Literary Analysis Writing: The Basic Blueprint

Literary Analysis Writing: The Basic Blueprint



during this video tutorial we will discuss structuring the literary analysis essay be sure to take notes while you watch this video feel free to pause it at any point the video does not pause for you to take notes so be sure to do that on your own remember also that we are only talking about structuring your essay not developing the ideas so you should be looking at an essay prompt that you wish to respond to or possibly an essay that you have already written or revision make sure you have these materials ready before proceeding are you ready then let's go let's take a look at the basic literary analysis essay blueprint this blueprint looks like a formula and it is that may seem a little mechanical or artificial to you but when you're working on a state test or an AC T or some other high pressure environment where you must produce an essay quickly and easily it's helpful to adhere to a format later on when you're being more creative you can break rules as you wish rearrange items within the blueprint and basically be creative however right now you want to make sure to adhere to this format to write an essay that is clear and pleases a standardized test rater the blueprint starts with the introduction the introduction paragraph is a very simple procedure it consists of three parts the beginning is an attention-grabbing device I won't go into attention-grabbing devices here undoubtedly your English teacher will help you understand how to write an attention-grabbing device but you must remember that every literary analysis essay should begin with something that will grab your readers attention that could be a rhetorical question it could be a quotation it could be a moment from one of the stories that you will discuss but in some way you must entice your reader into the essay that's your first part of the introduction after your attention-grabbing device you should familiarize your reader with the actual text or texts that you will discuss the literary analysis essay may embrace more than one text and you should basically introduce the names of the texts the titles and a little bit about their basic story so after the AGD the attention-grabbing device move into a simple introduction of both texts finally at the end of the introduction comes your thesis your thesis is the most important statement in the entire essay because it captures the entire idea in one sentence constructing a thesis is simple if you have been given a prompt and you are responding to that prompt then you follow two steps first you restate the language of the prompt including important concepts that the prompt addresses those concepts could be theme or point of view setting characterization and so on and the prompt should leave it open such that you can actually add something original this would be your answer so make sure you not only restate the language of the Proms but you answer it in the thesis again I'm not going into detail on each of these items because those are lessons in themselves lessons that your English teacher should have taught you the introduction paragraph consists therefore of three parts the attention-grabbing device the introduction of both texts and the thesis statement then you're done so let's move on to the body of your essay the developing paragraphs the blueprint has given to developing paragraphs however you may develop three four possibly even five paragraphs remember that you should determine the number of developing paragraphs based upon your ideas if this is a simple contrast essay for example then you may only want to developing paragraphs one for each subject that you're contrasting determine the number based on your ideas let's look at the developing paragraph itself the introduction consisted of three parts the developing paragraph consists of four first is a topic sentence the topic sentence is not evidence the topic sentence connects the developing paragraph to the thesis so for instance if your thesis addressed how both texts develop a similar theme then your topic sentence for paragraph 1 may be how the first text develops it the topic sentence must connect to the thesis statement and use some of the same language after the topic sentence you introduce evidence you shouldn't only provide one piece of evidence instead at least two pieces of evidence for per paragraph is necessary you may actually introduce a third piece of evidence but two is your minimum number the two pieces of evidence should be specific and distinct specific means that they point to an actual part of the story distinct means that they are different if you're unsure about whether or not yours are distinct then consider whether your evidence comes from different parts of the story or perhaps there are different quotations make sure that you have two pieces of evidence that are distinct and specific finally you must conclude the developing paragraph with a concluding statement the concluding statement is very simple it should simply restate the topic sentence just as a literary analysis essay itself includes an introduction and a conclusion you're developing paragraph presents a topic sentence and a concluding statement so the developing paragraph moves from topic sentence to evidence – evidence – concluding statement but we must talk about something else if there are four parts to your developing paragraph those parts must be glued together with transition words and phrases you can find lists of transition words and phrases on the Internet or perhaps your teacher has given you a list of those make sure that between each piece of evidence you provide some sort of transition you also may want to consider providing transition in the topic sentence if you're moving from one developing paragraph to the next so at the beginning of developing paragraph 2 you'll probably want some sort of transition in your topic sentence transition might be something like on the other hand or in addition or similarly look at a list of transition words and phrases to use them as you should deem appropriate but do make sure that you have transition language throughout this will glue these different pieces together and make it an entire essay after you've finished with your developing paragraphs you move to your conclusion which only has two parts the beginning of the conclusion is the restatement of the thesis the end is an interest developing device all right the restatement of the thesis should be pretty clear and simple all you need to do is make sure that you've summarized your overall idea for the essay try not to copy the thesis exactly that will seem very artificial and will put your reader off instead try to summarize your ideas for the entire essay in different language once you've done that you want to make sure to leave your reader with something that is interesting about the essay just as you grabbed their attention at the beginning you want to make sure you have their attention and interest at the end to justify that this literary analysis essay was worth their reading it may give them something to think about as they leave the essay again interesting to interest developing devices are a lesson in themselves but they often linked to attention-grabbing devices so if you've begun your essay with a question for instance you may end it that way as well check with your English teacher for more detail about interest developing devices at the end of your conclusion this is the blueprint this is the format if you follow this you'll be sure to write an essay that is clear all you need to worry about at this point will be your ideas make sure that you are not missing any part of this blueprint otherwise your structure will fail let's review some of the most important characteristics of a good literary analysis essay a good literary analysis si will have at least four paragraphs an introduction to developing paragraphs and a conclusion it may have more than four paragraphs but four is the minimum make sure that you do have separate introductions and conclusions that follow the format seen here two pieces of evidence per development developing paragraph are necessary and make sure that you are using transition words and language to join all these pieces together follow this blueprint apply it to your ideas and you will write an essay that is clear and successful and earns a good grade on any sort of standardized test good luck

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