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Literary Analysis Outline

What is a Literary Analysis Essay Outline?

It is basically a structure, a bare-bone outlook of upcoming work. It is an important preparatory tool that enables you to arrange your main thoughts into single sections to make out the order in which information has to be prepared. For instance, some academic essays are usually written in 5 paragraphs style; therefore it will have 15 to 20 of the significant points that will be addressed in your work. As a writer, you ought to utilize those points to create a coherent flow of ideas from one to the next and bolster your general argument.

There are several types of literary analysis. They include:

  • Theoretical – A theoretical paper is utilized to practice or learn a particular theory or to compare and contrast two different theories. In most cases, this kind of essay will request the writer to look at the text using various theories and then come up with a framework that incorporates the argument brought forward by the writer.
  • Applied – This analysis is less formal than other kinds of analysis.
  • Comparative – Just as the name suggests, it is a comparison of more than one element of a piece of literature.

Essay Structure

The structure of an essay will differ, depending on the kind of academic work or article assigned. For instance, a poetry analysis essay outline and a persuasive essay outline will contain two different section pathways and also general text content. However, most academic works can be classified within a simple essay structure that doesn’t consume a lot of time when creating. For some pieces of writing, the structure provides the primary concept for 1 to 2 sentences for each paragraph. Thus, if you were to come up with an introduction, their outline will look something similar to this:

Introduction of the Literary Analysis Paper Outline

  • Introduction statement on the essay, that is, background history, fun fact and hook statement.
  • Present the major arguments of your body paragraph briefly.
  • Introduce body paragraph 1
  • Introduce body paragraph 2
  • Introduce body paragraph 3
  • Introduce body paragraph X
  • Thesis statement/Research statement

How not to write the introduction

  • One thing to note is that you should not write a ‘flat title’ - that is a title that won’t attract the reader. Before you come up with an outline for literary analysis, it is important to come up with a good title that will grab your readers’ attention.

If a writer were to proceed with this template of the outline of a literary analysis into the body paragraph segment of the text, they would most probably have more sections within every body paragraph as content’s depth is far much greater. For instance, a 3 body paragraph essay outline would appear this way:

Body Paragraph(s)

  • The topic sentence - State the major point of the whole paragraph and what is going to be talked about (1 sentence).
  • The argument - The theory or inference presentation that has been created. It should be kept compatible and logical (1 to 2 sentences).
  • Evidence – After the argument presentation, you’ll have to prove its validity. Provide evidence from outside sources and show how this information can get rid of opposing bias (1 to 3 sentences).
  • Concluding statement – Elucidate the importance of the main argument within the borders of the essay (1 sentence).

How not to write the body paragraph(s)

  • As seen from the text, the body structure of the essay will contain more sections, and each section will mostly have more information, hence increasing the length of the text and number of sentences. When carrying out the actual task, DO NOT write out the whole sentence. Think of the overall point that you want to put across, and then write it in a few words. You’ll notice that it will be difficult to make present sentences flow well together in writing.

Furthermore, there is the outline of the concluding paragraph. The main objective of this paragraph is to summarize the main points of the body and also provide a firm conclusion to a proven theses statement. The conclusion’s outline should appear something similar like this:

The Conclusion

  • Restate the points of the main body paragraphs in conclusion - State their overall significance with regards to the value that they add to the thesis. (1 to 3 sentences).
  • Rephrase the thesis statement – Put your argument at the beginning of the conclusion and revert the readers' concentration on its importance (1 sentence).


How not to write the conclusion

  • Not stating the significance of your thesis in terms of real-world application or significance within your own life in the general concluding statement.

If summarized, the introduction paragraph has three sections, the body has twelve (3 paragraphs multiplied by 4 segments), and the conclusion section ends with 3 more, meaning that the whole outline of literary analysis contains 18 major points. These sections are enough to make the writing process simpler and enable sentences to build up coherently and support each other.

A Literary Analysis Outline Example

The following is a literary analysis outline example that follows the outline stated above:

The Delicate Balance for Marijuana Legalization


  • The controversy surrounding the legalization of Marijuana.
  • A short history of the plant and its impact on the society.
  • A thesis statement, for example; Research has shown that even though there are many advantages and disadvantages of the control of this product by the government, the cost-benefit analysis by various societies leads to its legalization.

Body paragraph 1

  • The topic sentence that gives details about the pros of legalizing marijuana.
  • Can decrease spending related to the war on drugs.
  • Medicinal utilization for terminally ill patients and also diseases like Parkinson’s.
  • Statistics from Article A proves that point 3 is generally a useful idea.
  • Statistics from Article B reveal that point 4 has validity and can save up to $50 million towards border protection.
  • A closing statement on how some of the advantages can bring positive draconian transformations to many facets of the society.

Body paragraph 2

  • A topic sentence that elucidates the disadvantages of legalizing marijuana.
  • Boost sense awareness risks like work-related disciplinary actions and DUIs.
  • Subconsciously advances a culture of laziness towards the youth on account of sloth-like stoner stereotype.
  • Based on article D, over 60% of the adult population in Florida believes that marijuana legalization will lead to lower work production from a big percentage of students.
  • Article E reveals that DUIs have increased two-folds in states where marijuana has been legalized.
  • A closing statement explaining the harmful effects that arise from the legalization of marijuana.

Body paragraph 3

  • A topic sentence that states that the cost-benefit analysis leads to a result in favor of the drug’s legalization.
  • Although there may be a rise in disciplinary and DUI cases, a country’s national security will have the ability to put in more money into more important issues like human trafficking and violence.
  • Provide proof for point number 3 – Eradication of weed crimes associated with the drug, etc.
  • Even though the ‘lazy stoner’ syndrome exists, statistics from article F reveal that intoxication from marijuana enhanced creativity and ideas that were revolutionary in the current society.
  • Provide evidence for point 4 – Correlation effect, research studies, etc.
  • A concluding statement on how advantages outweigh disadvantages, logically proving the general argument that legalization is an advantageous idea.


  • The restatement of the thesis – As revealed via the evidence presented, the legalization of marijuana will add to the society's success more than to its failures.
  • Reiterate the advantages of marijuana legalization.
  • Reiterate the disadvantages of marijuana legalization.
  • Reiterate the cost-benefit analysis result.
  • Marijuana legalization will result in numerous changes to the society; some positive while others negative. Although this subject has been debated for a while now, overall research recommends that immediate governmental change is necessary and to an overall happier and healthier society.


In summary, the above points will assist you to come up with the ideal literary analysis paper outline. When you do not have a lot of time, take something like 4 to 5 minutes to write down an outline. You ought to quickly draft the thesis; the 3 most crucial points of your argument (as illustrated in the points above) and then divide your thesis into the major points of your essay. Once you’are through with it, you can then include several sub-points under the primary topic of the paragraph that you are going to address.

After that, write all that comes to your mind and while you're writing the essay, exclude or include as required. You should take a maximum of 5 minutes with this process, particularly in an AP English exam, where you would want to start writing as soon as possible.

In the event that you're overwhelmed by complicated papers and you cannot come up with a perfect, convincing outline, you can visit various online sources where you'll get professionals to assist you to create an excellent literary analysis essay outline.


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