When you are a student, you are supposed to work on various academic assignments demonstrating your analytical capacity, good writing skills, research proficiency, etc. You should understand that each academic task has its own peculiarities that should be taken into consideration when working on it. Otherwise, you will not be able to get a good grade for your papers. A literary analysis essay is one of the common tasks given to students in their colleges and universities. To handle this assignment well, students should possess advanced writing skills, as well as be aware of all the peculiarities of a traditional literary analysis outline. When working on a literary analysis essay, you will need to let your reader know what you think about the piece being analyzed, as well as explain what are its main strengths and weaknesses. Most probably, your professor will provide you with a prompt that will include specific requirements that should be followed. However, you should know that there are some common guidelines that should be familiar to you. For instance, you should know what are the key parts of a literary analysis essay outline, how long this essay should be, what formatting standards to use, and many other points. In our guide, we are going to provide you with some handy suggestions that will turn the writing process into an enjoyable experience. So stay tuned!
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What Is a Literary Analysis?
A literary analysis essay is a type of academic writing in which the writer should evaluate a specific literary piece by paying special attention to specific techniques that were used by the author. You may be asked to analyze a novel, a poem, a play, or anything else. When writing such an essay, you will need to answer the question “How the manuscript was written?” paying close attention to the plot, characters, literary devices, etc. To boost your writing inspiration, you may read some samples of literary analysis papers as they will help you understand the specific peculiarities of this assignment.
Why Is It Important to Write an Outline for Literary Analysis?
A smart student knows that writing an outline is an integral part of the writing process. Without an outline, you will not be able to make the flow of your ideas smooth and logical. In its essence, an outline is a list of ideas that will be presented in the paper organized in a logical order. Having a good outline will greatly speed up the writing process and improve the quality of your paper. With a good plan, you will avoid repetitive ideas and awkward statements. In other words, it is very difficult to underestimate the importance of a good outline. If you want to succeed with writing your literary analysis essay, you will need to spend some time writing an outline. Below, you will find detailed information on the main parts of a good outline:
In the first part of your literary analysis essay that is called an introduction, you will need to present the work you are going to analyze. If you were allowed to choose a piece for analysis, you may explain your choice in the opening part. Also, you may include a hook, which serves to grab the reader’s attention. It can be a personal story, a quote from the book, an interesting fact about the author, or anything else that will make your reader follow the flow of your ideas. Have a look at some handy suggestions that will help you make your introduction look truly impressive:
- Include the full name of the author, as well as the full title of the piece being analyzed;
- Put a strong thesis at the end of your introductory paragraph. A thesis statement is the central concept of your paper that will be analyzed in your paper;
- Keep your introduction short and clear. The opening part of your paper is the place where you will provide basic information on the source being analyzed.
The main body of your paper depends on the type of paper you are writing. If you are writing an argumentative literary analysis essay, your main body will be divided into several paragraphs in accordance with the number of arguments suggested. If you are supposed to write a compare and contrast analysis of two works, you may want to discuss all the similar features in one paragraph and all differences in another. Check out some additional suggestions that will help you write a good main body part:
- Begin each paragraph of your main body with a clear topic sentence;
- Make sure to include one point of view in one paragraph;
- Use smooth transitions when moving from one paragraph to another;
- Support your arguments with the help of appropriate citations;
- Summarize each paragraph with a closing sentence.
In the final part of your literary analysis, you will need to restate your thesis and wrap up your discussion. Pay attention that you should not add new information to this part as it will confuse your reader.
- Make sure not to include citations in your conclusion;
- Clearly explain whether you managed to provide an in-depth analysis of your work.
Writing a Literary Analysis Outline: General Recommendations
Now, when you know all the peculiarities of the outline structure for a literary analysis essay, let us provide you with some common secrets that will greatly facilitate the writing process:
- Choose a catchy title. In fact, you may leave this step until the very end of the writing process, when the entire essay is written. This approach will help you make your title maximally attention-grabbing;
- Write your analysis in the present tense;
- Write your paper in the third person. Pay attention that a literary analysis is a piece of academic writing; thus, it requires following the common standards and conventions;
- Use various literary devices. A characteristic peculiarity of a literary analysis essay is using literary devices. With their help, you will be able to make your essay look thoughtful, balanced, and well-written;
- Use secondary sources. Although the main part of the writing process will be dedicated to the primary source, you will be able to convince your reader that you know the subject perfectly if you use appropriate secondary sources. Please, note that all sources you use when writing your literary analysis paper should appear in your list of references. Otherwise, your teacher will accuse you of plagiarism;
- Be very careful about plagiarism. If you are a diligent student, you probably know that plagiarism always results in disciplinary actions. Therefore, we strongly recommend you check your paper for plagiarism before its submission.
We do hope that our suggestions will help you create a brilliant literary analysis essay. However, if you are not sure how to cope with this challenging task or you have no time to study your primary source thoroughly, you can always delegate this task to our professional writing service, and we will provide you with a marvellous piece.
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