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A Simple Formula For A Great Literary Analysis Essay

How do you get started on writing that literary analysis? The key is to be organized. Start with the step by step formula suggested below and then fill it in with your writing. Remember to be concise, support what you write and be interesting.

Step 1 - The Introduction and Thesis Statement

  • Begin with a paragraph that describes and introduces your literary topic.
  • The introduction should start with a few creative sentences that describe what your essay is about and shows why it is important.
  • It should be written in a way that captures the reader’s interest.
  • To capture your reader’s interest, use vivid descriptions, an interesting quote, or outline a hot debate on the topic.
  • End the paragraph with a thesis statement.
  • A thesis statement should tell the reader what your essay will discuss, why the discussion is important, and how you will support your discussion in the body of your paper.

Step 2 - The Body of Your Essay

  • Support your thesis statement with several paragraphs that each focus on a different topic. Begin each paragraph with a statement that explains to the reader how your paragraph topic is going to support your thesis statement.
  • Be sure to cite and reference your sources of information.
  • After you have supported your thesis statement with examples, quotes, and your critical interpretation of the examples, write a concluding statement for each paragraph.
  • The concluding statement in each paragraph summarizes how you have supported the thesis statement.
  • The number of paragraphs depends on the required length of your paper and how many examples you need to adequately support your thesis statement. For example, a 500 – 1000 word essay should have a minimum of 3-4 supporting paragraphs.

Step 3 – The Conclusion

  • Now you want to do two things. The first is to summarize how the body of your paper supports and defends your thesis statement. The second is to further build your argument. Describe to the reader why you believe the thesis statement is important beyond what you have already written.
  • You want to show critical and creative thinking here.
  • Take some time to reflect and brainstorm to help you complete this section and take it to the next level. You want to be able to inspire the next writer to pick up where you have left off and explore your topic further.