Great Advice On How To Write A Literary Analysis Research Paper

In many literature and English classes, students will be required to write a literary analysis research paper. To start with, students should carefully read through the prompt provided by their teacher. Often, teachers will want students to look at specific books. They may also require certain types of formatting or thesis statements. To get a top score, students should make sure that they follow the writing prompt exactly. Once the writing prompt has been read, students can use the following advice to complete their assignment.

Consider the Literary Tools

As the student reads, they should consider the literary tools that the author is using. Some of the tools used by the author may be:

  • Point-of-view: Who is telling the story? Is an omniscient narrator or a character telling the story? Is the narrator of the story trustworthy or is the story colored by their perception?
  • Figurative language: What metaphors and figurative language are used to describe the characters?
  • Imagery: How does the author use imagery to describe the story and place the reader within the story's world?
  • Plot: How are events in the story arranged?
  • Characters: Which characters are essential to the plot? How does the author assign certain qualities to each of these characters?
  • Symbolism: What symbols are used in the novel? What do they represent?
  • Tone: What tone does the narrator use? Do they seem sympathetic to a particular idea or person? Why would they use certain tones?
  • Setting: Where does the novel take place? How does this reflect on the events of the story and the overall meaning?

Create an Outline

Once students have researched the topic and written notes about the novel, they are ready to begin outlining their essay. Students should create an introduction paragraph that includes a thesis statement. This thesis statement will state the student's overall argument for the entire paper. In each paragraph, the thesis statement is supported by topic sentences which drive the argument along.

At the end of the outline, the student should include a conclusion that wraps up their argument and restates the thesis statement. Beneath each paragraph in the outline, the student will want to include two or three pieces of evidence that support their argument. By doing this in the outline step, students can make sure that they have enough research to adequately complete their paper. In addition, a carefully crafted outline will make the writing process easier and faster for the student.

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