The literary analysis is much easier than a student might think. Of course, it requires the student to read the material several times. There are no short cuts, but this guide will help you think about reading for analysis and the steps involved in the process. Most short fiction is less than 20 pages and can be read, according to Edgar Allen Poe, in one sitting.
Many students will find the assignment of literary analysis daunting because reading is hard work and it's even more difficult to analyze a work of literature, especially if the student's experience with this assignment is limited. English majors do it all the time, so for them it's an assignment they have assimilated through repetition, but most students who are in need of fulfilling an elective do not have much experience with analysis. This process is designed to give the student a step by step process to understand what's being asked of them when it comes to analyzing literature. It's not as hard as it seems.
Step One: Read for enjoyment. Then read to annotate (Annotation is the act of making marginal notes so you remember the ideas you had while reading. This is key to an analysis)
Step Two: Look for SPECIFIC ideas. These are often associated with THEME (What the story is about), SETTING (Where the story takes place), CHARACTER (The principle players in the story or the narrator). ...
This assignment is designed to provide the student with easy steps toward writing an analysis.