Do's and Don'ts in Writing a Literary Analysis

As with writing literary pieces like short stories, novels and poems, one of the best ways to learn writing a literary analysis is to read other pieces and pay attention to how other authors do it. It's much better if you center on reading literary analyses that delve into works with a kind that is the same as that you want to discuss. This means that if you wish to craft a literary analysis of a short story, then you must read other analyses of other short stories.

After browsing through several examples of literary analysis you'll realize that most of them are written in the present tense. This is actually the best way to write your piece since you seemingly become a narrator of the literary work you're discussing. You also bring the literary piece closer to your readers, giving them the feeling that they're reading it firsthand.

While some instructors may allow you to use the first or second person in writing a literary analysis, it's actually best to employ the third person. Using the first person gives your readers the feeling that your literary analysis is too personal. It may be likened to a journal entry where even your objective observations can be seen as mere thoughts and feelings that are very personal to you. Using the second person should also be avoided because your literary analysis may sound preachy. This is all the more true in the part where you get the chance to discuss the theme and moral of the work.

One common mistake of literary analysis writers is assuming that the perspective of a persona or character in a literary piece is the same as that of its author. Remember not to commit the same mistake since you wouldn't want to misinform or confuse your readers.

Another pitfall in writing a literary analysis is echoing the opinions of other critics. If you have the same or similar viewpoints as other critics or writers, then dig deeper into the subject so you can discuss it in a whole new way. You can also state an utterly different opinion and use other critics' viewpoints to support it if they're related.