Nov 17, 2021 Uncategorized

Literary Analysis Essay Assignment at an Affordable Cost


During this course we haven’t focused on one critical/theoretical approach. I’ve encouraged you to analyze from many perspectives. Choose a specific critical focus for this assignment.  Select from one of the following:  formalist, feminist, critical race, auteur, post-colonial, Marxist, psychoanalytic, mythological.

Overview of the Rules:

  • Read through the following steps and do a bit of research. If you have questions after that, email me.
  • Approx 5 to 7 pages essay
  • Be sure to select and stick with a literary approach as you compose.


1. You will need to choose a film. (Think about the author as the screenplay writer and/or the director. But, when you use the director as author, ensure that the actual elements you are focused on are directorial contributions/ interpretation. Also, always use the terms writer or director to ensure clarity.) This film should be a piece of canonical literature. That doesn’t mean it is based on a novel, but rather you can apply the qualities and values of canonical literature to this film. It has depth, complexity and quality according to Dr. Lye  Download Dr. Lye. 

Examples of recommended films that would be canonical include but are not limited to:  THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920), CITIZEN KANE (1941), Bergman’s SEVENTH SEAL (1957), Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS (1963), INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956), TAXI DRIVER (1976), THE DEERHUNTER (1978), BLADE RUNNER (1981), PULP FICTION (1994), EMMA (1996), CHOCOLAT (2000), 21 GRAMS (2003), THE KITE RUNNER (2007), THE BOOK THIEF (2013), SELMA (2014), THE GOLDFINCH (2017), PARASITE (2019), THE DIG (2021). Select either from this list or from films that have won awards at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Cannes Film Festival (information on these highly acclaimed film awards is here (Links to an external site.)). You can explore these and other films on the Internet Movie Database at

 2. Choose a school of literary theory/ thought. 

Click the links on the left hand side of the web page to see definitions of these schools of criticism and the questions these critical theories ask:  Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism (Links to an external site.) 

**You will not be able to do this assignment if you don’t “specialize” in one of the approaches.

You may choose to reverse steps 1 and 2. You could look through the theoretical options and let that choice guide you in picking your film.

3. Now watch your selection asking yourself the focus questions that are specific to your critical/theoretical approach. Your goal is to argue something about your film which is based upon one of the critical approaches. To do this you have to understand what your school of theory is about and how it can relate to your work. Don’t be afraid to seek outside sources; however, the point you are arguing should be original/yours. Figure out how your “literary critics” question literature. You should be able to make some sort of point about your choice based upon the answers to those questions. That point is your thesis statement.

**Research your chosen criticism. Understand what those who think that way are doing. What motivates them? What are they trying to prove or show? Then, use that understanding to examine your film. (that information could be useful when composing your intro also).

4. When writing don’t forget to clearly state your thesis. For a literary analysis, this should be a statement of what you believe to be the purpose of the text you’re analyzing and should identify your critical approach. Once you’ve discovered your point, you set out to prove it—through the lens of your chosen critical approach. 

5. Please keep in mind a film doesn’t contain a theory/approach. You make meaning from the piece using a theory or approach. No essay should have a statement like “This movie contained a lot of Marxist criticism.” Nope. You are using Marxist theory as a lens through which to analyze the piece. Someone else may use a different approach (theory) to analyze the same movie.

6. Remember this is not to be a summary, but rather you use elements of your selection as evidence to aid in proving your point. If you summarize the film at all, it should be just a couple of sentences at the most in the intro. 

7. This is NOT a film review. Don’t just discuss the good/bad points and why people should see it. Your evaluation (including criteria for judgment) should be a brief part of your conclusion.

8. In terms of composition, your essay should 

1) Make clear what you see as the film’s project: what does the overall purpose of the film seem to be when viewed through the critical lens you have chosen? Remember good literary writing is persuasive. If you don’t make an argument/point about the critical interpretation film that you are presenting, and then prove it (using evidence/examples), you have not completed this assignment.

2) Use appropriate terminology. The kinds of vocabulary you use and the elements you focus on should indicate what type of criticism you’re practicing in your essay.

3) Use specific examples from the film as evidence- quotes and descriptions of scenes or moments. Include at least 3 specific pieces of evidence from the film to support your reading (these could be formal elements like symbols or narration, character interactions, dialogue, etc.).

4) Have a clear sense of organization. Readers should be able to identify the point each paragraph is making (in support of the thesis) and each should relate to one another with transitions and avoiding repetition. 

5) Begin and end effectively. Do not simply restate your ideas from the intro and summarize your essay. Pull out all your Comp. I skills to make your intro and conclusion effective and your Comp. II skills to build an effective argument.

6) Follow typical academic writing rules and standards.

7) Follow APA style and documentation guidelines.

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