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When you read a work of literature in an English class, however, you’re being asked to read in a special way: you’re being asked to perform literary analysis.To analyze something means to break it down into smaller parts and then examine how those parts work, both individually and together.” No one is born knowing how to analyze literature; it’s a skill you learn and a process you can master.
” “Why do pigs keep showing up in Lord of the Flies ? ” “How does Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter remind me of my sister?
” Once you know what question you want to answer, it’s time to scour the book for things that will help you answer the question.
Remember, you’re looking for something you can prove or argue based on evidence you find in the text.
Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: is this a topic you can adequately address within the word or page limit you’ve been given?
Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to say yet—right now you’re just collecting ideas and material and letting it all percolate.
Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic.
Maybe you’re looking for inspiration, guidance, or a reflection of your own life.
There are as many different, valid ways of reading a book as there are books in the world.
When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment.
You might find yourself reading to get caught up in an exciting story, to learn about an interesting time or place, or just to pass time.