Students are asked to write literary analysis essays because this type of assignment encourages you to think about how and whya poem, short story, novel, or play was written. To successfully analyze literature, you’ll need to remember that authors make specific choices for particular reasons. A literary analysis is not merely a summary of a literary work. Instead, it is an argument about the work that expresses a writer’s personal perspective, interpretation, judgment, or critical evaluation of the work. This is accomplished by examining the devices, word choices, or writing structures the author uses within the work. The purpose of a literary analysis is to demonstrate why the author used specific ideas, word choices, or writing structures to convey his or her message.
Your essay should point out the author’s choices and attempt to explain their significance. When writing a literary analysis, you will focus on a specific attribute(s) of the text(s). When discussing these attributes, you will want to make sure that you are making a specific, arguable point (thesis) about these attributes. You will defend this point with reasons and evidence drawn from the text.
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