As you read the work, ask yourself questions, such as:
Why did the author write this?
What is the theme or themes?
How is the style relevant to the content?
How are the characters developed?
What do the characters learn?
How are the characters connected to the themes?
What does the format and style suggest about the story?
The thesis is a road map for the paper—it tells the reader what to expect. A good thesis is specific, limited in scope, and offers a perspective or interpretation on a subject.
Focus on specific attribute(s) of the text(s).
Make a specific, arguable point (thesis) about these attributes.
Defend this point with reasons and evidence drawn from the text and secondary sources.
As you do research and your paper evolves, don't hesitate to revamp your original thesis statement.
Find evidence that supports your thesis. This evidence may include:
Opinions of other critics.
Discussion of the text's historical and social context.
Discussions in books or articles about your text.
Discussions in books and articles about theories related to your argument.
In addition to support for your thesis in sources you have located in your research, you will use support directly from the text, such as:
Summaries of scenes
Reminder: Do not summarize the plot. You are writing an analysis; not a review or summary.
For more information about paraphrasing:
The final step is to edit and polish the paper:
Check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Ask a friend to review it for you. Since you have read it so many times, you may overlook obvious mistakes.
Make sure you follow all formatting guidelines.
Some questions to consider as you review your paper:
Do you get the reader's attention in the introductory paragraph?
Do you vary the sentence structure?
Do your paragraphs transition well?
Do your quotes and research clearly support your thesis?
Does your conclusion tie up all the loose ends?