Chat with a Librarian
Skip to Main Content
ask a librarian email questions

ENG 102 - Literary Analysis and Storytelling (Compton)

2. Explore Your Topic

After thoroughly examining your assignment, now it's time to look for some initial background research on your topic.  Try a search in the following database or reference book to learn more about your topic.

Analyze Your Topic

Magnifying Glass

Focus on the narration and storytelling of your media. How do the directors, cinematographers, costume/makeup artists, and actors themselves tell the story? Are special effects or lighting techniques used to help us understand the narrative? Are there symbols or color schemes which represent certain characters or themes? How are music/soundtrack used to help viewers feel the emotions and plot points of the story?

You may approach this paper with any of the following directions:

Setting: Where does the story take place? Highlight particular parts of the story that discussion this location? Why is this place important to the overall story?

Historical Criticism: When does the story take place? Highlight particular parts of the story that discuss this time period. How would this story be much different if it weren't set during this period?

Point of View: How is the story told? Describe the narrative point of view. What attributes of the story are changed because it is told in this form?

Character Development: Who are the main characters in the story? Does the way the character speaks, acts, looks, and/or thinks affect the story? How does the character change as the story progresses?

Conflict: What conflict does the protagonist face? How does the protagonist handle the situation and how does this conflict affect the overall story? Is the conflict internal, with other people, with nature, or with society?

Foreshadowing: What "hints" occur about the ending as the story progresses? Do these clues help relay the theme of the story?

Irony: What occurs in the story that is opposite from what the reader/viewer would expect? Does this change relay anything about the overall message of the story?