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.
” 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. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you.
Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length? ” “What happens to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird ?
“Are Romeo and Juliet’s parents responsible for the deaths of their children? ” “What do the other characters in Julius Caesar think about Caesar?
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.
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. 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. Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities.
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.