What is a Literary Analysis Essay?

A literary analysis essay is a summary that allows you to evaluate someone else's writing. It's your job to break down the subject into smaller components and examine the literature from different areas to appreciate and understand the concept. Throughout the essay you'll discuss and explain any subplots, main plots or relationships between characters. If there is a particular theme within the writing it's necessary to identify it throughout your literary analysis essay and elaborate on why the author may have suggested a theme. If there are symbolic characters or implications it is necessary to explain how an attitude or decision fell into a given plot.

Examples and Personal Opinion

Although your writing throughout the piece should be sharp and focused you will also want to integrate feelings and emotions into it. Analyzing the writing piece will cause you to use your own perception and ability to think critically. The purpose of a literary analysis essay is to convince the audience that they can support the ideas you've developed. It's essential that you stick to your point throughout the analysis development; this style calls for organization and control which is why it's effective to write an outline before you begin. What is your central thesis and is what you have written relating to the readers' understanding?

Remember the following tips:

  • Your writing must be consistent in addressing a topic
  • Revolve it around a central idea
  • Keep the essay organized so that every component contributes to a deeper understanding

Writing the Thesis & Conclusion

The thesis within your literary analysis essay should elaborate to the readers what they can expect. The sentences will need to be declarative in how you address the purpose of the analysis. Make it very clear what reasoning you are addressing. If the thesis isn't stated correctly it will be difficult to make your point valid. Use textual evidence that supports the main theme through the use of details, quotes, summaries and paraphrasing. The textual evidence should be used carefully as it must always relate to and support your topic – evidence is mandatory within a literary analysis essay. The concluding portion of your writing should also provide a sense of completion and let your readers know that your paper has been completed. Although you need to restate the thesis using different words also remember that you must summarize your points clearly and concisely.

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