Literary Analysis Essay
Brainstorming Exercise Short Story Summary
Lit Term Practice Sheet Essay Outline
When writing a literary analysis, you still need to consider the rhetorical situation: purpose, audience, stance.
Purpose: For this essay, select one of the approved short stories from the Essay #5—Literary Analysis assignment post and do a close reading of the text to analyze how the text works. Identify and examine how certain literary elements are handled. To do this, you will need to develop a clear thesis that argues how these elements (themes, character, language) create overall meaning, certain effects, and/or tone. This can be done by looking closely at the text as a whole or selecting certain sections that demonstrate the case you are building.
Organizing Your Analysis
1. Introduce your selected short story. Summarize the main plot points enough that readers unfamiliar withthis text will be able to follow your discussion.2. Include a clear thesis in your introduction.a. Come up with a thesis that allows you to discuss how the text expresses a theme and/or creates a certain effect. Consider plot structure/development, motifs/metaphors, point of view (where irony and perception occur), character development, language patterns, and/or other literary
devices that are at work in the piece.
NOTE: it’s easier to analyze story elements that work together or toward the same effect rather
than multiple ones that are not related.
3. For every thesis point, cite a passage from the text that demonstrates the point and then explain how itsupports your thesis and interpretation. This citation becomes your textual evidence.a. Remember to begin with topic sentences that control the paragraph discussion while clearly
pointing back to your thesis.
4. Sum up your interpretation based on your analysis. Note any new connections you make in light of the larger conversation.
Audience: Pretend your readers have not read your short story. First, you will need to tell readers about the story
(major plot points and other vital details). Next, remember your aim is to convince readers your thesis and interpretation of elements are plausible and that these come from solid analysis of evidence within the text.
Stance: It helps to look at your subject focuses with curiousness. Make observations (likely the thesis you form)and then look at them closely to find meaning you can bring to your analysis.
Source(s) Required: You only need sources that define the literary terms you reference and explore in your essay. I will offer you some sources and you are free to find some on your own.
Reference sources, such as an encyclopedia, (e.g. Wikepedia.org) or a dictionary are not legitimate sources. This includes reference sites like WebMD.org and About.com. In addition, personal blogs or essays posted onpersonal websites or self-published on sites like Associated content.com and Helium.com are not acceptable.
Format: 3-4 double-spaced pages, not including Works Cited page using MLA format.