30+ Literary Analysis Templates

Literary Analysis: What Is It?

First things first, literature refers to written works, whether they are published or not. Some have illustrations, while others don’t. Also, specific computer programs are considered as such. Fiction/nonfiction books, speeches, poems, brochures, catalogs, games, and even digital databases are part of this category. The takeaway here is that literary works exclude drama, a screenplay, or a play. And when you report about the summary and critical understanding of any literature, analysis comes to play. Hence, literary analysis reports outline how one understands or applies the whole thought of any literary form.

Did you know that 27% of American adults have never read books, whether it is print, digital, or an audiobook, in 2016?

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Public Radio News reported, via the National Endowment for the Arts study, that 43% of adults in the US are reading less literature.

To boot, Statista mentioned that around 98% of Americans would rather read for pleasure instead of news or current events.

Why Is Literary Analysis Important?

As there are more writers present and reading materials produced, people need to be more careful about what they read. Perhaps, a written message’s content is misunderstood by readers. Or worse, people fall into false information. Hence, to evaluate or scrutinize a literary work marks as the automatic purpose that comes into mind in processing a literary analysis. Critically analyzing details welcomes a deeper understanding of literature anyway. Moreover, you break down the subject, points, and its components into parts with the help of analyzing.

Let us not forget that many people assume analyzing to be similar in making a summary. Summarizing is merely a part of the analysis, so it is not what the entire thing is about. Furthermore, the process helps educational processes. Whether you are in middle school, high school, or college, making a reflection or analysis report is often involved. How about when you start your research or thesis? Involving more reading and analysis becomes expected. And what is even better? Anyone’s critical abilities develop in writing the analysis.

The Elements of a Literary Analysis

The Pew Research Center research survey confirmed that approximately 27% of adults in the US have never read any book in 2016. If this number continues to increase in the many years to come, imagine the effects this would give. Low literacy rate, lesser chances of critical thinking ability improvement⁠—you name it. Thus, encouraging more people to read is encouraged. Besides reading, to explore and research via analysis is recommended. But before starting to create your literary analysis, familiarize what the common factors to recognize in analyzing consist of. Here are the elements of literary analysis:

Introduction: Just like most analysis reports and essays, begin with an introductory statement. An essay, for example, contains a series of paragraphs. And the first paragraph introduces what the content is about. In your analysis, start mentioning the literary work title, its author, and even the publication information. Do that in the proper sentence form since this process is not about listing only. More so, provide the expected details about the genre, setting, and more.Summary: After the introduction comes to the body of paragraphs. The summary is evident in this part. Summaries are your short overview of what happened from what you were reading. Be sure to use clues to make an effective summary. Clues include character names, relationships, locations, time settings, and plot movements. By writing a summary, plagiarism is a no-no. Hence, do not simply copy statements word by word. Rephrase the statements instead and be sure it still means the same thing. Otherwise, providing different meanings proves that you did not fully understand what occurred.Textual Analysis: The meat of your report starts when you finally talk about the themes or textual analysis. Expound about the symbolism, themes, and analogies present in what was read here. Authors direct their purpose in different ways, and how you perceive them is the challenge. Although opinions are welcome, provide educated guesses rather than mere opinions. In some texts requiring subjective interpretation, a person’s creativity and individuality show in this part.Reflection: Indeed, creating reactions in the analysis should not be biased. But it does not mean that you no longer contribute something to your report. Jot down your reaction whether you support the details or you disagree. Anyone can make mistakes, so maybe you can easily determine the flaws committed by the author. On another note, write about how the output could have been better. At least this part gives room to your original ideas instead of supporting everything you read.Conclusion: The conclusion ends your analysis report in the right approach. If the introduction focuses on painting a picture of what the literature is about, then the conclusion should end on a strong note. To do that, state what your whole analysis has concluded. The entire process is like a research plan wherein everything starts with a problem and ends with the conclusion. Also, answer this important question in your document. Would you recommend the short story, poem, or whatever you read to others or not?

How to Process a Literary Analysis Effectively

Statista informed us that the majority of Americans, about 98%, prefer reading for pleasure rather than reading about current events and news. On another note, people do not actually read less. It is just that 43% of American adults read less literature. Little did some people know that more negative effects commence without improving these statistics. Literature brings out various opportunities to learn in the first place. And conducting an analysis is just one example. Back to that analysis, prove to others how helpful it is. By promoting literature and thinking critically in analysis, it is a win-win situation. Just follow these steps in processing the literary analysis effectively:

Step 1: Read the Literary Work Two Times

You cannot come up with a literary analysis without reading any literary work. Thus, read any form of literature. And to make sure you understand things thoroughly, read it twice. On the first reading, use that moment to understand. Next, delve further into what that literature means during the second read. The second part is your opportunity to recognize what literary devices were used. Such devices are textual elements that authors use to portray meanings and special effects. Most importantly, answer the essential questions about the content as you gather bits of information in reading twice and many times.

Step 2: List the Questions to Analyze

Are you confused about what to ask from that literature? Prepare a research questionnaire and apply these tips. First, check the language choices. Writers have their style. For example, does that writer use simple, complex, or poetic sentences often? Maybe a lot of metaphors were used as well, so don’t take things too literally. Another factor to write in your list is the narrative voice. Who tells the story? And how did that narrator tell it? Also, what structure was used in writing? For example, a novel is divided into chapters, while poems have stanzas or lines. Expect more topics to ask from the plot, characters, and more as long as you cannot forget anything in your questionnaire.

Step 3: Summarize in Your Own Words

Analysis reports are not complete without the summary. This part puts your writing skills to the test, too, about how you can write the story on your own. Of course, leave out the unnecessary parts from a literary work and gather the main points—introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion. Clarify how the sequence goes because that might have you mistaken. Next, read your summary if it gives the right amount of detail for people to understand the story or not. If not, then come up with the necessary changes.

Step 4: Be Objective

Leave out statements starting with “I believe” or “I think” because objectivity matters to prevent becoming too opinionated. Therefore, think critically in this process. Adding bias to your By being objective, remember what your goal is also. Did a teacher require you to make this essay? Or is this document for your thesis statement? Thus, sticking to your goal proves that you did not forget the reason why you made this analysis in the first place.

Step 5: Stay Open for New Ideas Too

Are you open-minded? Because that trait is needed in writing literary analysis. Maybe you can use a graphic organizer or infographics to present your details aside from the typical paragraph form. In another context of open-mindedness, engage in extensive research, and you would realize that there is still a lot to learn from what you read. If more individuals analyzed that same literary work, then you may gather insights from them too. The problem with sticking to your thoughts is you are making a barrier. Learn from more sources, as long as these are credible sources, to improve what you write inside analysis reports.

Step 6: Review the Format and Content

Lastly, check if everything is going well. Reviewing the format and full content might help a lot to switch up some errors. For example, did you use the MLA format as required, or perhaps you must transform it into the APA format? And did you insert all the literary analysis elements discussed earlier? Moreover, check for grammatical errors. If you submit your report to professors, such errors can affect your score. Final evaluations enable you to perfect the entire analysis as well.


How long is the literary analysis?

The literary analysis needs not to be lengthy as long as you can deliver the expected message accordingly. But when you are looking for general applications, the intro is usually short. Next, keep paragraphs in essays to have around eight to 12 sentences only. While most people aim to keep it long to look informative, it might end up wordy, which can still ruin your chances of perfecting a decent analysis essay.

What are the common types of literary analysis?

The literary analysis comes in different types. Namely, these have archetypal, cultural, feminist, psychoanalytic, Marxist criticism, and many more. And these topics got divided according to their critical approaches and movements.

What are the main literary elements?

Literary works are composed of many elements. These are the character, plot, setting, frame, theme, motif, exposition, point of view, and denouement. And your analysis sheets must insert these devices too.

Imagine how one sentence can provide a series of reactions and different interpretations. That scenario is certainly possible in reading literature. And if a group of people read one particular book, for example, there can be a lot of information to take in from every individual. This reason brings us back to why literary analysis is essential. How else will others realize if you understood the author’s message? How can people know about your interpretation of certain parts? Answering these burning questions begins by filling out printable and editable literary analysis templates.