Core Curriculum

Ways of Thinking Literary Analysis


Literary analysis examines how a literary text’s formal features and the conventions of prose, poetry, or drama contribute to its meaning.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Interpret a literary text’s formal features in relation to the conventions of its genres.
  2. Derive apt evidence from a literary text to support a written interpretive claim.

Alignment with LIVE learning outcomes

Critical Thinking: 1, 2
Communication: 2


Courses in literary analysis will assign at least two literary-critical, written analyses of a literary text, both assignments totaling a minimum of eight pages.  Each of these assignments should apply all five of the student outcomes listed above.

Possible Texts for Novice Level Courses (not required)

  • Acheson, Katherine O.  Writing Essays about Literature: A Brief Guide for University and College Students. Toronto: Broadview, 2011.  Print.
  • Gardner, Janet.  Writing about Literature with a 2009 MLA Update: A Portable Guide.  2nd ed.  New York: St. Martin’s, 2009.  Print.
  • Griffith, Kelley.  Writing Essays about Literature.  8th ed.  New York: Wadsworth, 2010.  Print.  

Current catalog list of LIVE courses
FileLiterary Analysis Rubric
FileLiterary Analysis Expected Levels
FileSample syllabus showing alignment of outcomes and assignments (ENGL 232)