Literary Essay Introductions

Literary Essay Introductions-39
These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments.

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Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to say yet—right now you’re just collecting ideas and material and letting it all percolate.

Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic.

If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay. Maybe you were surprised to see a character act in a certain way, or maybe you didn’t understand why the book ended the way it did.

Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a sweater: if you pull on it, you can unravel the entire thing.

Maybe the title Happy Days totally disagrees with the book’s subject matter (hungry orphans dying in the woods).

Literary Essay Introductions

Maybe the main character acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his friends and associates.Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about how the author uses those elements to create certain effects.A literary essay isn’t a book review: you’re not being asked whether or not you liked a book or whether you’d recommend it to another reader.Remember, you’re looking for something you can prove or argue based on evidence you find in the text.Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: is this a topic you can adequately address within the word or page limit you’ve been given?Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole. Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book?If you can figure out how that pattern weaves through the work and what the significance of that pattern is, you’ve almost got your entire essay mapped out. Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities.A thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by evidence and arguments.The thesis statement is the heart of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to prove this claim.” No one is born knowing how to analyze literature; it’s a skill you learn and a process you can master.As you gain more practice with this kind of thinking and writing, you’ll be able to craft a method that works best for you. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you.

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