Analysis essays argue a point by making original observations and using other voices to support them. Literary analyses aim to reveal something interesting about how a text works. You should adopt a formal tone and not use 1st person or 2nd person (you, we, us, our) point of view. Remember to use the literary terms we have discussed, and those in your Dictionary of Literary and Rhetorical Terms.
Topic Choices (clearly identify which topic you choose):
a. Analyze how the setting and characters work together to contribute to the story’s overall meaning. Where does the story take place and in what time period? How does the setting contribute to a change in the character’s personal perspective? If applicable, how does the setting of the climax contribute to the character’s personal perspective? You must have a thesis that you argue throughout your essay.
b. Analyze Atwood’s style and tone by looking at her approach toward diction, sentence structure, tone, and organization. How do these elements work together to create a certain mood? How does the mood contribute to the story’s meaning? You must have a thesis that you argue throughout your essay.
c. Analyze how the point of view modifies and provides clarity for the story stylistically and otherwise. If your chosen story has a first-person narrator, how does this choice help to create a sense of that particular character and drive the plot? You must have a thesis that you argue throughout your essay.
d. Focus on a single aspect, such as irony, foreshadowing, or symbolism, and demonstrate how it illuminates one or more of the story’s themes. You must have a thesis that you argue throughout your essay.
• Make clear your topic choice and use the writing workshops to help with style.
• Use a variety of well chosen quotations from the novel, and explore them to prove your thesis
• You must offer an introduction paragraph that ends with a clear statement of your purpose (what it is you want to show the reader about your experience of language), a body comprised of several developed paragraphs with detailed and specific examples to demonstrate your purpose, and a conclusion paragraph.
Follow this Below:
Length: 1,500 words (Aprox. 4 pages); write the word count on the bottom of the last page (‘Tools’ → ‘Word Count’). Note: you cannot achieve higher than a D-grade if you do not meet the minimum length requirement.
Literature Analysis and Research Essay Tips:
• Introduce the topic and, if a literature analysis, work in the first paragraph: full title in quotation marks (essays in Language awareness) and the author’s full name; you should refer to them by their last name thereafter
• Use the literary present tense: The narrator argues that “Madmen know nothing” (53).
• Analyze rather than summarize; don’t tell the story, discuss something about it
• Take your essay to the Writing Center for advice on all aspects of writing; earn extra credit for doing this!
• Use MLA format for the heading and include a Works Cited page
• Consider everything that you have learned so far and demonstrate it in your essay
• Don’t praise the author; you are analysing his/her work, not celebrating his/her genius.
o For example: instead of writing, “Allport brilliantly discusses prejudiced language”, write “Allport explains prejudiced language as…”
• Don’t pose rhetorical questions; your job is to answer questions, not ask them.
o For example: instead of writing, “Why does Allport discuss prejudiced language?”, write “Allport discusses prejudiced language by…”
• Don’t analyse quotations with phrases saying, “This quote shows…”
o For example: instead of writing, “This quote shows Allport’s argument”, write “Allport demonstrates…”
Last Name 1
Date Assignment is Due
Title of Essay and Topic Choice
In Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale, American society has been turned into a fundamentalist regime.
Word Count: 16
Last Name 2
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. New York: Anchor Books, 1986. Print.
*you should put your last name and page number into the ‘Header’ of your page:
‘View’ → ‘Header and Footer’; type your last name; right alignment
‘Insert’ → ‘Page Numbers’ → ‘Top of Page’ and ‘Right Alignment *you should type the word count of your essay at the bottom of the last page, before the Works Cited (if you are including one):
‘Tools’ → ‘Word Count’ → manually type the number of words (not characters!)