The Blueprint to a Top-Rated Literary Analysis Essay

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Before you learn how to write a literary analysis essay, you need to learn what a literary analysis essay is. So, before we jump into the finesses of this genre, here are few words about what a literary analysis essay is. By learning about its essence, it will be much easier to fill it with meaningful words.

A literary analysis essay explores a certain text, searches for its meanings, as well as the motivation of the author to make certain choices. This can be applied to poems, screenplays, short stories, novels, and other forms of literary writing.

A literary analysis essay is way more than just a simple review or plot summary of a book. Instead, it goes way deeper than that by analyzing elements like the structure of the piece, the used language, and how the author managed literary tools to present ideas and create certain effects.

Before starting to write a literary essay, it is super-important to go through the given text carefully and with the utmost attention. From that, you need to figure out the thesis statement which will be your guiding light through your essay.

In terms of structure, stick to the standard academic essay structure:

  • An Introduction that will present your essay and what it is about.
  • Main body made of paragraphs where the reader will be able to find your arguments and evidence that support your thesis statement. In a literary essay, the writer uses extracts from the text to make the main point.
  • A conclusion that will be logical to the reader and one that comes naturally after going through the introduction and the main body of the essay.

Consider the Type of Literary Analysis Essays

There are three types of literary analysis essays: Compare and contrast, Trace, and Debate. In the compare and contrast essays, you compare and contrast the characters of some book, story, screenplay, novel, or some other type of writing. You can do that one character at a time, or point by point. In the trace type of essays, you explore a certain image. For example, the appearance of knives in Macbeth. At first, it looks like an easy task, just trace whenever a knife appears in some scene. However, there is much more to it than just counting the number of times a knife appears in Macbeth. Know that knives in Macbeth can appear as fictional and real.

Then there are different contexts when they appear. The writer needs to take note of all that and analyze each situation. So, trace literary analysis is the furthest thing from easy and straightforward.

In the debate sub-genre, you need to discuss an ethical, moral, or some other issue presented in writing. For example, Can Jayne Eyre be considered a feminist novel? Another example is, Is Ceasar to be blamed for his own downfall?

In the literary debate analysis, you can easily end up judging a certain character (e.g. Ceasar) or the entire book (Jayne Eyre).

The Seven Steps of Writing a Literary Analysis Essay

There is nothing easy about writing your first literary analysis essay. That can be said for the second or the third one. It is a process and it takes time to get the hang of it. As you gain more experience, it becomes easier.

But, until you gain enough experience, check out these seven basic steps

  1. Always ask questions. That’s the only way to make sure your ideas are in line with those of your professors.
  2. Collect Ideas and Materials
  3. Create your thesis statement
  4. Develop arguments and organize them in a logical order
  5. Write the body paragraphs
  6. Write an introduction
  7. Write a conclusion

Final Thoughts

This guide might not teach you how to write a literary analysis essay like a pro right away. But with some deliberate practice and after a while you can learn how to produce top work every time you are asked to write one.

Pro-tip: If you want to know how to write a literary analysis essay every time, read a lot. And by that, we don’t mean just books and novels, but literary analysis essays. Just make sure that you read top rated essays and not mediocre work. It is the fastest way to comprehend the recipe needed for crafting a top essay by yourself.

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