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What is Literary Analysis?

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Presentation on theme: "What is Literary Analysis?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Literary Analysis?

2 What is Literary Analysis?
It is analysis. It is about literature. It is an exploration of a piece of literature for a specific purpose. Sometimes it involves REASERCH of secondary sources.

3 What do I do? Read a particular piece of literature, like a short story, novella, novel, poem, or play. Look at one or more specified literary devices – elements of literature Plot Character Theme Symbolism Conflict

4 You may also consider… Figurative language Irony Setting
Historical connections Societal connections Point of view Personal connections others

5 What if I need help? There are variety of handbooks written to help with literary analysis. The internet can be a good source for viewing the literary analysis of others and for guides to literary analysis And of course, you can always ask a teacher or librarian.

6 What is an Analysis? An analysis of a literary work may discuss
Some element of a single piece of literature, such as: THEME, Characterization, Setting, point of view Two different pieces of literature, comparing and contrasting, or looking at some particular element (as above) The literary piece’s connection or comparison to some aspect of your world – social, political, economical, etc. Here the facilitator may wish to give examples of how these categories can play out in essays on specific literary works discussed in class and/or ask students to suggest examples.

7 How do I define my PURPOSE?
Your purpose may be chosen for you (like discuss one THEME of a piece, or compare the story’s protagonist to someone in history, etc.) You will identify this Purpose in your introductory paragraph in the THESIS Statement. AND then you will support or defend your purpose in your body paragraphs.

8 Which is the best Thesis (purpose) Statement?
One theme of The Old Man and the Sea is personal struggle. The Old Man and the Sea is about an old man and a fish. In The Old Man and the Sea, the theme of personal struggle is demonstrated through the character of Santiago and his unyielding desire to bring the marlin home.

9 How do I support my thesis statement?
Examples from the text: Direct quotations (word for word statements from the text) Summaries of scenes (brief summaries of specific scenes) Paraphrase (putting what the author says into your own words – effective with longer passages) Many students need to have the importance of direct quotations emphasized strongly. It may be useful here as well to direct students to the handout on Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting on OWL. The facilitator might also ask students to suggest ways of finding out about historical and social context in preparation for the next two slides.

10 In some cases Secondary Sources are required and include:
Other critics’ opinions Historical and social context As you research Secondary Sources, it is important to read carefully and highlight useful passages and quotes. NOTE: A writing assignment will specify the need for secondary sources.

11 What is a secondary source?
A book or article that discusses the specific text or texts you are exploring A book are article which discusses the element or purpose you are exploring A book or article that discusses the social and historical context of the text you are exploring Many students are simply not familiar with the term “secondary sources,” so it’s worthwhile to take the time to define the concept.

12 How and where do I find secondary sources?
Your local or school library Reference books of Literary Criticisms Data bases of Literary Criticisms Literary periodicals Online search engines A bibliography that is part of your text Ask a teacher or librarian The facilitator may wish to ask students what resources they have found helpful in the past.For help in searching the library, students can refer to the “Using THOR” PowerPoint available on the OWL site at or they can take the CORE tutorial at the Purdue Library site at

13 Incorporating QUOTES into your paper.
When you use primary or secondary sources, be sure to explain how they relate to your thesis Don’t simply “stick” a quote into your essay –incorporate it with your own words. Remember that this is your paper, your analysis—the primary and or secondary sources are just helping you support your thesis. Never, never, never plagiarize – take the words or ideas of another and use them as your own. You MUST credit your sources. The OWL handout on plagiarism can be a useful supplement for this slide. See

14 Internal Documentation: Primary Source
Whether you use direct (word for word quotes) or indirect quotes (paraphrasing), you must give credit to the SOURCE. “Santiago struggled for hours, the sun burning his scalp and parching his lips” (Hemingway 89). Direct quote primary source. The old man fought day after day, his lips parched and his hands worn and bleeding (Hemingway 91). Indirect quote primary source.

15 Secondary Sources Whether you use direct (word for word quotes) or indirect quotes (paraphrasing), you must give credit to the SOURCE. In his literary article about The Old Man and the Sea, John Doe state, “Santiago is the typical tragic hero” (68). Direct quote. “Santiago is the typical tragic hero,” and he is clearly destined to fail (Doe 68). Direct quote. According to John Doe, Santiago is a tragic hero (68). Indirect quote.

16 In Conclusion: Literary Analysis is an exploration of one or more pieces of literature for a specific purpose. Includes PRIMARY Source support. Can include SECONDARY Source support. Back

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