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Teacher Tips and Answers

Writing a Literary Analysis

Now that you've found a focus and gathered lots of good details, you are ready to start writing your analysis. The lessons in this unit will help you write a strong beginning, middle, and ending. Don't worry about getting everything written perfectly in your first draft. Just get your ideas down as best you can.

Writing the Beginning Paragraph

Start your analysis with a lead that gets readers' attention and introduces them to the piece of literature you will analyze. After your lead sentence, you will develop a paragraph that ends with your thesis statement.

Write a lead sentence.

Write a possible lead for each of the following strategies, using the examples to inspire you. Then choose your favorite lead to use as the first sentence in your beginning paragraph. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

1. Name the work and author and summarize the main conflict.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor tells the story of a young girl who learns how to fight discrimination and injustice.


2. Quote something interesting a character said.

Cassie Logan will never forget something her dad once told her about the land they own and live on. “All that belongs to you. You ain’t never had to live on nobody’s place but your own and long as I live and the family survives, you’ll never have to. That’s important. You may not understand that now, but one day you will.”


3. Provide a historical fact about the work.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was one of the first young adult books to not shy away from life's harsh realities.


4. Ask an interesting question.

How can you stand up for yourself in an unjust society?


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