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Thread: Need help with structure on Lit. Analysis Paper

  1. #1

    My ds is working on his first literary analysis paper for the Rhetoric level. We are using Writing Aids to guide us through the hows and whats for this paper. We also did some reading online to see some examples and get a better idea of how it might look.

    My question is about the structure of the paper and the difference between personal style and good formatting for a paper like this. Most of the suggestions I found online strongly recommend putting the thesis statement as the last sentence in the introductory paragraph. The beginning of this paragraph provide details about the author, title and interesting quotes and comments to catch the readers attention. My problem is that I don't understand where you identify the main points to support the thesis. Is it acceptable to simply identify each supporting point in the topic sentence for the paragraph(s) that address that point?

    I hope this makes sense! Thus far, we have generally followed a traditional 5 paragraph essay format with the thesis stated at the beginning of the introductory paragraph and then state the supporting points for the paper in the same paragraph. If the thesis comes at the end of the intro. paragraph, this doesn't work. I remember reading somewhere in my TOG notes that closing with a thesis statement is more difficult and something to work toward. He would like to do it this way, we are just stuck on where to identify the main points to support the thesis. I did not see anything in WA that addresses these questions, but I may be looking in the wrong place. Is there a best way or does it depend on the professor's preference?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Hi Eia! I think it's always appropriate to state the supporting points along with the thesis at the conclusion of the introductory paragraph. That's how I always did all my papers, both in TOG and later at Patrick Henry College, and I never met a teacher or a professor who thought it was "bad style." :-) I'd say go for it! In fact, I think I should revise the section on the literary analysis paper in Writing Aids to say that (when I get around to it)!

    Hope this helps! Please let me know if I didn't answer your question or if you have another question...


  3. #3
    Thanks for your reply! I am not very confidant in my ability to coach and grade these papers. I couldn't find any samples of the Literary Analysis Papers in WA either. The grading rubric is very beneficial, but it would also be helpful to see an example. If you can direct me to one or post a sample, I know it would help us to make sure we're on the right track.

    Thanks so much!

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