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Writing a Literary Analysis Research Paper with Ease

Writing a literary analysis research essay can be tremendous fun. In fact, it could help you appreciate literature even more! Get the most out of your assignment as you make it easier on yourself at the same time. Impossible, you say? Check out these tips on how to have a rock-solid paper with ease!

Pick a Story You Know Well

When it comes to writing a literary analysis research paper, you want to choose a story that you’re familiar with. Ideally, it would be one that you enjoy. Why? Chances are that you have already analyzed it (or at least know the basics well enough to be able to do so). Chances are also that you enjoy that particular story. You’ll have a good idea of who the characters are and what the moral of the story is. In fact, your biggest challenge will be to know what you’re going to write about!

Decide on What You’ll Focus on

In literary analysis, there are many topics to focus on. Will you write about the setting or the plot? Maybe you’ll be focusing on the characters or the symbolism. Whatever you choose to write about – make sure that you have:

  • a valid thesis;
  • congruent arguments for that thesis;
  • a conclusion that puts everything together smoothly.

The biggest mistakes students make is to either have too vague a paper or too incongruent. Avoid these errors by picking a story you know and like and focus only one to two main elements. Once you’ve written up your paper however, you need to make sure you have the literal evidence to back it up.

Make Sure Your Citations are Solid

Another error students are prone on making is to not cite evidence properly. We’re not just talking about the formatting (quotations, bullet points, etc.), we’re talking about whether your evidence is solid enough to back up your argument. For example, if you think that a certain character symbolizes the author’s point of view, find areas in the passage that clearly show it. Are you all done? Not quite. Your next step is arguably the most important one.

Discuss Your Arguments with a Classmate

You now need to find a classmate to whom you can present your case. Ideally, this is someone who also happens to know the story (and even like it). As you bounce ideas off of your classmate, listen to the feedback and check if he or she understands your arguments. If your paper makes sense to your classmate, chances are it will also please your professor. Granted, your classmate has to also understand literary analysis as well.

Write a Paper as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

So there you have it: pick a story you know and point out something about it that you understand. Find evidence to prove that you’re correct and have another knowledgeable person proofread it with you. Is it really this easy? You bet it is!