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Literary Analysis

A literary analysis offers insight about a short story, novel, play, or poem. The essay will do more than summarize the plot or interpret random passages out of context. Generally, literary analysis involves making a claim about some aspect of a literary work, then supporting that claim with evidence from the work. All types of literature share some elements that might be used in analysis (metaphor, imagery). However, each type of literature also has specific features that must be considered.

List of basic tips (Dos and Don'ts)

How to analyze passages from literature

A comprehensive literary analysis guide for students from a textbook publisher

Poetry analysis might include features like rhythm and meter, which are specific to poetry.

How to analyze poetry

Student sample essay about a poem

Drama also has its own distinct characteristics to consider such as dialogue, stage directions, and formatting.