What is literary analysis?

Literary Analysis

Literary interpretation is fundamentally interested in the question of what a text means. What is this text about? What ideas does this text communicate? 

To answer the fundamental questions, we pursue a diagnostic analysis of the text, assessing the structure of a work and its component parts. Then we step back and analyze the text from a conceptual standpoint. 

If you are a student looking for a solid and straightforward explanation of what you are being asked to do in English class, learn more here: “What is literary analysis, exactly?

If you’re an instructor looking for helpful resources to make sure your students are informed about the practices and conventions of literary analysis, take a look at some of the open resources at Philo Culturo:

Analyzing Literature

What Is Literary Analysis, Exactly?

Analysis vs. Summary

20 Questions for Analyzing Fiction

Common Themes in Literature

Literary Analysis Terms Selected Glossary

Applying Literary Terms

Conventions for Writing Literary Analysis Essays

Composing Literary Analysis – A Sample of the Process

Analysis in Action

More from Philo Culturo

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Analyzing Literature

Analyzing Pop Culture

Essay Writing Tips

How to Create Citations in MLA

Critical Concepts & Critical Theory

Instructor Resources

Published by eric m martin

A writer, teacher and coffee shop owner living in the southern reaches of the Mojave Desert.

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