how to develop an outline for a literary analysis essay

One of the ways in which a literary analysis achieves these ends is through the articulation, support, and development of a specific idea or claim. To put this in simple terms, your essay should contain a clearly stated thesis (claim), a coherent structure, and an abundance of relevant evidence (textual and otherwise). For a more involved discussion of these terms, please see the section in our text entitled "The Elements of the Essay" (1849-1857). In addition, you may also find it helpful to read the section in our text entitled "The Writing Process" (1858-1869).

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At least once during the course of writing your essay, isolate what you consider to be your thesis. Is your proposition both arguable and reasonable? If it is obvious (i.e. Mary Rowlandson used the Bible for comfort during her captivity) you don’t have an argument. Argument requires analysis (i.e. taking things apart and explaining them). One test that may help is asking yourself what the opposite "side" of your argument would be. A good, complicated thesis (which was proposed by one of your classmates) is that "Although Mary Rowlandson says she often used the Bible as a source of comfort during her captivity, a closer reading of her narrative suggests her faith may have been more troubled by her experience than she lets on." One useful structure for writing thesis statements is the "although" form used above: "Although x seems to be true about this piece of literature, y is in fact more true (or makes our thinking about x more complex)." In this form you present both sides of your argument at once and show which side you’re on. Your job in the paper is to convince your reader to join you. Another way to write an effective thesis statement is to use the form "If we look closely at x (e.g. how Bradford defines freedom) we discover y (that ).

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If you could divide the book/essay into sections, units of meaning, what would those sections be? How are they related to each other? Note that chapters, while they form obvious sections can themselves be grouped.Referring to the text: In writing analytic papers that address any kind of literature, it is necessary to refer to the text (the specific words on the page of the book) in order to support your argument. This means that you must quote and interpret passages that demonstrate or support your argument. Quotation is usually stronger than paraphrase. Remember also that your purpose in writing an essay is not merely to paraphrase or summarize (repeat) what the author has said, but to make an argument about how the make their point, or how they have said what they have said.

Literary Analysis Essay This paper crafts a close reading that explains some aspect about a text's historical, literary, or cultural significance
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