First, wonder why the question was asked, what kind of problems it is denouncing, what kind of things are exposed etc. This will help you find a thesis statement.

  • Start it with an interesting remark (ex: about the book/literature ; works in general, the author ect...). Avoid giving useless information like the job of the author, when they are born, summary of the novel, the publication of the novel (exept if the subject has an historic or sociological aspect, in this case, the date can be usefull) etc.
  • Goes from the general to the specific
  • If the subject contains a complicated word, define it and give different aspect of it
  • Then, annonce your thesis statement
  • It needs to be composed of 2 or 3 parts maximum
  • Organise your body logically favouring the development of idea
  • To explain some passage/ideas, matching them with a personal consideration
  • Use short transitions between the different parts.
Always keep in mind the different levels of the literary analysis:
  • Author: their point of view, what they tried to show, denounce ect. (the creator and its work(s) )
  • Narrator: different point of views, narrative manipulations (story shaping, creation process)
  • Characters: intrigue
  • Reader: which effects the author want the reader to feel = the understanding of the work(s)
  • The same as for a commentary, your conclusion has to be a summary of your parts/arguments
  • Then try to link your arguments with other work(s) (not necessarily with the same author ex: if your subject is about Wharton, you can say that in Edith Wharton Age of Innocence and in Henry James The Portrait of a Lady, they both criticised the American society : she was not the only author criticising it)
  • Don't forget that it is always good to keep an interesting remark at the end - so that the impression of your examiner will be even better on your essay.

If you have any questions, ask me :)