How to form a thesis statement for an analytical essay

How to form a thesis statement for an analytical essay

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How to form a thesis statement for an analytical essay

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From a previous answer I’ve written:

Put yourself in the reader’s position. (It’s probably the teacher.) They have to read a lot of essays, they’ve probably read a lot of them in previous years, and they have also read a lot of bad ones. So they may be a bit ornery when they come into your essay.

Their main question when marking is: “what is this essay’s central claim?”

(I’m using central claim and thesis interchangeably here.)

Don’t make them dig for it. Sure, bring them into your essay (and out of the last one they’ve just read) nice and easy with a couple of sentences in the intro, then state the thesis or claim at the end of the intro. They’ll spend the rest of the essay (aside from checking your spelling, etc.) evaluating how well the rest of it illustrates and supports that claim.

It’s not a mystery story, where the answer is given at the end. Oh, no.

Don’t keep them in the dark too long. That just pisses them off. Give them the thesis/claim at the end of the intro.

How to form a thesis statement for an analytical essay

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First, I would review O. W.L. (Purdue’s Online Writing Lab) at the following link: Writing About Literature.

This is an excellent resource for all of your writing questions and this online Writing Lab has been around for years and is the most reputable and trustworthy in terms of being update to date on contemporary writing practices in Composition and Rhetoric.

OWL has a general discussion regarding Writing abt. Lit., but if you scroll down, or do a search for “literary analysis” you will see “preparing a literary analysis presentation” or something to this effect.

There are Power Point Slides you can download if you’d like and I would also carefully read thru these slides. I believe these slides are the quick facts review of what you need to know to not only formulate your thesis, but also to write the entire analysis.

Finally, formulating a thesis for a literary analysis depends on the “artifact” you are analyzing (i. e. a hard copy book, an online magazine, etc…they are all loosely considered ‘texts’) as well as the angle you choose to focus on within your analysis (see below).

I’ve copied and pasted from one of the Power Point slides from OWL below:

An analysis of a literary work may discuss:

§How the various components of an individual work relate to each other.

§How two separate literary works deal with similar concepts or forms.

§ How concepts and forms in literary works relate to larger aesthetic, political, social, economic, or religious contexts

And, here’s another bit of info. taken from conducting a Bing search and reviewing e. how:

Write the Thesis

  • Write one sentence that expresses the aspect of the literary analysis that you are discussing and your interpretation of it. Both of these items must be clear in the thesis. The reader should read this one statement and know exactly what the essay will discuss.
  • Clearly express a sort of hypothesis that you will explain in the essay. This is an example of a good, argumentative thesis: «The narrator’s description of the family’s old house, their dream house and the house on Mango Street conveys the family’s struggle with expectations and reality.»
  • Do not simply state a fact about the story. The following thesis is not a good one because it does not attempt to advance knowledge and it simply states a fact: «Emily killed Homer and kept his body for years. From reading William Faulkner’s «A Rose for Emily,» we know that this is a summation of the story’s ending.»
  • Use clear, concise and specific language. Don’t be too broad. If you want to write about symbolism in a work, you can’t possibly write about all of the symbols. To make the thesis more concise, pick just a few. Be very specific by listing the symbols you will discuss.
  • Do not announce the thesis in a literary analysis. For example, do not write: «This essay will discuss symbolism in ‘A Rose for Emily.’ «

Finally, remember that conducting an “analysis” means to break something up into its parts and/or components. So, think of a cardboard box that has a a number of layers of corrugated cardboard and the box is all taped up to be shipped.

It’s your job to not only open this box, but also to separated, tear, and shred the layers of the box to see what it is entirely comprised of.

Or, think of an “onion, “ which has many layers of skin, some of which are very thin.

In order to conduct your analysis, braining storming the draft, drafting, revising, you need to first choose an angle of vision to focus on:

For example (you might choose to focus on):

How the main theme of the novel, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, not only resonates with the social, political, and economic conditions during the The Depression Era of the 1930s, the time in which it was written, but it also speaks volumes to the contemporary time period or context in which we live today.

I hope this helps and good luck! Happy Writing!