It is important to learn how to write a literary analysis essay. It is a well-known fact that this assignment requires a lot of time, effort, and dedication. However, if you make a step-by-step plan, your writing process will be much easier. Below you can check out the four-step plan that will help you to write a perfect literary analysis and attract many readers to your work.

The Topic is Your Main Focus

First of all, you need to read the literary work before analyzing it. Pay close attention to every single detail. Try to comprehend the author’s main ideas and pay attention to the plot and protagonists. To create a really good analysis, it is important to identify and understand the author’s views and ideas. When you read the work, try to give answers to the following questions:

  1. What text parts are the most remarkable for you?
  2. Why the particular literary devices were used by the author?
  3. Have you noticed that characters developed throughout the story?

Find the link between the plot and the author’s ideas, the behavior of characters, and how their roles change.

Gather Some Evidence

To make a logical conclusion in your literary analysis, you should collect expressions, facts, and some evidence. It is crucial to have enough evidence to create a persuasive conclusion. Do not be lazy and start making notes right when you read the text. Find out more information and details about the author. It will be effective in better understanding the ideas and thoughts of the author.

Make an Outline

The outline is considered to be one of the most vital parts of the writing process. You need to know what to start with and what should be written in the conclusion. You cannot overlook the author’s main ideas. That is why pay undivided attention to each author’s point.

Write a Strong and Concise Thesis Statement

It is vital to form a thesis and provide an explanation of why the arguments you describe are important and how they are linked to the author’s ideas and thoughts.

Some critics may argue about the correctness of your analysis. That is why it is important to know the rule of academic writing. Such writing tasks help to develop critical thinking skills, as well as stay objective in your judgments.

Regardless of the task, your main objective in writing a literary analysis is to try to see everything from the author’s perspective. You should discover the symbolism and describe the behavior of characters and how they changed or developed throughout the story. Also, you should uncover the message of literary work.

It is also recommended to explore the following things before writing a literary analysis on any piece of literature:

  1. What message did the author want to deliver to his/her readers? Answer the question: “What is the primary concept the author has incorporated in the work?”
  2. Who is the protagonist? Consider both factors internal and external. What devices were used by the author to help readers understand the inner nature of characters?
  3. Why literary devices were used in a particular way? What readers can learn from the literary work? Has the plot twist helped to better comprehend the main idea of the work?

Professional literary analysis is something more than just a piece of paper. It requires description and investigation at the same time.

What Is a Literary Analysis?

Find Out What is a Literary Analysis?

First of all, it is important to know what is a literary analysis. A literary analysis refers to an essay that describes and investigates a certain literary work. It examines the twists of a plot, traits, and behavior of characters, as well as story settings.

When you start writing a literary analysis, you should break down it into parts. It will help to comprehend the work in general.

For instance, if the analysis is based on certain poetry, you might have to explore different imagery types applied in the poem. On the contrary, if you need to analyze a play, most likely that you will have to explore the link between the primary plot and the subplot.

Of course, it is more interesting to analyze a story or a novel. For instance, you can investigate a certain theme and describe how the author managed to depict it in his/ her work.

Literary Analysis and Its Definition

Literary analysis is the process of a detailed examination of a certain literary work. Usually, a literary analysis is focused on the plot, its theme, characters, story setting, and literary devices used by the author.

Literary Analysis Outline

To write an effective analysis, it is crucial to create a clear literary analysis outline. The outline of a literary analysis is almost the same as in most college or university essays. It means that you need to include the main three sections, namely, introduction with a concise thesis statement; main body, and logical conclusion.

Below you will find the tips on how to organize your analysis:


Format the content of your analysis.

  1. Provide the author’s full name, the title of a literary work under analysis, etc.
  2. Provide your statement or statements.
  3. At the end of the introduction, write a clear thesis statement.
  4. Incorporate the question parts you want to answer in the main body.

Overall, you should include the following in the introduction:

  • WHO: information about the author (full name)
  • WHAT: question response
  • HOW: how the meaning is shown?
  • WHY: What is the author’s message?

THE BODY: Two or Three Paragraphs

  1. Each paragraph should be started with a certain argument related to the thesis statement.
  2. Provide a point of view in every paragraph.
  3. To support the argument, you can use direct quotes.
  4. You can use dialogue and/or narrative in quotes.
  5. Explain how the used technique is relevant to a particular question you want to answer.
  6. Add a statement that strengthens the main focus of a paragraph.
  7. Do not forget to mention the main theme along with giving answers to the set questions.


  1. The conclusion should start with a careful thesis restatement. In other words, you should paraphrase your thesis statement.
  2. Explain how concepts and ideas described in the body paragraphs depict the main theme. You can also describe the author’s message and mention whether the author managed to deliver it comprehensively.

Literary Analysis Outline Example

Types of Literary Analysis

There are different types of literary analysis. It is worth noting that the type depends on the assignment and its specific requirements.

Below you can find the most popular types of literary analysis. Usually, college students are assigned to these types of analyses.

Close Reading. This term refers to the process of reading a certain piece of literary work and paying attention to little details. The details may include gestures, settings, and reactions of the characters. Such details help to understand the reasons why a certain literary device was selected in the story writing.

Theoretical. It is used to practice or learn a certain theory or even to compare two theories. A writer will have to research the text by applying different theories and developing a framework created by the author.

Synergistic or Comparative. Here you will have to compare different elements provided in the literary work. It may include differences and similarities in the text that have been researched already. The major aim is to find the link and write a logical conclusion based on the findings.

Historical or Contextual. Here you will have not only to read the work under analysis but to complete research work to strengthen your thesis. Remember that your thesis statement is one of the most important parts of your literary analysis. Your objective is to conduct research of historical or societal context detected in the literary piece of writing and to make a strong and persuasive thesis that will explain how the writing is related to the context.

Applied. This type of literary analysis is not so formal as other types of analysis. However, it does not mean that the applied literary analysis should consist of less criticism. In this type of analysis, you should refer to a particular piece of writing. Also, you need to explore how the described issues can be relevant to your life experience.

Chat with Support