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Selecting topics for literary analysis

Selecting topics for literary analysis

Author: Kathy Hanley
  1. Explain how to comment on the relationship between concrete characters, setting, or plot with abstract themes, symbols, motifs, style, characterization, or effect on the audience.

  2. Explain how to comment on the way in which themes and ideas are developed in one or more literary works.

This packet should help a learner seeking to understand how to write an analysis and who is confused about how to select an appropriate topic. 

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Writing Literary Analysis

An essay of literary analysis centers on explaining a particular piece or pieces of literature using specific aspects of the literature.  The analysis connects characters, plot, and/or setting with literary techniques such as theme, symbol, motif, etc.  Literary techniques are the tools an author uses to convey the abstract and symbolic meaning of the work.  When writing a research paper, the best practice is to use direct quotations sparingly.  When writing literary analysis, using the text and the author's actual words is essential.

Source: Kathleen Hanley

How to Write a Literary Analysis

What Should Be Included in the Analysis?

Where to start when writing a literary analysis

Source: Kathleen Hanley

How to Write a Literary Analysis

This document provides practical advice on how to write an analysis. It offers concrete examples from literature to help point out the purpose of the analysis and how to organzie your evidence.