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09/04/2019

How do you write an analysis?

QUESTION
How do you write an analysis?
for a school project i have to write a comparative analysis on two songs, yet i have no idea how. if anyone knows a site where i can get info or if someone can give me pointers that’d be great.

ANSWER
Know the two styles of literary analysis papers. The most common is the thesis-driven paper, which is structured around a central thesis or argument about a text you introduce at the beginning of the paper. In a process paper, you explore how you’re processing a piece of text and arrive at a thesis or argument by the paper’s conclusion. This second approach is really about exploring and interacting with a text. Ask your instructor which approach she prefers or which best suits where you’d like to go with the paper.

Step 2-Brainstorm your ideas and narrow your focus to one element or angle of the text. Begin your research. Some literary analysis papers require secondary sources. Online journals, literary criticism, and other resources can help you acquire additional information. Take notes and always keep track of your sources in MLA or APA format. If you only need to use the text itself, go through the piece again, making notes of where you plan to draw from for textual evidence in your paper.

Step 3-Begin writing your paper. If your paper is thesis driven, be sure you present it clearly early on in the paper.

Step 4-Keep your writing in a style and voice that feels natural to you. A literary analysis paper doesn’t have to be dry, and you don’t have to sound like you smoke a pipe and wear blazers with elbow patches. However, you shouldn’t use vulgarity of any kind or be overly familiar. Have fun and be playful in your writing. Include a variety of sentence styles and structures. Use first person if it’s allowed.

Step 5-Assume the reader of your paper has read the text you’re talking about and don’t summarize the plot. Literary analysis isn’t a book report. If you use summary, do it only as a support for your central thesis, and keep it brief. Use literary terminology to help you write effectively about what an author is doing, and keep your paper focused on analysis.

Step 6-Keep your quotes accurate and use parenthetical documentation rather than footnotes unless told otherwise. Keep all quotations in line with MLA or APA style. Remember, for poetry, always show the line breaks.

Step 7-Reread your paper several times. At least once, read your paper out loud so that you can hear your mistakes. When you have at least one or two complete drafts of your paper, give it a title. Always give your essay a title that clearly conveys what the paper is about; if it’s catchy too, that’s a bonus.