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Getting A Handle On What A Literary Analysis Essay Is: An Academic Guide


Many students find writing a literary analysis essay to be intimidating. This is common as you are expected to provide an in-depth summary on the work you just read. You need to have insight on what you think the author wanted readers to get from the content. You need to think about the content from more than one viewpoint (the audience, the author, and your instructor). Developing this content gets easier when you think about major points in analyzing literary work.

What is the Author’s Reasoning or Purpose for Creating the Work in Question?

You will review the content in question and try to think about what the author was thinking. You will ponder at possible ideas they may have had while creating the work. There are times you may not do this while being engaged in someone else’s work. You may come across detail that you want to go back and question from the view of the author. What your feel is the purpose may come through notes you take as you read the literary work.

Does the Reader Understand the Intentions of the Author?

You can explore possible reasons for what the author was trying to do with their work. Review their overall message and see how well they presented their content. You can get an idea of what their intentions were and if you feel strongly this is what they intended for the reading audience, you can assess their level of understanding. Sometimes readers get lost in the text when they don’t understand its meaning. Note what you took from the work and whether it was what the author would have hoped for.

Why Do You Think the Author Wrote the Story from This Perspective?

After reading over the content you may have questions you want answers to. At this point you try to answer them the best way you can from what you learned. There are times when you can learn about an author and why they decided to write about the subject matter. When you get their insight and compare it to what you have read you may find similarities. You may be interested in knowing what others have learned to broaden the perspective on the content. Meaning, you could get insight from colleagues and read reviews from other established writers on the work.v