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Teacher Tips and Answers

Prewriting for Literary Analyses

Did you ever sit down and stare at a blank screen and think, "I have no idea what to write about"? Prewriting helps you know what to write about. During prewriting, you gather ideas, think, plan, outline, scribble, and do whatever else you need to do so that you do know what to write about. These activities will help you fill that blank screen.

Prewriting to Select a Work

You may already know what story or novel you want to write about. If not, answering a set of questions can give you some options:

1. What literary work have you read most recently?

Animal Dreams

2. What literary work was the most challenging to read?

The Odyssey

3. What fiction work do you love that is not a novel or story?

Romeo and Juliet

4. What literary work is the most perplexing to you?

A Farewell to Arms

5. Who is your favorite author, and what is that person's best work?

Richard Adams, Watership Down

6. What literary work has the best characters?

The Count of Monte Cristo

Select a work to analyze.

Answer the following questions to think about possible works that you could analyze in an essay. Afterward, review your answers and pick the work you would most like to analyze. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

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