Textual Analysis – Instructions
Please choose ONE of the literary works you have read in weeks 1-3 (or a future week if you’re reading ahead. If you are interested in using a certain literary work as part of your larger research paper assignment, later on, it would be a good idea to use this assignment as a way to dig deeper into that text.
For this assignment, begin by going back through the specific text you have chosen and perform an analysis of its literary elements.
In order to complete a textual analysis, you need to consider how individual elements of the text combine to create the whole. In order to do that, you will look at each individual element on its own. Essentially, you are mining the text for additional, specific details that you may have overlooked before.
In your analysis, please include sections on the following:
- Setting: What is the setting? Why is it important? Is there any information given about time and location? Is there anything implied? Why might this be significant?
- Character: Who are the major characters? What are their defining characteristics? Do any characters change significantly throughout the text? Does it seem like a certain character is meant to represent something?
- Plot: What is the basic outline of what happens in the text? What are the most important moments in the text? Include information about any exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
- Point-of-view: what is the POV? Why is it important? What style of narration is presented? How does this affect the text overall?
- Theme: What point or lesson is the author trying to highlight in this text? Are there multiple themes? Are these themes easily recognizable? How might viewers relate to these themes?
- Symbolism: Is there anything in the text that seems to stand for something else? Are there certain figures or objects of importance? Why might these items be made to stand out?
You might also include information about imagery, writing style, tone, and/or diction in addition to (or in place of) any of the elements listed above.
- This analysis should be at least 500 words in length and should be written in essay/paragraph form using the third person academic voice. Please address all significant elements of the text, based on the above list. An effective approach might be to devote a paragraph to each element.
- Your paper must be formatted according to MLA format (this includes having a header, double-spacing throughout the document, appropriate font, etc.)
- Include at least one quotation or paraphrase in each element section with appropriate usage and citation, according to MLA formatting standards.
- You must include a Works Cited page at the end of your paper.