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How to write a literary criticism paper: general crafting rules

What does literary criticism mean?

Literary criticism often times known as Literature Analysis is a fundamental research tool aimed at examining, reviewing and analyzing literary works. Critiquing the works of great authors or even amateurs for that matter can be a challenging task because it involves a thorough understanding of the subject matter under consideration.

My way or the Highway!

There are only two ways to go about a critical analysis:

  • You can either agree with it
  • Or you can disagree with it.

There are times with you don’t fully agree or disagree with an idea. You support parts of it and fight the others. Either way you’ll need to support your argument with logical reasoning and factual support.

5 steps guide to greatness!

  • Read and Reread
  • First and foremost read the piece of literature you’re set to critique. A thorough reading with proper concentration is really important. You need to read in between the lines to make sure you don’t miss anything.

  • Form your interpretation
  • Reading and rereading isn’t enough. You need to be able to reproduce the whole argument in your own words to validate your interpretation. In order to critique something you need to be able to understand it. Only then you can form your own opinions and testify them.

  • Highlight the soft spots!
  • Your job as a reader is to make sure you identify any soft spots or the weaknesses in the paper. The soft spots can be the way the paper has been written, the facts being presented, validity of the references being used or the argument being raised by the author himself. Your job is to identify such weaknesses. Use colored pens, sticky notes and highlighters to make the task more interesting and fun. Also, such visual tactics will aid you in the longer run if you want to revisit your findings.

  • Make notes!
  • Making notes is important if you’ve actually find something you can work upon for your analysis. As mentioned before you can either agree with something or disagree. Make a table to list everything for and against the subject under study. Don’t be afraid to challenge the works of well established and well published authors. If you feel something is wrong with the paper, say so.

  • Debate and Prove!
  • Now use your imagination, your written and visual homework from the previous steps to prove why you’re for or against the research. You need to be able to convince the reader why you’re saying what you’re saying. Also suggest a corrective actions plan or improvements if you’re against the argument.

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