Literary Analysis Outline
A. Hook/Attention Getter: 1-2 sentences that generally introduce your topic and grab
the reader’s attention. Could be a quote, statistic, joke, brief story, etc.
B. Background/Context: Move from the general hook to introducing the specific topic
of your paper. This is where you introduce the author, title of the work, and the specific
angle from which you are analyzing the work.
C. Thesis: 1-2 sentences that specifically state the main idea of your paper and the main
points that your paper is going to cover.
II. Body Paragraph
A. Topic Sentence: 1-2 sentences that introduce the ONE aspect of the story/poem/play
that this paragraph is going to focus on. Relate this aspect back to the main idea (angle)
of your essay. This is like a miniature thesis for the body paragraph.Last Name 2
B. Quote: Use a quote/paraphrase from your primary source (the story/play/poem you
are using) to support the topic sentence.
C. Analysis: Explain how the previous quote supports your thesis/topic sentence.
D. Quote: Here, you will want to prove a quote/example from your research and relate it
back to the quote from your primary source.
E. Analysis: Explain how the quote/example relates to the primary source and relate it
back to your topic sentence/thesis.
F. Transition: 1-2 sentences that explain how the previous paragraph relates to your
thesis and then transitions to the next paragraph.
III. Another Body Paragraph – (Repeat above)
IV. Another Body Paragraph – (Repeat as necessary)
A. Restate Thesis: Restate your main idea in new words.
B. Summation: Sum up your main points and relate them all together.
C. Exigency: Application to society – what do we learn about human nature, society,
culture, history, individuals, or ourselves from these texts?
** Do note that this is not a mandatory organizational scheme. This is simply one method that works.
However, you can tailor this structure for your essay and the points that you want to make. Every body
paragraph, though should have a Topic Sentence, Support (evidence from the text and the research), and a
transition. You can vary the order though.
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