Presentation on theme: "Writing the Literary Analysis. What is Literary Analysis? It’s literary (about literature) It’s an analysis (you are analyzing something) It’s an Argument!"— Presentation transcript:
What is Literary Analysis? It’s literary (about literature) It’s an analysis (you are analyzing something) It’s an Argument! It may also involve research on and analysis of secondary (other) sources
How is a literary analysis an argument? When writing a literary analysis, you will focus on specific qualities of the text(s). When discussing these attributes, you will want to make sure that you are making a specific, arguable point (thesis) about these qualities. You will defend this point with reasons and evidence drawn from the text. (Much like a lawyer!)
Which is the best thesis statement? Moby-Dick is about the problem of evil. Moby-Dick is boring and pointless. Moby-Dick is about a big, white whale. The ocean could be considered a character in the novel Moby-Dick.
How do I support a thesis statement? Examples from the text: –Direct quotations –Summaries of scenes –Paraphrase Other writers’ opinions Historical and social context (history books/articles) Always remember to read carefully and highlight useful passages and quotes!
What is a secondary source? A book or article that discusses The Outsiders A book or article that discusses an argument similar to the one you are making about The Outsiders A book or article that discusses the social and historical context of The Outsiders Internet searching: (“What was life like in the 1960s?”)
Integrating secondary sources When you use secondary sources, be sure to show how they relate to your thesis Don’t overuse any one secondary source, or for that matter, secondary sources in general Remember that this is your paper, your argument—the secondary sources are just helping you out Never, never, never plagiarize!
Overview of Literary Analysis When writing a literary analysis: –Be familiar with literary terms –Analyze specific items (not general ideas) –Make an argument –Make appropriate use of secondary sources
When Writing your Literary Analysis…. 1. Write in the present tense. EXAMPLE: In Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the townspeople visit Emily Grierson's house because it smells bad. NOT: In Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the townspeople visited Emily Grierson's house because it smelled bad. 2. Normally, keep yourself out of your analysis; in other words, use the third person (no I or you).
3. Avoid summarizing the plot (i.e., retelling the story literally). PLOT SUMMARY: In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," the mad narrator explains in detail how he kills the old man, who screams as he dies. After being alerted by a neighbor, the police arrive, and the madman gives them a tour through the house, finally halting in the old man's bedroom, where he has buried the man beneath the floor planks under the bed. As he is talking, the narrator hears what he thinks is the old man's heart beating loudly, and he is driven to confess the murder. ANALYSIS: Though the narrator claims he is not mad, the reader realizes that the narrator in "The Telltale Heart" is unreliable and lies about his sanity. For example, the mad narrator says he can hear "all things in the heaven and in the earth." Sane people cannot. He also lies to the police when he tells them that the shriek they hear occurs in his dream. Though sane people do lie, most do not plan murders, lie to the police, and then confess without prompting. Finally, the madman is so plagued with guilt that he hears his own conscience in the form of the old man's heart beating loudly. Dead hearts do not beat, nor do sane people confuse their consciences with the sounds of external objects.
Support your points with many quotations and paraphrases, but write the majority of your paper in your own words with your own ideas.