Your Name Checklist On Writing a deductive Literary Analysis Essay



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Your Name__________________________
Checklist On Writing A Deductive Literary Analysis Essay
Hand in this checklist filled-out with your essay’s rough draft materials. I expect you to do each one of these steps (not all 5 of the prewriting tricks, only the one(s) that work for you), and I expect your specific processes to show in the rough draft materials you staple together to hand in, along with this checklist also marking total hours spent. The actual writing process usually loops and repeats steps in varying order, but be sure that you do these approximately 20 steps in whatever order works for you.

Prewriting – 5 optional tricks:

_____1) freewrite prose

_____2) cluster

_____3) outline

_____4) brainstorm notes & doodles

_____5) no “editing” for grammar and spelling until the proofreading step below


Rough Thesis Statement – 3 components to push it beyond a topic sentence and into a textual analysis, all in one sentence:

_____1) narrow topic away from truisms and onto textual analysis: consider how to link literary forms to textual content and social context

_____2) make a textually focused analytical assertion of how, why, &/or so what that literary form shapes content and/or context; specify, list, and label categories, steps, cause/effect, etc., between form and content/ context for an arguable assertion

_____3) preview the main points


Drafting – 5 tricks: revise, revise, revise, revise, revise.

_____1) Check each paragraph for a topic sentence related to a specific preview in your thesis assertion.

_____2) Check each paragraph for at least two or three examples via specific quotations from the text

_____3) Check that any longer or more complex quotation is followed by your paraphrase and commentary that links it to your thesis assertion.

_____4) Check that each paragraph does more than summarize the text, that instead it analyzes textual passages according to the thesis assertion.

_____5) Check your introductory and ending paragraph strategies.



Final Thesis Statement – same 3 components as above, plus, the following steps:

_____1) Check back through the essay and look for sentences toward the final paragraphs where you clarify your conclusion

_____2) Check whether that concluding statement would make a better thesis statement by comparing it with the rough version near the beginning

_____3) Check how you can either reposition that concluding statement near the beginning or otherwise revise your thesis statement into final form with the insights gained in the writing process


Final Draft – 1 trick: revise, revise, revise, revise, revise
Bibliographic Form – Use exact MLA form. Don’t make it up:

_____1) Check in-text citations within the paragraphs

_____2) Check Works Cited at the end
Proofreading – 5 tricks:

_____1) Read it aloud

_____2) Read it backwards, sentence-by-sentence

_____3) Read only for grammar and spelling only at this stage

_____4) Read it as a proofreader more than once

_____5) Read it with two peer editors who should go over this entire checklist with you as they fill out their peer editing form


Structure: Thus, try for a well-structured essay, with 1) an intro paragraph that sets up a context for the one-sentence thesis statement typed in bold toward the end of the paragraph; 2) a set of body paragraphs that explain and give examples, including textual citations, to support the thesis; and 3) a short concluding paragraph that does more than repeat the intro, suggesting other directions or implications of the thesis. This structure does not mean that the prose has to be stiff. There is room in literary criticism for personal response as well as critical analysis.
Mechanics: The essay should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins, in type of no less than 10pt. An optional cover page with your name, the course, the date, and the assignment is ok (to add space to the essay pages). An original title is a plus. Again, the essay should include direct quotations to support your thesis. Use MLA format for in-text citations. A final page should include a Works Cited, also in MLA format. (See the Diana Hacker MLA guide in the bookstore under ENLT 000.)
Revisions: You might need to draft an essay to develop and arrive at a focused thesis statement, and then reposition the discovered thesis—and paragraphs—into the final essay. Be sure to plan time for pre-writing, writing, and revising. Consider free-writing, clustering, brainstorming, etc. Save all doodles, notes, outlines, and drafts, and submit these—stapled together (no paper clips) and clearly labeled with your name and the assignment—in class. Also include with your rough stuff this checklist, plus your peer editors’ responses to your paper, one peer editing form per editor.

Total hours on this essay _________

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