Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Literary Analysis: Writing About Literature

This guide lists sources that will help you identify books, articles and other resources on an author and/or specific literary work.

Writing about Literature-What is Literary Criticism

What is literary criticism?

How do I write a literary analysis?

Broadly speaking, literary analysis contextualizes a close reading of a text. That close reading could take on many forms. You could look at plot, character, narrative device, literary device, genre, symbolism, language, point of view, etc. In essence, you will take a part of the book and contextualize it by applying some sort of convention on to it. Those conventions could be a social or historical event or time period, a theory, philosophy, or school of thought.

Perspectives for Literary Analysis to consider:

  • plot
  • genre conventions (adherence to and/or deviation from)
  • setting
  • narration
  • point of view
  • characterization
  • symbolism
  • metaphor
  • irony/ambiguity
  • historical context
  • social, political, economic contexts
  • ideologies

  • literary theories, schools of thought
  • theme
  • style
  • imagery
  • tone
  • the author’s life
  • medical diagnoses
  • geography  
  • critical orientation
  • staging (for theater and film)
  • "page to film" comparisons
  • cross cultural analyses

 

Intro. to Literary Analysis

Don't know where to start when writing a literary analysis?

This presentation by Purdue OWL is a great introduction/refresher and points out key elements to remember when writing a literary analysis. 

Your Librarians

Profile Photo
Don Simmons Jr.
Contact:
Library - Room 118
(914) 606 - 8592

Your Librarians

Profile Photo
Jessica Tagliaferro
Contact:
Harold L. Drimmer Library
Room 132
Zoom ID: 567 580 6774
x6808
Website

Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence!

Westchester Community College provides accessible, high quality and affordable education to meet the needs of our diverse community. We are committed to student success, academic excellence, workforce development, economic development and lifelong learning.

MyWCC
Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook

75 Grasslands Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
Tel: (914) 606-6600