When writing literary analysis essays, first find any literary devices the author has implemented in the story or poem. Choosing the top three devices used, then find examples of each to bolster the argument in the essay.
Some literary devices commonly used in most written work include plot and figuarative language, such as metaphors, imagery associated with the senses, symbolism and characters that move the plot along. A few other literary devices are setting; tone, such as humor or empathy; and allusion to any other literature or history. Once the essay writer has solid examples for each literary device he is highlighting, he starts a cohesive outline to arrange his arguments the way he wants them to appear in the essay.
The examples collected are summed up with a thesis statement in the introductory paragraph of the essay. It is a concise statement that alerts the reader to what the writer's argument is and includes the three literary devices used in the work. The body of the essay follows the outline's order, discussing each device in it's own paragraph. The concluding paragraph reminds the reader what the thesis statement is and then summarizes the argument used in the essay. The essay ends with a sentence that explains the impact that the work has had as a result of the devices the work utilized.