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.