Writing a Literary Analysis Paper
A thesis statement is a sentence (or sentences) that expresses the main ideas of your paper and answers the question or questions posed by your paper. It is the place where you are the most specific about what you will discuss in the paper, how you will organize the paper, and what significance your topic has (your argument). You must have a specific, detailed thesis statementthat reveals your perspective, and, like any good argument, your perspective must be one which is debatable. Generally, a thesis statement appears at the end of the first paragraph of an essay, so that readers will have a clear idea of what to expect as they read. As you write and revise your paper, it's okay to change your thesis statement -- sometimes you don't discover what you really want to say about a topic until you've started (or finished) writing! Just make sure that your "final" thesis statement accurately shows what will happen in your paper. Some questions to help you formulate your thesis in a literary analysis paper: * What is my claim or assertion?
* What are the reasons I have to support my claim or assertion? * In what order should I present my reasons?
The introduction is where your reader will formulate their first impression of your paper. The introduction should be interesting, provide enough information to tantalize your reader, luring them into reading further. It is not always best to write the introduction first. After you have composed your paper, you will be more apt to write an introduction that is interesting and focused. A few ways to begin your paper:
* Begin with a quotation. Just make sure you explain its relevance * Begin with a question
* Begin with an acknowledgment of an opinion opposite to the one you plan to take * Begin with a very short narrative or anecdote that has a direct bearing on your paper * Begin with an interesting fact
* Begin with a definition...
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