No less than Five FULL pages – any essay submitted that is
not a FULL five pages – to the ABSOLUTE BOTTOM of page 5 – will automatically earn a
What is a Literary Analysis Essay?
A literary analysis essay is an ARGUMENTATIVE essay that is written in order to develop a
student’s initial critical response to a work of literature by having a student read a short story for
depth of meaning by using critical thinking skills as applied to that piece of literature. Course
materials have reviewed the goals and process for this essays, so please be sure to go back and
review those handouts and videos as needed prior to beginning this essay.
Guidelines for Composing the Literary Analysis Essay
1). Generate a scholarly thesis that makes an ARGUMENT for the central theme of the short story
on which you have chosen to focus for this course.
2). Compose topic sentences that act as the central support for this thesis/theme. Topic sentences
should be generated from YOUR thinking and should NOT include quoted text from the
story. They should be no less than THREE reasons, from the story, why the theme/thesis is
what you state it is.
3). Move through the story to provide no less than THREE pieces of TEXTUAL EVIDENCE
for all topic sentences/reasons included in the essay. Evidence comes from DIRECTLY
QUOTED text taken from the story, and MUST be both properly cited and INTEGRATED
into the prose of the essay using proper MLA parenthetical end citations in the (author page)
format. Please review course videos for instruction on correct MLA formatting.
4). Be sure to AVOID ANY and ALL need for further outside source material in this
essay!! The goal for this essay is to practice critical thinking skills and to review proper essay
structure, formatting, and punctuation of this essay. Working with outside sources will be
forthcoming in the research essay required for this course. Again, DO NOT USE OUTSIDE
SOURCES IN THIS ESSAY, which also means AVOIDING all thinking and statements that
do not DIRECTLY relate to the text in and of itself. If this is confusing to you, please contact
a tutor for support!
5). Be sure there are NO LESS than two passages of quoted text per paragraph in this essay.
While much more quoted text can be used, and would be more than appropriate,
any less than two passages of quoted text per paragraph fails to support any point
being made and will be a cause for POINT DEDCUTION in the final essay. Always
use the “Rule of Three” guideline – it takes at least three points to prove an argument
6). This essay must include an appropriately formatted Works Cited page, with the story
serving as the single source listed on that page.
, All essays MUST:
• Be typed, doubled-spaced, and in 12-point Times New Roman font the entire essay
– Parenthetical End Citations must be correctly placed and formatted in the (author
page) format, placed at the end of the SENTENCE.