Skip to contentSkip to Main Site NavigationSkip to Site Left NavigationSkip to Site Utility NavigationSkip to Site SearchSkip to FooterDownload Adobe Reader

Literary Analysis Paper Lecture Transcript

On your Literary Analysis Paper:

This lecture is designed to review the requirements for the literary analysis paper. Just go through this presentation and it is just a way to check off - to let you know just exactly what you need to do to get the most points. So click on that green button and enjoy the lecture.

Read the Directions Carefully:

First of all, make sure you read the directions carefully. You must analyze a poem and a short story or a poem and a play. But you may not use a myth, a fairy tale, a parable, or an essay. So when you look in your book, you have to choose a poem that’s in your book and then your going to compare and contrast it with a short story in your book or your going to choose a poem and compare and contrast it with a play that’s in your book. You cannot use “Much to do about Nothing” because it’s not in our book.


Once you have chosen the two works that you’re going to analyze, you need to choose how you’re going to analyze. So choose four of the following ideas: you can analyze character, audience, theme, literary motif, symbolism or overall message. So choose four of those, and then take a look at your pieces.

Summary versus Analysis

I’d like to point out that there is a difference between a summary and analysis. A summary retells a story and you “do not” want to do this in your paper. Analysis examines the cause and effect of an incident in the story or comparing / contrasting to characters in the story or it explains how an event occurred in the story. When you click to the next slide, I have just a little example about summary and analysis using Mary had a little lamb.


When you summarize, you’re really retelling a story so - Mary had a little lamb. It followed her to school. No lambs were allowed in school, and so the children laughed.

Now that’s different from analysis. Remember analysis is trying to figure out “why” something happened or comparing in contrasting ideas. So analysis might look like; one reason Mary brought the lamb to school was to get attention. All the children laughed and played, right, so that might make Mary feel good about what she did, and so she might do it again. So it is important in your literary analysis’s paper that you actually do an analysis and that you don’t summarize in the body of the paper.

Summary Page

Now as part of your requirements, you do have to type a summary page. This is a one page, single space, brief summary of both works. If you do a play and a poem that means that you have to get a short summary of both pieces all on to one page, and this page will be attached to the last page of your Literary Analysis Paper. So remember, this is the only place on your paper where you’re allowed to summarize.

Writing Your Essay

When you write your essay, please remember this is a college level term paper. That means your paper needs to have all the basic parts. This includes a title. I didn’t put that on the slide, but you need to have a title. You need to an introduction. Remember an introduction begins with a lead-in to get the teacher’s/reader’s attention. Then you have to have some transitions sentences that move from that lead- in, and then you a clear thesis statement. Remember your thesis statement has to state the two works you’re comparing contrasting. In your body paragraphs, each body paragraph needs to have a topic sentence and remember those topic sentences need to have transitions. You should have minimum of four body paragraphs because in your essay, remember, you have to choose four different ways to analyze these two pieces, so you’re going to have a minimum of four body paragraphs. Make sure that you have good examples from the poem and the play or the short story you’re using - make sure you quote. In your conclusion, you need to restate your thesis statement in different words, and you might summarize some of your main points. Remember another part of this essay requirement is that you give your opinion on what you learned by comparing contrasting these two pieces.

Introduction & Title

This slide just restates the things that you need in your introduction. Remember you want to clever title, something that is interesting and your first sentence in your introduction needs to be interesting as well. Then you need your transition statements and your thesis statement with a plan of development. Remember your plan of development should tell us those four things that you have chosen to analyze the poem, and the play or short story.

Body Paragraphs

In the body paragraphs, you need to make sure each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence which is going to state that point or the way you’re going to analyze your two works, and then you need to make sure that every time you make a point that you support it with quotes from the poem or short story or play. Make sure you show how that quote supports your point, in fact the next slide is directly talking about how to quote.

Using Quotes in Essay

Every time you use a quote in your essay, a quote actually requires three sentences. It requires you to state clearly your ideas, then you use the quote to support your idea, and then you need a third sentence and this sentence is going to explain how that quote explains your idea or supports your idea. Click on the next slide - it’ll give you a more specific example.

Quotes Examples

So here’s an example of that three-sentence structure every time you use a quote. First sentence is your idea, so let’s say we use Mary had a little lamb and that’s going to be my analysis. So, here’s my idea: Mary appears to have a fetish for lamb wool. Now in the second sentence, I’m going to use a quote to support my idea. Dr. Benton states that, “Mary’s proclivity for her lamb makes her pet often and brings it with her.” (Benton 22) Now my third sentence is explaining how sentence number two the quote supports my idea of sentence number one. EX- Her constant need to touch and stroke her lamb illustrates Mary’s obsession, right, so sentence number one talks about the fetish, sentence number two is the quote, and in sentence number three tells how the quote supports the idea that Mary has a fetish for lamb wool. Got it?


In this paper, your conclusion needs to restate the thesis statement in different words. You also need to tell what you learned by analyzing the two works and what did you learn about poetry and short stories or poetry and plays. So all this information needs to be in your conclusion for you to get those points.

Hard copy for Final Exam

Now when you turn in this paper, you need to bring the hard copy of your paper to the final exam and turn it in. You can get some extra credit if you post your outline in WebCT that will give you some extra credit. You can get some more extra credit by posting your rough draft on WebCT and you can even get more extra credit by helping others by giving some suggestions on how they can improve their rough draft on WebCT. So keep an eye look out on that as you look on the schedule you will see where it’s noted when you should have those posting done to get those extra points. Remember, start early on this paper, that’s the best way to get an A.

Last Updated: 02/05/2015
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District