Literary Analysis Essay Outline - A Step By Step Guide
A literary analysis essay is a form of writing in which a writer examines and evaluates literature. This essay type analyzes the different components of literature by splitting it into pieces.
Analyzing the different elements of the literature is not enough to draft a literary analysis essay. It is one of the processes involved in the writing procedure to understand the original work better.
Writing a strong literary analysis essay depends on good writing skills and critical abilities. The better skills you have, the easier it will be for you to convince the readers about your claim on the chosen work.
A literary analysis essay is a common academic assignment that high school and college students often get assigned. To ensure that the writing process is on point and effective, a proper essay outline is essential.
Continue reading the blog to learn how a literary analysis essay outline is drafted.
How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay Outline?
An outline is a structure that you decide to give to your writing to make the audience understand your viewpoint clearly. When a writer gathers information on a topic, it needs to be organized to make sense.
An outline makes your writing readable by logically distributing the information and correctly organizing it. This order of the information helps the writer convince a reader about his stance or claim, which is the primary objective.
When writing a literary analysis essay, its outline is as important as any part of it. For the text’s clarity and readability, an outline is drafted in the essay’s planning phase.
There are some necessary components of an essay outline that are involved in drafting all sorts of essays. According to the basic essay outline, the following are the elements included in drafting an outline for the essay:
- Thesis statement
- Body paragraphs
A literary analysis essay outline is based on the same elements, as well. The first section is the literary analysis introduction, following which comes the main body, and in the end, a conclusion is provided.
A detailed description of the literary analysis outline is provided in the following section.
Literary Analysis Essay Introduction
An introduction section is the first part of the essay. This paragraph is written to introduce the topic and attract the audience towards the writing. The introductory paragraph or paragraphs provide an insight into the topic and prepares the readers about the literary work.
A literary analysis essay introduction is based on three major elements:
Hook Statement: A hook statement is the opening sentence of the introduction. This statement is used to grab people’s attention. A catchy hook will make the introductory paragraph interesting for the readers, encouraging them to read the entire essay.
A hook can take any type, depending on the topic and theme of an essay. It can be a quotation as well as a factual statement or statistics. Choose a hook statement for your introduction that best suits your tone and theme of the essay.
For example, in a literary analysis essay, “ Island Of Fear,” the writer used the following hook statement:
“As humans, we all fear something, and we deal with those fears in ways that match our personalities.”
Background Information: Providing background information about the chosen literature work in the introduction is essential. Present information related to the author, title, and the theme discussed in the original text.
Moreover, include other elements to discuss, such as characters, setting, and the plot. For example:
“ In Lord of the Flies, William Golding shows the fears of Jack, Ralph, and Piggy and chooses specific ways for each to deal with his fears.”
Thesis Statement: A thesis statement is the writer’s main claim over the chosen piece of literature. A writer analyzes the work and forms his argument about how effective the original work’s purpose and the message was.
A thesis statement allows your reader to expect the purpose of your writing. The main objective of writing a thesis statement is to provide your subject and opinion on the essay.
For example, the thesis statement in the “Island of Fear” is:
“...Therefore, each of the three boys reacts to fear in his own unique way.”
Forming a strong thesis statement is essential while drafting an essay. Only a strong thesis statement will let a writer choose logical evidence and supporting material.
Literary Analysis Essay Body Paragraphs
The body of an essay is written to justify and prove the thesis statement made earlier in the introduction. All of the supporting material gathered is presented in this section of a literary analysis essay.
To give shape and structure to the essay, all of the paragraphs in the body section should be written using the following pattern:
Topic sentence: A topic sentence is an opening sentence of the paragraph. The points that will support the main thesis statement are individually presented in each section. These points will be made in the topic sentence to let the audience know what the paragraph is about. To make each paragraph effective, draft a structured topic sentence.
“The first boy, Jack, believes that a beast truly does exist…”
Evidence: To support the claim made in the topic sentence, evidence is provided. The evidence is taken from the selected piece of work to make the reasoning strong and logical.
“...He is afraid and admits it; however, he deals with his fear of aggressive violence. He chooses to hunt for the beast, arms himself with a spear, and practice killing it: “We’re strong—we hunt! If there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it down! We’ll close in and beat and beat and beat—!”(91).”
Analysis: After providing the evidence for your topic sentence, it is time to provide your explanation of the evidence. A literary essay is a kind of essay that requires a writer to provide his analysis as well.
The purpose of providing the writer’s analysis is to tell the readers about the meaning of the evidence.
“...He also uses the fear of the beast to control and manipulate the other children. Because they fear the beast, they are more likely to listen to Jack and follow his orders...”
Transition words: Transition or connecting words are used to link ideas and points together to maintain a logical flow. Transition words that are often used in a literary analysis essay are:
- Later in the story
- In contrast, etc.
“...Furthermore, Jack fears Ralph’s power over the group and Piggy’s rational thought. This is because he knows that both directly conflict with his thirst for absolute power...”
Concluding sentence: The last sentence of the body paragraph that gives a final statement on the topic sentence is the concluding sentence. It sums up the entire discussion held in that specific paragraph.
Each paragraph should be written using these elements to make your literary analysis essay effective and compelling.
Literary Analysis Essay Conclusion
The last section of the essay is the conclusion part where the writer ties all loose ends of the essay together. To write appropriate and correct concluding paragraphs, add the following information:
- State how your topic is related to the theme of the chosen work
- State how successfully the author delivered the message
- According to your perspective, provide a statement on the topic
- If required, present predictions
- Connect your conclusion to your introduction by restating the thesis statement.
- In the end, provide an opinion about the significance of the work.
“ In conclusion, William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies exposes the reader to three characters with different personalities and fears: Jack, Ralph, and Piggy. Each of the boys try to conquer his fear in a different way. Fear is a natural emotion encountered by everyone, but each person deals with it in a way that best fits his/her individual personality.”
Sample Literary Analysis Essay Outline (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Examples
To fully understand a concept in a writing world, written examples are important. This is to learn how a perfectly structured writing piece is drafted and how ideas are shaped to convey a message.
The following are the best literary analysis essay examples to help you draft a perfect essay.
Literary Analysis Essay Rubric (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Example For High School (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Example For College (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Example Romeo & Juliet (PDF)
Literary Analysis Essay Topics
For a great essay, it is essential to have an interesting topic or subject. An engaging topic is a tool to attract an audience towards your work, so be extra careful while picking a topic for your essay.
A strong topic will let a writer draft an impressive essay for the readers. To make an essay topic’s selection process easier for students, MyPerfectWords.com has gathered some interesting essay topics.
Below is a list of some great literary analysis essay topics provided by the expert essay writers.
- Women and misogyny in Hamlet
- Corrupting influence of ambition in Macbeth
- Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
- Sense And Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Emma by Jane Austen
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Writing a literary analysis essay can be tricky if it is your first attempt. Especially when writing this essay for your academics, it is mandatory to get it right not to risk your grades. Apart from analyzing the work, other elements like a topic and an accurate interpretation must draft this type of essay.
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