Quick Write

A theme is the main idea or underlying meaning of a text which may be stated directly or indirectly.

An issue is an important topic or problem for debate or discussion. 

Write down two important themes, issues, or events from the chapters for today to discuss with the class. 

Introduction to Literary Analysis

Literary Analysis Prompt


Write an essay about a theme or issue explored in the novel. For this essay, apply your analytical skills to develop a detailed and rigorous argument. Pick something that you find interesting or intriguing from the novel and develop it into a thesis driven essay. The significance or meaning of the topic, in other words what the passage is saying is the central part of this paper. Focus on details, patterns, anomalies, and binaries you notice as evidence to support your thesis’ claims about the ideas that the text is communicating. Identifying the ideas will be the challenging part, because it requires you to move beyond the details to the significance (or the so what question).

You will have to include outside research, one to two articles, public or scholarly to help develop and support your thesis. You need to paraphrase and quote passages from the text to support your claims. 

Themes or Issues


What themes or issues have we talked about in the novel? Are there any we have not mentioned yet in class?

Focused Reading and Analysis

Now that you are deciding on a theme or issue to write about from the novel, your reading should be more focused. Every time something related to your topic comes up in the book you should be annotating it. Write down notes about your topic. Write the next reading journal or journals with your topic in mind. Use the rest of the novel and writings to help you begin analyzing the text in relation to your essay. Go back and annotate, underline, and highlight all the references to your theme so that you will have more moments to help you think through the topic. 

Literary Analysis Proposal

You can analyze a character, theme, or any of the items we will discuss in class. Pick something that interests you.

An effective proposal has a narrow focus, clear thesis, includes primary claims, and context for why you think this is important to write about. Make sure you are annotating your book as you read so that you can easily find quotes and sections to include in your analysis paper.

Questions to consider before writing your proposal:

  1. What is your theme or issue?
  2. Why are you writing about this? Why does it interest you?
  3. Do you need to do any research to help with your analysis?
  4. What is your initial analysis for this paper?

Comment below with your proposal for the Literary Analysis paper.

Sample Essays

The Misfits

Loving a Broken Girl

The Hidden Complexities of Clemencia