Working on a Literary Analysis Essay Outline

A literary analysis essay is one of the most difficult types of essay you will ever write. It differs from other kinds of essays because you need to have a critical approach towards the paper. Most students confuse the word critique with pointing out bad things in a paper. However, that is not the case. A critical analysis means an objective review of any piece of literature or writing. You need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a piece of literature in a literary analysis essay. You may choose a novel, poem, short story, drama, or play to analyze in your essay. You will have to review the paper by staying free of personal opinions and biasness.

If you are to write a literary analysis essay, you should start by creating an outline. This will reduce your efforts to half and you will feel a sense of relief when you complete your outline. The structure of a literary analysis essay is no different than a traditional essay. Every essay follows the following basic format

  1. The introduction paragraph
  2. The body of the essay
  3. The conclusion paragraph

When you create your outline, you will have to start by writing the title of your essay on top. After that, you need to focus on the introduction. In your outline, your introduction should be able to serve two purposes

  1. Present your topic in a catchy way (choose a piece of information that can hook readers)
  2. Show what the rest of your essay is about (develop a thesis statement)

After the introduction, you will move towards the body of your essay. Each body paragraph should talk about different aspects of the novel or story under discussion. In your outline, make bullet points for each body paragraph like

This is how you will work with the rest of body paragraphs. Each paragraph should have a theme and there must be two or more supporting points for that theme. You will talk about strengths and weaknesses of the paper in the body paragraphs. You may also have a one-line summary at the end of each paragraph.

The last part in your essay is the conclusion, structuring an outline for the conclusion should not be difficult. You need to summarize all that you have discussed so far in the essay. No new ideas are entertained.