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.
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.Maybe the title Happy Days totally disagrees with the book’s subject matter (hungry orphans dying in the woods).Maybe the main character acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his friends and associates.” 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.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.Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a sweater: if you pull on it, you can unravel the entire thing.If you can find a way to explain a work’s contradictory elements, you’ve got the seeds of a great essay.At this point, you don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to say about your topic; you just need a place to begin your exploration.” “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.