Literary Analysis Essay: Guide and Writing Tips

Literary Analysis Essay: Guide and Writing Tips
Table of Contents
  1. Literary Analysis Essay: Guide and Writing Tips
  2. What is Literary Analysis Essay?
  3. Literary Analysis Essay: Content
  4. How to Write A Literary Analysis Essay?
  5. Focus on the topic
  6. Collect evidence
  7. Write an outline
  8. Develop your main thesis statements
  9. Writing process and revision
  10. Outline of the Essay
  11. Typical Structure of Literary Analysis Essay
  12. Conclusion

A literary analysis essay is a special writing assignment which any student has to complete in school, college, university because reading, understanding and analyzing the texts are the inalienable aspects of the learning process.

When you know how to write an impressive literary analysis essay, you can express your thoughts and make an analysis of any piece of literature which you have read. It shows all your writing skills. If you want to learn how to make it good, follow our tips. Read this article and you’ll find a short guide and useful information about how to write literary analysis (outline, structure, steps of the process, etc.). Also, remeber that you can always count on online essay writers who will do all the job for you while you are enjoying your time.

What is Literary Analysis Essay?

A literary analysis essay is a kind of essay which includes an argumentative analysis of a piece of literature. In this type of essay writing, the author examines the book, novel, play, etc. analyzing the idea, plot, characters, tone, writing style, devices which the writer uses to narrate his story.

This assignment encourages the student to think about the questions “how this book was written?”, “why this novel was created by the author?”. Explaining in your essay all author’s choices and points of view, you can answer all these questions. 

Literary Analysis Essay: Content

There is no single typical set of paragraphs which your literary analysis essay should contain. It depends on the type of the writing piece, a field in which it is written and requirements of your teacher. In the case of analyzing a poem, your analysis will have one content, and when you talk about the novel, you will use another approach. The length of the analysis can also differ. This kind of essay has something similar to a response paper where you should describe your opinion.

Here you can find the common list of points which you should talk about in your essay despite the type of literature:

  • Type/Genre of the piece of literature;
  • Analysis of characters;
  • Analysis of main ideas, plot;
  • Theme reviewing;
  • Describing symbolism of the piece of literature;
  • Structure, writing style.

In some cases, it is important to include interpretation of denotation or images if they are important for the understanding of the main ideas.

How to Write A Literary Analysis Essay?

As any other assignment, this type of task requires some preparations, careful meticulous work. However, having a good plan you can make the process easier and more fun. Find here the common plan consisting of five steps, follow them and make your writing assignment excellent.

Focus on the topic

Read the work which you have to analyze thoroughly, make sure that you completely understand the author's idea, the plot and the characters. Read twice if you need. To make a good literary analysis, you should have a clear understanding of all writer’s points of views, his ideas. When reading, try to answer the questions:

  • Which parts of the text were remarkable?
  • Why the author used these literary devices?
  • Do you see the development of characters?

Try to find connections between the ideas and plot, the characters’ behavior and the changes in their role in the text.

Collect evidence

Collect facts, expressions, other evidence to make a reasonable conclusion in your analysis. You should have enough material to be persuasive in your conclusions. Make the notes while reading. You should also learn some information about the author, it will help you to understand his intentions and thoughts better.

Write an outline

Making literary analysis outline is an important part of a writing process. Essay outlines allow to understand what you will start with and what you will say in the conclusion. Make sure that you devote space to all important ideas of the author and don’t miss anything.

Develop your main thesis statements

You should formulate a thesis and explain why your arguments have a great significance, how are they connected to the ideas and thoughts of the author of the book or novel.

Writing process and revision

Now you ready to start writing your analysis. Remember that you should devote separate paragraph to each of your statements. After finishing your work put it aside for some time and get back to it for the revision. This short break will give an opportunity to look at your work from a fresh perspective.

Outline of the Essay

You should devote enough time to your literary analysis essay outline. It can ensure the success of your whole work. Define your starting ideas and the things with which you can end your essay. In general, your outline should contain:

  • Introduction. Find more information about how to write an introduction for an essay here.
  • Body part. It includes your main statements, ideas with evidence which support them.
  • Conclusion. It includes the restatement of your main thesis and conclusions on it.

You can find some sample literary analysis outline on the Internet and follow it but don’t forget that the outline for literary analysis should be written accurately, paying attention to all features of the literature piece which you are going to analyze.

Typical Structure of Literary Analysis Essay

A typical literary analysis essay always has an introduction, body part, conclusion.

1) The introduction is the first paragraph in your literary analysis. You should start it creatively in order to gain your reader’s interest. It is a short part but it has to catch interest of your audience, use all your writing talent. You can discover attention grabbers for essays examples in our blog.

2) Body Part. Right after introduction, move on to the main part of your writing - body paragraphs which will represent your ideas about analyzed book, novel, poem; explanation, statements, evidence that can support your statements.

3) Conclusion. It is the last but not the least part of your analysis, make it perfect. You should show here in which way your literary analysis connected to the book as a whole, how it reflects the plot, ideas of the author.

Are ou looking for more guides? Check out how to write a rhetorical analysis essay or understand what is a critical essay with our useful material. 


Now you’ve learned how to write a good literary analysis essay but if you need help with it, you can always ask professional writers about it. The team of high-qualified writers will help you with respect to deadlines and ensure the high quality of any writing assignment.