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The purpose of a literary analysis essay is to carefully examine and sometimes evaluate a work of literature or an aspect of a work of literature. As with any analysis, this requires you to break the subject down into its component parts. Examining the different elements of a piece of literature is not an end in itself but rather a process to help you better appreciate and understand the work of literature as a whole.

Analyzing a short story might include identifying a particular theme (like the difficulty of making the transition from adolescence to adulthood) and show ing how the writer suggests that theme through the point of view from which the story is told; or you might also explain how the main characters attitude toward women is revealed through his dialogue and/or actions.

Now, including research into the literary analysis is done by incorporating sources from researchers who have a particular opinion or approach to the literature. Those researchers also have formed their own analysis and students will use two sources found through Miami Dade’s library to support their own thesis.

Remember that your over-riding goal of analysis writing is to demonstrate some new understanding of the text.

Essay Directions:

The student will select a short story from the ones we have studied in class and analyze that short story. Students must take the following into consideration: themes, symbolism, diction, patterns, and literary devices found in the story.

The student’s thesis will make an assertion about the short story by using textual evidence to support claims, and then explaining what that evidence means in relation to the story. The student must also include two literary criticism’s within the paper to further deepen their analysis.

Essay requirements:

5-6 pages

MLA essay format

12 size, Times New Roman Font

Double Spaced


Microsoft Word Document (No Google Docs, No Pages)

Creative/unique title

Textual evidence to support claims/thesis

Two research-based sources from MDC database

literary analysis research paper (The Lesson toni bambara)
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