Expert answer:Analysis Essay

  

Solved by verified expert:need help for the essay————During the next several lessons you will write a literary analysis essay about the novel Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton.Write a Literary Analysis EssayDuring the next several lessons you will be writing a literary analysis essay about the novel Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton. To write your essay, you will respond to this prompt:In Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton depicts a South Africa that is plagued by a host of problems, including poverty, racism, violence, ignorance, and fear. Select one of those problems and, in a 2–3 page essay, analyze how Paton demonstrates that problem’s negative impact on society in his novel. Cite textual evidence that supports your ideas, including details that show how the problem influences the thoughts, emotions, and actions of characters and how it shapes the events of the plot. Your process in developing the essay will consist of several steps: break down the topic, plan the essay, draft the essay, revise the essay, and proofread and publish the essay. Your essay should be approximately 500–750 words long.The final essay will be scored by your teacher using the Write a Literary Analysis Essay Grading Rubric. Look at the rubric yourself so that you know how your writing will be scored.You will begin your assignment today. Follow the steps of the writing process to complete the assignment. You will turn in your work as a Teacher-Graded Assignment.Choosing a TopicChoose a topic from the ones listed in the table in the Literary Analysis Essay Notebook document. To begin analyzing the topic, fill in the information in the table as instructed on the notebook.Check your work using the online review checklist.PlanningWrite a thesis statement for your literary analysis essay. Find evidence in Paton’s novel to support your thesis. Map out a plan for the parts of the essay (introduction, body, and conclusion).Review your work using the online checklist.DraftingWrite the first draft of your literary analysis essay. To prepare your draft, continue seeking evidence in the novel and continue refining and filling out your outline (your planning document). Follow the structure of the outline as you draft. When you’ve finished the draft, check your writing using the online checklist. You will also share it with one or more readers to get feedback for revision. RevisingRevise your first draft. Make any improvements that you think are needed to the draft’s structure, content, and language. Review the feedback you received, and decide which comments you agree with so that you can revise accordingly. After revising, use the online checklist to make sure you have done the best revision you can.Proofreading and PublishingProofread your draft and review your work using the online checklist. Correct any errors in grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling. Think of ways to share your literary analysis essay with readers.Submit Your AssignmentYour teacher will score your assignment using the Write a Literary Analysis Essay Grading Rubric. Look at the rubric yourself so that you know how your assignment will be scored.Check with your teacher regarding the date you need to turn in the assignment. Follow the instructions in the Graded Assignment to complete your essay and submit it to your teacher for grading.
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English | Model Literary Essay | Longfellow’s Forecast: Rain Today, Sun Tomorrow
Model Literary Essay
Longfellow’s Forecast: Rain Today, Sun Tomorrow
What is life? For most people, life is neither a series of all good events nor a series
of all bad events. In “The Rainy Day,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow looks at these
two opposing sides of life, the positive and the negative, and concludes that both are
necessary. The poem’s theme is that since all human lives contain both sadness and
joy, true contentment comes from understanding and accepting this fact.
From the very first lines of the poem, the speaker’s gloom is plain to see. “The day is
cold, and dark, and dreary; / It rains, and the wind is never weary,” the speaker says.
The imagery of cold, darkness, and rain creates a mood of extreme unhappiness.
Although the wind is “never weary,” the speaker, in contrast, sounds weary—weary of
life. Everything he looks at reminds him of his despair. He is looking at a “moldering
wall” to which a vine clings. The word moldering suggests decay and death. The
leaves that fall “at every gust” in line 4 also evoke the idea of life’s ending. At the
end of the first stanza, the speaker repeats the observation that “the day is dark and
dreary.” Longfellow’s use of repetition emphasizes the darkness and dreariness still
further. It is as if the speaker can’t get the darkness and dreariness out of his mind.
Even more repetition appears in the second stanza, and this repetition again
emphasizes the sadness and gloom that the speaker feels. In fact, the first, second,
and fifth lines of the first stanza are repeated almost exactly in the second stanza.
This stanza describes more rain, more darkness, more “never weary” wind. However,
the second stanza also gives the reader some new information. For the first time, the
reader is given a glimpse of why the speaker is sad, although it is a vague glimpse. He
is sad because he is no longer young, and rather than living in the present or looking
forward to the future, he keeps dwelling uselessly on bygone times. He admits this
problem in line 8, in which his “thoughts still cling to the moldering Past.” This clinging
matches line 3 in the previous stanza, where the vine clings to the “moldering wall.”
Similarly, in line 9, the speaker’s youthful hopes “fall thick in the blast.” This matches
line 4 in the previous stanza, where the leaves fall in the wind. So the vine is like the
speaker’s thoughts, and the falling leaves are like his hopes. The image of the vinecovered wall symbolizes the speaker’s life. His youth is passing, his hopes are fading,
and he cannot keep from thinking about the past.
Begin annotation.
The essay opens
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Throughout the
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End annotation.
At this point in the poem, the reader might think that the speaker is hopelessly
depressed. However, at that very moment, at the beginning of the third stanza,
Longfellow switches moods suddenly. For an unexplained reason, the speaker finds
the inner strength to face life. He tells his negative thoughts to “Be still.” Even though
the weather in the poem does not actually change, the speaker reminds himself that
“Behind the clouds the sun is still shining.” Then, in the poem’s final three lines, the
poem expresses the idea that happiness and unhappiness come and go in human life
like the weather. “Into each life some rain must fall,” line 14 says. The rain symbolizes
sadness. Just as rain falls on everyone, unhappiness comes to everyone at times.
The speaker realizes that happiness and unhappiness are both part of what makes
everyone human. “Some days must be dark and dreary,” he concludes in the poem’s
last line. That little word “some” marks an important change from the previous stanza,
© 2017 K12 Inc. All rights reserved.
Copying or distributing without K12’s written consent is prohibited.
Page 1 of 2
English | Model Literary Essay | Longfellow’s Forecast: Rain Today, Sun Tomorrow
which said, “And the days are dark and dreary.” Some days are dark and dreary, not
all. And if only some days are dark and dreary, some must be sunny and clear. Now
that he understands this simple, universal fact, the speaker is cheerful again even
though it is still a rainy day.
In the end , Longfellow’s poem is one of hope, despite two stanzas that are filled with
imagery of darkness, dreariness, and gloom. The poem starts out as a description of
deep sadness, but it turns out to be a poem about how sadness and joy alternate in
human life. It is “the common fate of all,” as line 13 says, to experience both good
and bad. When you are sad, remember that everyone is sometimes sad; be patient
and wait for the clouds to part and the sun to shine. That is Longfellow’s hopeful
message to his readers.
© 2017 K12 Inc. All rights reserved.
Copying or distributing without K12’s written consent is prohibited.
Begin annotation.
The
conclusion
reinforces the main
ideas of the essay.
End annotation.
Page 2 of 2
A Guide to Writing a Literary Analysis
A literary essay isn’t a book review: you’re not being asked whether you
liked a book or whether you’d recommend it to another reader. A literary
essay also isn’t like the kind of book report you wrote when you were
younger, where your teacher wanted you to summarize the book’s action. A
high school-level literary essay asks, “How does this piece of
literature actually work?” “How does it do what it does?” and, “Why
might the author have made the choices he or she did?”
No one is born knowing how to analyze literature; it’s a skill you learn and a
process you can master. As you gain more practice with this kind of thinking
and writing, you’ll be able to craft a method that works best for you. Until
then, there are seven basic steps to writing a well-constructed literary essay.
We will work through each of the steps, one by one, to build a strong literary
analysis essay.
The 7 Steps
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Ask questions
Collect evidence
Construct a thesis
Develop and organize arguments
Write the introduction
Write the body paragraphs
Write the conclusion
Step 1. Ask Questions
At this point, you don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to say about
your topic; you just need a place to begin your exploration. Look at the
prompt that you’ve been given. You can help direct your reading and
brainstorming by formulating your topic as a question, which you’ll then try
to answer in your essay. The best questions invite critical debates and
discussions, not just a rehashing of the summary. Remember, you’re looking
for something you can prove or argue based on evidence you find in the
text.
-What struck you? Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind
for a long time? If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write
a fascinating essay.
-What confused you? Maybe you were surprised to see a character act in a
certain way, or maybe you didn’t understand why the book ended the way it
did. Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a
sweater: If you pull on it, you can unravel the entire thing.
-Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene
the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about
the work as a whole.
-Did you notice any patterns? Is there a phrase that the main character uses
constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book? If you can figure
out how that pattern weaves through the work and its significance, you’ve
almost got your entire essay mapped out.
-Did you notice any contradictions or ironies? Great works of literature are
complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities.
Maybe the title (Happy Days) totally disagrees with the book’s subject
matter (hungry orphans dying in the woods). Maybe the main character
acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his
friends and associates. If you can find a way to explain a work’s
contradictory elements, you’ve got the seeds of a great essay.
Good Questions
“Are Romeo and Juliet’s parents responsible for the deaths of their children?”
“Why do pigs keep showing up in Lord of the Flies?”
“Are Dr. Frankenstein and his monster alike? How?”
Bad Questions
“What happens to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird?”
“What do the other characters in Julius Caesar think about Caesar?”
“How does Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter remind me of my sister?”
A Guide to Writing a Literary Analysis
Step 2. Collect Evidence
Once you know what question you want to answer, it’s time to scour the
book for things that will help you answer it. Don’t worry if you don’t know
what you want to say yet—right now you’re just collecting ideas and material
and letting it all percolate. Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or
scenes that deal with your topic. Eventually, you’ll start making connections
between these examples and your thesis will emerge.
Here’s a brief summary of the various parts that compose each and every
work of literature. These are the elements that you will analyze in your
essay and that you will offer as evidence to support your arguments.
Elements of Story
These are the “whats” of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to
whom it happens.
Plot: All of the events and actions of the work.
Character: The people who act and are acted upon in a literary work. The
main character of a work is known as the protagonist.
Conflict: The central tension in the work. In most cases, the protagonist
wants something, while opposing forces (antagonists) hinder the
protagonist’s progress.
Setting: When and where the work takes place. Elements of setting include
location, time period, time of day, weather, social atmosphere, and
economic conditions.
Narrator: The person telling the story. The narrator may straightforwardly
report what happens, convey the subjective opinions and perceptions of one
or more characters, or provide commentary and opinion in his or her own
voice.
Themes: The main idea or message of the work—usually an abstract idea
about people, society, or life in general. A work may have many themes,
which may be in tension with one another.
Elements of Style
These are the “hows”—how the characters speak, how the story is
constructed, and how language is used throughout the work.
Structure and organization: How the parts of the work are assembled. Some
novels are narrated in a linear, chronological fashion, while others skip
around in time. Some plays follow a traditional three- or five-act structure,
while others are a series of loosely connected scenes. Some authors
deliberately leave gaps in their works, leaving readers to puzzle out the
missing information. A work’s structure and organization can tell you a
lot about the kind of message it wants to convey.
Point of view: The perspective from which a story is told.
In first-person point of view, the narrator involves him or herself in the
story. (“I went to the store”; “We watched in horror as the bird slammed
into the window.”) A first-person narrator is usually the protagonist of the
work, but not always.
In third-person point of view, the narrator does not participate in the
story. A third-person narrator may closely follow a specific character,
recounting that individual character’s thoughts or experiences, or it may be
what we call an omniscient narrator. Omniscient narrators see and know all:
They can witness any event in any time or place and are privy to the inner
thoughts and feelings of all characters. Remember that the narrator and the
author are not the same thing!
Diction: Word choice. Whether a character uses dry, clinical language or
flowery prose with lots of exclamation points can tell you a lot about his or
her attitude and personality.
Syntax: Word order and sentence construction. Syntax is a crucial part of
establishing an author’s narrative voice. Ernest Hemingway, for example, is
known for writing in very short, straightforward sentences, while James
Joyce characteristically wrote in long, incredibly complicated lines.
Tone: The mood or feeling of the text. Diction and syntax often contribute to
the tone of a work. A novel written in short, clipped sentences that use
small, simple words might feel brusque, cold, or matter-of-fact.
Imagery: Language that appeals to the senses, representing things that can
be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched.
Figurative language: Language that is not meant to be interpreted literally.
The most common types of figurative language are metaphors and similes,
which compare two unlike things in order to suggest a similarity between
them—for example, “All the world’s a stage,” or “The moon is like a ball of
green cheese.” (Metaphors say one thing is another thing; similes claim that
one thing is like another thing.)
A Guide to Writing a Literary Analysis
Step 3. Construct a Thesis
When you’ve examined all the evidence you’ve collected and know how you
want to answer the question, it’s time to write your thesis statement. A
thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by
evidence and arguments. The thesis statement is the heart of the
literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to
prove this claim.
It might be helpful to structure your thesis in this way:
Topic + Focus +Forecast = Thesis
Topic – the subject you are writing about
Focus – what you will say about the topic
Forecast – the 3 main points you will use to prove/support your focus
A good thesis will be:
Arguable. “The Great Gatsby describes New York society in the 1920s” isn’t a
thesis— it’s a fact. Therefore, this would not be a good thesis.
Provable through textual evidence. “Hamlet is a confusing but ultimately
very well-written play” is a weak thesis because it offers the writer’s
personal opinion about the book. Yes, it’s arguable, but it’s not a claim that
can be proved or supported with examples taken from the play itself.
Surprising. “Both George and Lenny change a great deal in Of Mice and Men”
is a weak thesis because it’s obvious. A strong thesis will argue for a reading
of the text that is not immediately apparent.
Specific. “Dr. Frankenstein’s monster tells us a lot about the human
condition” is almost a really great thesis statement, but it’s still too vague.
What does the writer mean by “a lot”? How does the monster tell us so
much about the human condition?
Good Thesis Statements
Question: How do pigs function as a symbol in The Lord of the Flies?
Thesis: “A pig is an animal that is wild yet smart. The pig appears in The
Lord of the Flies as a symbol of the boys themselves. They revert to being
wild animals, but don’t lose their human intelligence along the way.”
Question: Would Piggy in The Lord of the Flies make a good island leader if
he were given the chance?
Thesis: “Though the intelligent, rational, and innovative Piggy has the
mental characteristics of a good leader, he ultimately lacks the social skills
necessary to be an effective one. Golding emphasizes this point by giving
Piggy a foil in the charismatic Jack, whose magnetic personality allows him
to capture and wield power effectively, if not always wisely.”
A Guide to Writing a Literary Analysis
Step 7. Write the Conclusion
Just as you used the introduction to introduce your readers to the topic
before providing your thesis, you’ll use the conclusion to quickly summarize
the specifics you covered and then hint at the bigger ideas of your topic.
A good conclusion will:
-Do more than simply restate the thesis. You need to re-word your thesis
and present it in a new way.
-Bring your arguments together. Don’t repeat the details of your body
paragraphs in your conclusion. The reader has already read your essay, and
chances are it’s not so long that they’ve forgotten all your points by now.
-Revisit the “So what?” question. In your introduction, you made a case for
why your topic and position are important. You should close your essay with
the same sort of comment. What do your readers know now that they didn’t
know before? How will that knowledge help them better appreciate or
understand the work overall?
-Move from the specific to the general. Your essay has addressed a very
specific element of the work—a single character, a small set of images, or a
particular passage. In your conclusion, try to show how this affects the work
overall. If your essay on To Kill a Mockingbird focused on the character of
Boo Radley, for example, you might want to include a bit in your conclusion
about how he fits into the novel’s larger message about childhood,
innocence, or family life.
-Stay relevant. Your conclusion can offer some interesting food for thought,
but it shouldn’t include all the extra ideas you came up with during your
brainstorming sessions but couldn’t fit into the essay. Don’t attempt to stuff
in unrelated or new information.
A Guide to Writing a Literary Analysis
Step 4. Develop and Organize Arguments
The reasons and examples that support your thesis will form the middle
paragraphs of your essay. Since you can’t really write your thesis statement
until you know how you’ll structure your argument, you’ll probably end up
working on steps 3 and 4 at the same time.
There’s no single method of argumentation that will work in every context.
One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two characters,
while another asks you to trace an image through a given work of literature.
These questions require different kinds of answers and therefore different
kinds of arguments.
For our unit on Cry, the Beloved Country, you will be asked to identify a
problem in the novel and analyze how that problem affects the characters,
the plot, and society. You will need to use your thesis to help you gather
evidence to develop your argument.
Re-examine the literature to find textual support for each aspect of your
argument (how does that problem affect the characters? The plot?
Society?). Can you discover a theme or similarity among these effects?

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