Literary essay writing – A few guidelines and tips

Literary essays

Literary analyses are essays with a specific purpose, a specific tone and a specific format. They are intended towards evaluating and critically analyzing a piece of literature. A literary essay may analyze a novel, a short story, or even a newspaper report or an article in a magazine. The critical analysis may be done of a piece of poetry or prose. If it is any kind of literature, it can be critically analyzed and the report of that analysis is what comprises a literary analysis essay.

Some general things that you need to do and remember before you start writing the essay will now be explained. You must know what are the elements that are analyzed and what are the factors based upon which literary works are evaluated. You must formulate your own opinion about the writing and state it in your literary analysis. You may quote other critics and mention the analysis of other people, but do not base your whole essay upon that or even make that a large part of your essay. The literary analysis written by you should convey your own opinion to the reader. Some other points to look out for are that always write in the third person (or at least as much as possible), use the present tense and avoid paraphrasing strictly. The literary analysis is not meant to be a summary. Use literary terminology to explain and analyze. Cite your literary analysis properly. Provide references wherever applicable.



The introduction of your literary analysis must serve the purpose of capturing the reader’s attention as well as motivating and persuading the reader to read further. The reader decides whether or not to read your literary analysis, or any piece of writing, after reading the title, and decides whether or not to continue reading after reading the introduction. You might start with an anecdote or a quotation. Being a literary analysis does not mean that it has to start explaining the literature’s elements from the first sentence.


Body and conclusion

Coming to the body of the literary analysis, write a topic sentence for each paragraph and organize your ideas well. Support your analysis with phrases and pieces of text from the literature you are analyzing. Be specific. If you are evaluating the use of onomatopoeia or sensory details, for example, mention some details or words that the author has used. If you are mentioning the use of imagery, explain what kind of imagery is used. Write about the effect that is created by the use of the elements you are describing in your literary analysis.The conclusion must summarize the ideas and should not introduce a new idea.


If you think you are not up to it

If you think you are not up to the task of writing literary analyses, just keep practicing until you get the hang of it. Read analyses written by experienced writers. You can also seek help of a custom research paper writing service to write the analysis for you.