What is a Literary Analysis Essay?

A literary analysis essay can be considered an advanced form of written essays, which studies the literature by focusing on its themes and various characters. The main purpose of such an essay is to expound on why the writer has chosen a certain theme for his essay. It also analyzes the extent to which the theme has been integrated into the text. A literary analysis essay has become a part of what we know as critical thinking. Such an essay has the ability to completely dissect any piece of literature and reveal its various layers.

The structure of a literary essay is made up of four major parts, which include an introduction, body, and conclusion. All these parts make a very strong foundation for the essay. The introduction part usually gives the background information about the writer and the topic of the essay. After this the body consists of various statements and arguments about the topic, which strengthens the argument of the essay.

As already mentioned above, the main aim of what is a literary analysis essay is to reveal the various layers of meaning of the literary work. Each paragraph of such an essay carries the idea of that particular paragraph, with the exception of endnotes, which are generally left out. It describes the author’s point of view about the topic, which helps in understanding the theme of the entire essay. Some of the popular forms of such essays include: classic, psychological, political, and contemporary.

As already mentioned above, one of the most important aspects about what is a literary analysis essay is the identification of the writer’s point of view about the theme of the essay. A literary essay may contain many arguments about a central topic, but all of these are strengthened by providing additional evidence and explanations about the same topic. The basic elements of any such essay are: the thesis statement, the essay conclusion, the main body of the essay, and the references page.

It is always better to begin a what is a literary analysis essay with a clear and concise statement of the theme of the essay. After this the paper can be built on various supporting themes. These include the background of the writer, his/her experiences, his/her philosophy of life and literature and the critical evaluation of his/her works. After this the various arguments concerning the theme can be built on this foundation. The last part consists of the concluding comments about the theme, which helps the reader understand the essay in a better way.

There are many ways in which a what is a literary analysis essay can be written. It can be an almost infinite number of paragraphs, depending on what the writer wants it to be. In fact the length of the essay depends mostly on what the writer wants it to be. It should be very simple to understand and contain valid arguments. The main reason for the length of the essay should be because the writer needs time to analyze each paragraph and prove his/her point. It is better to start writing the what is literary analysis essay topics like the writer has already analyzed the theme and is ready to write the essay.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

If you are interested in learning how to write a literary analysis essay, you must know that it is different from a popular review of literature. This essay usually analyzes a small piece of literary content related to literary theory. Mostly, it’s written to examine and expound the core idea or the main theme of a popular book that you’ve just read. And, a literary analysis essay may also be written about a play, novel, or short story. From there, you ought to understand that a literary analysis essay is basically a form of college essay which is able to be on any literary subject or about any book that you can think of.

Literary Analysis Essay Outline

When you want to know how to write a literary analysis essay outline, you first have to decide the topic and the overall content. After that, you have to figure out the basic structure of your essay. Basically, each paragraph should analyze one concept. For instance, in the introduction paragraph, you analyze what the book’s main concept is. The body of your essay should then contain the supporting details.

The conclusion part of your how to write a literary analysis essay is your examination or evaluation of the entire essay. You can use this part to write down your own opinions on the book. You may also use the summary of the essay to list your own personal observations about the book and the author. Finally, end your academic writing on a positive note.

A literary essay should be quite long, as you have to cover a wide range of topics within it. However, you don’t need to worry about the length of your composition since the introduction will serve as your main topic. Actually, an introduction will help readers understand what the entire essay is about. In addition to that, the introduction will also reveal the main theme of the entire composition.

And lastly, as I mentioned above, a conclusion part should also contain your personal conclusions about the book. Including these parts in your how to write a literary analysis essay helps readers get a complete picture of the entire text.

As I said earlier, your main goal when you write such an essay is to analyze and interpret the text. This means that you have to clearly identify the author’s main idea in order for you to accurately analyze the text. One of the ways to easily analyze texts is by using literary criteria. Other than the use of literary criteria, you can also make use of certain characteristics of the book as a main idea to analyze it.


After you have finished the introduction part of your how to write a literary analysis essay, the next thing you have to do is to carefully analyze the entire text. You can check if the main point of the novel is indeed well-developed or not. Also, you have to determine if the entire text contains strong literary themes. Once you’re done with the entire analysis, then you must immediately refer to your introduction, the end part, the summary of the study, the conclusion, and the conclusion.