To write a more analytical paper, you may need to review the text or film you are writing about, with a focus on the elements that are relevant to your thesis.
If possible, carefully consider your writing assignment before reading, viewing, or listening to the material about which you’ll be writing so that your encounter with the material will be more purposeful.
Outlining, freewriting, and mapping make it easier to get your thoughts on the page.
(Check out our handout on brainstorming for some suggested techniques.) Many writers rely too heavily on summary because it is what they can most easily write.
Nick’s description of the colors in his environment presents the book’s themes, symbolizing significant aspects of the post-World War I era.
Whereas white and grey symbolize the false purity and decay of the 1920s, the color green offers a symbol of hope.
This version of the paragraph mentions the book’s title, author, setting, and narrator so that the reader is reminded of the text.
And that sounds a lot like summary—but the paragraph quickly moves on to the writer’s own main topic: the setting and its relationship to the main themes of the book.
If you’re stalled by a difficult writing prompt, summarizing the plot of The Great Gatsby may be more appealing than staring at the computer for three hours and wondering what to say about F. After all, the plot is usually the easiest part of a work to understand.
Something similar can happen even when what you are writing about has no plot: if you don’t really understand an author’s argument, it might seem easiest to just repeat what he or she said.