouldn’t be more than one sentence.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.
Some students prefer to write the introduction later in the process, and it’s not a bad idea. After all, you’ll have a clearer idea of the overall shape of your arguments once you’ve begun writing them!
If you do write the introduction first, you should still return to it later to make sure it lines up with what you ended up writing, and edit as necessary.
The body of your essay is everything between the introduction and conclusion. It contains your arguments and the textual evidence that supports them.
A typical structure for a high school literary analysis essay consists of five paragraphs : the three paragraphs of the body, plus the introduction and conclusion.
Each paragraph in the main body should focus on one topic. In the five-paragraph model, try to divide your argument into three main areas of analysis, all linked to your thesis. Don’t try to include everything you can think of to say about the text—only analysis that drives your argument.
In longer essays, the same principle applies on a broader scale. For example, you might have two or three sections in your main body, each with multiple paragraphs. Within these sections, you still want to begin new paragraphs at logical moments—a turn in the argument or the introduction of a new idea.
Robert’s first encounter with Gil-Martin suggests something of his sinister power. Robert feels “a sort of invisible power that drew me towards him.” He identifies the moment of their meeting as “the beginning of a series of adventures which has puzzled myself, and will puzzle the world when I am no more in it” (p. 89). Gil-Martin’s “invisible power” seems to be at work even at this distance from the moment described; before continuing the story, Robert feels compelled to anticipate at length what readers will make of his narrative after his approaching death. With this interjection, Hogg emphasizes the fatal influence Gil-Martin exercises from his first appearance.
To keep your points focused, it’s important to use a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph.
A good topic sentence allows a reader to see at a glance what the paragraph is about. It can introduce a new line of argument and connect or contrast it with the previous paragraph. Transition words like “however” or “moreover” are useful for creating smooth transitions:
… The story’s focus, therefore, is not upon the divine revelation that may be waiting beyond the door, but upon the mundane process of aging undergone by the man as he waits.
Nevertheless, the “radiance” that appears to stream from the door is typically treated as religious symbolism.
This topic sentence signals that the paragraph will address the question of religious symbolism, while the linking word “nevertheless” points out a contrast with the previous paragraph’s conclusion.
Using textual evidence
A key part of literary analysis is backing up your arguments with relevant evidence from the text. This involves introducing quotes from the text and explaining their significance to your point.
It’s important to contextualize quotes and explain why you’re using them; they should be properly introduced and analyzed, not treated as self-explanatory:
It isn’t always necessary to use a quote. Quoting is useful when you’re discussing the author’s language, but sometimes you’ll have to refer to plot points or structural elements that can’t be captured in a short quote.
In these cases, it’s more appropriate to paraphrase or summarize parts of the text—that is, to describe the relevant part in your own words:
The conclusion of your analysis shouldn’t introduce any new quotations or arguments. Instead, it’s about wrapping up the essay. Here, you summarize your key points and try to emphasize their significance to the reader.
A good way to approach this is to briefly summarize your key arguments, and then stress the conclusion they’ve led you to, highlighting the new perspective your thesis provides on the text as a whole:
By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.
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A Full Guide to Writing a Perfect Poem Analysis Essay
01 October, 2020
14 minutes read
Author: Elizabeth Brown
Poem analysis is one of the most complicated essay types. It requires the utmost creativity and dedication. Even those who regularly attend a literary class and have enough experience in poem analysis essay elaboration may face considerable difficulties while dealing with the particular poem. The given article aims to provide the detailed guidelines on how to write a poem analysis, elucidate the main principles of writing the essay of the given type, and share with you the handy tips that will help you get the highest score for your poetry analysis. In addition to developing analysis skills, you would be able to take advantage of the poetry analysis essay example to base your poetry analysis essay on, as well as learn how to find a way out in case you have no motivation and your creative assignment must be presented on time.
What Is a Poetry Analysis Essay?
A poetry analysis essay is a type of creative write-up that implies reviewing a poem from different perspectives by dealing with its structural, artistic, and functional pieces. Since the poetry expresses very complicated feelings that may have different meanings depending on the backgrounds of both author and reader, it would not be enough just to focus on the text of the poem you are going to analyze. Poetry has a lot more complex structure and cannot be considered without its special rhythm, images, as well as implied and obvious sense.
While analyzing the poem, the students need to do in-depth research as to its content, taking into account the effect the poetry has or may have on the readers.
Preparing for the Poetry Analysis Writing
The process of preparation for the poem analysis essay writing is almost as important as writing itself. Without completing these stages, you may be at risk of failing your creative assignment. Learn them carefully to remember once and for good.
Thoroughly read the poem several times
The rereading of the poem assigned for analysis will help to catch its concepts and ideas. You will have a possibility to define the rhythm of the poem, its type, and list the techniques applied by the author.
While identifying the type of the poem, you need to define whether you are dealing with:
- Lyric poem – the one that elucidates feelings, experiences, and the emotional state of the author. It is usually short and doesn’t contain any narration;
- Limerick – consists of 5 lines, the first, second, and fifth of which rhyme with one another;
- Sonnet – a poem consisting of 14 lines characterized by an iambic pentameter. William Shakespeare wrote sonnets which have made him famous;
- Ode – 10-line poem aimed at praising someone or something;
- Haiku – a short 3-line poem originated from Japan. It reflects the deep sense hidden behind the ordinary phenomena and events of the physical world;
- Free-verse – poetry with no rhyme.
The type of the poem usually affects its structure and content, so it is important to be aware of all the recognized kinds to set a proper beginning to your poetry analysis.
Find out more about the poem background
Find as much information as possible about the author of the poem, the cultural background of the period it was written in, preludes to its creation, etc. All these data will help you get a better understanding of the poem’s sense and explain much to you in terms of the concepts the poem contains.
Define a subject matter of the poem
This is one of the most challenging tasks since as a rule, the subject matter of the poem isn’t clearly stated by the poets. They don’t want the readers to know immediately what their piece of writing is about and suggest everyone find something different between the lines.
What is the subject matter? In a nutshell, it is the main idea of the poem. Usually, a poem may have a couple of subjects, that is why it is important to list each of them.
In order to correctly identify the goals of a definite poem, you would need to dive into the in-depth research.
Check the historical background of the poetry. The author might have been inspired to write a poem based on some events that occurred in those times or people he met. The lines you analyze may be generated by his reaction to some epoch events. All this information can be easily found online.
Choose poem theories you will support
In the variety of ideas the poem may convey, it is important to stick to only several most important messages you think the author wanted to share with the readers. Each of the listed ideas must be supported by the corresponding evidence as proof of your opinion.
The poetry analysis essay format allows elaborating on several theses that have the most value and weight. Try to build your writing not only on the pure facts that are obvious from the context but also your emotions and feelings the analyzed lines provoke in you.
How to Choose a Poem to Analyze?
If you are free to choose the piece of writing you will base your poem analysis essay on, it is better to select the one you are already familiar with. This may be your favorite poem or one that you have read and analyzed before. In case you face difficulties choosing the subject area of a particular poem, then the best way will be to focus on the idea you feel most confident about. In such a way, you would be able to elaborate on the topic and describe it more precisely.
Now, when you are familiar with the notion of the poetry analysis essay, it’s high time to proceed to poem analysis essay outline. Follow the steps mentioned below to ensure a brilliant structure to your creative assignment.
Best Poem Analysis Essay Topics
- Mother To Son Poem Analysis
- We Real Cool Poem Analysis
- Invictus Poem Analysis
- Richard Cory Poem Analysis
- Ozymandias Poem Analysis
- Barbie Doll Poem Analysis
- Caged Bird Poem Analysis
- Ulysses Poem Analysis
- Dover Beach Poem Analysis
- Annabelle Lee Poem Analysis
- Daddy Poem Analysis
- The Raven Poem Analysis
- The Second Coming Poem Analysis
- Still I Rise Poem Analysis
- If Poem Analysis
- Fire And Ice Poem Analysis
- My Papa’S Waltz Poem Analysis
- Harlem Poem Analysis
- Kubla Khan Poem Analysis
- I Too Poem Analysis
- The Juggler Poem Analysis
- The Fish Poem Analysis
- Jabberwocky Poem Analysis
- Charge Of The Light Brigade Poem Analysis
- The Road Not Taken Poem Analysis
- Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus Poem Analysis
- The History Teacher Poem Analysis
- One Art Poem Analysis
- The Wanderer Poem Analysis
- We Wear The Mask Poem Analysis
- There Will Come Soft Rains Poem Analysis
- Digging Poem Analysis
- The Highwayman Poem Analysis
- The Tyger Poem Analysis
- London Poem Analysis
- Sympathy Poem Analysis
- I Am Joaquin Poem Analysis
- This Is Just To Say Poem Analysis
- Sex Without Love Poem Analysis
- Strange Fruit Poem Analysis
- Dulce Et Decorum Est Poem Analysis
- Emily Dickinson Poem Analysis
- The Flea Poem Analysis
- The Lamb Poem Analysis
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Poem Analysis
- My Last Duchess Poetry Analysis
Poem Analysis Essay Outline
As has already been stated, a poetry analysis essay is considered one of the most challenging tasks for the students. Despite the difficulties you may face while dealing with it, the structure of the given type of essay is quite simple. It consists of the introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion. In order to get a better understanding of the poem analysis essay structure, check the brief guidelines below.
This will be the first section of your essay. The main purpose of the introductory paragraph is to give a reader an idea of what the essay is about and what theses it conveys. The introduction should start with the title of the essay and end with the thesis statement.
The main goal of the introduction is to make readers feel intrigued about the whole concept of the essay and serve as a hook to grab their attention. Include some interesting information about the author, the historical background of the poem, some poem trivia, etc. There is no need to make the introduction too extensive. On the contrary, it should be brief and logical.
The body section should form the main part of poetry analysis. Make sure you have determined a clear focus for your analysis and are ready to elaborate on the main message and meaning of the poem. Mention the tone of the poetry, its speaker, try to describe the recipient of the poem’s idea. Don’t forget to identify the poetic devices and language the author uses to reach the main goals. Describe the imagery and symbolism of the poem, its sound and rhythm.
Try not to stick to too many ideas in your body section, since it may make your essay difficult to understand and too chaotic to perceive. Generalization, however, is also not welcomed. Try to be specific in the description of your perspective.
Make sure the transitions between your paragraphs are smooth and logical to make your essay flow coherent and easy to catch.
In a nutshell, the essay conclusion is a paraphrased thesis statement. Mention it again but in different words to remind the readers of the main purpose of your essay. Sum up the key claims and stress the most important information. The conclusion cannot contain any new ideas and should be used to create a strong impact on the reader. This is your last chance to share your opinion with the audience and convince them your essay is worth readers’ attention.
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Poem Analysis Essay Examples
A good poem analysis essay example may serve as a real magic wand to your creative assignment. You may take a look at the structure the other essay authors have used, follow their tone, and get a great share of inspiration and motivation.
Check several poetry analysis essay examples that may be of great assistance:
Writing Tips for a Poetry Analysis Essay
If you read carefully all the instructions on how to write a poetry analysis essay provided above, you have probably realized that this is not the easiest assignment on Earth. However, you cannot fail and should try your best to present a brilliant essay to get the highest score. To make your life even easier, check these handy tips on how to analysis poetry with a few little steps.
- In case you have a chance to choose a poem for analysis by yourself, try to focus on one you are familiar with, you are interested in, or your favorite one. The writing process will be smooth and easy in case you are working on the task you truly enjoy.
- Before you proceed to the analysis itself, read the poem out loud to your colleague or just to yourself. It will help you find out some hidden details and senses that may result in new ideas.
- Always check the meaning of words you don’t know. Poetry is quite a tricky phenomenon where a single word or phrase can completely change the meaning of the whole piece.
- Bother to double check if the conclusion of your essay is based on a single idea and is logically linked to the main body. Such an approach will demonstrate your certain focus and clearly elucidate your views.
- Read between the lines. Poetry is about senses and emotions – it rarely contains one clearly stated subject matter. Describe the hidden meanings and mention the feelings this has provoked in you. Try to elaborate a full picture that would be based on what is said and what is meant.
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How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay
10 May 2021
What is a literary analysis essay and what is its purpose, what must literature essays include.
How to write a title and introduction to a literature essay?
How to write a body paragraph for a literature essay?
How to write a conclusion for a literature essay?
In order to write an essay, you need a plan to adhere to the correct structure and composition. When the idea of writing appears in your head, write it, because inspiration is fleeting. It may seem that a literary essay is much more difficult to write than any other type, but with our advice, you will surely succeed. So how to write a literary analysis essay?
The purpose of a literature essay analysis is to evaluate and examine a particular literary work or some aspect of it. It describes the main topic or idea of the book you read.
This can be achieved by breaking the work down into composite analysis. In order to better understand a particular literary work, it is necessary to study its main elements. And in different genres of literature, you will refer to different schemes. For example, in the analysis of the poem, you will touch upon various types of paintings in the poem or the relationship of the content and form of the work. When analyzing the play, you can revise the whole plot and describe its analysis or, for example, study the main tragic hero, his shortcomings or advantages that will be visible in his development along with the text.
How to start a literary analysis? When you just read a book, it draws more attention to your own emotions and experiences that provide the pleasure of reading. But while writing a literary analysis essay, the main thing is to consider these points:
- The style of the work
- Form for submitting ideas
- The relationship between form and content
- The relationship between the main plot and the subplot
- Strengths and weaknesses of characters
- Strengths and weaknesses of the plot
Writing is a pointed, focused expression of thought and study. When you develop in writing, then along with this, your perception of the world develops and your critical thinking and analysis skills improve. You develop creative thinking and ideas because without them there would be no writing. The main goal in a literary and analytical essay is to appeal to the reader in such a way that he sees what position you hold and goes over to your side. There must be concrete development, the writing of the text must be decisive and has no right to stumble.
As you can see, control, structure, and adherence to the rules for writing an essay are important. The first thing you need to find is the main idea. In other words, a thesis in which there should be several paragraphs. This is necessary in order to show the gradation of thought: how thoughts grow and develop from one central idea. You must do everything to develop the thesis and to convey your main idea to the reader. Ideally, the reader would be inclined to accept your idea correctly and be on your side.
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Here are the basic principles of this essay:
- Your work should fully highlight the topic you are writing about.
- The essay should have the main idea, which will be the starting point for the development of all work.
- The structure of the essay should be written in such a way that the reader comes to conclusions regarding the main idea that will be described.
The main thing here is to avoid having to write all the thoughts that come to your mind after reading the book. Always stick to the structure.
- Formulate a specific topic, which will proceed from the central idea about which you want to tell the reader.
- There should be a central thesis from which it will immediately become clear what your work is about. It should be understandable. Everything that you write in your essay should relate to this thesis and confirm it.
- The basic structure of any form of academic writing includes an introduction, a framework, and a conclusion . This formula must be adhered to while writing a literary essay. In any case, do not hesitate to ask for help, because buying essays online from professional writers will make your job easier.
✏️Examples of literary analysis:
In “A Worn Way”, the author Eudora Welty creates a fictional character, Phoenix Jackson, who collects traits such as determination, faith, and cunning to illustrate the indestructible human spirit.
This is a very strong thesis because everything is collected here: the work itself and its author are indicated, and character as well to be analyzed. The emphasis here is on the word "creates." Because here the author of the work will explore the character of the hero and his main characteristics. This element emphasizes what the hero’s analysis will be based on created determination, faith and cunning.
✏️Other examples of literary analysis:
The image and character of the Nurses in Romeo and Juliet envelops the main character - Juliet - with warmth, joy, and wit, but at the same time helps the reader realize the tragic catastrophe.
The works of poets such as Rumi, Hafiz and Kabir use such strong emotional symbols as the lover's longing and the destroyed inn, which demonstrate the desire of a person (his soul) to reunite with the Creator.
How to Write a Title and Introduction to a Literature Essay?
A proper literary analysis essay would require you to have the following:
Before you think of choosing a title, you need to read the given literature carefully, as your title must highlight the content of the literature. Aside from that, it normally comprises the author's name and the texts you are evaluating. However, you will need to make it as brief and interactive as you can.
Additionally, the usual way of writing a literature essay title is to make use of a significant phrase from the given literature. Afterwards, include a colon, followed by the remaining parts of your chosen title. Although finding a proper title might seem a bit difficult initially, it would get more straightforward as you continue your analysis.
After choosing an appropriate title for your literary analysis, a well-structured introduction should be your first paragraph. Writing an introduction for a literary analysis essay gives an instant outline of the areas your argument is concentrated on. Therefore, you must write your introduction creatively to get the attention of anyone reading it.
The normal procedure of writing an introduction for your literary analysis essay outline is to start with brief facts about the author and the literature. These provided facts would be instrumental in presenting the rest of your essay.
In addition, you can mention a frequently discussed point in the literature and indicate how your thesis will dispute it. Aside from that, you can choose to briefly discuss a specific phrase your essay is based on.
Afterwards, you can finish writing the introduction to a literary analysis essay with a clue about the content of the essay's body. This style of writing is known as signal posting. Signal posting should be done more elaborately while writing longer literary essays. However, it shouldn't be multiple sentences in a 5 paragraph structured essay.
How to Write a Body Paragraph for a Literature Essay?
The body of a literature essay is all that is within the literary analysis essay introduction and its conclusion. It comprises your thesis and the textual evidence that backs them. There are some factors you need to consider on how to start off a literary analysis essay while writing. These factors are as follows:
- Paragraph structure
- Topic sentences
- Utilizing textual evidence
Normally in high schools, the structure of a literary essay comprises 5 paragraphs. One of the paragraphs is used in writing the introduction, 3 paragraphs for the body, and the remaining paragraph for the conclusion.
In the main body of the essay, every paragraph must concentrate on a topic. While writing a five-paragraph structured essay, you need to split your thesis into 3 major topics of analysis connected to your essay. You need not write all the points derivable from the literature but just the analysis that backs your thesis.
You don't need to think too deeply about how to write a literary analysis thesis extensively as it is similar to the short 5-paragraph thesis. For instance, the main body of your essay might consist of 2 or 3 paragraphs, with each of the paragraphs with multiple paragraphs.
You must utilize a topic sentence while starting every paragraph to maintain the focus of your points. Using a proper topic sentence would allow every reader to understand the content of your paragraph at a glance.
Utilizing Textual Evidence
One of the vital parts of doing a literary analysis is to support your thesis statement with fitting textual evidence. Using textual evidence involves bringing in clauses from the literature you are analyzing and describing their relevance to your dispute.
Additionally, you must interpret every clause you state in the essay and state the reasons you chose to use them. Your chosen clauses must be well introduced and examined to convince the reader.
Applying clauses from the literature to your essay is not required often, although it is effective while analyzing the author's language. However, at times you might need to discuss plot topics or structural factors that are impossible to capture in a brief clause.
In such situations, rephrasing or summarizing parts of the literature is the right thing to do. In other words, you will need to discuss the significant parts of the texts in your way.
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How to Write a Conclusion for a Literature Essay?
While writing a conclusion of your essay, it should be about putting the finishing touches on your essay. In this section, all you need to do is to rephrase your aforementioned main points and try to make them clearer to the reader.
Additionally, one of the best ways to go about this is to summarize your disputes and then discuss the conclusion they brought about. You should visit the write my essay for me portal if you don't understand how to write a conclusion for a literary analysis. At the aforementioned portal, you are guaranteed to have your analysis done by expert writers ahead of your deadline.
Note that while writing your conclusion, you do not need to discuss any disputes or points you did not discuss previously in your analysis.
Educational institutions use literary analysis essays to improve the learning abilities of students. Although it might seem complex, with the basic knowledge of how to go about it and the help of experts, you won't find it difficult.
Writing a proper literary analysis essay requires you to know how to choose a title and an appropriate introduction. Besides that, you also need to know the appropriate manner of writing a body for short or longer essays. Aside from that, you must learn how to write a fitting conclusion for your analysis.
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poem analysis essay
Writing a poetry analysis essay is not an easy feat but it is a very rewarding experience to undergo. Read on to know how to write a paper about a poem. Analyzing poetry will require you to approach the poem with an open mind (and heart). You need to be as objective as possible when trying to decipher the meaning behind the poet’s words, even if you do not fully understand what he or she is trying to express.
A few pointers in writing your poem analysis essay that can help you get started:
- Read through the poem several times and study each word carefully. Pay special attention to particular lines or verses which seem interesting or confusing. Take notes on each reading, underlining key words and phrases so that they can be easily referenced at a later date. Remember: taking good notes will help prevent ambiguity during your essay writing stage.
- How has the author used imagery, figurative language and other literary devices to develop this particular poem? Try to draw your own conclusions; you may be pleasantly surprised with your findings! Write them down in a logical order so that they clearly support one another, either by conjunction or contrast.
- What type of mood is the poet trying to convey through his/her writing? You can discover this by figuring out what emotions are being targeted: joy, fear, anger…etc. Use quotations from the text as illustrations here if necessary. Next, determine whether these feelings are being expressed successfully. If not, how could the author have improved upon it? Examples are always important for supporting points made so give examples where applicable.
- What is the overall mood of the poem? Does it seem very positive or negative, happy or sad? Give examples to support your opinion and include any evidence you think would bolster your argument.
- Is there a theme in this poem that can be used as a catalyst for writing an essay on? Look at all possibilities closely; find similarities and differences between various poems if necessary.
- Try not to jump into conclusions too soon – remember to weigh all options before choosing one that really makes sense.
Let us now define what your lecturer mean by a poem analysis.
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What is a poem analysis essay?
A poem analysis essay in literature is a piece of writing that looks at one or more poems in depth. The purpose of such essays is to give the writer an understanding of the poetry they are studying so they can be able to write about it with greater skill and insight. This makes these types of essays particularly useful for English students because many pupils will need them if they choose to study poetry at University level.
In order to write this type of essay , it is necessary for you clearly to identify what you want to achieve in your essay and formulate clear thesis statement on which to build your research and analysis. It is also important for you think carefully about how best to construct your paragraphs so they do not confuse the reader but rather communicate your points effectively and logically If you do this, then you will be able to write a poem analysis essay that effectively explores the poems you are studying while at the same time gives your reader a greater understanding of them.
A poem analysis essay must clearly state everything it intends to achieve and what its aim is before proceeding with the actual analysis itself.
- Read more about: poem explication essay .
In order to do this properly, you will need to state the purpose of your poem analysis essay at the beginning. This part of your essay should be just one paragraph long and it should clearly explain what you intend to do in your research. You might, for example, want to show how an author uses a particular literary technique or structure in their work.
Another reason why you might be asked to write a poem analysis essay is that you wish to argue about something connected with poetry such as whether there are gender differences between poetry written by men or women and what these differences are.
You must also take care when writing a poem analysis essay because you could be writing about any type of verse from sonnets (14 lines) through haikus (3 lines) to limericks (5 lines). Your topic might, for example, be a piece of free verse that is written in blank verse.
You might also need to write about how an author uses poetic techniques such as alliteration or metaphor in their work. If you do this then you will have to study and understand these key concepts. You should also consider the tone used by the poet in their poem because it can tell you a lot about what they are trying to achieve through their writing.
It is vitally important that when you write your essay, you include plenty of examples from the poetry itself of what you are discussing so that your essay makes more sense to your reader. You also have to remember that when you write about poetry, you should go into as much detail as is necessary in order to analyse the work effectively.
Poem analysis essays need to be well-researched so if you are looking for free information online regarding a particular poem you are studying and its author, then make sure what you find has been written by an authoritative source such as a University or College website.
It is also vitally important that before writing your essay or even starting any research on it that you read the poem first several times over. This will help ensure your essay conveys all of the relevant details clearly and accurately.
How to start a poetry analysis paper
A poetry analysis paper is about the literary form and aesthetic qualities of a poem. It also entails an interpretation of the poet’s attitude, thoughts, or emotions based on the text. In addition to a comprehensive analysis, you may also include your own response to the poem. In any case, a poetry analysis essay is centered on the poem alone.
Poetry analysis essays vary in length depending on the specific assignment and your writing style. You may want to follow some suggestions in order to make your paper more organized and easier to write.
First, pick out all of the important information from the poem you are analyzing. This will help you structure your paragraphs clearly and logically as you compose your paper’s body–essentially creating an outline which will then guide your overall writing. Once you have this basic framework built, fill it in with details about how the poet conveys his/her message by making use of different literary devices like rhyme scheme, metaphor, etc., using examples from the text itself as needed. When you are done, you will have a complete and authentic poetry analysis essay.
There’s no definite formula for writing a winning poetry analysis essay. You can create an original piece of work as long as you follow your teacher’s guidelines and include the needed information he/she provided (if any). As this is a subjective assignment, it may be challenging to find specific writing tips that apply to every student.
However, given below are some general pointers that should help:
First, read the poem several times over to get familiar with it before proceeding with your research. Try to relate what you understand about the poetic form with its overall meaning (also try to remember the moods or emotions conveyed by the poem while doing this). This will help you gain a better understanding of the whole.
Once you’ve read it enough times, try to understand the perspective and point-of-view of the poet by viewing it from different angles. Then look into some background information about the poem such as its publication history and any criticisms or reviews written about it. This will give you an idea of what readers have felt while reading that particular piece.
Then make a list of all literary devices used inside the poem (mainly ones which can help reveal the author’s message). Discuss why they are chosen; also include general observations about how these tools were utilized strategically within the text in order to represent certain meanings or ideas effectively.
You should also look at other poems in this collection to get more specific ideas on how the poet writes. Poets may also belong to a specific poetic movement or school of thought and you should make brief comments on that as well.
You can also give your own thoughts about the poem if you like, however, it is not required in order for you to get an excellent grade. You may ask yourself questions like: How does this make me feel? Or what emotions do I associate with this text? Your responses will definitely come from your heart and are most likely very genuine (which will help readers relate with your analysis better).
In any case, remember that the final decision remains exclusively with your instructor when he/she evaluates and grades your essay based on his/her own standards and preferences. If you follow the above guidelines, you will get a good grade without having to worry too much.
You should also make sure that you cite any sources from where you found these background details by including notations at the end of your paper. It is important to credit them since they helped you expand your understanding while writing this analysis.
If you are still struggling with the topic sentence and thesis statement , then look for examples in other student essays which may help give you some ideas on how to present a well-structured paper that follows an ideal format (i.e., deciding whether or not to use quotes is one such decision that can be easier with prior knowledge). Once again, depending on what type of paper you have been asked to write will help your understanding greatly.
With the right tools and enough experience, you will be able to write excellent poetry analysis essays on your own in no time at all. Remember that it is better if you understand what your instructor expects before writing. If not, check out this example of a good poetry analysis essay for some ideas: poem analysis essay sample .
Good luck with your essay! Are there any specific problems or questions that you would like to ask? Post your task now for help now!
Poem analysis essay structure
A poem analysis essay should have an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction includes the poet, title of poem, and why it is significant to you or society. The body should include a summary of the poem with specific examples that show how it relates to your thesis statement (a claim about what you will prove by analyzing the poem). In addition, there should be evidence from the text that supports this claim. The final paragraph of the essay should talk about how this body evidence supports your thesis as well as restate what your thesis was in order to finish off on a strong closing claim.
Here is an example on how to structure a poem analysis essay :
Sample Poem Analysis Essay Outline: “Autumnal Equinox”” By Robert Frost
Robert Frost was born in 1874 and died 1961. He was an American poet. The poem “Autumnal Equinox” describes the beauty of man and nature interacting with each other in perfect harmony.
Summary: The poem tells a story about two men walking down a road on their way to work. They encounter two women who are doing the same thing. One woman is dressed modestly, carrying her lunch basket. The other one is more provocative, wearing shorts and flirting with the men as they walk by her. The first man (with whom you identify) admires then ignores the sensuous looker because he has Mary, his wife at home to love him honestly for himself; while the second man lusts after her because he is married to a woman who does not appreciate him for who he is. The first man then imagines what it would be like if people were able to see through the characters they present and bestow upon them the love that they deserve.”
Evidence: When you meet a stranger/person you may give your true self or a façade of yourself. You may also have an effect on other people through your personality, body language and style. This poem illustrates the different types of love humans can experience by showing two men encounter two women dressed differently on their way to work in nature, where we are meant to feel whole without pretense: “And each kept wholly to himself” (lines 13-14). One man admires her sensuous look, while the other ignores her all together. Then you are invited to imagine what it would be like if we could see through the characters that people present and discover who they truly are in order to grant them love: “But as he drew her near/ To touch his arm she went” (lines 17-18).
Robert Frost is excellent at describing how people interact with each other without pretense because nature is where we feel whole. You could not tell by looking at this woman or man that she was mean or generous, a loving person or one seeking pleasure; but when either of them came close enough for someone else to touch their arms, you discovered who they were and gave them true love. In conclusion, people need to look at each other past the exteriors and see who they are on the inside before judging others.
Poem analysis essay format / outline
Format for poem analysis essay should include:
- Introduction: background information on the poem
- Body / Analysis of poem: discuss the layout and style of writing (analyze poetic devices, imagery, etc.) This is where you get down to actual criticism. This can be a minimum of one page. An essay about one page long with no additional examples cited supporting your claims is fine.
- Conclusion : To conclude a poem analysis essay, the following may be helpful: Summarize your critical findings and discuss how you interpret the poet’s intended meaning and to whom it is directed.
- Works Cited / Reference Page (At least two sources must be cited.) Use a citation style specific to your discipline when citing sources in an essay.
Read: how to structure an essay .
Summary of poem analysis essay format:
The introduction is only one paragraph, but, to gain credit for an introductory paragraph, provide background information on the topic and specific title of work being studied. The important thing about this section is that it sets up the rest of the paper by explaining why someone would want to study the topic and what you hope to show by writing your paper.
The meat of the essay is in its body, which should be a minimum of one page. Each paragraph should have some kind of transition sentence or phrase at the beginning so that it is clear how each new aspect will relate to previous information. One of the most common mistakes made when writing papers is not tying together all parts with transitions between paragraphs and sentences; don’t make this mistake!
Your conclusion can summarize what was accomplished in the essay or further explore ideas presented throughout the piece. If you use an outside source for research, cite it using a proper citation style.
In short, poem analysis essays are longer than opinion papers because they require greater research and depth as to content. They include a lot of information on the poet, work being analyzed and your understanding of said content.
Poem analysis essay outline example:
Introduction (Background Information) : “The Great Depression” by John Steinbeck is an autobiographical account of the author’s experiences during The Great Depression which occurred from 1929 to 1939 in the United States. An estimated 33 million Americans were unemployed during that period due to low demand for goods and services which greatly hurt many families financially. This event caused many people to be homeless or live below subsistence level conditions until World War II began pulling the nation out of its economic slump with military spending placing many people back in jobs earning high wages and purchasing new consumer goods like cars, electric appliances even though many were just barely scraping by.
Body (In-depth Analysis):
The writer’s style is clear and simple which allows the reader to focus on the content of the poem rather than trying to understand complex vocabulary or difficult sentence structure.
Description: To describe an event, place or person, it is helpful to start with details that are specific and concrete like colors, shapes, sizes.
It is also important to include comparisons (e.g., larger than a pencil) that help fully envision what you are describing; this draws in your audience so they can see for themselves what you are talking about instead of having to make it up in their imagination or skim over the passage while trying to guess what it might be. Imagery:
Imagery is when words suggest sensory information like smells, tastes and sights. The use of “yellow” to describe a sunrise implies that the sun appears yellow when it first rises in the morning sky.
In other poems (like “Ode on a Grecian Urn”), imagery serves another purpose by introducing symbolism which is when objects refer to ideas beyond their physical properties (e.g., the urn refers not only to a pot for holding ashes but also to an idea of love being untouchable).
Conclusion: Steinbeck’s true personality comes out in this poem as he recounts his own experiences with poverty and how much they affect many people’s lives. It shows how valuable one event can be even when it triggers a chain reaction to other events that have no purpose other than causing further disaster.
Poetry analysis essay example
This is a sample poem analysis essay. The poem in question here is “Lost” by Alexander Pope. This essay was submitted as a sample by a student after using Tutlance to lean how to structure a poem analysis essay from our tutors. You can use this sample to write
The poem, “Lost” by Alexander Pope, tells the story about a man who is searching for his lost love: “Whilst she from Him still hears some faithful fame/ And thousand kisses to her name addressed…he grows old alone.” (Pope 8). He does not know where she went and what happened to her. In this piece of literature, he describes how much he misses his love. Aside from that, Pope tells us something else. He put aside his love for his friend and he chose to be faithful to that woman: “And thousand kisses to her name addressed.” The poet wants us to understand how much he loves the girl; it is very true of a man who had loved his mate. Although he misses the love of his life, he feels lonely without her: “…when thou art gone where none but gossips come…” (Pope 16). He believes that she will never come back; it is impossible for them to meet again because she has left him too long ago. He remembers how they first met each other until here in this place, but then everything was lost when she disappeared. This hidden meaning reveals itself as we read further in the poem: “…and I feel thy want reviving my pains as much as ever.” (Pope 19). He thinks that if she is in the place where he or any person cannot see her, there will be no feelings of love between them.
In this poem, Pope uses several literary devices used to achieve his purpose; these devices are the metaphor, repetition and rhyme scheme. When she left him, it was like losing a part of himself. In the first two stanzas of this poem, Pope describes how lonely he felt without her. He explains that when he goes out with friends, they do not understand what happened to him but his heart: “But then your absence makes me all too known/ How steep that hill with steps how high you drawn!”(Pope 10-11). The poet is saying that when she left him, it was like climbing the highest mountain in the world. Pope wants us to understand how much he loves her. He uses these images of mountains and steps “to describe how difficult it is to be apart from his love.”
In this poem, Alexander Pope uses repetition three times because it helps create a rhythm and rhyme scheme. In the first stanza, he repeats an image: “…my dull eyes with wandering to and fro…” (Pope 1). Then he repeats what he said before: “…and make delays as lovers do…”(Pope 2) The last time Pope repeats words are when we read the last two lines of each stanzas: “…come live with me and be my love… …let us make haste to live…” (Pope 3-4). The poet makes no change when he repeats this twice.
“…when she from Him still hears some faithful fame/ And thousand kisses to her name addressed.” (Pope 8)
The last quotation of this poem is the most important one because it tells how much Pope loves his beloved: “…when thou art gone where none but gossips come…”(Pope 16). In this line, Pope uses onomatopoeia for several times. He describes that she has disappeared a long time ago, but she hasn’t lost someone who really loves her so deeply inside of him; it is like he knows what happened to her just by intuition: “…But gossips all my faith would have betrayed…”(Pope 16). Even though he could not see her, Pope is still faithful to his love.
This poem tells us that we should value and appreciate the things around us because they are gone forever if we do not do anything about it. Since you’ve read this article, you probably understand that in life there will come a time when we lose something or someone very important to ourselves; I was sure that this topic must be important for everybody no matter who you are or where you come from: “Lose something every day… Accept the flusteration.” (Stevens). This piece of literature can teach us how to face all problems in our lives. We will find solutions to all problems as long as we focus our minds and hearts on it.
I also would like to recommend you to read the other works of Pope; he is an amazing writer, so his work is very interesting for any reader. It was one of my favourite poets, and I’m sure that after reading this article not only you but others will love him too.
How to write a poem evaluation essay
In a poem evaluation essay, you will be offering a critical analysis of the artwork (usually a poem) you are evaluating. You will also be revealing your opinion on this art form, provide an explanation for your conclusion and suggest what else can be done to improve upon it.
Critical analysis is a literary technique that involves the examination and evaluation of an artwork.
In a poem (or any form of art) evaluation essay, you are expected to analyze the qualities of various aspects or elements within the work of art. The problem with writing such an essay is that it may be quite difficult to decide exactly where to begin analyzing the work.
You will need to do some research on your own before beginning your essay and draft out an outline for your essay. Once you have done this, try working on each section individually before adding them all together into one cohesive piece.
How to structure a poetry analysis essay?
This is a difficult question, because poetry can be written in many different ways. However, I’ll share some ideas that might work.
First, you could discuss the use of language in the poem and how it shapes meaning. You could talk about the tone of the poem, and how it changes over time. When discussing structure you might consider: where the poem moves from one idea to another (how does a transition happen?), how much time passes or changes between two sections of a poem, or what causes an action to start? You could also talk about how a particular technique shapes meaning in a poem–for example, when line length affects meaning. This would be relevant for poems with fixed line lengths (like haiku) but might not apply to free verse. Another technique to discuss would be rhyme–both the kinds of rhyming used in a poem (and why it’s chosen) and how meaning is affected by using different types of rhymes.
As for style, this could take many forms as well. For instance, you might consider: what kind of language or diction is the poem written in? How are these words arranged on the page, and how does that affect meaning? To examine syntax, you might look at how lines are connected–how do they flow together when read aloud? Is there repetition within a section or between sections; what causes one part to end and another part to begin? You could also consider imagery–what images are presented and how they might affect meaning.
All of these elements are important to poetry, and this is just a short list I’ve compiled. For more ideas you could look at this list of poetic terms from a university level course (though it focuses on poems in English).
These are some useful terms to know when writing a poem analysis essay: form, structure, style, tone, imagery, syntax and diction. You should also keep in mind that there’s no strict definition for what a poem “is”–for example, some genres break rules or mix together different kinds of language. This means that you can talk about why poets would make such choices even if the poem isn’t strictly following traditional expectations.
As far as sources go, you might look at the poems themselves. There’s also a wide variety of academic sources about poetry (you could search for them using keywords like “poetry analysis” to find more). It might be helpful to read through some examples of poem analysis, as they’ll give you practice on how to structure your own essay. You should always use credible sources. If you’ve found a useful book or article, it will probably have a Works Cited in its back matter which lists where the author got her information from–and this is an important part of an academic paper.
You can often find these online by searching for a title and author; if not, the library can help you locate one that matches.
Poem Analysis Essay Writing help
To conclude, if you are having problems writing a poem analysis essay, then it might be wise for you to consider using the services of an essay writing service such as Tutlance. These types of companies employ professional writers who have years of experience in writing academic essays and term papers so they are more than capable of helping you with your assignment. They also use software that is designed specifically to detect plagiarism when they write essays or create them from scratch if necessary.
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Poetry Analysis: How to Analyze a Poem
Every author and poet has their own unique style that cannot be replicated. Based on how they think or what they are trying to portray, they create various poems to explore several ideas or theories that were on their mind.
By mastering how to analyze poetry, you also learn how to ask questions, see multiple meanings in simple things, and develop figurative thinking. Let’s give your brain a boost! Discover how to write poetry analysis from EssayPro service - custom dissertation writing .
What Is a Poetry Analysis?
Poetry analysis is the process of reviewing the multiple artistic, functional, and structural pieces that make up a poem. Typically, this review is conducted and recorded within the structure of a literary analysis essay.
The nature of poetry is expressing complex feelings, which usually makes multiple meanings. To understand them, you must examine not only words, but also rhythm, images, obvious meaning, and implied meaning.
Writing a poem analysis essay requires one to take a more in-depth look at both the choices that a poet made and the overall effects of those choices. These papers need a detailed analysis of all of the parts that were used to form a work of poetry.
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4 Pre-Writing Steps to Take
Read the poem carefully.
It is essential to reread the analyzed poetry several times to get a full grasp of the numerous ideas and concepts. This also gives you an opportunity to make a note of the rhyme scheme (if there is one), the type of poem (limerick, ode, sonnet, lyric, haiku, free verse, etc.) and other poetic techniques that the poet used (such as enjambment, meter, end-stopped lines, figurative language, etc.).
- Limerick: Limerick is a stanza of five lines, with the first, second and fifth rhyming with one another and having three feet of three syllables each; and the shorter third and fourth lines also rhyme with each other, but having only two feet of three syllables.
- Ode: Its structure — 10-line stanzas rhyming, with the 8th line iambic trimeter and all the others iambic pentameter
- Sonnet: A fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter. Was made famous by non-other than Shakespeare! (Shakespeare invented the word "swag"... just saying)
- Lyric: A lyric poem is a comparatively short, non-narrative poem in which a single speaker presents a state of mind or an emotional state. Rather than tell a story, the speaker talks about his thoughts using a specific rhyming style.
- Haiku: Invented by the Japanese, a haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.
- Free-Verse: Rather simple, free verse is poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular rhythm.
All of those elements of the poem are essential to know when one is writing a poetry analysis essay because they are a part of the poem’s structure and can affect the content.
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Learn About the Background of the Poem
This means that you can find it beneficial to look up the poet, the date that the poem was written, and the cultural context of the work. All of that information typically gives the reader a more in-depth understanding of the poem, and it seems self-explanatory that one who has an enhanced comprehension of the poem would have an easier time analyzing that poem.
Define a Composition Dedicated to the Subject Matter of the Poem
This can be analyzed during the reader’s quest to determine the theme, tone, mood, and meaning of the poem. The subject matter — and the thematic elements that support the intended message behind the subject — is often an interpretive minefield.
Pick a Side Among the Various Theories That You Have Created
Often, people have different ideas about what a poet is trying to say by their use of a subject, so unless the message is implicitly stated, it is best to report multiple possibilities about what the poet may have meant and included evidence for these theories.
The amateur writer can try to elaborate on several existing ideas and theories. Be careful not to mistake this with choosing a popular opinion or biased one. They should be defending the one that carries the most weight or offers the most validation. As the essay is supposed to be an analysis, try to avoid opinions in favor of facts and conjectures that are backed by evidence from work.
How to Choose a Poem to Analyze?
A great way to choose a topic for a poetry analysis essay is to decide on one that would deal with information that you are already familiar with. For example, if the choice of the poem to analyze is up to you, then it may be beneficial for you to choose a poem that you have encountered before. If the choice is to be made between different subject areas within a poem, then you could find it easier to choose to focus on writing about an area that plays to your strengths, so that the statements made in the essay are conveyed clearly and confidently.
A poem analysis essay may seem like a daunting writing assignment at first, but if the topic, outline, and paper are composed following the steps mentioned above, the paper will no doubt, turn out very well.
Poetry Analysis Essay Outline
An outline for a poetry analysis essay can be very simple. It is merely a guideline for the writer to build upon. Put the title of the paper at the top of the page, then place the number one (1) underneath, just before the word “Introduction.” Under this, you can list brainstormed ideas for the introduction paragraph of the paper. The final portion of this section should be dedicated to the thesis statement of the paper.
Need a poetry analysis essay outline? Here is a basic structure to follow for your outline:
Following an outline for a poetry research essay is recommended to make sure you organize all your thoughts and statements you want to say. No matter whether you know how to write poetry — an outline will help identify areas that need to be explored in the analysis.
Starting with the title for the analysis can be something very basic or a clever quote, a statement from the piece. Moving onto the introduction to poetry analysis, this should open with a “hook” to get the reader's attention. Follow up with the Authors name and title for the piece. Add some interesting trivia or background info that is not known to the audience, but try to keep it short. To finish off the introduction to a poetry analysis, state your thesis.
The bulk of ideas and comparisons need to be explored here in a clear, focused way. When writing a poetry analysis, each paragraph should be devoted to one point or feature you are comparing. You can divide each point by using the corresponding letter from the outline. Try to make it a coherent and specific about what is being compared (example: when stating your ideas about what the poetic devices do to the piece check whether you state each one and do not generalize). Using transition words and phrases will keep the paragraphs flowing well and more helpful to read.
It's important when looking at how to analyze a poem to finish with a set-out conclusion. Firstly, start by restating the thesis in different words. Summarize the most important findings to prove the thesis. From this, you can draw up your own opinions and take a step back and say what it all means with one key idea. Lastly, try to leave the reader with something memorable to take away with them (a thought-provoking sentence or question about the poem).
Tips for a Poetry Analysis
We have put together some handy tips to help you with when writing a poetry analysis essay:
- If possible, choose a poem that you would like to write about. This seems like a simple enough idea but very relevant. If you have the choice pick a poem you enjoy.
- Try reading the poem to a colleague or friend and even just out loud to yourself. This will help discover any hidden information from the sound, and it’s always good to get a second opinion or extra ideas.
- Don’t be scared to double-check the meanings of words and phrases. This is vital to know how to write a poem analysis essay and to the best, you can. Some words may have had different meanings, cultural references and places all should be looked up if only half certain.
- Check if the conclusion has one clear central idea or theme. Do not put in many confusing ideas or conclusions as this will look like you have not evaluated the work with focus. To go beyond a simple poetry analysis for middle school, try to show how it links to broader themes and the outside world.
- Always try to look beyond the words themselves. Hunt for hidden meanings and any little clues upon which to build a picture. Anybody could know how to write a poem but to explore the hidden meanings within poetry takes time, skill, and a lot of research.
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Poetry Analysis Essay Example
Read also a very fascinating article the Divine Comedy summary . Our readers find it very informative.
Ballad of Birmingham is the author of the poem that revolves around a little girl who would like to go downtown to take part in a freedom protest. Her mother, however, says that she cannot go because of the dangerous conditions outside. Her mother instead tells her to go to church despite the little girl's constant explanations that she would not be alone. Defeated and in a show of respect for her mother, the little girl gets dressed and goes to church. Her mother is contented that she would be fine at the church. Sooner her mother hears of an explosion that sets her racing downtown in search of her daughter. Unfortunately, she finds her daughters dress and shoes in the piles and rubbles. She is left wondering where her daughter is.
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Poem Analysis Essay Guide: Outline, Template, Structure
Poetry analysis, which is similar to poetry review, involves analyzing the language and figures of speech used by a poet. It also entails sharing personal views regarding the poem and breaking down the poetic instruments utilized by the said poet. However, it’s not just about the words used (Headrick, 2014). It entails reading between the lines and understanding what made the poet come up with a particular poem. So it may require some background research on the author and history behind the creation of the poem.
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What Is A Poetry Analysis?
Poetry analysis may define as a critical review given on a poem, a reflection on the depth and gravity of a poem. It revolves around multiple aspects of a poem starting from the subject of a poem, its theme (meaning), tone, literary devices or speech figures, form to the feeling of the poet to how a reader feels about the poem. It is not only the analysis of techniques used in a poem, but poetry analysis provides a broader and wider picture of the poem, its reality, its hidden meanings between the lines, a study of poet’s mind, feeling and intention behind a poem. Different techniques used in poetry analysis are helpful tools in investigating and reviewing the poem. Behind every review or analysis vital research on poet (author), era (time frame), possible reasons, the background behind the conceptualization poem is vital.
One should read, understand and develop a thesis. Writing services also recommend researching more on the poet and his past works to understand the root of this particular idea.
If you have been asked to write a poem analysis essay, then it means to examine the piece and further dissect it into key elements including its form, techniques used and historical value. Then further appreciating the poem and highlighting to others these points, and gaining a better understanding.
It is also important to show as many ideas as possible that relate to the poem and then create conclusions on this.
To start writing a poetry analysis essay let's look at the prewriting stage.
How to Choose a Topic for a Poetry Analysis Essay?
- In the subject of the poem we mainly focus on the reasons such as why is the poem written or what is it all about?
- What is the context, the central content of the poem?
- Who wrote the poem and why?
- When and where the poet did write the poem, what or who has influenced the poet and what are the key features of the poem?
A topic should be chosen based on the theme you want to write. The theme is the message that the poem is trying to convey. You need to look therefore for concepts and notions that pop up in the poem and come up with an appropriate theme based on those perceptions or "feelings". If you can’t still figure out what topic you should choose for your analysis, it is recommended that you go through other poems similar poems and get a suitable topic for your analysis. Don’t also forget to cite your poem well. And also use in-text citations while quoting from the poem.
Related: COMING UP WITH ESSAY TOPIC IDEAS .
Poem Analysis Essay Outline
To create a good essay, it is needed to plan out the structure of a poem analysis essay so the writing stage will be easier and faster.
Here is an outline of a poem analysis essay to use:
Opening paragraph - Introduce the Poem, title, author and background.
Body of text - Make most of the analysis, linking ideas and referencing to the poem.
Conclusion - State one main idea, feelings and meanings.
Poem Analysis Essay Introduction
To start an introduction to a poem analysis essay, include the name of the poem and the author . Other details like the date of when it was published can also be stated. Then some background information and interesting facts or trivia regarding the poem or author can also be included here.
Poem Analysis Essay Body
When writing the main body of text keep in mind you have to reference all ideas to the poem so include a quotation to back up the sentence, otherwise, it will be a wasted comparison and not count. Be clear with your statements.
Poem Analysis Essay Conclusion
Now, this is where you should take a step back from analyzing the individual elements of the poem and work out its meaning as a whole. Combine the different elements of the analysis and put forward one main idea.
What is the poet trying to say, and how is it enforced and with what feeling? Then look at the meaning and what timeframe does this evolve over?
For example, is it obvious from the start, or does it gradually change towards the end? The last few lines can be very significant within a poem and so should be included in the poem analysis essay conclusion and commented on the impact on the piece.
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How to Analyze a Poem?
Before even thinking about your first draft, read the poem as much as possible. If it's possible, listen to it in the original form. This depends on many factors which include if the poet is still alive?
Also reading aloud can help identify other characteristics that could be missed and even to a friend or colleague will give a chance to more insight. It is important to remember that poetry is a form of art painted with only words, this said it could take time to fully appreciate the piece. So take note of any first thoughts you have about the poem, even if they are negative.
Your opinions can change over time but still mark these first thoughts down.
So that to analyze a poem properly, you have to pay attention to the following aspects:
Title of the Poem
So let's go deeper into the poem analysis essay and look at the title. The poet may have spent a lot of time thinking about naming the piece so what can be observed from this and what further questions can be asked?
- What are your expectations? For example, the poem could be titled “Alone” written by Edgar Allan Poe and from this it is natural to assume it will be sad. After reading further does the reality turn out to be different?
- What is the literature style used? So for example, the work could be called “His last sonnet” by John Keats. From appearance, it is possible to deduce that it could be in sonnet form and if not why did the poet choose to mislead the audience?
- What is the poem about? In the poem, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” by Elizabeth Barrett, it already states what could be included and what to expect but if it differs from the title what would this suggest?
Literal Meaning of the Poetry
According to our to fully appreciate a piece, it is needed to understand all the words used. So, for example, get a good dictionary and look up all the unknown words. Then go through partly known words and phrases and check these too. Also, maybe check the meaning of words that are used a lot, but remember some text may have had a different meaning a century ago, so use the internet to look up anything that is not clear. Furthermore, people and places and any cultural relevance of the time should be researched too to get a deeper look at the poet's attitude towards the piece. Patterns might become visible at this point and maybe the theme of the poem.
Structure of the Poem
When looking at the structure of the piece this will reveal more information so pay close attention to this. Look at the organization and sections, this will unlock more questions:
- What does each part discuss?
- How do the parts relate to each other?
- Can you see formal separations?
- What logical sense does it have?
- Is there emotional sense that can be evaluated?
- Does having a strict format say anything about the poet?
- Also failing to have a strict structure does this reveal something?
Once you have observed the structure, it is possible to go deeper into the poem analysis essay and investigate how the speaker communicates the poem to the reader.
Tone and Intonation of the Poetry
So now it is possible to look at the poet and see what details can be obtained from them. Is it possible to see the gender or age of the speaker? Is there some race or religious references to pick up on? Then can we see if the speaker is directly communicating their thoughts and ideas to the reader? If not, what is the character the poet has created to convey the ideas or messages? Does the poet's persona differ to the character created and what can be analyzed from this? Also the mood of the speaker could be available now, are they happy or sad, and how can you find out this from the poem?
Once the poet is understood it is possible to move onto who or what the poem is designed for. Then you can see the purpose of the poetry, what does the poet want from the reader? It is also possible that the poet does not desire a response from the audience and is simply making a statement or expressing themselves.
For example, a poem about spring could just be a happy statement that winter has ended. Looking from the other side, this could be an attempt to attract someone's attention or maybe just an instruction to plow the field.
Purpose of the Poem
The subject of the poem can help identify the purpose, as this usually will be what the poet is describing. Then the theme can be identified also, and what does it say about the work? Are there any links between the theme and the subject and what can analyzed from that? The timeframe is also an important factor to consider, for example, the poet's goal back when it was written, may have changed and why? Furthermore, has the original purpose survived the test of time and can it be said to be the best indicator of success?
Language and Imagery of the Poetry
Until this point it was only possible to analyze the literal information available which is the denotative meaning.’ Now let's look at the imagery, symbolism and figures of speech, this is the connotative meaning.
This is where you should look for pictures described within the text and analyze why they have been depicted? So for example, if the poet thas decided to describe the moon this could set the time in the work or maybe the mood of the poem. Also look for groups of images described and patterns within this, what can be deducted from that?
So when looking for symbolism within the text this could be an event or physical object, including people and places that represent non-physical entities like an emotion or concept. For example, a bird flying through the air can be seen as freedom and escaping usual conforms.
In your analysis you will look at techniques like metaphors, similes, personification and alliteration to include just a few. It's important to identify the actual device used and why it was chosen. For example, when comparing something within the text using a metaphor then look at how they are connected and in what way they are expressed? Try to use all available clues to gain better insight into the mind of the poet.
Music of the Poem
Poetry and music have deep connections and can be compared together due to the history and uses throughout the ages.
Here are some things to look out for to help with those comparisons:
- Meter - This can be available to investigate in different ways, for example, iambic pentameter has a strict five beats per line just like a musical score if used what does it say?
- Rhythm - Just like with music, poem can have a rhythm but if there is no given meter, it is needed to look closer and observe what this does to the work. For example, a particular beat that is fast could make the poem happy.
- Special effects - Looking for not so obvious signs where the poet has written in a way so you take longer to pronounce words. Also it is possible to grab your attention in other ways, for what reason has the writer done that?
- Rhyme - There are many different types of rhyming techniques used within poetry, once identified look at how it impacts on the work like make it humorous for example? Be careful to look for unusual patterns for example rhymes within the lines and not just at the end of the sentences, even reading out aloud might help find these and then what does it this say about the poem?
- Sound effects - The depiction of different sounds can be powerful and also using different voices, look at what impact this has on the piece and why?
- Breaking Rules - Rhyme and meter for example can have very specific rules but what if the poet decided to break these conventional techniques and make something new, what does this add to the work and why
How to Write a Poem Analysis Essay?
Below you will find a compelling guide on how to analyze poetry with handy writing tips:
- Choose a suitable poem - If possible, before you start, pick the main subject of your essay, a poem that you would like to analyze. The more you find it interesting, the easier it will be to handle the task.
- Read it fully - If you are wondering how to analyse poetry, the first step you can’t go without is carefully reading the chosen poem multiple times and, preferably, out loud.
- Always double-check the meanings - When reading a poem, don’t forget to check for the meanings of unknown (and known as well) words and phrases.
- Collect all the details you need - To write a compelling essay, you need to study the poem’s structure, contents, main ideas, as well as other background details.
- Explore hidden meanings - When analyzing poem, be sure to look beyond the words. Instead, focus on finding broader, hidden ideas that the author wanted to share through his piece.
- Make an outline - Once you have analyzed poem, outline your essay and write it following the plan.
- Proofread and edit - Finally, once your essay is ready, take your time to revise and polish it carefully.
Poetry Analysis Template
To write a winning poem analysis essay, use the template below or order an essay from our professionals.
- Name of Poem
- Name of Poet
- Date of Publication
- Background or any relevant information
Form of poem
- Structure of poem
- Rhyme of poem
Meaning of poem
- Overall meaning
- How can we relate the poem to our life
- Literary devices
Form of the Poem
Poems are written in some ways, here one need to identify which structure the poet has used for the poem. The forms of poems broadly are stanzas, rhythm, punctuation and rhymes. Carefully analyze the length and number of stanzas , does the rhythm impacts the meaning of the poem, is there many punctuations or little, either the rhyme is consistent, or it’s breaking and what is the rhyme contributing to the meaning of the poem or is it random.
Theme, Meaning or Message of the Poem
In this part, we focus on the topic, main issue or idea of the poem. There are layers of meaning hidden in a poem.
- Meaning: surface meaning that what is actually or physically happening in the poem which a reader can sense.
- Deeper Meaning: the central idea of the poem or what is it actually about.
- Theme: in poetry, there is always a hidden meaning in every line, which depicts the message about life.
Numerous topics can be covered in poems such as love, life, death, birth, nature, memory, war, age, sexuality, experience, religion, race, faith, creator and many others.
Tone of the Poem
The tone of the poem shows attitude or mood of the language used by the poet. Analyze the different shades of the language used in the poem for example; is it formal, judgmental, informal, critical, positive, bitter, reflective, solemn, frustrated, optimistic, ironic, scornful, regretful or morbid.
Literary Device used in the Poem
Find out what the different literary devices are or what sort of figures of speech is used by the poet . Analyze these techniques and suggest their use in the poem by the poet. The poem can contain a symbol, similes, metaphor, alliteration, allegories, oxymoron, assonances, dissonances, repetition, hyperbole, irony.
Conclusion or Feel of the Poem
Lastly, analyze the emotions and feelings linked with the poem; of the poet and what do you feel when you read the poem. This is the very critical part of reviewing a poem because we analyze the inner depth of the poem, the intention & feelings of the poet, the targeted audience, does the poem reflect the poet’s persona, perspective or it does not match with the poet.
Poetry Analysis Essay Example
Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s Poem “Annabel Lee”
Written in 1849 and first published after the author’s death, Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe is a beautiful story of true love that goes beyond life. In the poem, the author is commemorating the girl named Annabel Lee, whom he knew since childhood. Despite the young age, the love between the narrator and Annabel was so deep and true that even angels were jealous, and, according to Edgar Allan Poe, their jealousy was so severe that they killed the love of his life. The poem ends with young Annabel Lee being buried in a tomb, leaving the readers with a feeling that the author kept holding on to his love for her for many years after her death.
The two evident topics in the poem are love and loss. The entire narration revolves around the author’s agonizing memory, at the same time demonstrating to the readers the purity and power of true love that makes him cherish the memory of his beloved one even after she is gone. Apart from that, Edgar Allan Poe also discusses such issues of love as jealousy and envy. The author states that the love of the two teens was so strong that even angels in heaven were not half as happy as Annabel and Edgar, which caused them to invade the teens’ romantic “kingdom by the sea” and kill the girl.
The topics discussed in the poem, as well as the style of narration itself, give the poem a very romantic atmosphere. It follows the main principles of the romantic era in poetry in the 18th and 19th centuries, which Edgar Allan Poe was representing. At the same time, the author also gives his poem a sense of musicality and rhythm. The poem’s rhyme scheme puts emphasis on the words “Lee”, “me”, and “sea”. The repetition of these words gives the poem a song-like sound.
A significant role in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem is played by imagery, which emphasizes the author’s unique style. The main imagery used by Allan Poe in Annabel Lee is the Kingdom. The author uses this imagery to set the right tone for his poem and give it a sort of a fairytale feel. At the same time, this imagery is used to take the reader to a different place, though not specifying what exactly this place is. To confirm this - the author uses the phrase “the kingdom by the sea” multiple times in his piece, never specifying its meaning. This trick enables the readers to leave this to their own imagination.
Apart from the Kingdom, the author also operates with the imagery of angels and demons. The narrator blames them for their envy for their deep love, which resulted in the death of Annable Lee. Thus, the author gives a negative attitude towards this imagery. This brings us to another big topic of good and evil discussed in the poem.
Nevertheless, even though the angels’ intervention seems to be clear to the reader from what the author says, Poe’s choice of words doesn’t directly implicate their responsibility for the girl’s death. The narrator blames everybody for his loss. However, he does this in a very tactical and covert way.
In conclusion, it becomes clear that the narrator in Annabel Lee did not only pursue a goal to share his pain and loss. He also emphasizes that true love is everlasting by stating that his love for the gone girl lives with him after all these years. With all its deep topics, imagery, and musicality, Annabel Lee is now considered one of the best works by Edgar Allan Poe.
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Examples of Poetry Analysis
Poetry is an extremely subtle form of writing, and reviewing poetry requires a deep understanding of the elements that comprise a poem. Read our poetry analysis samples to gain a better understanding of how to write a poetry analysis of your own.
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A Poem of Kabir
Kabir, a 15th century saint and poet from India, wrote poems that rallied against organized religion and called for divine experience rather than dogma. His…
A Poet to His Beloved
“A Poet to His Beloved“ by famed Irish Revival poet William Butler Yeats is a succinct dedication to a lover, but with a bittersweet feel. Employing exacting and…
“The Little Black Boy” by William Blake
By Johannes Helmold The poem under analysis is taken from a compilation of works by William Blake—Songs of Innocence and Experience, and is called The…
“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe
The poem under review in this paper is The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, which is a composition by Christopher Marlowe. It uses a pastoral…
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How to Analyze a Poem: Writing Guide, Tips and Examples
Table of contents
Have you got an analytical essay assignment about arts? Now wonder how to analyze a poem properly? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Poetry is often complicated which is why it might take some time and effort. This article will focus on best practices and ways to analyze poems. We’ll discuss basic definitions, some helpful tips and tricks and will also review several helpful examples. At the end, you’ll be prepared for composing a winning paper on any poetical topic. So, let’s go – time to enter creative mood!
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Poem Analysis Definition
Let’s start with defining the concept of poetry analysis. An analyst is expected to examine main independent elements of selected poems on different levels. They are:
- Tone of poet’s words
- Usage of literary devices (e.g. analogy or hyperbola), and so on.
The goal is understanding some literary work in its entirety. You might need to read it several times, paying attention to a different level each time. This would help when analyzing them methodically as you’ll avoid missing some important author’s message.
What to Consider When Writing a Poetry Analysis?
In order to reach that goal, one must consider some important things when writing their poem analysis essay. They are:
- Theme Core message which might be hidden and expressed through figurative means. Uncovering it requires good familiarity with poem’s context as well as with contemporary stylistic traditions.
- Language Style and imagery used in poems for conveying different meanings. Author’s language also impacts its rhythm and sound.
- Structure An author places different elements in specific order which defines how we read and interpret it.
- Context What is told about characters, places, time & surrounding circumstances.
- Sound How author uses syllabic patterns and stresses and what message do they convey.
How to Analyze a Poem: Step-By-Step
Staying methodical is important so let’s proceed with “how to” analysis. Poetry may have many layers, as we’ve discussed above. So better pay attention to all important aspects, including:
- speaker’s tone & style,
- play of words,
- messages hidden behind the lines,
- structure + literary devices used in this poem.
Below are seven main steps for completing such an analysis. Following them will make finding hidden sense quite easy.
Step 1. Read a Poem Before Writing an Poem Analysis
A proper poem analysis requires deep understanding of all those layers. The best way of ensuring this is reading main verse at least twice before even starting categorizing its features and making conclusions. It is often recommended reading this poem to yourself first. Then you should read it again, but aloud, all way through. Hearing the rhythm or sounds may change your perception significantly and help uncovering some hidden messages its author has left in it.
Step 2. Create the Rhyme Scheme for a Poem
Next step of poem analysis essay is mapping its rhyming scheme . There might be different rhyming patterns, particularly some popular ones like ‘terza rima’ (interconnected three-line elements). In order to map out such pattern, you can assign some letter to each rhyme and write these letters instead of whole lines to depict the usage of rhymes in this verse: e.g. ABAB CDCD or ABBA CDDC. This would make it easier to analyze general style or argue about its details or some contextual connections. Patterns may have parallels with some well-known literary works and thus introduce new meanings.
Step 3. Analyze the Meter of Poetry
The meter scan is another important step of poetry analysis. Your goal is identifying complete number of feet in each line and the general rhythmic pattern: e.g., pentameter or hexameter. Recommended actions are:
- Divide lines into syllables
- Make notes about stressed & unstressed syllables
- Identify each foot, i.e. a single syllable group which has been stressed
- Obtain general structure of feet & make assumptions about it.
Once you’ve completed the meter scan, you’ll be able to proceed completing next step.
Step 4. Consider the Structure of Your Poem
Another thing the poem analysis requires is making a statement about the poem’s structure . The typical solution for that is breaking down the entire verse into sections, noticing how many lines are in each one and what is pattern of these line breaks. This would help a lot in extracting additional sense from its text and making additional assumptions about its author’s message. Note that the structure might be complicated so searching for analogies with other similar poem types might be quite challenging.
Step 5. Pay Attention to the Content of the Poem
The content part is a core part of poetry analysis. As researcher, make sure you understand what language, tools and imagery the poet uses. Poem’s stylistic peculiarities and subtle meanings of certain phrases are to be inspected in detail. Besides, you most probably should understand where these verses have been written and how they are connected with their content. Analyze different pieces separately and check how they are connected with each other. Make assumptions whether any additional sense can be extracted from these connections. E.g. they can contain references pointing at some political or historical events.
Step 6. Think About the Theme of Poetry
Next step of poem analysis is reviewing its central theme . This part focuses directly on main messages speakers try conveying to their readers. The main idea may be clearly put in the heading or at the beginning of this text. However, it also might be hidden behind its lines. This is when you need to put all previous results together:
- rhyme pattern
- style it is written in
- author’s language
- structure & logical ties in it, etc.
Step 7. Learn the Context of Poem
Last step of poetry analysis is examining its context in detail. The goal is to understand what references and relations to specific people, events or situations did its author include into it. Context analysis involves finding out why the poem was created, what had inspired it and what was its author's purpose: e.g., was it a romantic move or some political pamphlet. Making assumptions about that would help achieve a deeper understanding of author's main message.
Poetry Analysis Essay Example
In case you need an illustration for the guide provided above, we’ve got some real poem analysis example for your convenience. It includes decompositioning each specific line of the chosen verse and preparing a scheme of rhymes and rhythm in accordance with recommended steps. This should help you with writing your winning paper! You can also look through book reviews examples , they may help with your analysis.
How to Analyze a Poem: Final Thoughts
So these are the key things we needed to learn about the poem analysis concept. This included analyst’s main goal as well as typical features of a poetical composition. Ways to uncover its author's message have also been reviewed today. We've also provided a clear step by step guide to help you get started and prepared a working example of such analysis.
We have a team of skilled paper writers who are always ready for composing a top-notch analysis for you. From in-depth research to proper formatting, our experts will do everything to make you satisfied.
FAQ About Poetry Analysis
1. what are the 5 elements of a poem.
The list of elements of a poem may include: voice, diction, imagery, figures of speech, symbolism and allegory, syntax, sound, rhythm & meter, and structure. Context may also be included, especially when some verse relates to certain political or social events. Theme of a poetic text is its core element even if not specified directly. Rhyme scheme, rhythm, language, structure & theme are typically considered as main elements to be used in poetry analysis.
2. What qualifies as a poem?
A poem is a text where the interplay of words and rhythm plays the central role, usually even bigger than that of its contents. Its author conveys their ideas and feelings on a selected subject through rhyming, rhythms and word play as well as through the text itself. Therefore, poetical analysis is less focused on actual content and rather pays greater attention to the peculiarities of the literary tools usage.
3. How many paragraphs should a poetry analysis be?
Smaller poems usually need less analysis. Typical structure for high school literary analysis essay consists of five paragraphs: the three paragraphs of main body, plus introduction and conclusion. Of course, poetry analysis depends significantly on the selected poem’s complexity so it might take much more than that. If author uses several literary tools and the poem contains many hidden contextual references, at least several pages might be required to analyze that properly.
4. How long should the conclusion to your poetic analysis be?
At the end of your poetic analysis your goal is clearly restating your main thesis and summarize your findings, showing their relation to the thesis. At the same time, strong conclusion should broaden the scope of the essay. Typically it requires from four to six sentences. Please note that a conclusion must not be too long as its purpose is merely summarizing and highlighting your results without adding any new facts.
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How To Write A Poem Analysis Essay 2023
How to write a poem analysis essay.
How Can I Get Essay For Free and Is it realistic to expect a low-cost, High-Quality Essay from a Cheap Paper Writing Service ?
How To Write Really Good Poem Analysis
Poem analysis is the investigation of form, the content, structure of semiotics and the history of a poem in a well-informed manner with the goal of increasing the understanding of the poetry work. Poem analysis helps one respond to complex and complicated issues. Besides, poem analysis helps to separate a poem into parts hence easy to understand the whole. An essay for poetry analysis requires deep examination of all the styles and elements used during the creation of a poem. There are various issues to consider before writing a poem analysis.
The first step before writing a poem analysis essay is to read the poem with very high attention. Rereading the poem more than once is necessary to comprehend fully all thoughts and perceptions of the poet. Besides, rereading the poem enables one to observe the pattern of rhyme in case it is used, and other technical methods used by the author to express ideas. After checking the technical elements, one should check the background story about the author such as the time when the poem was written and the circumstances surrounding the composition.
The first and most crucial aspect of writing a poetic analysis essay is to have a line acting as an attention grabber for the readers. The poem analysis essay should start with either a single or two lines from the poem under analysis. Besides, one can decide to write an interesting statement about the environment surrounding the poem such as culture or history . In addition, one can make a brief summary using about three clear sentences that indicate contents of the essay. Another best alternative is to use a rhetorical question.
The essay outline gives the guideline of writing the essay . The first step in writing an outline is to have the title of the essay at the top of a page. The next step is to number in Roman numeric the sections to be covered in the essay. For instance, under introduction, the writer should list all the ideas to cover in the introductory paragraph. The final part of the introduction is meant for the thesis statement. The next sections under the outline should list the elements to be discussed under each paragraph. The body contains discussion for the different poetic devices. Finally, the essay should have a conclusion.
The thesis statement is always the last sentence of the introduction paragraph. It tells the reader the content to expect in the essay. It should be precise in words and state the purpose of the essay. The thesis statement comes from the perspective the writer of essay chooses in the introduction. The writer should, therefore, choose the point of view in the introduction paragraph which then gives a guide on the formulation of the best thesis statement.
The introduction should give a brief summary and the background information of the poem. The summary gives ideas about the issues addressed in the poem. The background information goes beyond what the author has written. It helps the reader know some information about the author, location and the general context under which the poem was written. The introduction finalizes with the thesis statement as discussed above.
A good essay should have a body with each paragraph exclusively discussing each of the poetic devices the author has used in the poem. In discussing each paragraph, the writer should choose a poetic device and illustrate with about three examples from the poem. In addition, the writer of an essay should explain how each of the selected poetic devices expresses meaning. Basically, the paragraph structure is made of a topic sentence, example illustration from the poem, supporting quote and finally the commentary or rather the explanation.
Most of the poems have the literal meaning and the actual theme. The writer creates a connection between the quotes of the author and the actual meaning of the poem through explaining how the device signifies the meaning of the poem. Before writing the theme, the essay writer should pay attention to the literal meaning as illustrated by the author of the poem. It becomes easier to observe the emerging patterns which relate to the choice of words in the poem. The essay writer can now determine the main purpose and idea of the poet.
Another important aspect of the discussion is how to analyze the genre used in the poem. The first step should be to give additional information about the genre under discussion. The writer should also put in consideration the audience to relate with the genre. The argument should, therefore, be very relevant and persuasive to the target audience. In addition, one should analyze thoroughly the elements of the genre. The next aspects are versification and figures of speech applied in the poem.
The essay writer should be keen on the rhyme and its impact on the poem. Clear comprehension of the rhyme helps the reader determine the mood of the poem. In addition, the stressed words in the poem give more meaning to the poem. Other sound effects include alliteration, onomatopoeia, and assonance. Besides, the poet may use imagery and symbolism to pass the message. The essay writer needs to understand why such aspects have been introduced in a poem for simplified analysis.
Every poem tends to have a cultural context because different cultures have varied issues affecting them. It is within these contexts that poets derive different themes for their poems. The poem analysis essay should, therefore, capture the cultural context to get a clear understanding beyond the literal meaning of a poem. The essay writer should check out the diction used which can give a clue of the culture and discussion.
In the conclusion of poem analysis essay, one should review the main points discussed. In addition, the essay writer should give an explanation as to why the poet felt the topic of the poem was crucial. Besides, the concluding paragraph should have a relationship with the beginning of the essay like emphasizing on a sentence or phrase used at the start. Another crucial tip of the conclusion is to include sentences consisting of majorly one-syllable words which create an effect of drama. Additionally, one can use either a compound or parallel sentence to establish balance, especially for a complex poem analysis. The final section is to explain the relationship between the subject matter of the poem and outside world.
Revising the essay is a very important before submission. There are various tips to revise a poem analysis essay. Confirming transitions from one paragraph to the next is necessary so that the reader to follow along. Another important tip is to do peer review where you share the essay with others who in turn help to correct the errors. In addition, one should check the structure of the essay which is necessary to cut unnecessary sentences and restructure the confusing ones.
Analysis of the poem “We Wear the Mask”
In life, people can easily judge you by what you do, the look and even feel. However, sometimes people hide these factors by putting on a mask as illustrated by Paul Laurence Dunbar in the poem “We Wear the Mask.” Dunbar wrote in the late 1800s, a period when the United States experienced serious turbulence in racial relations. The African Americans lacked equal opportunities in various sectors such as education and employment when compared to the white race. These trends affected the poet too who could not get an employment opportunity even after successful completion of high school. The poet applies elements of imagery, metaphors, and hyperboles to illustrate the theme that people fake their true image due to harsh societal judgment.
Dunbar applies imagery to create the mood of suspicion in the poem. In the first stanza, the poet says “we wear the mask that grins and lies/ it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes.” These lines are best examples of imagery. When the poet says “it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,” he implies that an individual wears a mask without necessarily saying it. The main use of imagery in the starting line of the poem points out that feelings are involved yet they are hidden.
Besides, the poet uses hyperbole to create the poem addressing torture and indecision. Dunbar says “this debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, and mouth with myriad subtleties.” The high exaggeration indicates how the person may be ruined within but looks perfectly happy from outside. The individual behind the mask is, therefore, an aggrieved one.
In addition, Dunbar uses metaphor to pass the message of someone hidden behind the mask. People hide behind masks because of feelings and not just for the sake of being fake. The third stanza of the poem indicates how the harsh judgment and criticism lead to the feelings and negative results such as low self-esteem or self-hate. Pretending, therefore, becomes the solution. Dunbar writes “Why should the world be over-wise/ In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, / while we wear the mask.” The line suggests that we should not let other people make us suffer.
Through the use of rhythm, figurative language and mood, the poet creates a mysterious, striking and suspicious poem. Any reader of the poem should carefully analyze it to understand the theme which is a judgement from the mask. Fear of being judged by others makes people do varied things that can hide their true image.
Explore the Greatest Poetry
10 of the best (and easiest) poems to analyze .
A great deal of classical and contemporary writing is a pleasure to indulge in. A few of the best examples are included in the list below.
A great deal of the poetry produced since we started putting our thoughts on paper drowns itself out in complex metaphors, indecipherable decades after they were written. Or, contains language that has fallen out of common use or is a better example of a poet’s desire to sound educated, through the twisting and manipulating of syntax, than it is an expression of any theme worth delving into.
These poems were selected for their ease of understanding, their clear representation of various poetic techniques, and their interesting historical backgrounds. If you’re looking for a powerful, but easy, poem to analyze, this article is for you.
Best/Easiest Poems to Analyze
- 1 Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
- 2 Mother to Son by Langston Hughes
- 3 A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
- 4 Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
- 5 Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas
- 6 The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
- 7 If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda
- 8 The Tyger by William Blake
- 9 Daffodils by William Wordsworth
- 10 Trees by Joyce Kilmer
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Not Robert Frost ’s best-known work, but wonderful all the same, ‘Fire and Ice’ is the perfect choice for someone who is interested in analyzing a poem that speaks on themes of life, death, and opposites. The text is short, only nine lines, and repetition, juxtaposition and rhyme play important roles. Frost’s diction is clear and the syntax is straightforward.
Read an analysis of ‘Fire and Ice’ here.
Mother to Son by Langston Hughes
This poem was first published in December of 1922 in the magazine, Crisis. It was also included in Langston Hughes ’ collection, The Weary Blues, published four years later. Within the text, Hughes uses the metaphor of a staircase to depict the difficulties and dangers one will face in life. The major themes are determination and wisdom. Told from the perspective of a mother, directing her words to her son, this piece is universally relatable. It clearly depicts themes and issues that are just as relevant today as they were when 100 years ago.
Read an analysis of ‘Mother to Son’ here.
A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
Lovers of poetry, and even those who only enjoy it occasionally, will immediately recognize the line, “All that we see or seem / is but a dream within a dream.” Many examples of Edgar Allan Poe ’s poetry are complex, filled with seemingly indecipherable images and mental landscapes, this piece is much simpler. The speaker knows that life is purposeless, there is no love nor is there reason to keep going. It has all turned into a dream state that he floats, and at the same time struggles, through.
Read an analysis of ‘A Dream Within a Dream’ here.
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
At its most basic level, ‘Still I Rise’ is a poem about confidence and empowerment. The speaker stands up to prejudice and preconceived notions of who she should be. Through the refrain, “I rise,” the reader should sense power building in the text. Repetition is used skillfully and effectively. This is likely Maya Angelou’ s’ most anthologized work, making it a perfect option for those interested in analyzing a piece of her poetry.
Read an analysis of ‘Still I Rise’ here .
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas’ best-known work, ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ is a universally relatable poem that has appeared multiple times popular media since its publication. ‘Do not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ was first published in 1951. Through powerful and skillfully composed language, Thomas encourages his father to realize the importance of his life by fighting back against the dark. Additionally, this piece had an important personal meaning to the poet, adding another layer of information you might choose to write about.
Read an analysis of ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ here.
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
With an important historical context, Emma Lazarus’ ‘The New Colossus’ is another example of how poetry does not need to be complex and filled with complicated images to convey deep meaning. In ‘The New Colossus’ Lazarus speaks about the Statue of Liberty and the fundamental beliefs the statue is supposed to represent. Plus, with all the historical details connected to this piece, there is a great deal for a prospective analyzer to write about.
Read an analysis of ‘The New Colossus’ here.
If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda
This is a love poem for those who aren’t interested in analyzing traditional stories of loss and heartbreak. Within ‘If You Forget Me’ Pablo Neruda speaks from a first-person perceptive and addresses his lover. He uses metaphors to compare their love to natural imagery and challenges them to forget him. If they do, he’ll have already “forgotten them”. Neruda uses accessible images and diction that makes this poem an interesting read and a great piece to take a deep dive into and analyze.
Read an analysis of ‘If You Forget Me’ here.
The Tyger by William Blake
Usually read alongside ‘ The Lamb ,’ this piece is William Blake ’s famous description of the darker, more dangerous side of God’s creation. Within the text, he juxtaposes the tiger with the kinder elements of the world, such as the lamb. Blake’s speaker asks the tiger where its eyes were made. As well as how any divine being could’ve made the decision to craft it in such a way. Although admitting his own fear of this creature, he also acknowledges its beauty and the skill it would’ve taken to create it. This piece is likely Blake’s most commonly anthologized. This means there is a great deal of information available about its composition and publication.
Read an analysis of ‘The Tyger’ here.
Daffodils by William Wordsworth
Also known as ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud,’ this piece is one of William Wordsworth ’s most popular. It describes one speaker’s progression through fields and hills on which he observes a “host, of golden daffodils”. The natural imagery is quite strong and depicted clearly. Using metaphors and similes Wordsworth also speaks on his own state of being while in natural environments. Then, how he takes that experience back into his less invigorating moments. The consistent rhyme scheme imbues ‘Daffodils’ with an even rhythm, taking the reader calmly and smoothly through the lines. As with most of the poems on this list, there is information readily available about this poem making analyzing it all the simpler.
Read an analysis ‘Daffodils’ here.
Trees by Joyce Kilmer
With its straightforward syntax and clear diction, ‘Trees’ is the perfect poem to analyze if you’re interested in themes of nature, poetic writing, and creation. The poem was written in February of 1913 and was first published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse . It was then included in Trees and Other Poems , one of Joyce Kilmer ’s most popular volumes. Within this piece, Kilmer depicts a single tree standing in as a representative for all trees. It is, he states, lovelier than any poem he, or anyone else, could ever write. Throughout the text, he praises God’s creation and speaks on man’s inability to create anything close to as majestic.
Read an analysis of ‘Trees’ here .
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Baldwin, Emma. "10 of the Best (and Easiest) Poems to Analyze ". Poem Analysis , https://poemanalysis.com/best-poems/easy-to-analyze/ . Accessed 27 February 2023.
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Writing About Poetry
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This section covers the basics of how to write about poetry, including why it is done, what you should know, and what you can write about.
Writing about poetry can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class. Poetry, by its very nature, makes demands on a writer who attempts to analyze it that other forms of literature do not. So how can you write a clear, confident, well-supported essay about poetry? This handout offers answers to some common questions about writing about poetry.
What's the Point?
In order to write effectively about poetry, one needs a clear idea of what the point of writing about poetry is. When you are assigned an analytical essay about a poem in an English class, the goal of the assignment is usually to argue a specific thesis about the poem, using your analysis of specific elements in the poem and how those elements relate to each other to support your thesis.
So why would your teacher give you such an assignment? What are the benefits of learning to write analytic essays about poetry? Several important reasons suggest themselves:
- To help you learn to make a text-based argument. That is, to help you to defend ideas based on a text that is available to you and other readers. This sharpens your reasoning skills by forcing you to formulate an interpretation of something someone else has written and to support that interpretation by providing logically valid reasons why someone else who has read the poem should agree with your argument. This isn't a skill that is just important in academics, by the way. Lawyers, politicians, and journalists often find that they need to make use of similar skills.
- To help you to understand what you are reading more fully. Nothing causes a person to make an extra effort to understand difficult material like the task of writing about it. Also, writing has a way of helping you to see things that you may have otherwise missed simply by causing you to think about how to frame your own analysis.
- To help you enjoy poetry more! This may sound unlikely, but one of the real pleasures of poetry is the opportunity to wrestle with the text and co-create meaning with the author. When you put together a well-constructed analysis of the poem, you are not only showing that you understand what is there, you are also contributing to an ongoing conversation about the poem. If your reading is convincing enough, everyone who has read your essay will get a little more out of the poem because of your analysis.
What Should I Know about Writing about Poetry?
Most importantly, you should realize that a paper that you write about a poem or poems is an argument. Make sure that you have something specific that you want to say about the poem that you are discussing. This specific argument that you want to make about the poem will be your thesis. You will support this thesis by drawing examples and evidence from the poem itself. In order to make a credible argument about the poem, you will want to analyze how the poem works—what genre the poem fits into, what its themes are, and what poetic techniques and figures of speech are used.
What Can I Write About?
Theme: One place to start when writing about poetry is to look at any significant themes that emerge in the poetry. Does the poetry deal with themes related to love, death, war, or peace? What other themes show up in the poem? Are there particular historical events that are mentioned in the poem? What are the most important concepts that are addressed in the poem?
Genre: What kind of poem are you looking at? Is it an epic (a long poem on a heroic subject)? Is it a sonnet (a brief poem, usually consisting of fourteen lines)? Is it an ode? A satire? An elegy? A lyric? Does it fit into a specific literary movement such as Modernism, Romanticism, Neoclassicism, or Renaissance poetry? This is another place where you may need to do some research in an introductory poetry text or encyclopedia to find out what distinguishes specific genres and movements.
Versification: Look closely at the poem's rhyme and meter. Is there an identifiable rhyme scheme? Is there a set number of syllables in each line? The most common meter for poetry in English is iambic pentameter, which has five feet of two syllables each (thus the name "pentameter") in each of which the strongly stressed syllable follows the unstressed syllable. You can learn more about rhyme and meter by consulting our handout on sound and meter in poetry or the introduction to a standard textbook for poetry such as the Norton Anthology of Poetry . Also relevant to this category of concerns are techniques such as caesura (a pause in the middle of a line) and enjambment (continuing a grammatical sentence or clause from one line to the next). Is there anything that you can tell about the poem from the choices that the author has made in this area? For more information about important literary terms, see our handout on the subject.
Figures of speech: Are there literary devices being used that affect how you read the poem? Here are some examples of commonly discussed figures of speech:
- metaphor: comparison between two unlike things
- simile: comparison between two unlike things using "like" or "as"
- metonymy: one thing stands for something else that is closely related to it (For example, using the phrase "the crown" to refer to the king would be an example of metonymy.)
- synecdoche: a part stands in for a whole (For example, in the phrase "all hands on deck," "hands" stands in for the people in the ship's crew.)
- personification: a non-human thing is endowed with human characteristics
- litotes: a double negative is used for poetic effect (example: not unlike, not displeased)
- irony: a difference between the surface meaning of the words and the implications that may be drawn from them
Cultural Context: How does the poem you are looking at relate to the historical context in which it was written? For example, what's the cultural significance of Walt Whitman's famous elegy for Lincoln "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" in light of post-Civil War cultural trends in the U.S.A? How does John Donne's devotional poetry relate to the contentious religious climate in seventeenth-century England? These questions may take you out of the literature section of your library altogether and involve finding out about philosophy, history, religion, economics, music, or the visual arts.
What Style Should I Use?
It is useful to follow some standard conventions when writing about poetry. First, when you analyze a poem, it is best to use present tense rather than past tense for your verbs. Second, you will want to make use of numerous quotations from the poem and explain their meaning and their significance to your argument. After all, if you do not quote the poem itself when you are making an argument about it, you damage your credibility. If your teacher asks for outside criticism of the poem as well, you should also cite points made by other critics that are relevant to your argument. A third point to remember is that there are various citation formats for citing both the material you get from the poems themselves and the information you get from other critical sources. The most common citation format for writing about poetry is the Modern Language Association (MLA) format .
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How to Write Literary Analysis
When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment. You might find yourself reading to get caught up in an exciting story, to learn about an interesting time or place, or just to pass time. 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. 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. 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?” “How does it do what it does?” and, “Why might the author have made the choices he or she did?”
The Seven Steps
No one is born knowing how to analyze literature; it’s a skill you learn and a process you can master. As you gain more practice with this kind of thinking and writing, you’ll be able to craft a method that works best for you. But until then, here are seven basic steps to writing a well-constructed literary essay.
- 1. Ask questions
- 2. Collect evidence
- 3. Construct a thesis
- 4. Develop and organize arguments
- 5. Write the introduction
- 6. Write the body paragraphs
- 7. Write the conclusion
1 Ask Questions
When you’re assigned a literary essay in class, your teacher will often provide you with a list of writing prompts. Lucky you! Now all you have to do is choose one. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you. You’ll have a much better (not to mention easier) time if you start off with something you enjoy thinking about. If you are asked to come up with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little panicked. Maybe you have too many ideas—or none at all. Don’t worry. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions:
What struck you?
Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long time? If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay.
What confused you?
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. Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole.
Did you notice any patterns?
Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book? If you can figure out how that pattern weaves through the work and what the significance of that pattern is, you’ve almost got your entire essay mapped out.
Did you notice any contradictions or ironies?
Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities. 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. If you can find a way to explain a work’s contradictory elements, you’ve got the seeds of a great essay.
At this point, you don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to say about your topic; you just need a place to begin your exploration. 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. 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? Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length?
“Are Romeo and Juliet’s parents responsible for the deaths of their children?”
“Why do pigs keep showing up in Lord of the Flies ?”
“Are Dr. Frankenstein and his monster alike? How?”
“What happens to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird ?”
“What do the other characters in Julius Caesar think about Caesar?”
“How does Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter remind me of my sister?”
2 Collect Evidence
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. Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to say yet—right now you’re just collecting ideas and material and letting it all percolate. Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic. Eventually, you’ll start making connections between these examples and your thesis will emerge.
Here’s a brief summary of the various parts that compose each and every work of literature. 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.
Elements of Story
These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens.
Elements of Style
These are the hows —how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work.
Structure and organization
Point of view, figurative language, 3 construct a thesis.
When you’ve examined all the evidence you’ve collected and know how you want to answer the question, it’s time to write your thesis statement. 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. A good thesis will be:
“ The Great Gatsby describes New York society in the 1920s” isn’t a thesis—it’s a fact.
Provable through textual evidence.
“ Hamlet is a confusing but ultimately very well-written play” is a weak thesis because it offers the writer’s personal opinion about the book. Yes, it’s arguable, but it’s not a claim that can be proved or supported with examples taken from the play itself.
“Both George and Lenny change a great deal in Of Mice and Men ” is a weak thesis because it’s obvious. A really strong thesis will argue for a reading of the text that is not immediately apparent.
“Dr. Frankenstein’s monster tells us a lot about the human condition” is almost a really great thesis statement, but it’s still too vague. What does the writer mean by “a lot”? How does the monster tell us so much about the human condition?
Good Thesis Statements
Question: In Romeo and Juliet , which is more powerful in shaping the lovers’ story: fate or foolishness?
Thesis: “Though Shakespeare defines Romeo and Juliet as ‘star- crossed lovers’ and images of stars and planets appear throughout the play, a closer examination of that celestial imagery reveals that the stars are merely witnesses to the characters’ foolish activities and not the causes themselves.”
Question: How does the bell jar function as a symbol in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar ?
Thesis: “A bell jar is a bell-shaped glass that has three basic uses: to hold a specimen for observation, to contain gases, and to maintain a vacuum. The bell jar appears in each of these capacities in The Bell Jar , Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel, and each appearance marks a different stage in Esther’s mental breakdown.”
Question: Would Piggy in The Lord of the Flies make a good island leader if he were given the chance?
Thesis: “Though the intelligent, rational, and innovative Piggy has the mental characteristics of a good leader, he ultimately lacks the social skills necessary to be an effective one. Golding emphasizes this point by giving Piggy a foil in the charismatic Jack, whose magnetic personality allows him to capture and wield power effectively, if not always wisely.”
4 Develop and Organize Arguments
The reasons and examples that support your thesis will form the middle paragraphs of your essay. Since you can’t really write your thesis statement until you know how you’ll structure your argument, you’ll probably end up working on steps 3 and 4 at the same time.
There’s no single method of argumentation that will work in every context. One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two characters, while another asks you to trace an image through a given work of literature. These questions require different kinds of answers and therefore different kinds of arguments. Below, we’ll discuss three common kinds of essay prompts and some strategies for constructing a solid, well-argued case.
Types of Literary Essays
Compare and contrast.
Compare and contrast the characters of Huck and Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn .
Chances are you’ve written this kind of essay before. In an academic literary context, you’ll organize your arguments the same way you would in any other class. You can either go subject by subject or point by point . In the former, you’ll discuss one character first and then the second. In the latter, you’ll choose several traits (attitude toward life, social status, images and metaphors associated with the character) and devote a paragraph to each. You may want to use a mix of these two approaches—for example, you may want to spend a paragraph apiece broadly sketching Huck’s and Jim’s personalities before transitioning into a paragraph or two that describes a few key points of comparison. This can be a highly effective strategy if you want to make a counterintuitive argument—that, despite seeming to be totally different, the two objects being compared are actually similar in a very important way (or vice versa). Remember that your essay should reveal something fresh or unexpected about the text, so think beyond the obvious parallels and differences.
Choose an image—for example, birds, knives, or eyes—and trace that image throughout Macbeth .
Sounds pretty easy, right? All you need to do is read the play, underline every appearance of a knife in Macbeth , and then list them in your essay in the order they appear, right? Well, not exactly. Your teacher doesn’t want a simple catalog of examples. He or she wants to see you make connections between those examples—that’s the difference between summarizing and analyzing. In the Macbeth example above, think about the different contexts in which knives appear in the play and to what effect. In Macbeth , there are real knives and imagined knives; knives that kill and knives that simply threaten. Categorize and classify your examples to give them some order. Finally, always keep the overall effect in mind. After you choose and analyze your examples, you should come to some greater understanding about the work, as well as your chosen image, symbol, or phrase’s role in developing the major themes and stylistic strategies of that work.
Is the society depicted in 1984 good for its citizens?
In this kind of essay, you’re being asked to debate a moral, ethical, or aesthetic issue regarding the work. You might be asked to judge a character or group of characters ( Is Caesar responsible for his own demise ?) or the work itself ( Is Jane Eyre a feminist novel ?). For this kind of essay, there are two important points to keep in mind. First, don’t simply base your arguments on your personal feelings and reactions. Every literary essay expects you to read and analyze the work, so search for evidence in the text. What do characters in 1984 have to say about the government of Oceania? What images does Orwell use that might give you a hint about his attitude toward the government? As in any debate, you also need to make sure that you define all the necessary terms before you begin to argue your case. What does it mean to be a “good” society? What makes a novel “feminist”? You should define your terms right up front, in the first paragraph after your introduction.
Second, remember that strong literary essays make contrary and surprising arguments. Try to think outside the box. In the 1984 example above, it seems like the obvious answer would be no, the totalitarian society depicted in Orwell’s novel is not good for its citizens. But can you think of any arguments for the opposite side? Even if your final assertion is that the novel depicts a cruel, repressive, and therefore harmful society, acknowledging and responding to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case.
5 Write the Introduction
Your introduction sets up the entire essay. It’s where you present your topic and articulate the particular issues and questions you’ll be addressing. It’s also where you, as the writer, introduce yourself to your readers. A persuasive literary essay immediately establishes its writer as a knowledgeable, authoritative figure.
An introduction can vary in length depending on the overall length of the essay, but in a traditional five-paragraph essay it should be no longer than one paragraph. However long it is, your introduction needs to:
Provide any necessary context.
Your introduction should situate the reader and let him or her know what to expect. What book are you discussing? Which characters? What topic will you be addressing?
Answer the “So what?” question.
Why is this topic important, and why is your particular position on the topic noteworthy? Ideally, your introduction should pique the reader’s interest by suggesting how your argument is surprising or otherwise counterintuitive. Literary essays make unexpected connections and reveal less-than-obvious truths.
Present your thesis.
This usually happens at or very near the end of your introduction.
Indicate the shape of the essay to come.
Your reader should finish reading your introduction with a good sense of the scope of your essay as well as the path you’ll take toward proving your thesis. You don’t need to spell out every step, but you do need to suggest the organizational pattern you’ll be using.
Your introduction should not:
Beware of the two killer words in literary analysis: interesting and important. Of course the work, question, or example is interesting and important—that’s why you’re writing about it!
Open with any grandiose assertions.
Many student readers think that beginning their essays with a flamboyant statement such as, “Since the dawn of time, writers have been fascinated with the topic of free will,” makes them sound important and commanding. You know what? It actually sounds pretty amateurish.
Wildly praise the work.
Another typical mistake student writers make is extolling the work or author. Your teacher doesn’t need to be told that “Shakespeare is perhaps the greatest writer in the English language.” You can mention a work’s reputation in passing—by referring to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as “Mark Twain’s enduring classic,” for example—but don’t make a point of bringing it up unless that reputation is key to your argument.
Keep your introduction streamlined and to the point. Don’t feel the need to throw in all kinds of bells and whistles in order to impress your reader—just get to the point as quickly as you can, without skimping on any of the required steps.
6 Write the Body Paragraphs
Once you’ve written your introduction, you’ll take the arguments you developed in step 4 and turn them into your body paragraphs. 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.
Topic sentences are like signs on a highway: they tell the reader where they are and where they’re going. A good topic sentence not only alerts readers to what issue will be discussed in the following paragraph but also gives them a sense of what argument will be made about that issue. “Rumor and gossip play an important role in The Crucible ” isn’t a strong topic sentence because it doesn’t tell us very much. “The community’s constant gossiping creates an environment that allows false accusations to flourish” is a much stronger topic sentence— it not only tells us what the paragraph will discuss (gossip) but how the paragraph will discuss the topic (by showing how gossip creates a set of conditions that leads to the play’s climactic action).
Fully and completely develop a single thought.
Don’t skip around in your paragraph or try to stuff in too much material. Body paragraphs are like bricks: each individual one needs to be strong and sturdy or the entire structure will collapse. Make sure you have really proven your point before moving on to the next one.
Use transitions effectively.
Good literary essay writers know that each paragraph must be clearly and strongly linked to the material around it. Think of each paragraph as a response to the one that precedes it. Use transition words and phrases such as however, similarly, on the contrary, therefore, and furthermore to indicate what kind of response you’re making.
7 Write the Conclusion
Just as you used the introduction to ground your readers in the topic before providing your thesis, you’ll use the conclusion to quickly summarize the specifics learned thus far and then hint at the broader implications of your topic. A good conclusion will:
Do more than simply restate the thesis.
If your thesis argued that The Catcher in the Rye can be read as a Christian allegory, don’t simply end your essay by saying, “And that is why The Catcher in the Rye can be read as a Christian allegory.” If you’ve constructed your arguments well, this kind of statement will just be redundant.
Synthesize the arguments, not summarize them.
Similarly, don’t repeat the details of your body paragraphs in your conclusion. The reader has already read your essay, and chances are it’s not so long that they’ve forgotten all your points by now.
Revisit the “So what?” question.
In your introduction, you made a case for why your topic and position are important. You should close your essay with the same sort of gesture. What do your readers know now that they didn’t know before? How will that knowledge help them better appreciate or understand the work overall?
Move from the specific to the general.
Your essay has most likely treated a very specific element of the work—a single character, a small set of images, or a particular passage. In your conclusion, try to show how this narrow discussion has wider implications for the work overall. If your essay on To Kill a Mockingbird focused on the character of Boo Radley, for example, you might want to include a bit in your conclusion about how he fits into the novel’s larger message about childhood, innocence, or family life.
Your conclusion should suggest new directions of thought, but it shouldn’t be treated as an opportunity to pad your essay with all the extra, interesting ideas you came up with during your brainstorming sessions but couldn’t fit into the essay proper. Don’t attempt to stuff in unrelated queries or too many abstract thoughts.
Avoid making overblown closing statements.
A conclusion should open up your highly specific, focused discussion, but it should do so without drawing a sweeping lesson about life or human nature. Making such observations may be part of the point of reading, but it’s almost always a mistake in essays, where these observations tend to sound overly dramatic or simply silly.
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Academic Writing Resources for Students
Literary analysis: sample essay.
We turn once more to Joanna Wolfe’s and Laura Wilder’s Digging into Literature: Strategies for Reading, Writing, and Analysis (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016) in order to show you their example of a strong student essay that has a strong central claim elucidated by multiple surface/depth arguments supported by patterns of evidence.
Sylvia Plath’s short poem “Morning Song” explores the conflicted emotions of a new mother. On the one hand, the mother recognizes that she is expected to treasure and celebrate her infant, but on the other hand, she feels strangely removed from the child. The poem uses a combination of scientific and natural imagery to illustrate the mother’s feelings of alienation. By the end of the poem, however, we see a shift in this imagery as the mother begins to see the infant in more human terms.
There are several references to scientific imagery in “Morning Song” that suggest that mother is viewing the baby in clinical, scientific terms rather than as a new life. The poem refers to magnification (4) and reflection (8), both of which are scientific methods. The word “distills” (8) refers to a scientific, chemical process for removing impurities from a substance. The baby’s cry is described as taking “its place among the elements” (3), which seems to refer to the periodic table of elements, the primordial matter of the universe. The watch in the first line is similarly a scientific tool and the gold the watch is made of is, of course, an element, like the baby’s cry. Even the balloons in the last line have a scientific connotation since balloons are often used for measurements and experiments in science. These images all serve to show how the speaker feels distanced from the baby, who is like a scientific experiment she is conducting rather than a human being.
Natural imagery also seems to further dehumanize the baby, reducing it to nothing more than its mouth. The baby’s breathing is compared to a moth in line 10, suggesting that the speaker feels the infant is fragile and is as likely to die as a moth dancing around candlelight. A few lines later, the baby’s mouth is compared to another animal—a cat—who greedily opens its mouth for milk. Not only does the speaker seem to feel that the baby is like an animal, but she herself is turned into an animal, as she arises “cow-heavy” (13) to feed the infant. These images show how the speaker sees both the baby and herself as dumb animals who exist only to feed and be fed. Even the morning itself seems to be reduced to another mouth to feed as she describes how the dawn “swallows its dull stars” (16). These lines suggest that just as the sun swallows up the stars, so the baby will swallow up this mother.
However, in the last few lines the poem takes a hopeful turn as the speaker begins to view the baby as a human being. The baby’s mouth, which has previously been greedy and animal-like, now becomes a source of music, producing a “handful of notes” (17) and “clear vowels” (18). Music is a distinctly human sound. No animals and certainly not the cats, cows, or moths mentioned earlier in the poem, make music. This change in how the speaker perceives the baby’s sounds—from animalistic cry to human song—suggest that she is beginning to relate the baby as an individual. Even the word “handful” in the phrase “handful of notes” (17) seems hopeful in this context since this is the first time the mother has referred to the baby as having a distinctly human body part. When the baby’s notes finally “rise like balloons” (18), the speaker seems to have arrived at a place where she can celebrate the infant. For the first time, the infant is giving something to the speaker rather than threatening to take something away. The mother seems to have finally accepted the child as an independent human being whose company she can celebrate.
Create and support an argument about a piece of literature. Analyze either poetry or prose.
Essay #2 – literary analysis.
Assignment: For your second essay in this class, you will create and support an argument about a piece of literature. For this assignment, you will analyze either poetry or prose.
Specifics: 3-4 pages, double spaced, 1” margins, 12 pt font, Times New Roman
When writing this essay, you’ll have more tools at your disposal to use, such as imagery, language, theme, characterization, etc. Rhetorical concepts such as ethos, pathos, logos may also help you formulate an argument about a piece of literature. Here are a few questions to consider about analyzing a piece of literature: • What is this story/poem about? • What are some of the noticeable features? (tone, diction, theme, imagery, etc.) • What is the main point/argument you want to make about the piece? • What are some examples from the piece that will support your argument?
An analysis of poetry may tackle the imagery found in the piece. Is there a reoccurring image that transcends the text or story, and speaks to a larger state of the world, of humanity? For example, if a poet keeps returning to images of birds, literally or metaphorically, can that be argued as a statement about escapism?
Or, an analysis may examine connection between the form and content of the poem. Is the way the poem is written reflective of the theme? Say, do short, choppy sentences add to the image of a speeding train, or a car accident? Does an overuse of punctuation (or lack thereof) reflect a theme of chaos, or lack of control?
An analysis of a short story might identify theme(s)—the struggles of marriage, paranoia in a post-9/11 society, etc.—through characterization or point of view. Does a character speak or act negatively toward/about women? If so, is the author making a larger statement about misogyny? Is this reflective of the place where the story takes place? Or, an analysis may show how the author hints at theme through the narrator’s point of view. Are the thoughts or interactions of the protagonist an examination of the process of growing up? How does this speak to the reader?
A successful Literary Analysis will: • Give a brief description of the piece(s) studied, information about the author, followed by a clear thesis in which you state your argument about the story/poem. • Provide examples from the piece, as well as outside sources (if needed), that support your argument.
• Analyze the audience targeted in the story/poem: who might this resonate with most? • Analyze the context of the story/poem: what cultural phenomena/current event are referenced. • Consider a variety of other possible interpretations of the story/poem (acknowledge that there’s not only one way to read the piece.) Course objectives emphasized in this assignment: • Engage in writing as a recursive process • Develop essays around a specific purpose • Explore the nature of academic discourse and examine what counts as evidence in academic writing
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- Analyzing Poetry
- Analyzing Novels & Short Stories
- Analyzing Plays
- Analyzing Scholarly Articles
- Analyzing Visual Images
- Rhetorical Analysis
- Rhetorical Terms
Words of Wisdom
Every writer I know has trouble writing.
— Joseph Heller
To analyze a poem, you must break it down into all its important elements and explain how they work together to create an effect or reinforce a meaning. Read your assignment carefully to find out what you’re being asked to do, since there are many ways to present an analysis. You may, for example, be required to do research in order to incorporate the opinion of literary critics into your own analysis. Or you may be asked to present only your own interpretation. In any case, before you write, you need a solid understanding of the poem or poems you’ll be analyzing. This handout will help you break down a poem into its key elements and get you started on writing a thesis.
Before you break the poem apart, identify its basic content. You should be able to summarize your poem. Creating a summary will focus your thoughts about the poem. However, you may not need to include it when you write your analysis, since you can usually assume your readers will know what the poem is about.
It‘s also sometimes helpful to label the sections of a poem. Can you find a pattern of organization? Stanzas may be a guide, but even poems not divided into obvious stanzas may have sections that function differently. A Shakespearian sonnet, for example, can be divided into four parts. It may help to write down what each section says.
You may not need to write about all these elements in your essay, but think about them all before you begin writing so you can decide which contribute most to the poem’s effect or theme.
Narrators, Characters, and Setting
Consider the narrator . Remember, the person voicing the words is not necessarily the author. For example, in “The Forsaken Merman,” the speaker is the merman rather than the poet, Matthew Arnold. Also consider to whom the poem is addressed. Gwendolyn Brooks’ famous poem about abortion, “The Mother,” first speaks to other mothers who have had an abortion, then switches to addressing the babies who were never born. These speakers and addressees are like characters in the poem. How do they affect the poem’s words? Why did the poet choose them as vehicles for the words?
Setting can also be important as can the poet’s personal history. In Claude’s McKay’s “Harlem Shadows” we see the image of prostitutes “wandering” and “prowling” the streets of New York City on a cold night in the 1920s. Harlem, the setting for the struggles of McKay’s “fallen race,” is also symbolic for the whole country, the larger site of struggle and oppression. If you also know that McKay was a communist as a young man and that he eventually converted to Catholicism, it may shed some light on his attitude toward the women in the poem.
Look at the structure of the poem and consider the type of poem the author chose to write. There are a number of poetic forms, and poets will choose one carefully. Think also about the poem’s rhythm. Is it fast and breathless or slow and halting? Did the author use a specific meter? Meter measures the number of stressed and unstressed syllables in each line. For example, in iambic pentameter, the most commonly used meter in English, each line is ten syllables with a stress on every second syllable.
Once you’ve looked at structure, ask why the poet made these choices. Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “Sestina,” for example, uses the traditional French sestina to tell about a grandmother and granddaughter in a kitchen. The sestina is a classic form of poetry that does not rhyme but has repeating end words according to a strict pattern. The style is somewhat artificial and not very popular. So why did Bishop choose not only to write in this form, but name the poem after the form? In the poem, Bishop is presenting the façade of happy home life and hinting at the sadness behind it. By using the sestina, Bishop brings more attention to the artificial structure, using the rigid sestina to control and conceal the poem’s emotion just as the grandmother tries to conceal her heartbreak.
Tone is difficult to define concretely because it’s essentially the mood, which can be personal to each reader. Consider the effect of these words from Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”:
The first line creates a comforting haven of the woods, a slumberous peace. The next three lines are those of a weary traveler. The repetition of “miles to go before I sleep” makes the reader feel the narrator’s longing for rest along with his resigned determination to finish what he’s started. Contrast Frost’s words with these from “The Congo” by Vachel Lindsay:
Lindsay writes about the way men in the African Congo murder over diamonds and gold. A heavy, deep, chanting rhythm creates a primal tone of force and foreboding to match his subject matter.
Diction, Imagery, Metaphor
Because a poem is generally compact, every word is important. Examine the words (diction) and how they’re used to create an impression that evokes the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, or sound (imagery). Comparisons (metaphor or simile) are also powerful ways poets create an impression or convey an idea. For example, Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Two Countries” is about loneliness and finding love again:
Nye uses metaphor by comparing loneliness to “a gray tunnel” and a “feather lost from the tail of a bird.” The tunnel signifies a void with no end. The fact that the tunnel is gray renders it vague and ghostly. Consider the difference it would have made if she’d described the tunnel as black. The feather, a delicate, tiny thing that was once part of a greater whole, is now listless and lost. These metaphors portray loneliness as an empty and floating nothingness, without direction or end.
Nye also uses imagery . She talks of the feather “swirling onto a step” and “swept away by someone who never saw it was a feather.” Here, the feather is personified, looking for welcome but carelessly brushed aside by someone who just didn’t see it. This imagery evokes the sense of touch, presenting the human as a delicate, hopeful thing easily brushed aside. Finally, Nye chose to refer to a person as “skin.” This diction immediately creates an intimacy between the subject and the reader, something we can feel and touch.
After you determine the key elements of the poem, you can begin to write your thesis. Start by making an observation about the poem; then explain how it is achieved. Usually in an analysis you can focus on one key element, such as imagery, and show how it works in the poem; or, you can focus on a theme or mood or some overarching aspect of the poem, and show how the parts contribute to that.
One way to write a thesis for your analysis is to link these two sentences. You may have to rephrase it or omit some words, but your basic ideas will be the same.
Once your thesis is written, outline your paragraphs and choose your evidence. Include specific examples quoted from the poem. Don’t forget to check your assignment for particulars about how you’re supposed to write the essay.
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Literary Analysis Essay Example: 20 Insightful Examples
Feb 10, 2022 | 0 comments
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What is Literary Analysis Essay
A literary analysis essay example is an academic assignment that examines and evaluates a work of literature or a given aspect of a specific literary piece. It tells about the big idea or theme of a book you’ve read. The literary essay may be about any book or any literary topic imaginable.
The purpose of a literary analysis essay is to give the reader a full perspective on the major idea or theme of the literature work. It just presents the main intention of the writer in constructing the piece.
In a literary analysis essay, the writer shares their opinion about the theme and other literary elements of writing.
These views are supported with textual evidence from relevant work to back up what is being said. It may not have a thesis statement depending on whether it’s an informative or argumentative essay type.
Let me break it up into two stages to start the journey. Your job is to synthesize a claimed or thematic statement about the passage and use your essay to support your ideas.
Your professor always reads the text you’re studying, so you don’t have to talk about what happened in the plot.
You reread most of the books before, and you know about them that if they are simply because you merely recite a book’s major characters as proof that you reread them, but the analysis would need more.
There can be many sections in this style, including but not limited to the introduction, body paragraphs supporting claims for your point-of-view (argument), conclusion where these points converge into one strong consensus called “claim.”
The following are the features that distinguish a literary analysis essay from other types of papers:
- A narrative is included in a literary analysis essay.
- It is interpretative;
- It does not contain an argumentative thesis;
- It is a report.
Writing a literary analysis essay is an essential part of academics.
High school and college students often get assigned this type of paper.
A literary essay is one of the different types of essays that require good analyzing skills, strong analytical abilities, and the ability to write well to be successful as something people want to read.
What is the Purpose of a Literary Analysis Essay?
The purpose of a literary analysis essay is to carefully examine and sometimes evaluate a work of literature or an aspect of a work of literature. As with any analysis, this requires you to break the subject down into its component parts.
Examining the different elements of a piece of literature is not an end in itself but rather a process to help you better appreciate and understand the work of literature as a whole.
For instance, an analysis of a poem might deal with the different types of images in a poem or with the relationship between the form and content of the work. If you were to analyze a play, you might analyze the relationship between a subplot and the main plot, or you might analyze the character flaw of the tragic hero by tracing how it is revealed throughout the play.
You can choose from many approaches when analyzing a piece of literature. Common literary analysis essay focuses include characterization, structure, setting, language, theme, and symbolism.
Elements of Literature
Literature is the ideas or devices that make up a story.
These elements are used to develop literary works, and without them, no essay can be complete.
Some of these elements have more prominence than others, which do not play a significant role when it comes down to choosing literature for analysis purposes like I am doing now with this piece called “The Elements Of Literature.”
True analysis means examining the text as if as an investigator.
Set, characters, and setting each leave details of deeper meaning, and the only thing you do is find these out. Characters are useful to analysis because they act to cause and react to an event in a story.
Conflict is the fight between two opposing forces, usually the main protagonist and antagonists.
You may easily understand the setting because authors usually express opinions through character representation of races, religions, or gender.
The author may express some opinions through their characters can have provocative and revealing thoughts as well. In any analysis, sometimes a character gets started.
The plot is one of the essential elements in a literary essay because it provides insight into how the story unfolds and discusses patterns of events that make up a story.
Sometimes authors use nonlinear plots, such as flashbacks or future events- these can help make your work captivating to readers who want more than just an overview.
Make sure you pay attention to this point when writing an analysis paper.
In most situations, students finish up writing a summary of the plot instead of analyzing and explaining an assertion or developing an argument.
This is one very common mistake, and it fails students since simply retelling stories.
Rather than just using the summary, supporting the claims would be the right approach.
In theory, you should learn to share your impressions in examining literary analysis, which becomes difficult for most students to learn efficiently since instruction and practice are needed. It is typically difficult to know how best to use the plot synoptic because it becomes hard.
2 Point Of View
You can’t get through life without a point of view.
And in the world of literature, your perspective tells us who’s narrating and what their story is all about.
Having a point of view is essential in the work of literature. It communicates to the readers who are narrating the story. This section attempts to explain why the author has selected a particular perspective.
The importance “point-of-view” has on storytelling should not be underestimated because it communicates so much more than just an idea or opinion–it lets readers know which character they are following around as they go about his day (or night).
In other words, you don’t have any control over how someone else sees the world if that person happens to be telling your story from their own experiences.
During a literary analysis – one should have a clear understanding of the point of view and the writer’s ideas.
Assume that links between the ideas and a plot are found between characters’ behavior and character role changes in the text.
Read both if needed. What does the reader think about the characters in this book? What do you know about characters?
The setting of a story is integral to the development and progression, especially when it comes time for Analysis.
The reader can see how characters are affected in certain regions while also understanding their opinion about those areas as well through this technique.
Characters are the backbone of any piece of literature, and no story is complete without them.
While writing a literary essay , you need to concentrate on how these characters develop throughout the work and how different authors portray them.
There are three sorts of characters in most literary works.
- Hero is the protagonist.
- The antagonist is often known as the villain or the evil guy.
- Catalyst: A pivotal figure who is neither the protagonist nor the adversary.
The use of imagery in literature is an essential factor, where the author draws pictures and creates scenes for readers to experience through their imagination.
These images are usually used as symbols throughout literary work that often helps convey deeper emotions or messages, which you cannot do with mere words alone.
Without these essential elements, a story would lose its identity much as it did without sound before movies were invented.
Symbolism is a way to represent ideas through objects.
It’s not explained in words but can be found throughout the text, and it’s decoded by looking at other parts of the work.
One of the most impactful elements that leave an impression on readers’ memories is irony.
It can be just as surprising to a reader, for example, when they find out their favorite character dies in some unexpected way or when something terrible happens despite all their efforts.
One thing about life and storytelling is you never know what will happen next – death comes unexpectedly without warning sometimes, so it’s best not to get too attached.
The authors often try to hint at the future or anticipated events by making references through their descriptions.
This is called foreshadowing, and it provides hints to readers so they can expect what’s coming for characters, stories, plots. Impress your teacher with your perspectives on this incident in an essay format.
Literary Analysis Essay Outline
A well-written literary analysis essay outline should contain the following elements:
- Body paragraphs
The introductory part of your paper gives an overview of your argument in detail. It shall contain your thesis statement and summarize the essay’s structure. Sometimes some students prefer to write an introduction more later. It’s a decent idea to do so.
This section includes information to catch the readers’ attention. Writing a good essay introduction is essential when drafting up an engaging essay.
Ensuring that your introductory part is engaging can make or break what it feels like to read a paper. The first thing an essay should do when writing the opening paragraph, typically in the form of one sentence, establishes relevance and context for their audience by hooking them with interesting information.
A strong beginning sets up the tone for how you want readers to feel throughout reading your work.
The introduction is the best way to hook your reader.
It’s also a place where you can make sure they know what this essay is about! Let me show you how in three steps:
- Introduce my topic and thesis statement (the main point of this paper). I’ll let them see it early, so they don’t get lost later when all those words start getting thrown around like crazy.
- State points from books or other sources proving why my position makes sense – to make arguments strong, we need good textual evidence for our ideas.
- Tell them one thing more before closing off with an ending sentence. This will seal the deal because now readers are totally hooked.
After writing the introductory part, you move to the body section of a literary analysis essay, where you present ideas and statements that support your argument.
You can use quoting or paraphrasing methods depending on your preference.
The main points in every body paragraph should refer back to the general thesis statement for continuity throughout the paper.
Essay writing is a process that requires not only skill but the right mindset. The first step to writing an outstanding paper is creating a topic sentence for it- this will be used as the foundation and main argument of your essay.
Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence.
This is the first sentence of your paragraph that introduces which part of the thesis this paragraph will tackle.
After presenting your argument, provide textual evidence. Textual evidence may be a scene that you recount, a small detail or object, or a quote (you should cite this).
Most importantly, explain how the textual evidence supports the topic sentence or the thesis statement. The commentary is your interpretation, analysis, or insight into the text.
Generally speaking, a topic sentence makes it easy for a reader to know about the content a good sentence is about.
It allows new arguments in the argument line and combines with the earlier points or compares them with the preceding one in the argument line. Transition words such as “however” will give a more smooth transition.
Your subpoints will look at different aspects of your subject matter on their you can discuss them in detail before coming back together again with the theme statement you created earlier.
Without these individual arguments being developed fully before bringing them all back into one cohesive unit, readers might miss out on important details about what’s been discussed.
You might think that in literary analysis essays, a different structure of the text would be applied. However, it is essential to make your arguments as convincing as possible by providing enough textual evidence and making sure all claims refer to the thesis statement .
The body of your paper should contain three major sections: introduction (where you establish an argument), middle section with supporting facts or examples from text/literary critic’s review), conclusion (to summarize what has been said).
Sometimes, the text can be hard to define which parts are definite proof of your points.
So don’t forget that literary devices used in a book have motives and deeper meanings, while they might lead you to understand what the author was trying to say.
You should also pay attention not only to metaphors but other figures as well; there is no shortage on this list – allusions, alliterations (think about The Catcher in Rye), hyperboles (exaggerating people’s emotions or actions), and antithesis (a figure where two differing ideas oppose each other).
Keeping track of stylistic devices when reading through any piece, including these few simple ones mentioned above, will help uncover different aspects.
Writing a conclusion
A conclusion is the last and most crucial section of an essay.
It presents your argument about how a literary work reflects its plotline and ideas from the author’s perspective.
Still, it can only do so effectively if kept within a reasonable length limit.
Many people find the conclusion to be one of the most challenging parts of writing a paper.
But actually, it’s not! Your job is to summarize your key arguments and show how they relate to your thesis statement from earlier in the essay.
To write an effective concise conclusion, you needn’t make any new conclusions as all points have been made already; this means that if somebody were reading through what you’ve written so far, they shouldn’t have any unanswered questions about what has just been said – only answers.
The formula for knowing when you’re done with an excellent concluding paragraph is:
if there are no more points left over, then the reader should still feel satisfied at having read everything even though some things may seem unclear.
When moving on to writing this main part after having finished outlining all aspects of your chosen text, take help where you need it- even experts have limits.
Make sure that when working with such significant detail to make an understandable case for what makes up some piece of literature or art, always seek assistance.
Expert writers could aid in making something complex simple enough for anyone else reading quickly to see through their eyes as well as yours.
Following is an example provided by our experts to help you draft a good outline effectively.
Literary Essay Outline Example (PDF)
Literary analysis topics.
Choosing a topic for your essay can be tough. It’s important to know that topics are the backbone of essays, making it easier when you decide what to write about.
Choosing an interesting, engaging, or creative topic is key if you want your essay to succeed in grabbing readers’ attention. Here are some good example ideas:
- Effect of peer pressure on a child’s personality
- How can education standards be increased?
- The significance and analysis of a particular piece of literature.
- How upbringing and personality are related?
- How single parenting affects the physical and psychological well-being of a child?
- Analyze the main plot of a novel
- Can inequality be avoided?
- Advantages and disadvantages of playing video games for children
- Is addiction a personal choice or disease?
- Analyze the main character of a book
Literary analyses essay Examples
Sample literary analysis essay example for middle school.
This sample essay focuses on the character development of Laura in the book By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The thesis statement for this literary analysis essay is, “When her eldest sister loses her sight, Laura Ingalls Wilder must suddenly take on the role of the oldest child in the family and grow in maturity.”
A Rose For Emily Literary Analysis Essay
To kill a mockingbird literary analysis essay, the great gatsby literary analysis essay, the yellow wallpaper literary analysis essay, literary analysis example for 8th grade, the lord of the rings, chopin’s artistry in “the story of an hour”, impressions of ordinary life, plot and character in maupassant’s “the necklace”, the true lord of the rings, the mystery of the mastery, plot vs. point of view in chopin’s “story of an hour”, literary analysis of maupassant’s “the necklace”, a cure for temporary depression, hidden labyrinth , untitled: on chekhov’s “the lady with the little dog, get help from the experts with your literary analysis essay.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do you write a literary analysis essay.
- An introduction that tells the reader what your essay will focus on.
- The main body, is divided into paragraphs that build an argument using evidence from the text.
- A conclusion that clearly states the main point that you have shown with your analysis.
What is a literary analysis essay?
The purpose of a literary analysis essay is to carefully examine and sometimes evaluate a work of literature or an aspect of a work of literature
How do you start a literary analysis paper?
Writing an Introduction to a Literary Analysis Essay.
Start with the title of your work and its author’s name. One or two sentences will suffice. Stress on the main idea of the analyzed work to make these sentences more hooking. Briefly tell what the work is about or how it influenced the world literature.
What is a literary analysis essay in middle school?
A literary analysis is more than a book report; it goes deeper into the text, examining the themes, literary devices, characters, and more. To write a great literary analysis essay, you need a good thesis and a good grasp of the novel, story, poem, or other literary work you’re discussing.
What are the 5 components of literary analysis?
The elements to be analyzed are plot, setting, characters, point of view, figurative language, and style.
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How To Write A Poetry Analysis Essay: Definition, Outline, Examples
Tia - The Writer Expert
Poetry analysis is simply the process of reviewing the multiple artistic, functional, and structural pieces that make up a poem. Normally, this review is conducted and recorded within an analytical essay . This type of essay writing requires one to take a deeper look at both the choices that a poet made and the effects of those choices. In essence, these essays require an in-depth analysis of all parts that were used to form a work of poetry. Read the details from our essay writer service .
What Is A Poetry Analysis?
From an academic literary point of view, knowing the steps to follow to understand how to analyze poetry is essential. All kinds of jobs are usually found on the Internet, from relatively informal web articles to pedagogical documents in indexed journals. All of them typically coincide on one point: poems are a type of lyrical expression structured in verses. From that we can derive what a poem analysis essay should be about.
Therefore, when you have chosen a poem to analyze, it is crucial to review definitions such as stanza, lyrical object, rhyme, synalepha, syneresis, among others. In this way, poems can be classified, interpreted, and “measured.” Of course, without pretending to form unanimous criteria, since a stylized narrative emerged from inspiration always has a tremendous subjective load for whoever reads it. A good poem analysis essay or any poetry analysis in general leaves some room for interpretation. It's better not to deal in absolutes which you can see in all poem analysis essay examples.
Poetry Analysis Essay Subject Matter
The final element to writing a poetry analysis essay is a part of the composition dedicated to the poems subject matter. This can be analyzed during the reader’s quest to determine the theme, tone, mood, and poems meaning . The subject matter – and the thematic elements that support the intended message behind the subject – is often an interpretive minefield. Often, people have different ideas about what a poet is trying to say by their use of a subject, so unless the message is implicitly stated, it is best to state multiple possibilities about what the poet may have meant and included evidence for these theories. As the essay is to be an analysis, opinions are to be avoided in favor of facts and conjectures that are backed by evidence from work.
How To Choose A Topic For A Poem Analysis Essay?
A great way to choose a topic for these type of assignments is to decide on a topic that would deal with information that one is already familiar with. For example, if the choice of the poem to analyze is up to the writer, then it may be beneficial for the writer to choose a poem that he/she has encountered before. If the choice is to be made between different subject areas within a poem, then the writer could find it easier to choose to focus on writing about an area that plays to his/her strengths, so that the statements made in the essay are conveyed clearly and confidently. Such assignments may seem like a daunting writing experience at first, but if the topic, outline, and paper are composed following the steps above, the essay should turn out very well.
The analysis essay is a challenging type of assignment. Your task is not to retell poetry in prose because a lyric poem is not a transposition of some prosaic intention. Still, while embodying a particular poetic state of the artist and analyzing the lyrics, you should also be able to “enter” a similar condition. To interpret in a poem analysis essay a work means to approach the author’s intention. This can be done by following the path of the so-called “slow reading” – from the first verse to the last, considering each line of poetry, its content and form, sound, images, the logic of development of the author’s feeling or thought as a step towards solving the author’s idea.
How To Write A Poetry Analysis Essay?
In order to compose a poetry analysis essay, one must first read the poem carefully. This reading allows one to become familiar with the poem helping produce a strong literary analysis essay . It is also an opportunity to make note of the rhyme scheme ( if there is one ), the type of poem ( limerick, ode, sonnet, lyric, haiku, free verse, etc .) and other poetic techniques that the poet used ( such as enjambment, meter, end-stopped lines, figurative language, etc. ). All of those elements in the poem are essential to know when one is writing such an essay because they are a part of the poem’s structure and can affect the content. It is not a bad idea to read up on these poetic terms before writing an essay, since being knowledgeable about a subject can allow one to assume a more confident tone when composing a literary analysis essay on that topic. By following the guidelines provided in this blog you will not be wondering how to write a poetry analysis assignment any longer. It is also important to follow the poem analysis essay structure. It's not paramount but it will make your poem analysis essay writing much easier.
Read out how to start a book review essay guide on EssayHub blog.
Poetry Analysis Essay Outline
An outline for a poetry analysis essay can be very simple, as it is just a guideline for the writer to build upon as the first draft is written. When starting your introductions it would probably be best to put the essays title at the top of a page, then place a Roman numeral one (I) underneath, preceding the word “ introduction ”. Under this, one can list brainstormed ideas for the introductory paragraph. The final portion of your poem analysis essay introduction should be dedicated to the papers thesis statement. Following the completion of that portion of the outline, one can move on to the body paragraphs of your example. Each of the Roman numerals used to label this part should denote a different subject area in respect to the poem that will be discussed in the essay. Letters under these numerals may be followed by subtopics within each subject area that are to be dealt within individual paragraphs ( or sentences, if it is to be a shorter essay ) within the body of the paper. At this point you are almost done with your poem analysis essay outline.
It is necessary to add a poem’s title and author in the introduction to poetry essays. Other information, such as the date of printing, may be used. You can also include the poem’s or author’s additional details, as well as interesting facts or trivia.
Body Of Text
How to analysis poetry? When composing the main body of text, bear in mind that you must reference all the poem concepts, so add a quote to support the sentence; otherwise, the analogy would be a waste of time and will not be counted. Your comments must be explicit.
Now is the time to stand back from examining the poem’s elements and find out the poem’s general significance. It is bringing together the various aspects of the study into one key concept when writing about poetry.
What is the poet’s message, and how is it expressed, and with what emotion?
Then understand the context and how this evolves.
Is it clear from the outset, or does it progressively change as the story progresses? The last few lines of a poem can be significant, so they should be included in the poem review essay conclusion and discussed in terms of their influence on the work.
How To Analyze A Poem?
So how to analyze a poem? Commenting on a text is a way to verify what the author said and how he transmitted it, relating both concepts. You have to observe the connotations and the implicit meanings, interconnecting them with precise ideas. It is a moment when the reader establishes affinity with the text he reads, exposing his aesthetic sensitivity, articulating what the author said, the way he did it, with his subjectivity of those who analyze and comment.
When you analyze poem, the text must be coherent, resulting from the articulation of all aspects to be dealt with in the different analysis plans. Citations must appear in quotation marks. When it is not necessary to quote a complete verse or a complete sentence, you must use the sign [...] at the place where the transcription is interrupted. When it is desired to quote more than one verse, and that quote follows precisely the order of the analyzed poem, the respective verses must be separated using an oblique bar.
Address to our professionals when you need thesis writing help .
This is an essential step. Analyzing a poem, you need to understand the central message; the author’s primary emotion is trying to share with the poem’s recipient.
So now you can pay attention to the poet and see what information you can learn from them. Is it easy to get the speaker’s gender or age? Were there any racial or theological allusions to be found? Can we really tell whether the speaker is expressing their opinions and suggestions to the reader directly? If not, who is the poet’s character who is conveying the thoughts or messages? Your essay on poetry must include all the vital answers.
When you’ve figured out who or what the poem is about, you should go on to who or what the poem is about. Can the meaning of the poem be seen; what does the author expect from the audience? It’s pretty likely that the poet merely makes a comment or expresses themselves without expecting a reaction from the crowd.
A poem about March, for example, might be a cheerful declaration that winter is over. At the same time, it could be an intention to get somebody’s focus.
The analysis of poetic language is the most challenging part of the whole poetry essay. It has multiple openings, and the resources are very varied, so it is necessary to analyze the elements and assign them significant values.
Presenting a list of worthless poetic elements is not of great interest to the commentary of the poem. Analyzing poems, better share your images of what’s related to the topic.
To analyse a poem successfully, you should remember the technical part of the task. If the poem has many metaphors, repetitions, or alliterations, it is in your best interests to highlight the emotional representation and expressiveness of the work you are interpreting. But don’t limit yourself to defining the style figures (for example, alliteration is the repetition of phonemes); this does not matter for the essay.
Technical Poetry Analysis Worksheet
After covering the technical aspects of a poem, it is best to learn about the poem's background. This means that one may find it beneficial to look up the poet, the date that the poem was written, and the cultural context surrounding the work. All of that information typically permits the reader a better understanding of the poem, and it seems self-explanatory that one who has an enhanced comprehension of the poem would have an easier time conducting an analysis of that poem.
Poetry Analysis Essay Tips
If you want to analyse poetry successfully, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Read the poem at least twice. This poetic analysis tip is general and applies to all text types: always read the text two times minimum. Read, in fact, as many times as necessary to understand poetry. We miss some critical points by doing just one reading, especially in poetry that expresses personal information.
- Identify the figures of speech. Another critical step is to pay attention to the figures of speech – this is precisely where you will find some information implied in the text. Pay attention to metaphors, antitheses, or any other model of speech that appears in the poem.
- Don’t let your opinion interfere with the interpretation. Precisely because it is a text with a lot of subjectivity, do not let your idea and conception of a specific theme interfere with the understanding of poetry. Always read neutrally concerning the poet’s point of view, without prejudice about the subject matter.
- Get to know the authors’ lives briefly. If you do this, you will have complementary information that will help you to interpret the poetry.
- Keep the habit of reading and try to analyze poems. Finally, keep the poetry reading habit. Reading is one of the most natural ways to get intimate with the language and its particularities.
Poetry Analysis Essay Template
1. Author and title of the poem .
2. Style : romanticism, realism, symbolism, Acmeism, sentimentalism, avant-garde, futurism, modernism, etc.
3. Genre : epigram, epitaph, elegy, ode, poem, ballad, novel in verse, song, sonnet, dedication poem, etc.
4. The history of the poem’s creation (when it was written, for what reason, to whom it was dedicated). How important is this exact poem in the poet’s biography.
5. Theme, idea, main idea .
6. The poet’s vocabulary (everyday, colloquial; bookish, neutral, journalistic).
7. Composition of the work .
- Analyze the micro-theme of each stanza. Highlight the main parts of the poetic work, show their connection (= determine the emotional drawing of the poem);
8. Description of a lyrical hero .
9. Your impressions of the work .
Poetry Analysis Essay Example
A good poem analysis essay example is an essential factor that can help you understand how to write an evaluative poetry essay. The poetry essay aims to test the ability to perceive and interpret the problems and artistic merits of the studied and independently read literary works, using the information obtained in studying the subject on the theory and history of literature. Let’s have a look at the analysis essay example of two poems.
The poem’s problem is an essential part of the poem structure and is determined by the formulation of the question in the text or the work’s subtext. This aspect of poetic work is not generally different from other literature types: the social and ethical questions are asked by the poets, and they also respond to “eternal” philosophical questions.
A poetry analysis worksheet can also be a specific set of parameters that the instructor has asked you to examine the work from . In this scenario, it is important to create a structure that will highlight the given set of instructions. An example of such a task would be " The Tyger " by William Blake . In this poem, one can examine it from the initial emerging theme examining the process of a tiger’s creation and unavoidably its end. This context lets us understand that no power other than God himself could create something as beautiful and terrifying as the tiger. However, some literary analysis essays will require you to adopt different interpretations of this subject matter. Some often compared the beauty and fear inspired by the tiger to the industrial revolution and new machinery being built at the time when Blake wrote this poem.
Another version of a poem background is that Blake explores the coexistence of good and evil and asks about the source of their existence, wondering how one creator could create both beauty and horror. Modern readers can resonate with this poem easily because the questions asked there are essential.
Sun Of The Sleepless
The author of the poem, George Byron («Sun of the Sleepless» taken as our poetry essay example), was born on January 22, 1788, in London into a titled but low-income family. The first education, from the biography of Byron, was received at a private school. Then he began to study at the classical gymnasium, the school of Dr. Gleni (there was a great desire for reading), the Harrow school. Byron wrote several poems in this school.
Metaphor is one of the linguistic, stylistic devices most often found in Byron’s lyrics; many of them indicate the poet’s peculiar style. In verse, the star illuminates the darkness that it cannot dispel. The meaning of Byron’s image: not hopelessness and bitterness of reproach, but the thought that the memory of happiness does not save, but even more “painfully” highlights the darkness.
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Literary Analysis Essay Writing
Literary Analysis Essay Outline
Literary Analysis Essay Outline - A Step By Step Guide
Published on: Sep 23, 2018
Last updated on: Dec 21, 2022
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A literary analysis essay is a form of writing in which a writer examines and evaluates literature. This essay type analyzes the different components of literature by splitting it into pieces.
Analyzing the different elements of the literature is not enough to draft a literary analysis essay. It is one of the processes involved in the writing procedure to understand the original work better.
Writing a strong literary analysis essay depends on good writing skills and critical abilities. The better skills you have, the easier it will be for you to convince the readers about your claim.
A literary analysis essay is a common academic assignment that high school and college students often get assigned. To ensure that the writing process is on point and effective, a proper essay outline is essential.
Continue reading the blog to learn how a literary analysis essay outline is drafted.
How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay Outline?
An outline is a structure that you decide to give to your writing to make the audience understand your viewpoint clearly. When a writer gathers information on a topic, it needs to be organized to make sense.
An outline makes your writing readable by logically distributing the information and correctly organizing it. This order of information helps the writer convince a reader about his stance or claim, which is the primary objective.
When writing a literary analysis essay, its outline is as important as any part of it. For the text’s clarity and readability, an outline is drafted in the essay’s planning phase.
There are some necessary components of an essay outline that are involved in drafting all sorts of essays. According to the basic essay outline, the following are the elements included in drafting an outline for the essay:
- Thesis statement
- Body paragraphs
A literary analysis essay outline is based on the same elements, as well. The first section is the literary analysis introduction, following which comes to the main body, and a conclusion
A detailed description of the literary analysis outline is provided in the following section.
Literary Analysis Essay Introduction
An introduction section is the first part of the essay. This paragraph is written to introduce the topic and attract the audience towards the writing. The introductory paragraph or paragraphs provide an insight into the topic and prepares the readers about the literary work.
A literary analysis essay introduction is based on three major elements:
Hook Statement: A hook statement is the opening sentence of the introduction. This statement is used to grab people’s attention. A catchy hook will make the introductory paragraph interesting for the readers, encouraging them to read the entire essay.
A hook can take any type, depending on the topic and theme of an essay. It can be a quotation as well as a factual statement or statistics. Choose a hook statement for your introduction that best suits the tone and theme of the essay.
For example, in a literary analysis essay, “ Island Of Fear,” the writer used the following hook statement:
“As humans, we all fear something, and we deal with those fears in ways that match our personalities.”
Background Information: Providing background information about the chosen literature work in the introduction is essential. Present information related to the author, title, and theme discussed in the original text.
Moreover, include other elements to discuss, such as characters, setting, and the plot. For example:
“ In Lord of the Flies, William Golding shows the fears of Jack, Ralph, and Piggy and chooses specific ways for each to deal with his fears.”
Thesis Statement: A thesis statement is the writer’s main claim over the chosen piece of literature. A writer analyzes the work and forms his argument about how effective the original work’s purpose and the message were.
A thesis statement allows your reader to expect the purpose of your writing. The main objective of writing a thesis statement is to provide your subject and opinion on the essay.
For example, the thesis statement in the “Island of Fear” is:
“...Therefore, each of the three boys reacts to fear in his own unique way.”
Forming a strong thesis statement is essential while drafting an essay. Only a strong thesis statement will let a writer choose logical evidence and supporting material.
Literary Analysis Essay Body Paragraphs
The body of an essay is written to justify and prove the thesis statement made earlier in the introduction. All of the supporting material gathered is presented in this section of a literary analysis essay.
To give structure to the essay, all of the paragraphs in the body section should be written using the following pattern:
Topic sentence: A topic sentence is an opening sentence of the paragraph. The points that will support the main thesis statement are individually presented in each section. These points will be made in the topic sentence to let the audience know what the paragraph is about. To make each paragraph effective, draft a structured topic sentence .
“The first boy, Jack, believes that a beast truly does exist…”
Evidence: To support the claim made in the topic sentence, evidence is provided. The evidence is taken from the selected piece of work to make the reasoning strong and logical.
“...He is afraid and admits it; however, he deals with his fear of aggressive violence. He chooses to hunt for the beast, arms himself with a spear, and practice killing it: “We’re strong—we hunt! If there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it down! We’ll close in and beat and beat and beat—!”(91).”
Analysis: After providing the evidence for your topic sentence, it is time to provide your explanation of the evidence. A literary essay is a kind of essay that requires a writer to provide his analysis as well.
The purpose of providing the writer’s analysis is to tell the readers about the meaning of the evidence.
“...He also uses the fear of the beast to control and manipulate the other children. Because they fear the beast, they are more likely to listen to Jack and follow his orders...”
Transition words: Transition or connecting words are used to link ideas and points together to maintain a logical flow. Transition words that are often used in a literary analysis essay are:
- Later in the story
- In contrast, etc.
“...Furthermore, Jack fears Ralph’s power over the group and Piggy’s rational thought. This is because he knows that both directly conflict with his thirst for absolute power...”
Concluding sentence: The last sentence of the body that gives a final statement on the topic sentence is the concluding sentence. It sums up the entire discussion held in that specific paragraph.
Each paragraph should be written using these elements to make your literary analysis essay effective and compelling.
Literary Analysis Essay Conclusion
The last section of the essay is the conclusion part where the writer ties all loose ends of the essay together. To write appropriate and correct concluding paragraphs, add the following information:
- State how your topic is related to the theme of the chosen work
- State how successfully the author delivered the message
- According to your perspective, provide a statement on the topic
- If required, present predictions
- Connect your conclusion to your introduction by restating the thesis statement.
- In the end, provide an opinion about the significance of the work.
“ In conclusion, William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies exposes the reader to three characters with different personalities and fears: Jack, Ralph, and Piggy. Each of the boys tries to conquer his fear in a different way. Fear is a natural emotion encountered by everyone, but each person deals with it in a way that best fits his/her individual personality.”
Sample Literary Analysis Essay Outline (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Examples
To fully understand a concept in a writing world, written examples are important. This is to learn how a perfectly structured writing piece is drafted and how ideas are shaped to convey a message.
The following are the best literary analysis essay examples to help you draft a perfect essay.
Literary Analysis Essay Rubric (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Example For High School (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Example For College (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Example Romeo & Juliet (PDF)
Writing a literary analysis essay can be tricky if it is your first attempt. Especially when writing this essay for your academics, it is mandatory to get it right not to risk your grades. Apart from analyzing the work, other elements like a topic and an accurate interpretation must draft this type of essay.
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- Types of Papers
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- How To Write A Well-Developed Poem Analysis Essay
How to Write a Well-Developed Poem Analysis Essay
Poems are literary works that shed light on different social and cultural aspects. Therefore, if students want to learn how to write a well-developed poem analysis essay, an essential educational undertaking requires one to familiarize certain technical features. Basically, these features include the refrain, narrators and characters, setting, diction, imagery, figurative language, voice and tone, storyline, rhyme scheme, and structure. In this case, the extent to which a student examines these elements in poetry determines whether their analysis is shallow or deep. Hence, an in-depth analysis poem essay goes beyond reviewing the prominent features in a written piece, and it interrogates other “behind the scenes” aspects of writing.
General Guidelines on How to Write a Poem Analysis Essay
Poems are literary works that help to shed light on particular historical or present social issues. As such, students must critically analyze poetry pieces if they wish to understand the issues that people espouse what informs written pieces. Unlike other academic texts, such as essays and reports, poetry does not follow the introduction-body-conclusion outline. Instead, they use stanzas (same as paragraphs in other literary texts), where each espouses specific issues relevant to the poet’s primary mission. Therefore, a poem analysis essay requires an appraisal of the different technical features that authors use in their writings.
Poem Analysis Essay Examples
A practical poetry analysis essay requires one to break down the text into essential elements. Then, students must explain how these technical features work together to reinforce the poem’s meaning. Basically, the primary purpose of these features is to create an effect on the readers’ minds about the topic or the poetry meaning. In this case, the most effective approach in the poetry analysis is to have a solid understanding of poetry pieces they intend to analyze. Ultimately, a poetry analysis essay must examine ten technical features: refrain, narrators and characters, setting, diction, imagery, figurative language, voice and tone, storyline, rhyme scheme, and structure.
Every poem has a central message that gives its meaning. Therefore, any poem analysis essay must identify this meaning by interrogating what happens in the written piece, what authors are trying to communicate, and how powerfully they try to pass along their messages. In this case, the answer to these questions is the refrain – the line or group of lines that people repeat in every stanza. In turn, the primary function of a refrain is to emphasize the author’s central message and give poetry meaning.
2. Narrators and Characters
When analyzing a poem, one must identify the narrator – the person voicing the words. In many instances, the narrator is different from the author, who is the author. Then, another factor that one must consider when analyzing poetry is the audience – people that the narrator or the poet addresses. In this case, both narrators and authors act as speakers in poetry. Also, their role is to pass along the central message. Therefore, anyone analyzing a poem must determine how these speakers affect the poetry message and why the author chose them as conveyors of the central message.
To understand how to write a good poem analysis essay, an individual must consider its context from the poet’s perspective. In particular, the setting is the technical feature that gives poetry its boundaries. It captures various issues, including the author’s personal history. Then, other aspects that define a poem’s context are the political, social, cultural, and environmental aspects that prevail during the writing of poetry. As such, time is a critical aspect for one to consider when analyzing poetry.
A poem is a short text, meaning every word is significant to the poet’s mission. Therefore, a compelling analysis essay of a poem must consider diction (choice of words) and how the author uses it to create an impression. Here, one must determine why the author uses particular words and whether these words carry any significant meaning. In this case, essential concepts, such as the line or lines that the poet repeats in every stanza, tend to stand out. Thus, a compelling poem analysis essay should examine whether these important words emphasize or reduce the meaning of poetry.
One of the goals of poets is to impress their audience, and imagery helps a great deal. Basically, imagery is what the author uses to evoke the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, or sound in the audience. Imagery, also termed as symbolism, represents the object, action, and idea that authors espouse, and it allows them to appeal the senses. In this case, the importance of imagery is that it enables readers to empathize with speakers (narrator and characters) by imagining a similar sensory experience.
6. Figurative Language (Metaphor, Simile, Irony, and Personification)
Another feature that a poem analysis essay must include is how the author utilizes figures of speech, including metaphor, simile, irony, and personification, to create an impression or convey an idea. Ideally, what drives the author to use this language is the need to create a powerful emotional and intellectual impact. In turn, this outcome comes by ensuring the figures of speech that the poet uses help to enrich poetry to the extent that it becomes more memorable to the audience.
7. Voice and Tone
Just like any literary text, a poem has a voice and a tone. In this case, the factor determining these two features is the persona that the poet adopts, whether they are only the writer or they are both the writer and the narrator. One of the elements that reflect the voice and tone of poetry is the poet’s mood. This means that in analyzing a poem, one must identify the tone that the author uses by determining whether they (poets) are angry, ardent, regretful, or suicidal.
One of the features of a literary text that makes readers interested from the first paragraph to the last is a storyline, also known as the plot. For instance, there are many issues that a person analyzing a poem should consider to determine the poet’s storyline. Basically, these issues include conflicts, tragedies, disappointments, or events. By examining these issues and how the author deals with them, a person can understand what direction poetry takes. In essence, a storyline reflects characters that a poet uses and their roles. Also, suspense is a powerful tool that helps the author to develop a storyline.
9. Rhyme Scheme
Unlike essays and novels, a poem has a rhyme scheme, which helps create a rhyme pattern. For example, one of the most notable features that help to create a rhyme in poetry is a refrain, the line or group of lines that come at the end of every stanza. Therefore, examining whether a poem has wordings that create a rhyme is crucial in determining the poet’s approach in writing the text. Then, poetry pieces that follow a free verse style do not incorporate the rhyme scheme feature. In turn, there are many types of rhymes that authors can use in their works, including internal, slant, and identical rhymes. Also, the most common strategy that the poet uses in creating a rhyme is to utilize a rhyme scheme composed of shared vowel sounds or consonants.
In many literary works, the most common structure is the introduction-body-conclusion outline. However, this outline cannot be applied to poetry. When analyzing poetry, one determines the structure that the poet has used by examining how they have written the stanzas. In this case, the author can either use a regular stanzaic form, which involves the use of two or the same clusters of lines, or an irregular form. Whichever structure poets have used, one must determine why they used them to understand the poetry meaning. In turn, the author relates the poem’s structure to the central message (the purpose of poetry).
How to Write an Effective Poem Analysis Essay with Different Types
There are different forms of poetry that an author can choose when writing a poetry analysis essay. Two examples of poetry are haiku and epic poems. As such, when analyzing poetry, the form that the author adopts plays a significant role in determining the approach of the analysis. In analyzing a haiku, one must consider its 5-7-5 structure. Basically, this structure means that, in every stanza, the first line has five syllables, the second – seven syllables, and the third – five syllables. For instance, haiku poetry has three lines and 17 syllables. In analyzing an epic, one must consider its lengthy, narrative structure, where the poet details remarkable feats and adventures of historical characters.
How to Cite Poetry and Use Quotes in a Poem Analysis Essay
As a literary text, a poem can serve as a reference point in an academic paper. In the case of an educational poem analysis essay, a student can identify different elements of poetry to make a point. Basically, these elements include the technical features named above. As such, students must cite the poem and the specific place within the poem’s structure to locate the item they are citing. For example, when citing a poem in the MLA format, one must list the last name of the poet followed by the line or lines in the poem where the information cited originates. In turn, the information that a student cites when analyzing poetry must be in quotation marks.
Meaning of a Deep Poem Analysis Essay
There are many approaches that one can use to analyze a literary text, including a poem. For instance, a shallow analysis is where a person takes the most prominent details of a text and expound on it. However, this type of analysis reflects a lack of an in-depth understanding of a text. In a deep analysis, one goes beyond the details that are obvious to consider other factors that might be irrelevant to a shallow analysis. Also, these factors include the author’s background, the time they wrote the poem, imagery, and other technical features (as named above). When analyzing a poem, these factors influence not only the meaning of poetry but also how someone understands it. Therefore, a casual reader, who ignores these elements, cannot have a full grasp of the author’s meaning when analyzing a poem.
How to Outline a Poem Analysis Essay
As indicated, a poem’s outline is different from the introduction-body-conclusion of a typical essay. However, when writing a poem analysis essay, one can choose this outline. In the introduction, one would mention the poetry title and the highlight critical information, such as the author’s background and the context within which this poet wrote his or her poetry piece. Basically, this part must be concluded with a thesis statement . In the essay’s body, the goal is to explore the meaning of poetry, which must link with the thesis sentence. Also, the most critical information in this part should focus on analyzing the poem’s technical features. It includes imagery, symbolism, figurative language, diction, and others. In turn, the conclusion should restate the thesis claim and conclude with a thought-provoking remark.
Summing up on How to Write a Good Poetry Analysis Essay
Even though poetry is not a typical literary text, one must approach it as academic writing when making a poem analysis essay. Hence, some of the tips worth noting in an essay on a poetry analysis include:
- Read poetry pieces carefully at least twice.
- Learn about the poem’s context, including the author’s background and the time when the person wrote it.
- Identify key statements – those that the poet repeats in every stanza.
- Define the subject matter by paying attention to the theme, tone, mood, and meaning of poetry.
- Develop different ideas about what the poet is trying to communicate and pick one.
- Avoid opinions and conjectures by focusing on provable facts.
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Literary Analysis Essay
Literary Analysis Essay - Step by Step Guide
10 min read
Published on: Aug 16, 2020
Last updated on: Jan 3, 2023
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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, a literary analysis essay outline will 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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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 of college 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Choose an interesting literary topic for your essay.
- To write a high-quality essay, try to gather information from different but relevant sources.
- Create an outline for your essay. An outline will provide a definite structure for your essay.
- Make sure to start the outline with a hook statement and then develop your stance about the text.
- In the outline, include an introductory paragraph and also state your thesis statement.
- After the introduction, write down the body paragraphs, state all the supporting evidence to stand for your point of view.
- Start each paragraph with a topic sentence.
- Write a formal and concise conclusion to wrap up your essay.
- Once you are done writing your essay, proofread and revise it at least twice. This way, you will make your essay error-free.
- 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.
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 of analytical essay for 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.
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.
Once you are done writing the introduction, you explain the essay using the body paragraphs.
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.
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 to create an outline for 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.
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
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.
- Analyze the historical context of the book ‘forty rules of love.’
- Analyze how does an author’s background influence their writing niche?
- Review the most potent literary devices used by the author.
- Analyze the significance of a book and its influence on other writers.
- Discuss the settings and background and how they support the storyline.
- Evaluate the mood of the story and its effect on your emotional state.
- Analyze the antagonist’s motivation and raison d’être.
- Assess the efficiency of foreshadowing in the book.
- Advantages and disadvantages of playing video games for children
- Is addiction a personal choice or disease?
- How does single parenting affect the physical and psychological well-being of a child?
- How are upbringing and personality related?
- Investigate the writer’s inspiration and hidden meanings.
- Effect of peer pressure on a child’s personality
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 4 components of literary analysis.
The four main components of literary analysis are:
What is the fundamental characteristic of a literary analysis essay?
Interpretive is the fundamental characteristic of a literary analysis essay.
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How to Title an Essay with Literary Analysis Examples
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You may have spent hours brainstorming your thesis, searching for quotations and polishing your final draft, but a good title can make the difference between someone reading your literary essay and tossing it aside. Good literary essay titles not only capture your reader's interest, but they also preview the argument you'll be making in the paper itself. They capture the central idea that is presented in your work, and entice the viewer to read. Creativity, humor and innovative plays on the work you're writing about can transform a dull title into one that piques your audience's curiosity.
Include the Subject and Focus
Your title should not just name the literary work that is the subject of your essay but also describe its focus , the target idea, literary device or theme that the piece explores. This is sometimes referred to as a "working title" as well, since it focuses heavily on the main part of your essay, and can remind you of your focus as you read. In an essay about morality in "To Kill a Mockingbird," for example, Harper Lee's novel would be the subject of the paper, while morality would be the essay's focus. Including the phrase "Morality in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' " somewhere in your title would clearly indicate to audiences what themes your essay will deal with. This is a more basic example of an essay title, but effective in most all cases.
Link Two Ideas With a Colon
While including the subject and focus in the title gives a good summary of your essay topic, it's not enough to pull readers in. Using a colon to punctuate the subject with a catchy explanation of the focus can not only add an air of professionalism to your paper but also give a more in-depth, eye-catching preview of your topic for readers. An essay about Holden Caulfield's painful transition to adulthood, for example, might be titled "The Precarious Edge of the Cliff: Loss of Innocence in J.D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye.' "
This title choice also allows you to present two ideas that are key parts of your essay, if you choose to. Maybe you can't decide on just one, because both are equally important. This choice would be a good tool for featuring both ideas and connecting them to each other. Displaying a longer, more developed essay title, can also give you the freedom to discuss these ideas in your essay with more detail since they are featured in the title.
Include a Quotation from the Work
Sometimes, a quotation from the book can provide inspiration for your essay's title. Try adding a brief, snappy portion of this quote to your title's focus statement. For example, the title for an essay about mother-daughter relationships in Flannery O'Connor's short stories might borrow from a quote in the story "Good Country People," in which the central character, Hulga, tells her overbearing, critical mother, "If you want me, here I am -- like I am." The title of this essay might read, "Like I Am: Mother-Daughter Dysfunction in Flannery O'Connor's Short Stories."
While the tone of your literary essay should ultimately be professional and credible, using puns or humor to play off an aspect of the title can be a friendly way to entice your audience to read further. For example, an essay about the symbolic villages of East and West Egg in "The Great Gatsby" might be titled "The Eggs Came First: Settings as Symbols in F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby.' "
You can be assured your teacher, or whoever is viewing your paper, is going to sift through many boring and unoriginal essay titles, so making sure that yours will pop is important.
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Kori Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has been crafting online and print educational materials since 2006. She taught creative writing and composition at West Virginia University and the University of Akron and her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals.
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What Is Literary Analysis?
How to write a literary analysis.
- Create a Hypothesis. Think of a topic and your points to guide your argument. It should be a brief statement analysis of what you want to accomplish and why you need to do it.
- Build Your Arguments . After a brief introduction, you need to write the next paragraphs as your arguments. This should be the body of your analysis. State strong and compelling points.
- Draw a Conclusion . Here you should write your concluding statements. It should contain your final interpretations or arguments about the topic.
Theme Literary Essay Example
Literary Analysis Essay Sample
Tips for Writing a Literary Analysis
- Choose an Interesting Topic . This is the main tip I want to highlight. Most of the literary analysis that made their mark on the history of written and literary works are those who discussed topics that made a great impact analysis in the history of mankind. So make sure to pick an intriguing topic.
- Be Personal. Since it is your own analysis, be free to express your interpretations. Although, one point to consider is to not overstate. Do not mix the original context with your own opinion. This will confuse your readers and will make your work a little less original.
- Always do a Research . It is imperative that you do a thorough research on the topic before writing. In addition, quote your sources so readers will know that your facts are legitimate.
Purpose of a Literary Analysis
- It paves a way for argumentation and debate . Some professors would require their students to write different analyses on the same topic. This allows students to present their own personal ideas and share it in class. This method provides an opportunity for students to learn more and to have a broader understanding of the topic.
- It serves as an avenue of learning . Once a literary work is analyzed, its structure, meaning, and style are then focused as the topic of discussion. If there are things that were not explained fully, the author of the free analysis can then put an emphasis on it and give light to any unanswered questions.
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Analysis of “My Wicked Wicked Ways” Poem by Sandra Cisneros
It is hard to disagree that the topic of the family may be difficult and heartbreaking for many people. To make it easier to relive happy or sad memories of the family, some poets devote their poems to this topic. For example, in “My Wicked Wicked Ways,” written in 1987 by Sandra Cisneros, the speaker looks at an old family photo and feels rather sad than happy while remembering some facts. The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary and analysis of this literary work.
Summary of the Poem
As mentioned above, it gets evident from the speaker’s words that they are looking at their old family photograph. Their parents and the baby speaker are depicted in it, and while casually describing their looks, the speaker also decides to mention a specific and sad detail. The readers learn that the family was happy at that time, but the father, who looked like Errol Flynn (Cisneros 3), was already having an affair with another woman (Cisneros 16-18). It is rather interesting that the speaker provides the readers with a complete description of their father:
He is wearing a hat
that tips over one eye,
a suit that fits him good,
and baggy pants (Cisneros 4-7).
At the same time, the readers can never get a description of the mother, and the first fact that they learn about her is that “she is not crying” (Cisneros 13). One may think that only this detail catches the eye of the speaker looking at their mother. It becomes evident from the poem that the news about the father’s affair will greatly anger the mother and perhaps even break her and the speaker’s hearts. Further, it is difficult to be certain whether the father stays in the family or leaves for another woman. Everything the reader learns is that “years and years will pass. / My mother will stop mentioning it.” (Cisneros 26-27). The speaker ends their story by mentioning that their own future will probably disappoint their mother. The poem is rather sad, and it is possible to say that the speaker would prefer their family to stay as happy as in the photo.
In this poem, the author touches on several important topics, including childhood and one’s journey to wickedness. As for the first theme, it is possible to suggest that the speaker misses their childhood and wishes everything remained as happy, careless, and joyful. For most people, childhood is a perfect time when bad situations are unnoticed. The moment depicted in the photograph may be one of the last moments of the speaker’s family happiness. The second theme is connected to the title of the poem. Since the speaker mentions that they turned out bad, one may say that the reason it happened is the broken happiness of the family and the parents’ attitudes. The father turned out to be a liar, and the mother became too sad and cried too much, which probably stopped her from paying close attention to her child.
Literary Devices Used in the Poem
In “My Wicked Wicked Ways,” there is a number of literary devices that allow the author to make it sadder and more poetic. For example, when mentioning that the mother is not crying (Cisneros 13), the author uses irony. Further, it is stated that the father wears two-toned shoes (Cisneros 10), which is a metaphor that shows his duplicity and the presence of a double life. Another metaphor is that upon learning about his mistress, the mother throws one shoe (Cisneros 22) as if getting rid of one of the father’s parallel lives. Finally, the readers also learn that the mother “cannot look into the lens / because the sun is bright” (Cisneros 14-15). This is another metaphor that may indicate that she feels that something is wrong but does not want to admit it. The author also uses enjambment, anaphora, and alliteration.
Cisneros, Sandra. My Wicked Wicked Ways . Vintage, 1992.
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StudyCorgi. (2023, February 22). Analysis of “My Wicked Wicked Ways” Poem by Sandra Cisneros. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-my-wicked-wicked-ways-poem-by-sandra-cisneros/
StudyCorgi. (2023, February 22). Analysis of “My Wicked Wicked Ways” Poem by Sandra Cisneros. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-my-wicked-wicked-ways-poem-by-sandra-cisneros/
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StudyCorgi . "Analysis of “My Wicked Wicked Ways” Poem by Sandra Cisneros." February 22, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-my-wicked-wicked-ways-poem-by-sandra-cisneros/.
StudyCorgi . 2023. "Analysis of “My Wicked Wicked Ways” Poem by Sandra Cisneros." February 22, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/analysis-of-my-wicked-wicked-ways-poem-by-sandra-cisneros/.
StudyCorgi . (2023) 'Analysis of “My Wicked Wicked Ways” Poem by Sandra Cisneros'. 22 February.
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Step 1: Reading the text and identifying literary devices Step 2: Coming up with a thesis Step 3: Writing a title and introduction Step 4: Writing the body of the essay Step 5: Writing a conclusion Step 1: Reading the text and identifying literary devices The first step is to carefully read the text (s) and take initial notes.
Make sure you have determined a clear focus for your analysis and are ready to elaborate on the main message and meaning of the poem. Mention the tone of the poetry, its speaker, try to describe the recipient of the poem's idea. Don't forget to identify the poetic devices and language the author uses to reach the main goals.
A proper literary analysis essay would require you to have the following: Title Introduction Title Before you think of choosing a title, you need to read the given literature carefully, as your title must highlight the content of the literature. Aside from that, it normally comprises the author's name and the texts you are evaluating.
A poem analysis essay should have an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction includes the poet, title of poem, and why it is significant to you or society. The body should include a summary of the poem with specific examples that show how it relates to your thesis statement (a claim about what you will prove by analyzing the poem).
Poetry Analysis Essay Outline. An outline for a poetry analysis essay can be very simple. It is merely a guideline for the writer to build upon. Put the title of the paper at the top of the page, then place the number one (1) underneath, just before the word "Introduction."
To start an introduction to a poem analysis essay, include the name of the poem and the author. Other details like the date of when it was published can also be stated. Then some background information and interesting facts or trivia regarding the poem or author can also be included here. Poem Analysis Essay Body
Examples of Poetry Analysis. Poetry is an extremely subtle form of writing, and reviewing poetry requires a deep understanding of the elements that comprise a poem. Read our poetry analysis samples to gain a better understanding of how to write a poetry analysis of your own.
Obtain general structure of feet & make assumptions about it. Once you've completed the meter scan, you'll be able to proceed completing next step. Step 4. Consider the Structure of Your Poem. Another thing the poem analysis requires is making a statement about the poem's structure.
The poem analysis essay should start with either a single or two lines from the poem under analysis. Besides, one can decide to write an interesting statement about the environment surrounding the poem such as culture or history. In addition, one can make a brief summary using about three clear sentences that indicate contents of the essay.
2 Mother to Son by Langston Hughes 3 A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe 4 Still I Rise by Maya Angelou 5 Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas 6 The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus 7 If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda 8 The Tyger by William Blake 9 Daffodils by William Wordsworth 10 Trees by Joyce Kilmer
Make sure that you have something specific that you want to say about the poem that you are discussing. This specific argument that you want to make about the poem will be your thesis. You will support this thesis by drawing examples and evidence from the poem itself.
To better aid in your completion of the Poetry Analysis Essay, we've provided a working example for you to more completely understand the requirements. However, this example essay has...
But until then, here are seven basic steps to writing a well-constructed literary essay. Contents 1. Ask questions 2. Collect evidence 3. Construct a thesis 4. Develop and organize arguments 5. Write the introduction 6. Write the body paragraphs 7. Write the conclusion 1 Ask Questions
The term regularly used for the development of the central idea of a literary analysis essay is the body. In this section you present the paragraphs (at least 3 paragraphs for a 500-750 word essay) that support your thesis statement. Good literary analysis essays contain an explanation of your ideas and evidence from the text (short story,
Literary Analysis: Sample Essay Skip to content Davidson Writer Academic Writing Resources for Students Main navigation Argument in College Writing Preface Argument and Intellectual Life Mapping the Territory of a Disagreement Claims A Claim Evolves: Example 1 A Claim Evolves: Example 2 Evidence Topoi for Launching An Argument
Essay #2 - Literary Analysis Assignment: For your second essay in this class, you will create and support an argument about a piece of literature. For this assignment, you will analyze either poetry or prose. Specifics: 3-4 pages, double spaced, 1" margins, 12 pt font, Times New Roman When writing this essay, you'll have more […]
Summarize. Before you break the poem apart, identify its basic content. You should be able to summarize your poem. Creating a summary will focus your thoughts about the poem. However, you may not need to include it when you write your analysis, since you can usually assume your readers will know what the poem is about.
6.2 A Rose For Emily Literary Analysis Essay. 6.3 To Kill A Mockingbird Literary Analysis Essay. 6.4 The Great Gatsby Literary Analysis Essay. 6.5 The Yellow Wallpaper Literary Analysis Essay. 6.6 Literary Analysis Example for 8th Grade. 6.7 The Lord of the Rings. 6.8 Chopin's Artistry in "The Story of an Hour".
For example, if the choice of the poem to analyze is up to the writer, then it may be beneficial for the writer to choose a poem that he/she has encountered before.
For example, in a literary analysis essay, " Island Of Fear," the writer used the following hook statement: "As humans, we all fear something, and we deal with those fears in ways that match our personalities." Background Information: Providing background information about the chosen literature work in the introduction is essential.
Ultimately, a poetry analysis essay must examine ten technical features: refrain, narrators and characters, setting, diction, imagery, figurative language, voice and tone, storyline, rhyme scheme, and structure. 1. Refrain Every poem has a central message that gives its meaning.
Writing an analytical essay on a how to write a poem essay is different from the way you review other types of literature. If you have been approached to compose a poetry analysis essay, it entails analyzing the piece and further dissecting it into key components, including its structure, methods utilized, and authentic worth.
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.
A poem analysis essay in literature is a piece of writing that looks at one or more poems in depth. The purpose of such essays is to give the writer an understanding of the poetry they are studying so they can be able to write about it with greater skill and insight.
Use Wordplay. While the tone of your literary essay should ultimately be professional and credible, using puns or humor to play off an aspect of the title can be a friendly way to entice your audience to read further. For example, an essay about the symbolic villages of East and West Egg in "The Great Gatsby" might be titled "The Eggs Came ...
Writing an analysis requires preparation and broad understanding of the topic (in this case you may benefit from formal analysis Examples examples). Here are the steps to write a literary analysis. Create a Hypothesis. Think of a topic and your points to guide your argument. It should be a brief statement analysis of what you want to accomplish ...
To make it easier to relive happy or sad memories of the family, some poets devote their poems to this topic. For example, in "My Wicked Wicked Ways," written in 1987 by Sandra Cisneros, the speaker looks at an old family photo and feels rather sad than happy while remembering some facts. The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary ...