How to Write a Good Literary Analysis Essay: Step By Step

How to Write a Good Literary Analysis Essay: Step By Step

Published by on 2021-03-26 00:58:16

Some people are confused about how to start a literary analysis essay. On the one hand, it seems impossible to find fault with a verse or poem's logical structure. How can you question what the author has in mind? But you should not despair because the creator of a poem or novel did not always follow his own logical concept.

In order to understand how to start a literary essay, people need to inspect the tone of voice, sequence of presentation, various linguistic techniques and adhere to a clear structure. Three main aspects are important for this task type:

  • Introduction
  • The main body
  • Conclusion

It is worth knowing that literary essay examples can be found on the Internet, so you can select the main ideas to understand where to start. This will be a good solution for beginners who need help. 

The assignment devices

So, how to start a literary analysis? The first task is to read the text. You should pay attention to the creator's style, concerns, and plot arcs. It is best if you take short notes about plot twists, connecting parts of the text, and style accents.

How to start a literary analysis paper? First of all, you should understand the author's main creative techniques and compare several examples to find the key relationship between quotations and specific parts of the entire text.

Language choices

Before deciding how to write a literary analysis essay, you need to check the author's style and sentence type. Some writers prefer a long and flowery structure. But this is not true for all people. Some authors prefer laconic language, poetic comparisons, and rhyme.

Very often, sentences can contain metaphors, allegories, or references to other works. Fantasy and imagery in the text is a key point that should not be overlooked. The visualization of episodes and plot structures depends on these two elements.

Narrative voice

It is very important to decide who and how tells the story. How to write a literary essay step by step? Read the first few pages. Usually, the narrator is a neutral hero or directly involved in the story. Pay attention to how the information is presented. The narrator may know everything in advance or gradually participate in plot episodes not knowing how the story will end.

Besides, the information you receive may be false or incomplete. This is a common scripting trick for plot twists and unexpected introductions of new scenes or characters. And don't forget to pay attention to your tone of voice. The narrator can share information in a specific genre. It can be a comedy, a tragedy, or a mix of fantastic elements and historical facts.

Easy writing: Doing literary analysis essay: How to pick a theme

If you can choose a theme yourself, that's great news. First, you can immediately exclude poetry, prose, novels, poems, or autobiography and concentrate on something more interesting to you. Pick a topic that you are genuinely interested in. Then you can get started with a lot of enthusiasm. 


It's time to talk about how to conclude a literary analysis based on structure. As a rule, novels, novellas, or short stories have a clear, logical structure and are divided into chapters and separate parts. Poetry has clear rhyming elements, lines, and even individual songs. If you are reading the script of a play or theatrical performance, then you will definitely see individual episodes, scenes with heroes, or off-screen disclosures of characters.

You should inspect why a particular text structure was chosen and how this influenced the chronological order or grouping of individual episodes. Sometimes the plot does not have a clear climax or ending point. The same goes for poetry. Sometimes rhyme or syllable is a key factor in understanding the characters' meaning, actions, or motives.

Thesis Part

What must a literary analysis essay include? Start with the thesis. This is your main argument and basis, which should be clearly articulated. This will give you a vector to inspect and allow you to decide what you want to tell. If you have the freedom to choose, then you should create an original thesis that would help you talk about interesting problems or aspects of the text you read. Do not base your opinion on just a few facts. Your thesis must have enough arguments and evidence to create a good inspection.

Basic textual evidence

Evidence is what will help you inspect the text and get confirmation of your opinion. It is best if you highlight some parts of the text that most eloquently confirm your point of view or help inspect what the author wrote. Then your statements will be more convincing.

Making a title and strong introduction

How to write a literary analysis essay step by step? As a rule, there is a classic structure that should not be deviated from. Let's take a look at what you need.

The title

This is the beginning where basic information about your work is indicated. You can take a look at how this is done in other tasks to make a few changes to suit your theme. This is not difficult. 

The introduction

How to write a literary essay introduction? Sometimes it is better to wait until the final part and leave this section empty. Why? Your opinion may change several times. Plus, in the end, you'll have a clearer picture of where to start. How to write an introduction paragraph for literary analysis? When you reach about 80% you can go back to the very beginning and complement this part. Indicate the key features and the goal you are pursuing. It is also worth identifying which technique you are going to use.

The body

This is the most important and crucial part. This is where you put all your key arguments and don't forget about the evidence. Without the last point, you will not be able to connect your judgments with the text and confirm a certain position. Now let's look at the main question. What is a literary essay body, and what are the main parts? There are three main elements that your need:

  • Paragraphs
  • Topic sentences
  • Textual evidence

Check the literary analysis paragraph example. It will help you understand the basics and help you structure your thoughts. But let's get down to a more detailed inspection.

Overall structure

Typically, this type of paper consists of five paragraphs. How to begin a literary analysis essay? Your first part is an introduction. Then there are three parts where you should logically structure the main message and make strong arguments. But you shouldn't add absolutely all of your thoughts. All parts must be logical and contain only reasoned facts.

Topic sentences

How to write a literary analysis essay well? Each part should start with a crucial sentence to help the reader see the main text's connection. Use introductory words for transitions. This will help to logically connect the first sentence and everything that will be discussed later.

Want to know how to write a good literature essay? You should avoid too long topic sentences. Try to get to the point as succinctly as possible, without increasing the amount of text in vain. Your job is to get to facts and evidence as quickly as possible.

The textual evidence

Here's another tip for how to write a literary analysis. You should support your evidence with quotes, references to the text, or paraphrase a separate part that seems to you most important for understanding the author's idea. Quotes are great if you want to focus on style or specific linguistic tricks.

How to write a literary argument? Take a specific quote or piece of text and analyze it. Your argument must be supported by part of the text. You can paraphrase the author's idea or identify the general message for the target audience.

Strong Conclusion

This is the final but no less significant part for you. How to write a good conclusion for literary analysis? First, forget about quotes or arguments in this section. You have already had the opportunity to add this in other text parts. Summarize everything you wanted to say and make the right conclusion. The final words should emphasize the importance of your task and the time spent. This is important for a person who created the essay.