How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay?

Students are assigned to write a literary analysis essay to develop their creative and critical thinking. They analyze novels, poems, plays, and short stories to find out why and how they were written. An essay writer may express their opinion on the piece of literary writing. They should break the subject down into its parts and determine the structure, perspective, main symbols, characters, devices, etc. In order to create a solid literary analysis, it’s essential to read the text carefully and develop a strong thesis statement. 

In this guide, we prepared for you tips on writing a good literary analysis essay and an essay example. Read on and learn to create your analysis of a piece of literature. And if you face any challenges, our experts are always ready to provide professional academic writing assistance. 

What is a Literary Analysis Essay?

A literary analysis is a piece of academic writing that closely examines the work of literature. It’s known as the argumentative analysis of a literary work since it analyzes different aspects of the work to understand the author’s intentions. An analysis writer can give their opinion on the work of literature, but it should not be a subjective evaluation. 

For a deeper understanding of the work, a literary analysis essay focuses on plot twists, text structure, literary devices, character development, setting, choice of language, perspective, imagery, etc. There are several analysis types: close reading, comparative or synergistic, historical or contextual, and theoretical and applied.

How to Start a Literary Analysis Essay?

You can start your literary essay effectively with a good title and introduction. The topic of your essay should be concise and engaging. It should contain the title of the literary work and elements of the thesis. Overview in your introduction the essay structure, author, argument, and introduce the thesis. Try to answer who, what, how, and why delivers the message. The introduction begins with a general statement and your contradictory opinion and ends with a thesis statement. Catch the readers’ attention with an opening hook (a fact, quote, question), move to general information, and then formulate your core statement. Read the article to find out how to write a strong thesis. 

Writing a Literary Essay Step-By-Step

In order to craft excellent literary analysis paperwork, you should study the work of literature thoroughly, create an engaging title, formulate a thesis statement, brainstorm ideas, and write an essay following the structure. Looks fast and simple, isn’t it? But the process will be smooth if you explore each stage of literary analysis writing in detail. So let’s find out how to write a solid essay.

Examine the Text Critically

The first step of creating a literary essay is a thorough reading of the literary work, even several times. As you read, you may take initial notes, writing down the main themes of the work, plot, characters, intriguing things, and their pages. You should pay attention to certain elements that convey the main ideas, including literary devices, choice of language, structure, conflict, and the author’s style. 

Develop Your Thesis Statement 

The next stage is collecting arguments to formulate a persuasive thesis. It falls at the end of your introductory paragraph and tells the reader what to expect from your text. You should select the aspect of the work that strikes you the most and serves as the basis of your analysis. It should be an arguable idea that does not simply state a fact. In the course of writing, you should support it with evidence and arguments. 

Write Your Analysis

Now you can turn to writing the literary analysis itself. Follow the essay outline: an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. This framework will enable you to create a well-structured, flowing analysis. Firstly, write a catchy title that is a shortened version of your thesis. Then write an introduction, providing background information and a thesis statement. Try to attract the readers’ attention with the first lines by stating a contradiction to popular opinion on the subject or including a quote. Body paragraphs support your thesis statement. They consist of a topic sentence supported by evidence and substantiation (quotations, summary, details) and end with a one-sentence conclusion. The concluding paragraph makes your essay complete, summarizing its main points. Reinstate the thesis but not introduce any new information. 

Proofread and Edit the Text

And finally, once your analysis is ready, you should reread it carefully to detect any errors. Make sure there are any grammar, punctuation, or syntax mistakes. The text should be flowing, and all paragraphs logically connected. You can use automatic tools for editing your essay or ask someone to check your work. Your family, friends, or group mates may take a fresh look at your paperwork, or you can hire a professional editor on academic writing platforms. 

Literary Analysis Essay Example

In order to give our readers a better understanding of a literary analysis form and structure, our experts created a literary analysis essay on the novel of William Golding the Lord of the Flies. Here you will see the main themes of the novel, key moments analysis, style, and symbols. 

The Lord of the Flies: Nature or Nurture?

The Lord of the Flies is a dystopian allegory novel written by William Golding in 1954. The events happen on a deserted island in the tropics. War rages in England and a plane carrying a group of evacuated British schoolboys are shot down there. Boys do their best to create something similar to the society they lived before but the spirit of nature and instincts is irresistable. 

The plot is chronological, represented from a third-person omniscient point of view. The writer’s style is straightforward and powerful. Literary devices are direct and thoughtful, which makes them easy to interpret.

The main characters are Ralph, Jack, Simon, and Piggy, who possess recognizable symbolic significance. Ralph represents civilization and democracy; Piggy stands for intellect and rationalism; Jack is savagery and dictatorship; Simon signifies the incarnation of goodness and saintliness. They portray the microcosm of that society, and we can recognize in these characters people around us. Boys struggle between their desire to maintain the civilization rules they know and the instinct to turn wild like the island they inhabit. 

The Lord of the Flies’ motives are the beauty of nature, Biblical references, bullying, and savagery. The conch shell, Piggy’s glasses, the signal fire, the Lord of the Flies, and the groups of boys themselves are the major symbols in the book. 

As we can see, if society is left without rules, it devolves and loses its grasp on what is the morally right thing to do. 


What is a good literary analysis?

A good literary analysis interprets the meaning of the work of literature to better understand it as a whole. Your essay must cover the topic you are writing about and have a thesis. You should structure your literary analysis well so that every part develops the central idea. Remember that it’s not a simple summary of the plot. Here you should analyze a variety of elements like the language, images, perspective, the relationship between a subplot and the main plot and structure of the text, literary devices, and dialogues that create effects and convey ideas.

What does a literary analysis look like?

A literary analysis is a piece of writing in which a student analyzes a specific literary work. A writer examines such elements as character development, plot twists, setting, dialogues, etc. A literary analysis essay discusses these relevant elements to find out the purpose of a piece of literature, not retelling its content. There are theoretical, applied, close reading, contextual, and comparative types of literary analysis.

How many paragraphs is a literary analysis?

A literary analysis essay typically consists of five paragraphs: an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you tell the reader the essence of your essay and introduce a strong thesis statement. The body part builds an argument based on evidence. Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence followed by explanations and textual evidence. The conclusion summarizes your main points and may restate the thesis.


Share this story:
Post author
Adam Stone
Religion & Theology
Meet Adam Stone, a seasoned writer at with expertise in crafting top-notch academic papers. Get quality essays, research papers, and more from a trusted professional.
15% discount
on your first order
Order with discount