In writing a literary analysis, you’ll follow a pattern of basic essay writing.
1. Title—You must give every essay a title. A good title must tell the reader what you’ll be writing about; it should attempt to capture the reader’s interest, and it should indicate the essay’s thesis. Here’s a title for an essay comparing “A&P” and “Greasy Lake” in terms of character change. The first part of the title is the attempt to capture the reader’s interest. After the colon, the title indicates the essay’s thesis and mentions the two works that will be contrasted.
The Pain of Growing Up:
Character Change in “A&P” and “Greasy Lake”
FORBIDDEN: Do not entitle your essay with only the name of the work that you are interpreting.
Just like you did in 1301, you’ll write an introduction for your essay. Just as in your 1301 papers, a good introduction will have three parts: a lead-in (attention-grabber, something that will make the reader want to read your essay), a transition (linking the attention-grabber to the thesis sentence, making the connection smooth, not abrupt. You also will mention the name of the story and its author), and a previewing thesis (the sentence that tells what you main points will be).
People often have trouble knowing how to begin an essay. You don’t have to write the introduction first. As long as you have a thesis sentence, you can begin the essay and then generally you’ll think of a way to lead-in while you’re in the middle of the rest of the essay (your brain thinks about problems below the surface and then pushes up solutions when you least expect them, if you’re open to hearing them.
However, there are some standard lead-in techniques that you can use to jump start the creative process:
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