Writing Terms Glossary
This glossary defines different basic components of your literary analysis essay. After you have a firm understanding of the different parts, you will be able to thoroughly develop them to be successful in your essay. We have focused our definitions for literary analysis essays not general essays.
Thesis – A statement usally made at the end of an introduction that the writer will support throughout the analysis. The thesis is the idea that the writer focuses on and re-enforces in each paragraph and evidence. Depending on the prompt, the thesis should include the author’s name and a theme/thematic term.
Topic Sentence- The first sentence of a body paragraph that develops a single idea. The topic sentence clearly supports the thesis and is then broken down through reasoning, evidence, and explication throughout the paragraph. Strong topic sentences help keep the organization of an analysis clear and the writer on track.
Introduction- The first paragraph of an essay or literary analysis. Introductions are commonly started with a broad idea and then get narrowed down. They generally give background info to help the reader understand your argument. Oftentimes, the writer will provide a short summary of the literary work and a brief definition of the theme. The last sentence of an introduction is usually the thesis statement.
Body- The body paragraphs of your essay are the areas where you will support your thesis, and proving your point. The body paragraphs should illustrate close reading, and a firm understanding of the text. Evidence and interpretation belong in the body paragraphs.
· Evidence- the quotes that support the claim made in the thesis. Evidence is commonly illustrated through direct quotes. Evidence should not be too long but should be purposeful.
· Interpretation- the breakdown of evidence. Interpretation follows the evidence, but does not simply summarize it. This is where the writers the text and explain how the evidence operates to support the writers' interpretation. It reflects their own thoughts appropriately.
5.) Conclusion- where ideas from throughout the essay are unified. The conclusion is not simply a summary of the entire analysis, but the paragraph that will leave the reader in a state of enlightenment. The conclusion should reinforce the thesis in different words.