How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay? Handy Tips Here!

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay? Handy Tips Here!

A literary analysis essay is an academic paper in which one should examine a literature piece from different perspectives. To write a great analysis paper, you will need to split the particular literary work into pieces and discuss them one-by-one. Such an assignment is frequently given to students in many colleges and universities since it allows professors to evaluate their level of preparation, proficiency, and writing skills. Nevertheless, many students get stuck on this task because they lack sufficient writing experience. If you find it difficult to understand how to write a literary analysis essay, then you should check our practical guidelines as they will help you create an impressive piece that will bring you the expected outcome.

You should understand that analyzing various elements of literature in a particular literary work is not enough to create a good literary analysis paper. It is just one of the processes that should be used to create a good-looking document. Creating a winning literary analysis paper requires having advanced analytical and critical thinking skills. By including great ideas in your paper and structuring them properly, you will convince the target audience that you know the manuscript well. Given the analytical nature of this task, a literary analysis is one of the common assignments given to students. If you are having any problems with understanding how to write a literary analysis essay, then our handy tips will be very helpful for you. Below, you will find a common outline that will help you understand what parts should be included in your paper and how to structure them.

Writing a Literary Analysis Essay Outline

Before you start working on your paper, you will need to brainstorm your ideas and come up with a good outline. An outline is a particularly important instrument in the writer’s toolbox since it allows stating the ideas clearly and logically. An outline allows avoiding spontaneous writing, which greatly undermines the quality of any paper. Having a good outline, you will be able to present the information collected in a logical and comprehensive way. By organizing your ideas properly, you will be able to convey your messages in the way you need. The absence of an outline, on the contrary, will make your essay shallow and disorganized. When writing an essay, you will need to follow the classic structure that includes the following points:

  • Introduction (Background information, thesis statement);
  • Main body (Brief summary, thorough analysis);
  • Conclusion (Final thoughts).

Let’s have a closer look at the main elements of a literary analysis essay.


An introductory paragraph is the first paragraph seen by the reader. As such, this part should include the most accurate, meaningful, and engaging information to grab the reader’s attention. An experienced writer knows that an introduction should include a hook statement that would enable the reader to get interested in the entire essay. A hook can have different forms depending on the essay type. For instance, it can be a thought-provoking quote, a striking fact, recent statistics, etc. In addition to a hook statement, an introduction should also include background information about the source you are analyzing and its author. Finally, your literary analysis essay should include a thesis statement that will be the key idea of your paper. To bring you a good result, your literary analysis paper should be focused on just a couple of important points. In your thesis statement, you should make a claim that will be proven in your essay.

Main Body

In the main body of your literary analysis, you need to provide an objective evaluation of the work focusing on its main strengths and weaknesses. In accordance with the classic structure, your main body should be divided into three main paragraphs and each of these paragraphs should consist of the following elements:

  • A topic sentence. A topic sentence aims to familiarize the reader with what point will be discussed in the paragraph. In other words, this sentence should outline the idea of the whole paragraph. Pay attention that it is closely related to the thesis statement indicated in the introduction;

Example: “Jack, the first boy, believes that a beast does exist.”

  • Evidence. Then, you will need to include evidence to back up your claim. The evidence usually has a form of an in-text citation taken from the primary source or any other credible academic source. When citing a quote, you will need to do it properly following the formatting style requested by your tutor since proper formatting is an integral part of the grading rubric;

Example: “The boy is afraid of a beast and he admits it. Nevertheless, he chooses to deal with his fear through aggressive violence. He decides to hunt for the beast saying: “We are strong! If there is a beast, we’ll hunt it down.”

  • Analysis. As soon as evidence is provided, you will need to provide its analysis in which you will explain your evidence.

Example: “Jack also uses the fear of the beast for controlling and manipulating the other children. As they are afraid of the beast as well, they will listen to Jack and follow all of his orders.”

Transition Words

To make sure your text flows smoothly and clearly, you will need to include appropriate transition words that will help you move from one idea to another in a logical way. As for the transition words often used by the writers, they are as follows:

  • Then;
  • Moreover;
  • Besides,
  • On the contrary;
  • Finally;
  • Consequently;
  • In contrast;
  • What is more;
  • In addition.

Example: “Moreover, Jack is afraid of Ralph’s power over the group, as well as Piggy’s rational behavior. After all, he knows that both directly oppose his thirst for absolute power.”

  • A concluding sentence. Finally, the paragraph should be summarized with a good concluding sentence in which the author should provide the final statement on the point that was discussed in the entire paragraph. Very often, the last sentence of one paragraph is closely related to the topic sentence of the next paragraph.

Literary Analysis Essay Conclusion

In the last section of your literary analysis essay, you will need to wrap up all arguments and ideas suggested in your paper together. Don`t forget that a conclusion is a part that makes the final impression on your reader, thus you need to do your best to write it well. To come up with a great conclusion, you will need to:

  • Restate your thesis statement explaining whether you have managed to prove it;
  • Tell how successfully the author delivers their messages;
  • Present any predictions, if required;
  • Relate your conclusion to a thesis statement;
  • Finally, provide an opinion about the work`s significance.

Example: “To conclude, the novel “Lord of the Flies” written by William Golding shows three characters with different fears: Jack, Ralph, and Piggy. All of them attempt to conquer their fears in a different way. Although fear is a natural emotion encountered by every individual, everyone deals with it in a way that fits their personality best of all.”

Now, you know how to write a literary analysis essay. The outline given in our article can be customized to any literary analysis paper. If you want to impress your tutor with a well-written document, you will need to work with the primary source carefully. If you are having any challenges with writing such a paper, you may ask your teacher to provide you with the literary analysis essay samples that will help you figure out how a good literary analysis essay should be written, structured, and formatted. All in all, by applying advanced analytical skills, you will be able to create an impeccable paper that will impress your professor. Good luck!

Literary Analysis Essay Sample

The author of this paper exhibits that sexual harassment in America affect women in a large number and in all categories. For instance, males harass women sexually in their authoritative positions the same manner capitalist exploit their female employees. The author’s purpose is to show how the males in society take advantage of vulnerable women, and harass them sexually.

The author uses examples as style elements to show how male employers mistreat women at the work place. For instance, he cites a worker Valerie Craig who after having drinks with her supervisor and co-worker, decided to drive home. The supervisor proposes to her about intimacy and when she rejects, he claims that he would “get even”. The supervisor fires her after ten days, and this forces Craig to sue him for sexual harassment act. The court finds the organization liable of damages, and prohibits the company from offending her in future.

The author cites another example where he reveals how a female worker Carol Zabowicz presses charges on male co-workers after harassing him sexually. He claims that a male co-worker makes obscene suggestions, which subjects the woman to abusive and offensive language. This affects Zabowicz in a way that she begins to reveal signs of psychological and physical stress. She files the case against the company where the court holds it liable, and makes the company award her after violating her rights.

Analyzing the two incidents, the author hopes to accomplish the fact that it is disturbing for women to function effectively at work places where they are sexually exploited. The author ought to achieve respect accorded to both women, and men, at the end of the essay. This implies that co-workers despite their genders should respect each other’s dignity, which should also apply to supervisors. Furthermore, he cites that at the workplace, women should not tolerate offensive, threats, and outrageous behavior to earn a living.

The intended audiences in this case are both men and women in society involved in sexual harassment incidences. The author employs the use of rhetorical questions for the audience to ponder about. For instance, “What type of undesired sexual harassment should the law protect women?”. This question involves women audience who happen to be victims of sexual harassment, and the appropriate remedy to handle this situation. Originally, the author writes this essay to address the entire society on matters, which concern sexual harassment. In this essay, the author incorporates use of survey to reveal the intended audience. For instance, most of the outcome in surveys exhibit that women are the main victims of sexual exploitation. A good example is evident when 42% of female experiences sexual harassment in the federal government. The author claims that sexual teasing is a prevalent form that engages women in sexual acts.

Another survey intended for women audience indicates that 77% of church clergywomen encounter sexual harassment. This is evident when 41% of these women mention a pastor while 31% name a church member as the perpetrator. From this outcome, it is evident that the author targets more than one intended audience. Therefore, he cites examples of both men, and women in various environments such as church, and work places. He terms sexual harassment as an act that incorporates actions such as neck massaging, rape, and display of pornography at work place. His style and tone clearly shows that the author is against sexually harassment, because this behavior is unwelcome in society. Furthermore, he terms the act as offensive and one, which fails to respect rights of other people in society. At one point, the author claims that we are all victims of sexual harassment. This is evident in his sad tone when he mentions that the state of affairs never identify this act by contrasting mere trivial and serious injuries, which victims face.

In his perception, women suffer a great deal when it comes to sexual harassment in society. In response to this issue, he claims that there is need to restore proportion, and de-ideologize acts that involve sexual harassment. Analyzing his tone, the author views this behavior as a fantasy when the society perceives all women as victims, and men as perpetrators. According to him, women engage in sexual activities for material purposes via prostitution.

The other factors in the essay, which assists to determine the tone of the author is when he mentions current law, and its reaction to perpetrators of sexual harassment. He claims that law takes action to the company and ignores the individual responsibility for the behavior, hence, difficult to prevent it from taking place. In the article, the author repeats the choice of words to create emphasis concerning the issue of sexual harassment. For instance, these words are perpetrators, victims, and sexual harassment. The organization of this essay is systematic; however, a different pattern would change the essay if the author could cite examples of men victims.

This implies that, most of the examples provided by the author are about women and how they are harassed sexually at work places. This further points out that, the author perceives men as perpetrators while women as victims of this behavior. If he would incorporate more examples of men victims, then the organization of the essay would be justified. It would bring out clearly statistics concerning men, and women who suffer as victims of sexual harassment.