Literature Introduction Essay

One of the hardest types of essays to write, in my opinion, is a Literary Analysis essay. You really have to dig deeper and pull apart everything the author says in a well-structured, organized way. This post is part of a three-part series on how to write a literary analysis essay.

Always start with the introduction. Your reader is introduced to the topic and is intrigued enough to keep reading. I was taught that the introduction should be structured like a funnel. It goes from wide to narrow, and the information in your introduction is supposed to graduate from being broad to specific.

Sentence 1: TAG TED. Title, Author, Genre tells/explains/describes… (There’s really no need for a hook. Your job is one thing and one thing only: to analyze a story.)

Sentences 2-3: Provide a very broad overview of the topic. Tell the general plot and provide context.

Sentences 4-5: Provide a more specific background of the topic. Lead this into your thesis statement.

Sentence 6: State your thesis and include your three reasons.


With this, your introduction should be all set! You can finally get past that starting point and write the rest of your essay!



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The Introduction:

The introduction is not the section of the essay in which you merely introduce the topic, it also presents a fantastic opportunity to get the reader hooked on your take on the title! There is no formula for a successful essay, and the best ones will always be in your style, with your flair and your own excitement - however I'd like to share some tips from my experience on how to make the essay fun and powerful to read and to write.

  • Try to avoid writing "In this essay I will...". Where it might seem like an easy tool to say what you need to say in the introduction, even something simple like "After exploring X, I will then consider its impacts on Y" makes the paragraph run smoother.

  • Make the first line exciting and slightly controversial. The first line is your chance to grab the reader and take them with you. Often some of the best essays have controversial first lines, forcing the reader to think 'how can they possible say this!?', and then proceed to prove that very first line. Lines like "Weimar Classicism should not have even existed", "Atonement shows the flaws of the imagination rather than celebrating it", or even something a bit milder like "The Great Gatsby is not a book about characters, but tracks a descent into a chaotic void" will have the reader at least a bit further towards the edge of their seat.

  • Don't spoil the ending. The conclusion and the introduction are very different and serve very different purposes. Where you'll want to leave your most interesting point for the conclusion, the introduction makes sure the reader reads every word of what you're about to write and maps out the rough direction of your essay. Everything except your final hurrah in your conclusion (see 'How to write a powerful conclusion')

Finally, as I said at the beginnning, these are just my tips for essay writing, and in opposition to grammar it is very much better if you tackle them with your own set of ideas. However, if you are finding yourself bored while essay writing my final tip is to make it exciting - how you do that is up to you but your teacher will thank you, your grades will thankyou, and you'll be doing yourself a favour too!

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