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January 10, 2011

The analysis paper is an assignment dreaded by many students.  In fact, it can be a creative and fun process!  You will be critiquing another’s work and making determinations about that work from a specific perspective:  you will put forth a thesis about the work based on your observations.

 

Analysis papers are frequently written about books, but you can analyze any object, statement or other subject: works of art, literary pieces, or aspects of technical disciplines.

 

How to write an analysis paper?  Before you start tapping the keyboard, be sure that you first carefully pick your subject and thesis.

 

In some cases, your subject may be assigned to you; if you have a choice, select a piece that genuinely intrigues you.  For literary analysis papers, a book you love or a book you have wanted to read is a great place to start.  Something that will be interesting for you to learn more about.

 

.  Read it again. Even a third time.  Understand what is happening, which characters are driving the story, what forces are at play.

 

There unlimited potential theses. Think about your subject.  What have you observed, what conclusions have you drawn?

 

Do any symbols or themes stand out?
Where does the story take place, and how does that setting factor in?
Does the author employ specific techniques throughout to illustrate a theme or point? In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the characters’ personalities are often reflected by nature:  think of sunlight dancing on innocent Pearl while the Reverend Dimsdale stands in shadows.
Was the author influenced by another body of work, and can you draw comparisons?  A case in point:  Mary Shelley read Milton’s Paradise Lost shortly before beginning to write Frankenstein.  Are there images and themes common to both works?   

Keep the thesis and the point you are going to make very specific.   And most important: remember that your thesis should discuss something about the story that you cannot conclude simply by reading it.

For you next writing project, visit this site  http://coolestwords.com to find some cool words .!

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