How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Literary Analysis Essay

Many people would read a literature work for fun or purely educational purposes. However, it isn’t so fun when you have to formulate a thesis statement for a literary analysis essay. Find out everything you need to know about how to write a thesis for literary analysis.

What is a literary analysis essay?

A literary analysis essay is an essay that analyzes a literature work. A literature work can come in different forms ranging from poems to poetry. It is often an argument for or against a segment of the literary work. It is important to note, however, that a literary analysis is not merely a literature review. This kind of essay focuses on specific parts of a book and not the whole book in general. The focus could be a theme, plot setting, or character featured in the work.

Features of a Literary Analysis Thesis

  • It Answers the Question of your Literary Analysis Essay

One of the most important features of a thesis statement for a literary essay is the need to answer the question of your literary analysis. A literary analysis essay generally aims to address thought-provoking questions. This could come as a plain question or an argument. Hence, what your thesis would do is to examine the manner through which your topic comes and address it. 

  • It is Concise

Your literary thesis statement should be concise and not too broad. Being broad goes beyond the number of sentences or words you use to relay your message. It concerns the area or field that you intend to analyze. Many things could be analyzed about literature no matter how short the work appears to be. Always remember that you must discuss every point mentioned in your thesis. It is for this reason that you should be careful while constructing your thesis statement. You don’t want to cover too many aspects that you do not give enough attention to the work. It is better to give quality work.

  • It Features Facts about Literature

The primary feature of an argument-based essay is the need to make constant references to facts. More often than not, your thesis would have to point towards facts to back up your claims and arguments. It is important therefore that you make proper research concerning what your argument would be about before you begin to construct your thesis. As the writer of the essay, it is assumed that you know everything there is about the literary work. You hence must criticize, justify, analyze, and break down actions, plots, or themes in the work. This is why there are experts in certain fields of literary analysis. If you’re analyzing themes and devices used in the work, you must be well informed in concepts like onomatopoeia, oxymoron, pun, metaphor, etc.

  • It is Argumentative

Your literary essay thesis should not aim to point out an already known fact about a book or literary piece. Everyone probably already knows that the book is interesting, fiction, nonfiction, or boring. What people would rather know is why certain acts behaved the way they did, and if they could have handled a situation better. They would like to argue if the theme of the poem is contrary to the poetic device employed. Your thesis should give room for debate and sharing of opinions.

  • Its Primary Purpose is with the Book

Sometimes, writers get tempted to include scenery that does not correlate with the literature they’re analyzing. For instance, bringing an author’s personal life history into an analysis. It is important to note that in literary analysis, your work should be all about the work and facts related to it, and your thesis statement should not be any different. If the character or plot setting is not originally included in the work you’re analyzing, there should be no reason for you to involve it.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Thesis

To write the best thesis statement for a literary analysis essay, you need to follow certain procedures. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a literary analysis thesis.

  1. Understand the Work you want to Analyze

To get the right thesis for your literary essay, you need to first understand the work that you wish to understand. This is important for many reasons; your thesis has to be in context with the work even if you include external facts to back up your claims. You must read and understand the context of the literature work before you think of drafting a thesis statement.

  1. Draft out the Title of your Literary Essay

After you have understood the work you want to analyze, you can go ahead and draft out your topic. Remember that your topic should not be too broad, rather it should be concise and precise. This will help your thesis statement to be organized and less bulky.

  1. Write out what you want to Analyze from your Title

Once you’ve sorted what you want your topic to be, you need to write out what you want to analyze. For instance, if your essay topic is on the character in a book, you might want to analyze his emotional vulnerability. If you like you can include his gullibility, weaknesses, and strengths.

  1. Tell your Readers why you want to Analyze that Area

Why would you want to analyze a character’s vulnerability? Perhaps it affects the storyline of the book negatively, and if his character had been otherwise, the book just might be better. This is one given assumption as to why you may consider critically examining a character. Your reason for picking out a literary piece for analysis may be entirely different, depending on what you’re analyzing. Always remember that your thesis statement should be backed up with facts and not personal emotions.


Everything you need to know about how to write a thesis for literary analysis has been addressed in this article. The outcome of your thesis statement is determined from the moment that you formulate the idea to write a literary analysis essay. In writing a literary analysis thesis statement, you must be able to observe, analyze, and state the importance of a literary work. To get the best result, apply the guidelines here to your writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *