literary analysis essay

For the final paper in this class, you must write a 4-5 page literary analysis. Choose a
poem or a short story from outside the readings. Alternatively, you may write about
London’s The Sea-Wolf. Using the strategies we have discussed in class, offer an
objective analysis and interpretation of the work, focusing on one or more literary
elements. Use the literary terms we have discussed in class to examine the work. You
may also use the research databases to find an article by a critic who analyzes a work, and
you may argue against all or part of the critic’s argument, countering it with your own
original interpretation.mla formattimes new roman fontsize 124-5 pagesmore info on attached filepoem of choice: London’s The Sea-Wolf.
assignment_literary_analysis.pdf

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English 101
Literary Analysis Essay
For the final paper in this class, you must write a 4-5 page literary analysis. Choose a
poem or a short story from outside the readings. Alternatively, you may write about
London’s The Sea-Wolf. Using the strategies we have discussed in class, offer an
objective analysis and interpretation of the work, focusing on one or more literary
elements. Use the literary terms we have discussed in class to examine the work. You
may also use the research databases to find an article by a critic who analyzes a work, and
you may argue against all or part of the critic’s argument, countering it with your own
original interpretation. Offer examples from the text to support your claim. Some
prewriting strategies are as follows:
1. Speaker/Occasion: Approach a poem from the point of view of the speaker. Who
is the speaker? Who is his or her audience? What is his or her purpose? Is the
work an occasional piece (written for an occasion, such as the death of a loved
one or a dedication)? How does this occasion provide an opportunity to address a
particular theme? Does the poet wish to convey a lesson or an insight about life?
Which devices does the poet employ to illustrate this idea?
2. Figurative language/sound devices: Look for metaphors, similes, and symbolic
imagery. How do they clarify the meaning of the poem? How do sound devices
like alliteration or rhyme or the absence of these contribute to the effect of the
work?
3. Other literary elements:
For poetry:
Repetition
Allusion
Rhythm/meter
Diction/connotative words
For short stories:
Plot, action, complication
Conflict
Setting
Indirection
Mood/atmosphere
Characterization
Symbolism
Point-of-view
Part and the whole
Coherence
Use MLA format to cite lines from the text (cite line numbers for poetry and page
numbers for short stories). Include a works cited page, listing the sources you use. If you
use a literary critic’s paper, attach it to yours.

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