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How to Write a Conclusion for a Literary Analysis Essay

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❶JM James Much Mar 19,

How to write an essay




A conclusion in a literature paper should begin with a reiteration of your thesis statement, which is your main argument. Inform the reader how you managed to demonstrate your view.

If, for example, you are writing about Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird," your thesis may have been that the main character, Scout, has experiences throughout the novel that give her a more mature point of view by book's end. Summarize for the reader how you examined textual evidence to come to that conclusion, which is realized in your thesis statement and then restated in different language in the conclusion.

Each body paragraph in your essay should have broken down your thesis into subsections that you applied to the narrative, poem or play that you are writing about. The conclusion is where you synthesize the support you developed in the essay and form it into a cohesive statement that demonstrates how well you defended your argument.

If Scout in "To Kill A Mockingbird" matured greatly throughout the novel, the conclusion reminds the reader of the way you analyzed the book's events, other critiques and theories throughout each paragraph of your essay. Conclusions should not give a definitive answer to the question your thesis asks. Literary analysis does not stop at one particular point in time, and essays like yours keep a work of literature moving forward. A good conclusion will ask what needs to be done to solve the problem you have identified.

If "To Kill A Mockingbird" centers on blatant racial problems with the criminal justice system, you could discuss aspects of that small town controversy that still exist today. Do not introduce completely new ideas, but draw from your thesis statement and connect it to a sense of duty that you have hopefully instilled in your readers.

The tone of the conclusion should be positive and achieve a feeling of completion. You can use other literary techniques, like simile or metaphor, and you can refer to on-point contemporary issues or ideas. However, sometimes you will have to come up with your own topic. If you're writing an analytical essay about a work of fiction, you could focus your argument on what motivates a specific character or group of characters.

Or, you could argue why a certain line or paragraph is central to the work as a whole. Explore the concept of vengeance in the epic poem Beowulf. If you're writing about a historical event, try focusing on the forces that contributed to what happened. If you're writing about scientific research or findings, follow the scientific method to analyze your results. You may not immediately know what your thesis statement should be, even once you've chosen your topic.

Doing some brainstorming can help you discover what you think about your topic. Consider it from as many angles as you can. Things that repeat are often important. See if you can decipher why these things are so crucial. Do they repeat in the same way each time, or differently?

How does the text work? If you're writing a rhetorical analysis, for example, you might analyze how the author uses logical appeals to support her argument and decide whether you think the argument is effective. If you're analyzing a creative work, consider things like imagery, visuals in a film, etc. If you're analyzing research, you may want to consider the methods and results and analyze whether the experiment is a good design. A mind map can be helpful to some people.

Start with your central topic, and arrange smaller ideas around it in bubbles. Connect the bubbles to identify patterns and how things are related. In fact, that can be a good way to start off!

Don't discount any ideas just yet. Write down any element or fact that you think of as you examine your topic. Come up with a thesis statement.

The thesis statement is a sentence or two that summarizes the claim you will make in your paper. It tells the reader what your essay will be about. Depending on your assignment, you may need to work only with your primary sources the text or texts you're analyzing or with primary and secondary sources, such as other books or journal articles.

The assignment should tell you what types of sources are required. Good evidence supports your claim and makes your argument more convincing. List out the supporting evidence, noting where you found it, and how it supports your claim. An outline will help structure your essay and make writing it easier.

Be sure that you understand how long your essay needs to be. While some teachers are fine with the standard "5 paragraph essay" introduction, 3 body paragraphs, conclusion , many teachers prefer essays to be longer and explore topics more in-depth. Structure your outline accordingly. If you're not quite sure how all your evidence fits together, don't worry!

Making an outline can help you figure out how your argument should progress. You can also make a more informal outline that groups your ideas together in large groups. From there, you can decide what to talk about where.

Your essay will be as long as it needs to be to adequately discuss your topic. A common mistake students make is to choose a large topic and then allow only 3 body paragraphs to discuss it.

This makes essays feel shallow or rushed. Don't be afraid to spend enough time discussing each detail! Your introduction should give your reader background information about your topic. Try to make your introduction engaging but not too overzealous.

Also avoid dramatic introductions beginning an essay with a question or exclamation is generally best to avoid. In general, do not use the first I or second you person in your essay. State your thesis, generally as the last sentence in the first paragraph. Revenge was a legally recognized right in ancient Anglo-Saxon culture.

The many revenges in the epic poem Beowulf show that retribution was an essential part of the Anglo-Saxon age. However, not all revenges are created alike. The poet's portrayal of these revenges suggests that the dragon was more honorable in his act of revenge than Grendel's mother. This introduction gives your readers information they should know to understand your argument, and then presents an argument about the complexity of a general topic revenge in the poem.

This type of argument can be interesting because it suggests that the reader needs to think about the text very carefully and not take it at face value. Write your body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should have 1 a topic sentence, 2 an analysis of some part of the text and 3 evidence from the text that supports your analysis and your thesis statement. A topic sentence tells the reader what the body paragraph will be about.

The analysis of the text is where you make your argument. The evidence you provide supports your argument. Remember that each claim you make should support your thesis. The key to differentiating between the two attacks is the notion of excessive retribution. She does this to lure Beowulf away from Heorot so she can kill him as well. The formula "CEE" may help you remember: Whenever you present a claim, make sure you present evidence to support that claim and explain how the evidence relates to your claim.

Know when to quote or paraphrase. Quoting means that you take the exact text and, placing it in quotation marks, insert it into your essay. Quoting is good when you use the precise wording of something to support your claim. Paraphrasing, on the other hand, is when you summarize the text. Paraphrasing can be used to give background or compress a lot of details into a short space. It can be good if you have a lot of information or would need to quote a huge portion of text to convey something.

Your conclusion is where you remind your reader of how you supported your argument. Some teachers also want you to make a broader connection in your conclusion.

This could mean stating how your argument affects other claims about the text, or how your claim could change the view of someone reading the text you analyzed. Proofread your essay for spelling or grammar mistakes.

A paper that contains many mistakes generally gets a lower grade than one that has been proofread and polished. Run a spell check, look for run-on sentences, and check for punctuation errors. Make sure to also format your essay correctly. For example, using a pt standard font like Arial or Times New Roman and 1" margins is standard. Read your paper out loud. Reading out loud helps you to find places in the essay that might sound awkward. This is also a great way to find run-on sentences that you might not have noticed before.

Make sure that all characters, titles, places, etc. Teachers will often mark you down if the name of a main character is spelled incorrectly throughout your paper.


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Unlike other essays where you work around a theory or thesis to prepare the essay, in an essay of analytical nature, you work around the topic to bring out a theory. If other essays start with a theory, an analytical essay ends in a theory.

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How to Write an Analytical Essay Conclusion When you're writing an analytical essay your aim is to back up the conclusion that comes at the end. The main body of the essay should lead logically to that conclusion, and it should be properly supported by your arguments and analysis.

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Analytical Essay Conclusion Examples Topic #1: Analyze the theme of compassion for one character in the Hunger Games series. The obvious choices for compassion in the Hunger Games may be Katniss or Peeta, but the character who personifies compassion best was Prim. Conclusion of Your Analytical Essay Outline After you’ve built up all of your body paragraphs, given the appropriate evidence to back your claims, and tied that evidence to your awesome topic sentences, you’re ready to wrap it all up.

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An analytical essay is not explained in many writing textbooks. In essay writing, an analysis is the fundamental element of synthesis essays, summary essays, reflective essays, and . Aug 06,  · To write an analytical essay, first write an introduction that gives your reader background information and introduces your thesis. Then, write body paragraphs in support of your thesis that include a topic sentence, an analysis of some part of the text, 80%(76).