Why Write a Literary Analysis?

Literature teaches us about the value of conflict. We experience conflict in our personal relationships and in our interactions with society. Literary analysis helps us recognize the conflict at work in literature, which gives us greater insight into the personal conflicts that we face. In addition, learning how to closely read, analyze, and critique a text is beneficial beyond a literature course in that it improves our writing, reading, and critiquing abilities overall.

How to Write a Literary Analysis

It is important to understand that some conflicts in literature might not always be obvious. Considering how an author addresses conflict via literary techniques can reveal other more complex conflicts or different kinds of conflicts that interact in multiple ways. Analyzing those more complicated elements can help you discover what literature represents about the human experience and condition. With this in mind, consider that your thesis might be a claim about how two pieces make similar representations, or it can show two different points of view on a similar issue.

The literary analysis should be organized around your thesis (argument), which is the controlling idea of the entire essay. In the Week Three assignment, you identified two conflicts and created an initial thesis statement in relation to two of the literary works from the List of Literary Works. In this assignment, you will refine that thesis even further and build on your overall argument utilizing the literary techniques below. Reflect on feedback from your Instructor and peers in previous weeks to help you revise your rough draft into a final paper.

For this literary analysis, write a 1250- to 1600-word essay in which you do the following:

  • Revise/develop the thesis from Week Three based on the feedback you have received. Again, the thesis should focus on the conflict(s) you chose to write about. This thesis should provide deeper insight into the possible meanings surrounding the chosen conflict(s) that you see in the chosen literary texts. Throughout your analysis, you must use at least two primary sources and two sources from the Ashford University Library to support your thesis. Watch the ENG125 Literature Research video (Transcript) for help with finding sources from the library for your paper.
  • Review and incorporate instructor and classroom feedback on at least one conflict listed in Types of Conflict Found in Literature from two literary works in this course. One of the literary works must be a short story. See the List of Literary Works and Types of Conflict Found in Literature.
  • Analyze three literary techniques to help define and draw out the conflict(s) chosen.
  • Explain how the texts utilize the literary techniques below to describe the conflict(s).
  • Compare and contrast the two texts you chose.

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