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Instructions For Composing An Analytical Essay About Beowulf 

If you are asked to write an analytical essay on Beowulf, don’t worry! It’s not difficult as soon as you have read the poem and know its content well. Read a prompt carefully and understand what issue you should analyze in your paper. If there is no specific prompt, it’s even better, since you will be able to focus on the topic of your choice. In an analytical piece of writing, you are supposed to present your position on a specific idea, theme, or problem in the poem and prove it with relevant evidence from the text. The following guidelines will help you do your best and craft a substantial analytical essay about Beowulf:

  • Decide on the topic.
  • If you are not given any writing prompts, consider the following topic ideas:

    • Beowulf displays all characteristics of a true hero.
    • Revenge is a common issue of Anglo-Saxon times.
    • The battles demonstrate both strengths and weaknesses of Beowulf, etc.
  • Brainstorm.
  • Do some brainstorming to come up with specific ideas, images, and phrases on your topic. Pay particular attention to the things that repeat. The author might have used them deliberately to focus your attention on important points.

  • Create a thesis statement.
  • Formulate your position on the topic in a thesis statement. It should be analytical (base it on the text of the poem), arguable (just take your side even when it can be argued), and narrow (check if it fits the scope of your assignment.)

  • Look through the text.
  • Find specific examples and phrases that support your thesis. For example, if you analyze the issue of revenge in Beowulf, pay attention to the passages describing events before each monster’s attack, battles themselves, and reactions of both sides after the battles.

  • Make an outline.
  • A good outline will help you present your evidence in the most effective way. Decide which points should go first, and which ones should be left for the last. Don’t pile all details in big body paragraphs (unless you are assigned a standard 5-paragraph structure). Analytical papers in literature are often based on lots of details. Try to present them in smaller paragraphs to make your work more reader-friendly.

  • Write a first draft.
  • It will be easy to compose a good analytical essay with a completed outline and ready evidence waiting for you. Use appropriate transitions to link the body paragraphs together.

  • Proofread your writing.
  • Find and correct mistakes. Let your friend read your paper. Consider their opinions and put the finishing touches to your analytical essay on Beowulf.


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