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POINTS TO CONSIDER Writing an effective “literary analysis” essay.

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Presentation on theme: "POINTS TO CONSIDER Writing an effective “literary analysis” essay."— Presentation transcript:

1 POINTS TO CONSIDER Writing an effective “literary analysis” essay

2 Choose a topic with which you are comfortable Then… Draft a “working” thesis statement Brainstorm for 2 to 3 ways in which you will PROVE this statement. NOTE: One of your proofs may have more that one part to it – therefore it may take more than one paragraphs Find text references to support each proof.

3 BODY PARAGRAPHS Topic sentence: Most often the first or second sentence. More sophisticated writing may place it at the end of a paragraph. Illustrations: See the text references slide. Application: A text reference/support can not stand alone. You must link/connect it to the point you are making with it.

4 Text references Quotations:  Must be introduced, not simply “dropped in”  Must be explained or expounded on – make sure the reader understands why you chose to use this quote. Quoted words or phrases: Use one or two words that appear in the novel in order to “crystallize” your point. Paraphrasing: Recount a situation, reaction etc. without directly quoting the text. Do not go into extended plot summary.

5 Two keys to a good paragraph Unity  Is achieved by discussing only one topic in a paragraph – the topic stated in the topic sentence. Coherence  Ideas must be arranged accoding to a definite plan and linked clearly to one another.

6 How to arrange ideas In an essay: Most teachers advise students to use their strongest argument in the first body paragraph and move to their weakest argument in subsequent paragraphs. Within paragraphs: Consider chronological order, cause- effect, comparison, contrast. Again, use your strongest illustration/ supporting point first.

7 NOW…Write a complete thesis A thesis is not a statement of fact. It makes the central point that you will develop in your essay  Weak: Jesus told parables  Better: Jesus taught lessons using parables.  Best: Through the use of parables, Jesus taught his followers to use their talents.

8 Then develop the introductory paragraph In a limited analytical 2/4 or 3/5 essay, the intro paragraph should contain 4 to 6 sentences.  The overview/general statement – ideally the “grabber”  The thesis, which usually contains the author and title –CORRECTLY PUNCTUATED.  Summary, background, context : do not make this into plot summary  Reference to proofs/organizing statements.

9 Linking expressions Within the essay: You must use “hooks” – transitional and reverse – to connect your paragraphs. You cannot simply finish one thought, then start the next. Within the paragraph: You must move the reader through the logic of your paragraph. Pronouns such as they, this, these – and linking words - recall the antecedent and help to bind together ideas. SEE HANDOUT OF EXAMPLES OF LINKING EXPRESSIONS

10 The “Hook” As you move from paragraph to paragraph, you must provide a “transition.”  The transitional hook appears at the end of a paragraph, setting up the next paragraph.  The reverse hook uses a word or phrase at the beginning of a paragraph that recalls the previous paragraph. YOU MUST USE ONE OR THE OTHER – OR BOTH.

11 The concluding paragraph Echoes – does not repeat verbatim – the thesis. Recalls the major supporting arguments – your topic sentences. Ends on a “satisfying” note – not a new idea.

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