Foothill High School Peer Tutoring Program Online!
[Home] [Science Corner] [Meet Our Tutors]

Writing Tips

The Process of Literary Analysis

Mr. Richey, Sophomore Honors English Teacher


Inductive Writing: First gather information, then draw conclusion

Deductive Writing: First draw conclusion, then support the conclusion


THINK INDUCTIVELY, WRITE DEDUCTIVELY

Paragraph Structure:

1. Topic Sentence
2. Clarify Topic Sentence
3. Support Topic
4. Explain Support
5. Repeat Supporting and Explaining
6. Give Insight
7. Clincher

Always ask oneself: How does this quote or example support thesis? Why is it significant?

Example on this logical train of argument:

Thesis: Don't lose faith in guys.

Topic Sentence: Bobby is a great guy
What do you mean? (clarify)
Bobby is sincere and does not treat me lke a status symbol.
How is that so? (support)
For example, today he gave me roses
Why does that prove he's a great guy? (explain support)
I had a test today. He gave me flowers to encourage me.
Give another example (repeat support and explanation)
He baked brownies last night, just for me.
Why does that prove he's a great guy? (explain the other example)
He not only was thinking about me, but he took his own time on me.
Why are these examples significant? We can see that not all guys are bad, but some are actually good.


The Elements of Literary Analysis

Elements used for Literary Analysis:

1. Point of View
2. Character
3. Setting
4. Style
5. Symbols


Point of View Analysis

Inductive Reasoning:

1. Who is the narrator? Is the narrator a first person (character tells story), omniscient (narrator that knows all), or partially omniscient narrator?

2. What are we allowed to see and hear? What are we allowed not to see?

3. Is the narrator reliable (having idea of a situation)?

Questions that have meaning:

1. How do the answers above affect reader's reactions to the story?

2. What further questions do they raise?

3. How do they affect the message of the story?


Character Analysis

Inductive Reasoning:

1. Is the character a major or minor character?

2. Is the character believable or not?

3. Is the character one-dimensional or multi-dimentional? To what degree is the complexity of emotions inside the character?

4. Is the character a hero or a mortal?

5. Are there any other characters that seem the same? Are there any other characters that seem opposite? Are they foil?

6. What is the purpose of the character?

Questions that have meaning:

1. How do the answers above affect reader's reactions to the story?

2. What further questions do they raise?

3. How do they affect the message of the story?


Setting Analysis

Inductive Reasoning:

1. Where is the story set?

2. In what time period is the story set?

3. To what degree is the time and place similar to your place and time of reference?

4. Does the time and place have any historic or geographical parallels?

5. What is the immediate settting?

6. What is the immediate time?

7. What is the weather like?

8. In what ways might these immediate factors be symbolic?

9. What king of mood does the setting create?

Questions that have meaning:

1. How do the answers above affect reader's reactions to the story?

2. What further questions do they raise?

3. How do they affect the message of the story?


Symbol Analysis

Symbol: a concrete object that stands for an abstract idea

Inductive Reasoning:

1. What objects or characters stand out?

2. Do any objects or chracters stand out?

3. Do any objects or chracters perhaps represent a type of people, an attitude, or an idea?

4. What are the details of how it performs its immediate purpose?

5. How do those specifics translate into the specific nature of the abstract idea it represents?

Questions that have meaning:

1. How do the answers above affect reader's reactions to the story?

2. What further questions do they raise?

3. How do they affect the message of the story?


2001 FHS Peer Tutoring Online!

HOME