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If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay. Maybe you were surprised to see a character act in a certain way, or maybe you didn’t understand why the book ended the way it did.
Maybe you’re looking for inspiration, guidance, or a reflection of your own life.
There are as many different, valid ways of reading a book as there are books in the world.
Remember, you’re looking for something you can prove or argue based on evidence you find in the text.
Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: is this a topic you can adequately address within the word or page limit you’ve been given?
These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments.
For more on the parts of literary works, see the Glossary of Literary Terms at the end of this section.These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens.When you’ve examined all the evidence you’ve collected and know how you want to answer the question, it’s time to write your thesis statement.” “Why do pigs keep showing up in Lord of the Flies ? ” “How does Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter remind me of my sister?” Once you know what question you want to answer, it’s time to scour the book for things that will help you answer the question.Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole. Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book?If you can figure out how that pattern weaves through the work and what the significance of that pattern is, you’ve almost got your entire essay mapped out. Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities.” No one is born knowing how to analyze literature; it’s a skill you learn and a process you can master.As you gain more practice with this kind of thinking and writing, you’ll be able to craft a method that works best for you. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you.But until then, here are seven basic steps to writing a well-constructed literary essay: When you’re assigned a literary essay in class, your teacher will often provide you with a list of writing prompts. You’ll have a much better (not to mention easier) time if you start off with something you enjoy thinking about. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: What struck you?If you are asked to come up with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little panicked. Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long time?