Readapted from Matos 2011
Instructions for Literary Analysis
Instructor: Elizabeth Lenherr
Due Date: Feb 29 2012
During the course of the semester so far we have been learning various ways to read and interpret or analyze literarytexts. Something we have discussed is that all literary texts are open to different interpretations, and it is possible for one literary text to have more than one meaning, purpose, or interpretation. However, we have also discussed thefact that some interpretations are more effective than others. The difficult question is: is there an interpretation or point of view that is more logical and complete than another?With this question in mind, you are to produce an essay which includes logic, analysis, critical thinking, and textualevidence as a way convincing your reader of adopting a position or point of view on a particular literary elementwithin a text. How do
view this literary element? Why do
view it that way? Why is
view superior? Thegreatest challenge of this paper comes in the incorporation of textual evidence. Any claim made in the paper
ustbe accurately supported
by evidence found within the short story of your choice. Your analysis must be basedsolely on the literary text of your liking. You may incorporate an idea you have already started to analyze on your blog. However, other forms of ³evidence´ such as personal opinions, personal experiences, information from other sources such as websites, journals, or databases, must not be incorporated into this paper. HOWEVER, if youresearch a website to help support your analysis YOU MUST PROPERLY CITE AND REFERENCE THE SITEOR YOU WILL RECEIVE A ZERO (0) FOR PLAGIARISM!!!
What are the steps for writing a literary analysis paper?
Define your audience:
Who is/are the reader(s) of your paper? Who are you trying to convince?2.
hoose your literary text & focus:
Choose the text of your liking and decide which literary elements youfind interesting to explore. (ex: character(s), plot, symbols, irony, setting, etc)3.
Develop a theory or interpretation:
Devise a specific and original theory or interpretation using the textand focus you have selected.4.
Actively read your text:
Read your selected text multiple times. Look for specific evidence that supportsyour interpretation & analysis. Carefully consider whether you can find enough evidence to support your claims and whether you will be capable of convincing your reader that your interpretation is superior.5.
apture your audience¶s attention:
Make sure the title of your paper grabs your reader¶s attention. Youmight also want to consider opening your introduction with an effective hook (an opening sentence thatinvokes interest, speculation, or a struggle of opinions within the reader).6.
Disprove the opposing argu
Consider the possibility of discussing why your position/stance is better than other stances and present evidence for why you believe so. For example, if you want to arguethat the protagonist from Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a necrophiliac, how would you counter-argueagainst those who believe that she didn't sleep with the dead body of Homer Baron?
einforce your interpretation:
Remind the reader about your main idea, theory, or focus; explain whyyour point of view is logical and/or valid.
ewrite and revise:
Read and rewrite your paper many times. Be sure that the main idea is conveyed anddefended consistently throughout the paper. Be sure to be extra careful with grammar, language use, andthe organization of your ideas, and be sure to focus solely on the topic you devise.