By knowing how to write a literary analysis, a student can interpret any piece of literature he has read. Reading & comprehension are the integral parts of the learning process, and it is difficult to imagine perfect writing without mastering these skills. This article will help every student who asks, “What is a literary analysis?”
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What Is a Literary Analysis?
The primary thing to cover is a literary analysis definition. It is a type of Literature/English Composition 101 assignment, which reflects student’s reading and comprehension skills as well as the chosen author’s attempt to explain his choices’ importance. In “The Great Gatsby,” for example, Scott Fitzgerald tries to display the face of American nation of the middle XX century through the images of Bohemia against the poor people. The author shows what money can do with people. Various economic theories could be applied to analyze the characters from the offered novel – that is a clue for the student.
Students may need to learn how to write a literary analysis paper to discuss how and why a specific literature piece was composed:
- Short story/Essay
It is impossible to analyze the chosen text without remembering that each author has specific reasons to come up with a certain story. If a person wonders how to write a literary analysis, he/she should realize this assignment is old. Read the article and analyze your skills. If you feel like some of the essential skills are missing, skip it to the closing paragraph where we explain the best way to deal with any homework assignment.
Literary Analysis Outline: Student’s Action Plan
Literary analysis essay outline looks like the outlines of other academic papers, but it may have more paragraphs depending on the writer’s flow of thoughts. An outline is an action plan, which helps to survive. Building materials into a pile on the ground makes no sense – the writer may lose the point in the middle of the process. The prompt barely asks the students to develop outlines. Experts recommend to come up with a good literary analysis essay outline if you want to understand how to write a literary analysis of A-level.
Make each point of the outline in a way that it responds to one of the questions that may appear while discussing the chosen piece of literature. An outline helps to reveal the gaps in writer’s knowledge. Each gap alarms a student needs to conduct additional research to get the answers to various important questions. Do not start working on an outline without studying the grading rubric in details.
How to Write a Literary Analysis of a Short Story: Learn the Grading Rubric!
- A: A paper engages in a sophisticated, unique assessment and in-depth analysis of the author’s themes and techniques used to compose a chosen piece. It contains a complex analysis of the given literature.
- B: A paper offers to probe literary evaluation & criticism along with the piece’s themes and techniques.
- C: A paper contains a simple analysis without going into the details; the student offered an assessment of the basic level.
- D: There is no analysis & criticism in work. No specific themes or techniques used by the story’s author were properly evaluated/explained by the student.
How to Start a Literary Analysis?
The opening paragraph of an academic literary essay is an introduction, and it is important to make the reader want to read the whole piece from cover to cover.
A literary analysis introduction: The primary thing to do is introduce the topic. Grab the attention of the potential reader to make him read to the end by inserting one of the available hook sentences:
- Famous quotation
- Provocative/Rhetorical question
- A short anecdote/joke
- A startling statement
- Mix of these hooks
Do not forget about the background information. It must contain the title of the selected piece of literature, author’s name, main characters, and the main idea of the story’s plot. The last element in the introduction is a thesis statement, which points to the significance of the given story. A thesis could be made of more than one sentence. Example:
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Moving to the Body of Your Work
Body paragraphs: 2 things should appear in every new body paragraph – the topic sentence & interpretation along with the textual evidence. The information in each paragraph should be related to the thesis statement. Tie the details of the paragraph together. To relate some paragraph about the American society after the World War I, the student may recall the fact that John Gatsby survived as a soldier during the war. Drawing parallels with real-world events is a good idea. It helps to make the audience understand the writer’s point better.
Do not forget to add in-text citations, direct & indirect, to provide extra evidence to support the topic sentence/thesis statement. It is necessary to add several citations from the analyzed piece of literature to deliver the spirit of the story to the reader.
Literary Analysis Conclusion
How to end a literary analysis? It’s about dealing with the conclusion: The closing paragraph must provide a sense of completeness and inform the reading audience this is the end of the text. Use different words to rewrite the thesis statement. Unlike in introduction, in conclusion, the thesis statement comes at the beginning to remind the reader of the main argument (read more about argumentative analysis essay). After that, make a summary of the main points introduced in the body paragraphs. A student may include a relevant comment about the analyzed book or story from a different perspective, but without starting a new topic for discussion.
Literary Analysis Essay Example
The article offers a literary analysis essay example for every part of the paper: from its introduction to the conclusion based on different samples.
Example #1: Introduction
“One can say that “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway is a story, which looks simple on the surface but complicated and puzzling deep down. The author narrates the main events in short sentences. He uses a minimum of figurative language, but the story raises many questions without giving evidence for the final answers.”
Example #2: Body paragraph with the quote
“Sammy’s descriptions of the A & P introduced an ugly and boring setting. The chain store is something not unusual in the modern world, and the target audience can feel similar to Sammy’s uniformity. He adds the fluorescent light is as blandly cool as the "checkerboard green-and-cream rubber tile floor" (486).”
Example #3: Conclusion
“In “My Last Duchess,” the redeeming traits of the Duke do not show up in the poem, so I believe the author meant he does not have any. By the end of the Browning’s story, the reader does not favor the character of the Duke, and it is obvious the author wanted the reading audience to feel this way.”
It looks like the author succeeded with his intentions. The readers almost hate the character of the Duke on purpose.
The final thing left is the list of great topics to make each student understand how to write a literary analysis by choosing the correct issue to analyze.
15 Inspiring Literary Analysis Essay Topics
The last thing to observe is the list of top literary analysis essay topics!
Macbeth Literary Analysis Essay Topics
- Interpret the usage of figurative language in Macbeth
- Discuss the reversal of characters in relation to Macbeth and his wife
- Provide the evaluation of the Macbeth structure
- How is the suspense used by Shakespeare to create tension?
- In what way Macbeth develops during the plot development?
Romeo & Juliet Literary Analysis Topics
- The way Shakespeare reflects the archetypal star-crossed lovers
- Discuss the theme of time in Romeo & Juliet in the context of the lack of time
- Explain a cliché for romantic fatalism throughout the prism of Romeo & Juliet’s tragic love
- Is the love doomed by fate in Romeo & Juliet?
- What about the good & evil, light & dark in the famous Shakespeare’s play?
XIX & XX Century Literary Analysis Topics
- There is no more famous detective story than Sherlock Holmes (list the reasons why)
- Struggling to survive on the island is the allegory of living in a modern society in “The Lord of the Flies.”
- Forecasting racing outcomes as an example of fraud in our world (“The Rocking Horse Winner”)
- Is it right to claim that love is stronger than time on the example of “The Princess Bride”?
- Does it make sense to follow your dreams instead of focusing on real life? “Of Mice & Men” is the perfect novel to discuss
“What is a literary analysis?” You know the answer after reading the proposed article. How do you feel? If the student has no time to read the entire text of the assignment, lacks time to compose the entire paper, or dislikes the idea itself, we can offer a single way out. The most reliable, cheapest solution is an academic writing service online. The most qualified academic writers will solve any problem, read any text, and create the most impressive literary analysis essay on any topic in the world within the set timeframe.
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When your English language professor requires to write an essay, how do you begin your writing? Do you use any good hooks in the introductory paragraphs to grab readers' attention? Probably, you have discovered a secret, unique great hook which helps your paper stand out from other works. Different types of essay hooks exist. High school and college students along with creative writers use them to grab their readers' attention.
WHAT DO WE DEFINE AN ESSAY HOOK?
Before you learn how to write a good hook, you must learn what it is. A hook is an interesting and catchy sentence from the introduction of your high school or college essay which motivates people to read your work. Although it is a rather small element, a perfect hook is both informative and engaging. It has a deep meaning and helps a writer introduce his or her main idea.
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TIPS ON FINDING THE BEST HOOK
We decided to analyze some examples of essay openings to provide you with an idea of how effective hooks look like. First, we would like to discuss a number of important ideas you should keep in mind before you write a hook.
A common mistake is that students give a great starter...and forget that it's a part of a paper. Don't jump to discussing your paper topic without demonstrating a clear bonding between the opening lines and the rest of the paper. Words are powerful; yet, if they aren't related to your work, they can't support your argument.
Tone and style of your work mean everything. If you are working on a research paper in physics to offer it to a scientific journal, it is better not to start with a personal childhood story. The hook should be strong and appropriate. Yet, if you are writing for a magazine which is less official, then the childhood story will sound quite natural. Evaluate the situation first!
Consider your target audience. Obviously, you shouldn't write an essay for professionals in biology using teenage language. They understand the text, but they are unlikely to get the purpose of your writing.
These strategies to developing good hooks are the key because every author's main purpose is to make readers understand his or her opinion and enjoy the overall reading.
HOOKS TO USE IN ESSAYS
Mind where the good hooks come from. You might want to type in a curious fact on the topic which is unknown to most of the people. Find different facts in various sources such as:
- Textbooks and books
- Academic and scientific journals
- Official published reports
- Documentaries and films
Remember that the more recent and credible source you use, the more trustworthy your essay's hook sounds.
To help you better understand how hook sentences function in writing, we are going to discuss several really nice articles written by professional writers and journalists. We look only at the intros of our examples and describe the kind of hooks found in each one.
KEEP THEM READING BY STARTING WITH AN INTERESTING FACT
The first good example of high knowledge is the quote taken as a hook from the credible online resources that publish up-to-date information on the most critical and discussed topics within society. People find it intriguing that:
"Over 36% of mobile subscribers use iPhones or iPads to read email, and 34% of subscribers only use mobile devices to read emails."(Informz)
Such statistics help perspective business people to launch their own mobile solutions in the upcoming year. Not all teachers and professors support the active usage of internet/digital resources, so you must specify whether such way to introduce your hook and the first paragraph is OK. Then, you move to the discussion on why mobile applications are perspective products/business ideas.
"There are two distinct traditions in the literature regarding the proper analysis of predicate noun and adjective constructions..."
(John Bowers, The Syntax of Predication)
In the given example we have an official, scientific paper which cannot be humorous or start with a creative trope. On the contrary, this intro is rather straightforward. And, nevertheless, it contains a nice hook - a conflict. 'Two distinct traditions' means that we will see how the author either supports one of them or introduces the third solution to the existing problem. Presenting conflicting ideas is always an excellent way to start.
ANECDOTE OR A JOKE WOULD BE HELPFUL
ESL/EFL classroom offers many anecdotes on various subjects to help students cover any topic with a share of humor. The examples of essay hooks below catch an eye of the reader by making him laugh.
"A family of mice were surprised by a big cat. Father Mouse jumped and said, "Bow-wow!" The cat ran away. "What was that, Father?" asked Baby Mouse. "Well, son, that's why it's important to learn a second language."
Isn't it a great idea to start your paper on the importance of learning a secondary language? Mind that each country has its specific humor and forbidden jokes. Choose the hook sentences wisely!
POSING QUESTIONS IN THE BEGINNING
You may play with facts and statistics to combine them into the question. You may use rhetorical question too. It is a great way to start your writing and give an overall picture of what you'll be talking about. Make sure to provide an answer throughout your text or at the end.
"Have you ever thought how many people die of pneumonia every day in the United States?"
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HOW TO WRITE A HOOK OF THE MIXED TYPE
Here we go with the mixed example:
"As children's culture arose in the 1740s, the juvenile market was suddenly awash in age-appropriate clothing, toys, and reading material..."
(Megan A. Norcia, Puzzling Empire: Early Puzzles and Dissected Maps as Imperial Heuristics)
This beginning is a good example of how a fact can be used in an intro. Readers tend to pay attention to those works which provide them with new information, and starting with a date and an interesting fact is a brilliant hooking idea.
"Why some people choke and others panic."
(Malcolm Gladwell, The Art of Failure)
We definitely love this intro. Short, clear, and very powerful. Although there is no question mark at the end, the intro above belongs to the category of 'posing a question.' We mean that the author opened the essay with a statement which promises the answer if we keep reading. We know the article is on the failure and the ways people react to it. The rhetorical question-like intro is truly hooking because the majority of readers will want to know why some people choke and other people panic.
A fact or question works well with the analysis paper. Find out how to write an analysis essay which deserves A+.
A LITERARY QUOTE AS THE WAY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF
Another great essay hook might be an original philosophical or social phrase to grab the attention. Think of any sentence or paragraph which can force your readers to think. Try to help arise necessary questions and social problems by your speech.
"Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity."
(Joan Didion, After Life)
If the style of writing allows you to be creative, look for an unusual, original way to express the main theme of your paper with the help of such good hooks for essays. Here, Joan Didion starts with her own poem which 'tunes' readers and let them know in advance what the whole text is about.
Mind the way you format quotes depends on different academic writing styles.
SET A SCENE
Try to memorize an example of a very brief story from famous people to capture the attention of your reader. Such essay's hook points to the importance of the topic or question with the help of a real-life example. The best examples include recalling the story of Helen Keller who managed to write beautiful books being blinded from her birth. You may use a story of some celebrity like Bon Jovi to stress the importance of helping disabled people financially and morally by attending them in the hospitals. When you write an essay, you are not supposed to recall only examples from your life. You are encouraged to share stories of people who figure as your role models. They don't have to be very famous, but their stories should serve as the perfect essay hook related to your chosen topic.
"After smiling brilliantly for nearly four decades, I now find myself trying to quit. Or, at the very least, seeking to lower a wattage a bit."
(Amy Cunnigham, Why Women Smile)
Reader deals with a perfect personal story. Readers want to know more about each story's main character because they try to find new emotions and new knowledge. Do you know why she has no intention to smile anymore? Is it hooking enough? We think so. Such beginnings are always attention grabbing and exciting.
In case you write an essay on such trait as jealousy, you may quote a well-known book by Shakespeare, "Othello," which is primarily focused on the problems caused by this feeling. Show how Othello is afraid of losing Desdemona, his wife, because of the color of his skin, religion, and other stereotypes.
I crave fit disposition for my wife.
Due reference of place and exhibition
With such accommodation and besort
As levels with her breeding"(Act1.Scene 3)
In Act 2, Scene 1, we discover more about the topic of jealousy from the character of Iago who has an evil mind due to his friend's Othello's success.
QUOTES FROM FAMOUS PEOPLE
Actually, many of the essay hook examples quoted above can be put into this category. However, there are phrases well-known by the entire world. Once something critical happens, famous people always have their point of view. They share it with the society via mass media. It is your chance to find another great essay hook. The first example appears below:
"The problem with environmentalists, Lynn Margulis used to say, is that they think conservation has something to do with biological reality."
(Charles C. Mann, State of the Species)
Another clever way to hook people is to use quotes from famous people. With a quote, your writing makes a certain statement and helps you establish your authority as a writer. You demonstrate your connection with the community and show great interest in the field history and respect towards people who have made a large contribution to its development.
GOOD HOOKS FOR ESSAYS IN THE SHAPE OF SIMILE OR METAPHOR
You should practice using metaphors and similes as the way to start your essay with an interesting hook. Watch out - many people do not tend to get the meaning of metaphors and similes from the first time, so it is better to add a description or explanation of what it means. Otherwise, you risk losing your audience instead of grabbing its attention. A good metaphor helps enrich one's speech and make the writing more powerful in terms of words.
As written by Dan Wakefield,
"I feel as much of a stud as... I can't come up with a metaphor. That's how lacking in studliness I am."
A simile is a literary tool often used as an essay hook. It also shows writer's ability to express feelings and ideas in many different, original ways rather than being straightforward all the time. To understand similes better, a student has to read a lot of plays, poems, song lyrics, and take part in everyday conversations.
The several examples below are helpful when writing your essay hook:
- "as cute as a puppy" (contrasting something to the adorableness of a puppy)
- "as busy as a bee" (describing very industrious people)
- "as snug as a bug in a rug" (meaning tucked up tight)
OTHER GREAT WAYS TO START YOUR SENTENCE
There are other ways to begin you writing such as stating a thesis and using statistics and numbers. You are the one to decide which option is the most effective. Don't forget to take the preparatory steps and figure out which kind of hook is the most beneficial.
Although we have added some great sentences which you can use as a topic hook, it is still not easy to grab attention to your story from the first essay's line. Thus, we would like you to remember there is an immediate solution to any academic writing problem in the shape of our website with services for high school, college, and university students. When you don't have time to type the whole paper or think of the relevant anecdote or scene to begin with, our writing services are always ready to help with your learning process. Order a custom essay or research paper with the most effective hooks you've ever seen!
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