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Humanities Libertexts

8: The Literary Analysis Essay

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    15908
  • Now that we have discussed the basic conventions and terminology associated with poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction, let’s explore how one progresses from reading a piece of literature to producing a literary analysis paper on that work. It is important to note that the process of writing discussed in this chapter can be used in writing for any discipline. As stated in this book’s Introduction, literature provides a fruitful context for development of writing skills, but the skills themselves are transferable into a multitude of communication situations.

    • 8.1: Literary Analysis Arguments
      Analysis means to break something down in order to better understand how it works. To analyze a literary work is to pull it apart and look at its discrete components to see how those components contribute to the meaning and/or effect of the whole. Thus, a literary analysis argument considers what has been learned in analyzing a work (What do the parts look like and how do they function?) and forwards a particular perspective on their contribution to the whole.
    • 8.2: Writing as a Process - Breaking it Down
      For many students, approaching a writing assignment can be overwhelming. They know that there are many tasks that must be completed, such as gathering information about the topic, forming a perspective on it, brainstorming ideas to be included in the paper, organizing those ideas, integrating the evidence, and articulating the argument with clarity and eloquence, not to mention accommodating the assigned format guidelines.
    • 8.3: Determining an Effective Essay Structure

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