Literary Analysis Paper

3-4 Pages, not counting the works cited page

MLA format

MLA formatted Works Cited

2 secondary research sources + primary source for a minimum of 3 sources

A literary analysis paper approaches analyzing a piece of literature in one of three ways:

1) Analyzing the text itself by breaking it into its separate poetic elements. A pretty inclusive list of poetic elements, what they are, and examples of them in poetry–as well as the implications of the elements in interpretation, can be found at this link: to an external site. A response to the prompt using this approach might choose three or so poetic elements to analyze in order to make an interpretation of the poem’s merit or thematic meaning.

2) Analyzing the text in terms of the author’s biography or the historical context that produced the poem. This approach seeks to find insight into the poem using biography and context as keys of sorts that are needed to unlock the challenges of the poem.

3) Analyzing the text in terms of your response to it as the reader. What does the poem evoke in you? Connections you make to other poems? Other authors? Other elements of the world? How do you judge the quality of the poem? This response is best when it steers away from personal reactions (do you like the poem or not).

This paper is an academic essay. As such, it should have a one paragraph introduction. The thesis should be the last sentence of the introduction. The thesis should be controversial, make a clear point about the poem (it should mention the name of the poem specifically), and it should include a map. The map does not have to be three parts specifically, but it can be. There should be a body (three or more paragraphs), and a conclusion that discussion the implications of the analysis and why a reader of the paper should care about the poem, your analysis. Make the literature matter in the broader context of the world. 

two links i found but you can use two others if you find better ones
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