A literary analytical essay majorly evaluates a literary piece of work, it could as well be any book or reading material that your professor has assigned to you to examine and analyze.
Writing such an essay involves students breaking the text down into smaller pieces and analyzing each of these portions separately to form a comprehensive analysis of the assigned book.
There is many steps to follow when you write an analytic essay.
In this article, you will learn how to write an analytical essay on a book and how to structure the essay.
How to Structure An Analytical Essay on a Book
The primary goal of a literary analysis essay is to understand why the author of the book has used a specific theme, a certain complex setting, or a set of interesting character arcs in his work.
Along with this interpretation, the students have also to establish their personal point of view, explain how the book has influenced them, and then back these facts up with crucial evidence from the book.
As with any other academic essay, the structure or the outline is very integral in forming a great literary analytical essay.
It builds up all your claims in one organized manner, making it easier for your professor to understand your content, and the important concepts of the text as well as follow the flow of your writing.
Let’s take a look at what goes into the structure of an analytical essay.
Start the introduction of your literary analysis essay with something that hooks your audience, right at the beginning. This hook needs to be interesting, catchy, and relatable.
Your introduction should be short and specific and should shed relevant information that ties all the claims that were made in the essay, back to your thesis statement.
Moreover, add some background information explaining the text and give a brief description of your topic. Finally, end your introduction with this thesis statement.
The thesis statement should be a one or two-line sentence that needs to be crafted such that it communicates the central argument of your analytical essay.
The body paragraph is typically divided into 3-4 paragraphs, each covering a different topic sentence and a certain aspect of the text that needs to be discussed.
Furthermore, these points are analyzed thoroughly and backed up with evidence. Keep in mind that the main goal for the body paragraph is to support the thesis statement.
After reading the body paragraph, your professor should have a clear understanding of your stance in the essay and the facts you have tried to analyze. This paragraph is crucial as it is developed using summations, quotes, detailed analysis, hard evidence, and explanations to support the topic sentence as well as the thesis statement.
It’s a good idea to devote one paragraph to each argument and use that space to back your argument up. Make sure your points flow in a logical manner, thereby making for a cohesive read.
It is important to know how to make a smooth transition from the body paragraphs to the conclusion. But it is also important to know what to include in a conclusion paragraph for a quality literary analytical essay.
In your conclusion, you should wrap up your arguments, and reiterate key points that were made in the essay. Your professor should be able to take away the basic gist of what your essay is about and how it is framed.
You should also reinstate and paraphrase your thesis statement to show that you have proved your argument as well as the topic of your essay by summarizing all your points together into a cohesive paragraph. Finally, end with some final thoughts and an overall concluding statement.
6 Tips to Consider While Writing An Analytical Essay on a Book
As the outline of an analytical essay organizes all the points into one uniform hierarchy, there are also a few effective steps you should adhere to for crafting a perfect piece.
Here is six effective ways to help you write an analytical essay on a book.
Read the book thoroughly
The quality of your analytical essay depends on how well you thoroughly read the book. What’s more, it’s not enough to read it once. Such an assignment requires you to read the book at least three to four times so that you get a comprehensive understanding.
Read the book to understand the following elements:
- Central issue
This enables you to deliver a well-thought-out, extensive analytical essay.
As you read the plot, you can note down certain intriguing points, interesting character arcs, or important key events -- topics that you can dig deeper into for analyzing the literature material.
Here’s an interesting video by Ana Mascara on active reading
Decide what to write about
Since these essays are usually written for class, the professor gives the student a prompt or a topic to write their analytical essay on, but there are times when you might be asked to pick your own topic.
If you have to write a book analysis, focus on subjects such as the relationship of the characters, how the primal theme influences the plotline, or the intentions of the author for the book.
Choosing the right path and knowing what exactly to write will greatly benefit you in crafting a quality analytical essay.
Research and find supporting evidence
Depending on your assignment, you would probably be expected to use your primary resource, that is, the assigned text you’re analyzing, and other secondary sources such as manuals, guides, and journals.
This provides your first pass at references and evidence that back up your important arguments. Accurate evidence that supports your claims will make your analytical essay even more plausible.
Create the outline
The crafting of a proper outline before writing your essay is beneficial as it helps create a proper structure for your points and arguments throughout the analytical essay.
So, make sure you don’t rush to write the essay before working on an outline.
Mostly, academic essays consist of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion, but depending on some professors, you might have to stretch it even further, add more paragraphs and go into a deeper analysis.
Write the thesis statement
The first priority of the analytical essay, or usually any academic essay, is developing the thesis statement.
This statement summarises the central issue of the entire essay in two sentences. All your major sub-points and arguments should relate back to your thesis statement.
Moreover, your reader should be able to read this statement and understand the context of your analysis for the essay or what your stance is regarding the issue in question. It should be precise, to the point, and should avoid being vague so as to not confuse the professors.
Add quotes and paraphrase wisely
Since you are writing a literary analytical essay, it is extremely important to know where to add quotes from the book, which ones are appropriate for the specific argument, how to cite these quotes, and how you can paraphrase certain narratives or dialogues to add them to your essay.
Ideally, literary analytical essays should use direct quotes from the assigned book to support important points as this gives your essay’s content more authority.
The context of the quotes that are incorporated should also be explained briefly. This will enable the professor to understand the requirement of using this specific quote in this essay and how it will help strengthen the analysis of the text.
Conclusion: Ace Your Analytical Essay on a Book
Reiterating the fact that having the basic skill of knowing how to write an analytical essay on a book is very major in any student’s life.
It teaches students to be patient, and detail-oriented and to know how to go into the meaning of texts from the author’s perspective at a deeper level.
This article is here to guide you with its useful tips and strategies so that you write a perfect, well-structured, and extensive literary analysis essay that is bound to impress your professors.
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Last edit at Jul 27 2023