LITERATURE Without examples, a point is merely an opinion and will not score highly
Analysing literature is an important skill to possess not only for examinations, but also for any independent reading.
In examinations, you must be able to show that you thoroughly understand the central ideas of poetry, prose or drama text, as well as the literary features writers use to communicate their message.
This article will provide guidelines for writing an effective critical analysis of any literary text. A strong introduction, in which you rephrase the question to stay on topic, is required.
You must be able to show understanding of the ideas and beliefs held at the time when the text was both written and set.
An example of this is in Steinbeck‘s Of Mice and Men, which was set during the Great Depression in America.
It is crucial to understand American culture then; for example, poverty, and how this influenced family life.
It is not enough to put forward your points with no evidence.
All arguments must be backed up with proof from the text, either a direct quotation or supporting reference.
Without examples, a point is merely an opinion and will not score highly.
In addition, explaining your ideas is vital to show a thorough comprehension of the text.
However, to achieve that top grade, suggesting alternative interpretations and expressing your personal views of the text is essential.
For example, the colour red is often used symbolically to connote either love or danger.
You will be able to analyse and explain the different layers of meaning of the text by doing this. Next, you must identify and explain the author‘s use of specific language features.
For instance, short sentences and repetition may be used to emphasise a point.
In addition, figurative language such as similes and metaphors are applied to create a clear image of what the text is communicating to the readers.
For example, in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck describes Lennie as a bear to emphasise his physical strength and lack of rational thought.
Other instances of language devices are irony and foreboding, which provide predictions as to how the story will end and what will happen to the characters.
Recognising these techniques and analysing them allow you to not only show a deeper understanding of the text, but also appreciation of the ways an author makes a text more enjoyable.
Finally, end the essay with a solid conclusion.
Summarise key points neatly in a few sentences and be sure to not introduce anything new in this paragraph.
The writers are of Year 11, The Alice Smith Secondary School
-AT A GLANCE
THE World Book — a collection of stories, poems and other written pieces of non-fiction — is a platform for budding writers to showcase their writing ability and share it with each other.
The World Book 2011, the fourth edition of the book, will be released in December.
Visit www.theworldbook.net/ for this year‘s
themes and further details.