Quick Tips For Writing Literary Analysis Essays

Make sure your thesis statement is clear, objective, and multifaceted. What is the point you are trying to make? Don’t leave the reader guessing. Be as specific as possible, using examples and details to support your position (analysis, explanation, argument).

In essence, you want to describe what a text is doing, and precisely how it does it (irony, paradox, symbolism, point-of-view, tone, diction, and other literary/rhetorical devices).

Use complex sentence structures to show complicated ideas (ambiguity, levels of interpretation, logic, character development, etc.). Consider using these words to begin sentences:

  • Although
  • Considering
  • Because
  • If
  • While
  • Since
  • Whether

Use active, concrete verbs to describe what the literary significance of certain characters, symbols, settings, tones, etc.

  • Demonstrates
  • Illustrates
  • Reveals
  • Signifies
  • Represents
  • Characterizes
  • Portrays
  • Symbolizes
  • Indicates

Use prepositional phrases and adverbial clauses to start sentences:

  • When
  • Whenever
  • In the scene
  • After
  • Before
  • Between
  • Besides
  • As a result
  • For instance
  • For example
  • During
  • In essence 

    Use transitional words and phrases to organize your ideas (logically and chronologically):

  • Consequently
  • Accordingly
  • However
  • Furthermore
  • Similarly
  • Therefore
  • Moreover
  • Whereas
  • Likewise
  • Subsequently
  • Thereupon
  • Conversely
  • Nevertheless

After finishing your essay, proofread it, edit if needed and you are good to go!