A step-by-step guide to literary analysis

Literary analysis involves looking at how various aspects of a text work together to communicate its themes and meanings. It can be applied to novels, short stories, plays, poems, or any other form of literary writing.

A literary analysis is not a summary of the plot or a book review. Instead, it explores how the author uses literary devices to create effects and convey ideas, focusing on things like the language, perspective, and structure of the text.

Before beginning a literary analysis essay, it’s essential to carefully read the text and come up with a thesis statement to keep your essay focused. The essay itself must have an introduction, a main body that builds a clear argument, and a conclusion.

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How to cite a YouTube video in APA

To cite a YouTube video in APA Style, you include the video title (italicized), the channel that uploaded it, the upload date, and a link to the video.

APA YouTube citation example
FormatUploader. (Year, Month day). Title of the video [Video file]. Retrieved from url.
Reference listScribbr. (2019, November 26). APA manual 7th edition: 17 most notable changes [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/zeSIXD6y3WQ
In-text citation(Scribbr, 2019)

Note that the same format works for other video sites like Vimeo.

7th edition changes

In the 7th edition of APA, the description in square brackets is just “Video,” not “Video file,” and the words “Retrieved from” are omitted. Additionally, the name of the site is included before the URL:

Scribbr. (2019, November 26). APA manual 7th edition: 17 most notable changes [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/zeSIXD6y3WQ

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How to cite a movie in APA

To cite a movie in APA Style, list the film’s producer(s) and director as authors and the production studio as publisher. The title is written in sentence case and italicized, followed by the label “Motion picture” in square brackets.

The in-text citation includes the last names of the producer(s) and the year. If you are referring to a specific quote or scene from the movie, add a timestamp to direct the reader to the relevant part.

APA movie citation
APA formatProducer Last Name, Initials. (Producer), & Director Last Name, Initials. (Director). (Year). Film title [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio.
Reference listCarroll, G., Giler, D., & Hill, W. (Producers), & Scott, R. (Director). (1979). Alien [Motion Picture]. United States: Twentieth Century Fox.
First in-text citation(Carroll, Giler, & Hill, 1979, 0:45:14)
Subsequent in-text citations(Carroll et al., 1979, 1:20:43)

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How to cite Wikipedia

In academic writing, whenever you quote or paraphrase someone else’s work or draw on their ideas, you need to cite the original source.

Wikipedia is a useful source of background information that students often use in the early stages of research. However, when you’re writing your paper, it’s usually better to seek out a more reliable source and cite that instead.

If you’re sure you want to cite Wikipedia, make sure to correctly format the citation according to the citation style you’re following. There are many different styles of citation: APA, MLA, and Chicago style are three of the most commonly used.

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How to cite a website in APA style

APA website citations usually include the author, the publication date, the title of the page or article, and the URL. If there is no author, start the citation with the title of the article. If the page is likely to change over time, add a retrieval date.

If you are citing an online version of a print publication (e.g. a newspaper, magazine, or dictionary), use the same format as you would for print, with a URL added at the end.

Use the buttons below to explore the format.

Scribbr APA Citation Generator

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How to cite a newspaper article in APA Style

Newspaper articles are cited much like other periodical sources in APA style, with the specific publication date included if available, and the name of the newspaper written in italics.

Print newspaper citations include a page number or range; online newspaper citations include a URL.

Using the buttons below, you can explore how to cite an online newspaper article with one or more authors.

With the APA Citation Generator, you can automatically create citations for print or online newspaper articles and build your reference list.

Generate an APA newspaper citation

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How to cite a book in APA

A basic book reference in APA Style includes the author’s name, the book title, and information about the publisher (name and location). If there are translators or editors, these are also included. Use the buttons below to explore the format:

Interactive APA book example

Note that the format is slightly different for reference books such as dictionaries and encyclopedias.

You can also use the free APA Citation Generator to create your book citations. Just paste the ISBN or DOI and the generator autofills all the necessary fields.

Scribbr APA Citation Generator

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How to cite a journal article in APA Style

A basic journal article reference in APA Style includes the usual elements plus the volume and issue number, the page range of the article, and a DOI (if available). Use the buttons below to explore the format.

You can also use the free APA Citation Generator to create your citations. All you need is the URL or DOI of the journal article. With the click of a button, the generator retrieves all the necessary information.

Scribbr APA Citation Generator

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