LITERARY ANALYSIS ESSAY
CONSTRUCTING YOUR INTRO
Write a sentence or two in your own words, sharing an original thought
about the subject of the essay .
Introduction - HOOK
Example: Falling in love is one of life’s most beautiful experiences, but
loving another person often means sacrificing oneself for the good of the
other… (add another sentence or two if you want, briefly discussing love
in each work…)
Name the texts presented (title and author); specify genre (poem, essay,
speech, song, excerpt from novel etc.); mention other relevant info (time
period, social context etc.)
Introduction - BACKGROUND
Introduction - THESIS
Example: In Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays” and in
Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, the nature of love is
explored… (add another sentence or two if you want, briefly discussing
love in each work…)
One or two sentences that express the main idea of your essay. This
main idea is your interpretation of the common theme of the two texts.
It is your purpose in writing the essay, to prove that your interpretation
is accurate and meaningful.
Example: Both writers reveal how love is sometimes a struggle, and that
loving often consists of little acts of selflessness to help others.
LITERARY ANALYSIS ESSAY
BODY – TOPIC SENTENCE (T/S)
CONSTRUCTING BODY PARAGRAPHS
Write a sentence that expresses an insightful observation about the
“theme” of the two texts, that relates to your thesis. This observation
must be based on evidence from the two texts.
Loving relationships often endure struggles, yet love still exists between
the people involved.
BODY – SUPPORT TEXT 1 – situation /
context
Specify a text and briefly summarize or paraphrase a situation in it that
correlates with your topic sentence.
Hayden describes a father and son relationship in “Those Winter
Sundays” that is clearly full of tension.
Incorporate textual evidence to illustrate the observation of your topic
sentence and to develop the situation you introduced.
BODY – SUPPORT – direct quote
The son, who is the speaker in the poem, describes how he fears “the
chronic angers of the house” and he also confesses to “speaking
indifferently” to his father and never thanking him for anything.
Comment specifically on the direct quotes you provide. Use language such
as “This image conveys…” or “The connotation of the word __ is ______”
BODY – SUPPORT - analysis
To “speak indifferently” is passive aggressive and probably makes his
father even more annoyed, adding to the fighting and tension in the
house. The “chronic angers” he mentions means that this is constant; he
and his father are (and whoever else lives at home with them) are always
fighting. It is easy to imagine this cycle creating misery in the home.
LITERARY ANALYSIS ESSAY
BODY – SUPPORT TEXT 2 – repeat above
CONSTRUCTING BODY PARAGRAPHS
Introduce second source with a transition and reiteration of observation
to tie the two sources together.
Example: Similarly, A Raisin in the Sun presents loving relationships filled
with hardship and struggle as well.
BODY – SUPPORT (context, quote, analysis)
Repeat pattern of analysis (above ) to develop paragraph.
BODY – “CLINCHER”
Strong last sentence to wrap up paragraph, repeating the two texts and
the key connection that you have analyzed
BODY – PARAGRAPH 2 / Connection 2 TOPIC SENTENCE
Write a sentence that expresses your second insightful observation
about the “theme” of the two texts, that relates to your thesis. This
observation must be based on evidence from the two texts. (Hint: Try
“not only…but also” sentence structure for slick transition!)
Example: Often, small and selfless actions of people are the most loving,
yet can easily go unnoticed too.
BODY – SUPPORT – Connection 2 / Text 1
Follow entire pattern outlined above
BODY – SUPPORT – Connection 2 / Text 2
Follow entire pattern outlined above
LITERARY ANALYSIS ESSAY
BODY – PARAGRAPH 2 - “CLINCHER”
CONCLUSION
BODY / CONCLUSION
Strong last sentence to wrap up paragraph, repeating the second key
connection between the two texts. Try a transition like “Thus” or
“Therefore”
Restate main idea of overall essay (thesis) and key observations / texts
you have written about. Again start with a transition (“Ultimately? Thus?
Therefore?”) Add on a powerful last thought, one perhaps that is
connected to your hook, in the final sentence. This powerful last thought
might be a rhetorical question that makes your reader think more about
the topic. Or you might offer a thought about why your reader needs to
know this information; ask yourself what would a person’s life be like
without the knowledge you have shared? Another way to put it is “how
does this information make us more human, or better human beings?” End
on a deep note!
Example: Thus, love is not always about passion; loving relationships often
face challenges, as evidenced by the Younger family in A Raisin in the Sun
and the speaker’s family in “Those Winter Sundays”. Yet in the face of
difficulties we see love exemplified by little acts of kindness. It is not
uncommon to see disagreement or anger in a loving relationship, and it is
not uncommon to see those relationships survive. We cannot deceive
ourselves; life is not always easy but it is a little easier when we put
ourselves second and concentrate on others, especially those we love,
first. Eventually, this selflessness will be returned and we will be the one
to benefit.
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LITERARY ANALYSIS ESSAY CONSTRUCTING YOUR INTRO