You have developed and fleshed-out several significant aspects of your text, but how do you fold all those great ideas into a plan for drafting your paper? One helpful step of planning is creating a calendar or timeline for completing your essay. After you have a working schedule you will need to make a plan for writing your essay in which you generate a working thesis. There isn’t an exact, logical order to the following steps, but they will aid you in framing your argument nonetheless.
* Select a theme to analyze. If you experience difficulty choosing a theme, refer to your journal’s thematic dictionary and write a few paragraphs for two of the best themes you have produced; then determine which will yield the best analytical results.
* Create a working thesis statement. Like any thesis statement, it should contain clear, concise, coherent, and focused language that presents your argument in miniature. A good thesis statement will consist of an arguable assertion. The thesis statement for a literary analysis essay is more specialized than a generic thesis. It includes the author’s name, the title of the work, the theme, and a method of development. Your first thesis may not be your best, but because your thesis is so important, we have developed a resource page that you can use to improve your thesis statement.
* Outline the primary points of the body of your essay making sure to insert key quotes and passages. You may choose to compose a formal outline with traditional Roman numerals or you can create an informal bulleted list of your main concepts and essential quotes.
* Review the prompt or assignment sheet before you complete the planning process and begin writing your paper. You may notice that you have failed to incorporate an important component or detail illustrated in the instructions. Double check deadlines and the requirements listed in the professor’s rubric.
"I love outlining! If I don't have an outline to base my first draft on, I feel completely lost. Having said that, I actually don't spend too much time outlining. I organize my thoughts in a journal outline, combining both Roman numerals and formal headings with bullets. Sometimes I include additional notes or ideas in the margin of my journal. My outline is my lifeline when it comes to writing literary analysis essays!" - Mary