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.
List of Literary Works
For your Literary Analysis, select at least two works from the List of Literary Works that share the same type(s) of conflict(s). Remember, one of them must be a short story. You can either compare two short stories, a short story and a poem, or a short story and a play.
List of Types of Conflicts Found in Literature
In the document Types of Conflicts Found in Literature, you will find a list of possible conflicts to explore in your Literary Analysis. Please note that you must write about one of the conflicts in the list of literary texts provided. To help you better understand each conflict and how it might be apparent, examples from popular culture have been provided. However, please note that your Literary Analysis must not be about popular culture, television, or movies. The examples provided are just that–examples. Please also note that it is possible for a text to have more than one conflict at work. The repeated references to conflicts in The Simpsons provide further context on how multiple conflicts might be present in a single work. Other examples of conflict are also provided.
List of Literary Techniques
In your analysis, address at least three of the literary techniques (as defined in Chapters 2 and 4) listed in the document Literary Techniques, describing their relationships with the conflict(s)–which provide deeper insight into possible meaning(s) found in literature–you are addressing in your paper.
- Topic: Your paper must address two of the texts, at least one of the conflicts, and three of the literary techniques as listed in the guidelines.
- Length: Your paper must be double spaced and 1250 to 1600 words in length (excluding title and references pages).
- Sources: You must utilize at least two primary sources to support your thesis (including the course text) and at least two scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library (at least four sources in total). You may also use other academic sources acquired from other classes that pertain to the literary theme and/or conflict.
- Elements of Academic Writing: Please see the Guide to Writing a Compare/Contrast Essay resource, which provides information regarding how to effectively organize this essay.
- APA: Your assignment must be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Separate Title Page: Must include a separate title page that lists the following: an original title, your name, date of submission, and the professor’s name.
- Separate Reference Page: At the end of your paper, include a separate references page that lists all sources utilized for and cited within your analysis.
- Proper Citations: All sources must be properly cited according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center, both within the text of your paper and on the references page.
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