Literature Study Guide for Analyzing Essays

Using this resource, Literature Study Guide for Analyzing Essays, you are going to analyze two essays by truly excellent writers.

But what are essays, other than something that high school teachers want teenagers to write in vast quantities?

Well, essays are actually a type of literature. The core definition of an essay is: a piece of nonfiction composition that explores an idea, shares an opinion, or presents and argument, and does so from the perspective of the writer. Some of the greatest writers in the world have shared rich and beautiful ideas with us using the essay as their format.

Using Literature Study Guide for Analyzing Essays, students will analyze two essays by truly excellent writers:

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Gifts
  • Joan Didion’s In Bed

Essay writers intend to teach and influence their readers. So, as you read and analyze these two essays, remind yourself that this is your chance to sit down over a cup of tea with Joan Didion. You get to sit on the plane next to Ralph Waldo Emerson and chat for three hours.

Literature Study Guide for Analyzing Essays includes:

  • explanatory information about the essay writing form
  • links to read the essays online (for free)
  • vocabulary
  • instructions for finding the focus of the essay and evaluating the support the writer offers
  • an invitation to respond personally to the essay

This guide can be completed in 1 -2 weeks depending on the student’s current workload. It is appropriate for use in any grade of high school – 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th.

An Answer Key is provided.

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Click here to view an excerpt from Literature Study Guide for Analyzing Essays.

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