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How to Analyze a Book

Last Updated: October 29, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 83% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 98,159 times.

Reading books, whether they be fiction or nonfiction, is a terrific pastime that is both fun and informative. However, analyzing books can help you get even more out of the books you read, both for fun and for academic purposes. Knowing how to analyze a book changes the way you interpret and understand books, and maybe even what they mean to you. Once you know how to break down a work’s plot, structure, language, and argument, while critiquing an author’s perspective, analyzing books is a breeze.

Breaking Down Fiction

A list of what a book analysis should contain.

  • Remember when you’re reading that all the little details in the book were deliberately chosen by the author and hence might be significant in some unseen way. For example, if an author describes a young girl’s dress as “yellow like the sun,” ask yourself why the author chose the color yellow (symbol of optimism) or what it means for her dress to be compared to the sun.
  • Certain sections of any book should be read with particular attention. The beginning and end, for example, are a good place to find meaning and symbolism in a text. Read these with a bit more attention.
  • If you have trouble reading slowly or staying focused, try to keep the specific goal for your reading in mind instead of reading “mindlessly.” For instance, if you’re trying to analyze a work of fiction for symbolism, keep this in mind as you read and it will help you to zero in on the relevant details (e.g., the author’s choice of names for their characters). [2] X Research source
  • Read the book twice if you have time.

Step 2 Take notes as you read.

  • Write down anything you think might be particularly important, even if you aren’t sure. You’ll be glad you kept a convenient record of potentially significant details when it comes time to write about your analysis.
  • In your notes, quote directly from the book when you think the specific wording of the text is important. Otherwise, feel free to paraphrase the text when you’re taking note of events or themes.
  • If you can, invest in a personal copy of the text. This lets you highlight, underline, and make notes in the margins of significant passages as you go.

Step 3 Study the context in which the author wrote the book.

  • When researching the context in which a book was written, consider the time period, location (country, state, city, etc.), political system, and the biography of the author. For example, a Russian expat writing in the 1940s about a dictatorship may be making a statement on the Soviet Union or Joseph Stalin.
  • Look into other books by the same author and see how the book you’re reading compares to them in terms of story, subject matter, themes, and other details. For example, many of Philip K. Dick’s novels focused on the nature of reality and questions surrounding identity.
  • Try starting on a site like Wikipedia. While it's not an academic source, it often provides an overview of the topic and may link to other sources or even other works by the author.

Step 4 Establish the essential plot points of the story.

  • For example, if the characters in a novel are only able to resolve a problem by working together, the author may be making a statement on the importance of collaboration.

Step 5 Determine the setting of the book and how it contributes to the story.

  • Settings can be symbolic. Reflect on the characters at a certain point in their journey, and/or foreshadow certain key plot elements.
  • For example, ask yourself if a story that takes place in an isolated cabin during winter would be significantly different if it took place in an apartment in a big city. If so, think about why a different setting changes the meaning of the story.

Step 6 Examine the actions, motivations, and beliefs of the characters.

  • You should also consider why the author would have their characters do the things they do and what point they’re trying to make.
  • For example, if a holy man commits a murder, ask yourself why the character would betray his beliefs or why the author would seek to depict a holy man in this way.

Step 7 Consider how the author’s writing style affects the book’s story.

  • Writing style includes the author’s choice of vocabulary, sentence structure, tone, imagery, symbolism, and overall feeling of the story. [9] X Research source
  • For example, an author may seek to impart a more humorous tone by using short, choppy sentences and nonsensical words.

Step 8 Identify the book’s principal theme or message.

  • Some common themes include good vs. evil, growing up, human nature, love, friendship, war, and religion. [10] X Research source
  • A book may deal with multiple themes, with some themes being more obvious than others. Often, themes are most visible in the beginning and end of a book. Re-read these sections after your first read-through to help you evaluate the book's theme.

Step 9 Make an outline...

Critiquing Non-Fiction Books

Step 1 Read the book slowly and take notes as you read.

  • Try to find key words and phrases in each paragraph as you read and write down a summary of each passage or chapter as you go. [11] X Research source
  • If you have trouble reading slowly or staying focused, try to keep the specific goal for your reading in mind instead of reading “mindlessly.” If you’re reading for specific information on a topic (e.g., the physical properties of meteorites), bear this in mind as you read and you will be better able to focus on the relevant information as you read it.

Step 2 Determine the author’s purpose.

  • For example, some historians write books to challenge dominant interpretations of certain historical events (e.g., the cause of the American Civil War).
  • Many authors will state the purpose of their non-fiction book in the preface or introductory chapter and restate that purpose in the book’s concluding chapter. Skim these sections to help you determine the book's overall goals.

Step 3 Research the author’s background and motivation for writing this book.

  • For example, if the book is a history of a particular political party, then the author’s relationship to that party (e.g., if the author is a party member) will almost certainly influence how the party’s history is written in the book.

Step 4 Distinguish facts from statements of opinion.

  • For example, an author may write: “High school students typically learn European history from their teachers. These teachers are overpaid.” In this instance, the first sentence is a statement of fact, while the second is a statement of opinion.
  • Statements of fact are often followed by citations either in the form of footnotes or parenthetical citations.
  • Don’t dismiss out of hand what an author says purely because it’s “opinion”; in most cases, an author’s conclusions will be derived from the facts that are also presented in the book and should be judged as such.

Step 5 Examine the evidence the author relies on to support their argument.

  • For example, consider whether you would reach a different conclusion based on the same evidence and check to see if the author describes in the book why they didn’t reach the same conclusion as you. If they don’t, their argument may not be entirely thought out.
  • Try to check the author's information against other sources. Look at academic articles, online encyclopedias, and other scholarly resources to see if the evidence the author cites matches the larger scholarly body of work on the subject or if you can find contradictory evidence that the author did not include in their work.

Step 6 Decide whether the book accomplishes its purpose.

  • For instance, think about whether the author’s evidence was reliable or relevant, whether the argument was logical, and whether the author’s conclusions made sense to you.
  • Be sure to not let your personal attitudes interfere with your analysis. If you find a book unconvincing, ask yourself if you have any internal biases that may prevent you from analyzing the book in a neutral manner.

Community Q&A

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  • ↑ https://penandthepad.com/analyze-book-2063769.html
  • ↑ https://www.irisreading.com/5-tips-to-maintaining-excellent-focus-while-you-are-reading/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Students/Writing-Speaking-Guides/Alphabetical-List-of-Guides/Academic-Writing/Analysis/Analyzing-Novels-Short-Stories
  • ↑ https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-introliterature/chapter/how-to-analyze-a-novel/
  • ↑ https://davehood59.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/how-to-analyze-fiction/
  • ↑ https://www.cliffsnotes.com/cliffsnotes/subjects/literature/how-do-you-analyze-a-novel
  • ↑ http://octavius.vibygym.dk/analyse-af-non-fiction.html
  • ↑ http://www.thwink.org/sustain/articles/019_CriteriaEvaluatingBookNonFiction/index.htm#ProveArgumentTrue

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

The key to analyzing a fictional book is paying attention to both the small details and overarching ideas. If you’re reading a classic novel, research its context to tell you more about the text, like what was going on in history when the book was written. Read the text closely and take notes on anything interesting you notice about the setting, characters, or writing style. Take note of any effective description that tells you something interesting about the characters or the setting. You should also look for major themes across the whole text. For example, in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, the themes of family, isolation, and love occur again and again. Then, try to link your notes together to make a larger point about the book. For more tips from our English co-author, including how to analyze non-fiction books, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • How to write a literary analysis essay | A step-by-step guide

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay | A Step-by-Step Guide

Published on January 30, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 14, 2023.

Literary analysis means closely studying a text, interpreting its meanings, and exploring why the author made certain choices. It can be applied to novels, short stories, plays, poems, or any other form of literary writing.

A literary analysis essay is not a rhetorical analysis , nor is it just a summary of the plot or a book review. Instead, it is a type of argumentative essay where you need to analyze elements such as the language, perspective, and structure of the text, and explain how the author uses literary devices to create effects and convey ideas.

Before beginning a literary analysis essay, it’s essential to carefully read the text and c ome up with a thesis statement to keep your essay focused. As you write, follow the standard structure of an academic essay :

  • An introduction that tells the reader what your essay will focus on.
  • A main body, divided into paragraphs , that builds an argument using evidence from the text.
  • A conclusion that clearly states the main point that you have shown with your analysis.

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Table of contents

Step 1: reading the text and identifying literary devices, step 2: coming up with a thesis, step 3: writing a title and introduction, step 4: writing the body of the essay, step 5: writing a conclusion, other interesting articles.

The first step is to carefully read the text(s) and take initial notes. As you read, pay attention to the things that are most intriguing, surprising, or even confusing in the writing—these are things you can dig into in your analysis.

Your goal in literary analysis is not simply to explain the events described in the text, but to analyze the writing itself and discuss how the text works on a deeper level. Primarily, you’re looking out for literary devices —textual elements that writers use to convey meaning and create effects. If you’re comparing and contrasting multiple texts, you can also look for connections between different texts.

To get started with your analysis, there are several key areas that you can focus on. As you analyze each aspect of the text, try to think about how they all relate to each other. You can use highlights or notes to keep track of important passages and quotes.

Language choices

Consider what style of language the author uses. Are the sentences short and simple or more complex and poetic?

What word choices stand out as interesting or unusual? Are words used figuratively to mean something other than their literal definition? Figurative language includes things like metaphor (e.g. “her eyes were oceans”) and simile (e.g. “her eyes were like oceans”).

Also keep an eye out for imagery in the text—recurring images that create a certain atmosphere or symbolize something important. Remember that language is used in literary texts to say more than it means on the surface.

Narrative voice

Ask yourself:

  • Who is telling the story?
  • How are they telling it?

Is it a first-person narrator (“I”) who is personally involved in the story, or a third-person narrator who tells us about the characters from a distance?

Consider the narrator’s perspective . Is the narrator omniscient (where they know everything about all the characters and events), or do they only have partial knowledge? Are they an unreliable narrator who we are not supposed to take at face value? Authors often hint that their narrator might be giving us a distorted or dishonest version of events.

The tone of the text is also worth considering. Is the story intended to be comic, tragic, or something else? Are usually serious topics treated as funny, or vice versa ? Is the story realistic or fantastical (or somewhere in between)?

Consider how the text is structured, and how the structure relates to the story being told.

  • Novels are often divided into chapters and parts.
  • Poems are divided into lines, stanzas, and sometime cantos.
  • Plays are divided into scenes and acts.

Think about why the author chose to divide the different parts of the text in the way they did.

There are also less formal structural elements to take into account. Does the story unfold in chronological order, or does it jump back and forth in time? Does it begin in medias res —in the middle of the action? Does the plot advance towards a clearly defined climax?

With poetry, consider how the rhyme and meter shape your understanding of the text and your impression of the tone. Try reading the poem aloud to get a sense of this.

In a play, you might consider how relationships between characters are built up through different scenes, and how the setting relates to the action. Watch out for  dramatic irony , where the audience knows some detail that the characters don’t, creating a double meaning in their words, thoughts, or actions.

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Your thesis in a literary analysis essay is the point you want to make about the text. It’s the core argument that gives your essay direction and prevents it from just being a collection of random observations about a text.

If you’re given a prompt for your essay, your thesis must answer or relate to the prompt. For example:

Essay question example

Is Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” a religious parable?

Your thesis statement should be an answer to this question—not a simple yes or no, but a statement of why this is or isn’t the case:

Thesis statement example

Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law” is not a religious parable, but a story about bureaucratic alienation.

Sometimes you’ll be given freedom to choose your own topic; in this case, you’ll have to come up with an original thesis. Consider what stood out to you in the text; ask yourself questions about the elements that interested you, and consider how you might answer them.

Your thesis should be something arguable—that is, something that you think is true about the text, but which is not a simple matter of fact. It must be complex enough to develop through evidence and arguments across the course of your essay.

Say you’re analyzing the novel Frankenstein . You could start by asking yourself:

Your initial answer might be a surface-level description:

The character Frankenstein is portrayed negatively in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .

However, this statement is too simple to be an interesting thesis. After reading the text and analyzing its narrative voice and structure, you can develop the answer into a more nuanced and arguable thesis statement:

Mary Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

Remember that you can revise your thesis statement throughout the writing process , so it doesn’t need to be perfectly formulated at this stage. The aim is to keep you focused as you analyze the text.

Finding textual evidence

To support your thesis statement, your essay will build an argument using textual evidence —specific parts of the text that demonstrate your point. This evidence is quoted and analyzed throughout your essay to explain your argument to the reader.

It can be useful to comb through the text in search of relevant quotations before you start writing. You might not end up using everything you find, and you may have to return to the text for more evidence as you write, but collecting textual evidence from the beginning will help you to structure your arguments and assess whether they’re convincing.

To start your literary analysis paper, you’ll need two things: a good title, and an introduction.

Your title should clearly indicate what your analysis will focus on. It usually contains the name of the author and text(s) you’re analyzing. Keep it as concise and engaging as possible.

A common approach to the title is to use a relevant quote from the text, followed by a colon and then the rest of your title.

If you struggle to come up with a good title at first, don’t worry—this will be easier once you’ve begun writing the essay and have a better sense of your arguments.

“Fearful symmetry” : The violence of creation in William Blake’s “The Tyger”

The introduction

The essay introduction provides a quick overview of where your argument is going. It should include your thesis statement and a summary of the essay’s structure.

A typical structure for an introduction is to begin with a general statement about the text and author, using this to lead into your thesis statement. You might refer to a commonly held idea about the text and show how your thesis will contradict it, or zoom in on a particular device you intend to focus on.

Then you can end with a brief indication of what’s coming up in the main body of the essay. This is called signposting. It will be more elaborate in longer essays, but in a short five-paragraph essay structure, it shouldn’t be more than one sentence.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

Some students prefer to write the introduction later in the process, and it’s not a bad idea. After all, you’ll have a clearer idea of the overall shape of your arguments once you’ve begun writing them!

If you do write the introduction first, you should still return to it later to make sure it lines up with what you ended up writing, and edit as necessary.

The body of your essay is everything between the introduction and conclusion. It contains your arguments and the textual evidence that supports them.

Paragraph structure

A typical structure for a high school literary analysis essay consists of five paragraphs : the three paragraphs of the body, plus the introduction and conclusion.

Each paragraph in the main body should focus on one topic. In the five-paragraph model, try to divide your argument into three main areas of analysis, all linked to your thesis. Don’t try to include everything you can think of to say about the text—only analysis that drives your argument.

In longer essays, the same principle applies on a broader scale. For example, you might have two or three sections in your main body, each with multiple paragraphs. Within these sections, you still want to begin new paragraphs at logical moments—a turn in the argument or the introduction of a new idea.

Robert’s first encounter with Gil-Martin suggests something of his sinister power. Robert feels “a sort of invisible power that drew me towards him.” He identifies the moment of their meeting as “the beginning of a series of adventures which has puzzled myself, and will puzzle the world when I am no more in it” (p. 89). Gil-Martin’s “invisible power” seems to be at work even at this distance from the moment described; before continuing the story, Robert feels compelled to anticipate at length what readers will make of his narrative after his approaching death. With this interjection, Hogg emphasizes the fatal influence Gil-Martin exercises from his first appearance.

Topic sentences

To keep your points focused, it’s important to use a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph.

A good topic sentence allows a reader to see at a glance what the paragraph is about. It can introduce a new line of argument and connect or contrast it with the previous paragraph. Transition words like “however” or “moreover” are useful for creating smooth transitions:

… The story’s focus, therefore, is not upon the divine revelation that may be waiting beyond the door, but upon the mundane process of aging undergone by the man as he waits.

Nevertheless, the “radiance” that appears to stream from the door is typically treated as religious symbolism.

This topic sentence signals that the paragraph will address the question of religious symbolism, while the linking word “nevertheless” points out a contrast with the previous paragraph’s conclusion.

Using textual evidence

A key part of literary analysis is backing up your arguments with relevant evidence from the text. This involves introducing quotes from the text and explaining their significance to your point.

It’s important to contextualize quotes and explain why you’re using them; they should be properly introduced and analyzed, not treated as self-explanatory:

It isn’t always necessary to use a quote. Quoting is useful when you’re discussing the author’s language, but sometimes you’ll have to refer to plot points or structural elements that can’t be captured in a short quote.

In these cases, it’s more appropriate to paraphrase or summarize parts of the text—that is, to describe the relevant part in your own words:

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analysis for books

The conclusion of your analysis shouldn’t introduce any new quotations or arguments. Instead, it’s about wrapping up the essay. Here, you summarize your key points and try to emphasize their significance to the reader.

A good way to approach this is to briefly summarize your key arguments, and then stress the conclusion they’ve led you to, highlighting the new perspective your thesis provides on the text as a whole:

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
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  • Appeal to authority fallacy
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By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.

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  • With so many delegates speaking so many different languages, how does the United Nations get anything done?
  • I love watching TV court shows, and would enjoy them more if I understood some of the legal jargon, like ex post facto. What does that mean?
  • What is habeas corpus, and where is it guaranteed by law?
  • Where is the establishment of religion clause in the U.S. Constitution?
  • What's the point of making texting while driving illegal?
  • Have social conservatives captured the Republican Party?
  • Why are Republicans (or those who favor capitalism) called the right" or "right-wing" and Democrats (or those who favor social issues) called the "left?""
  • Who were the War Hawks?
  • What are the differences in the ways the House and the Senate conduct debates on a bill?
  • What is WikiLeaks?
  • How long do oral arguments last in Supreme Court cases?
  • What do you think are some reasons why the President was given almost unlimited military powers? What are some possible positive and negative effects resulting from the scope of the President's military power?
  • Why is the United States government so worried about North Korea?
  • Did Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation actually free any slaves?
  • How were U.S. Senators originally chosen?
  • What changes in American society have created new issues for the government to address?
  • What was the Tweed Ring?
  • What do you think secret service for the Obama girls is like? Is there a dude with a gun and stuff sitting next to them in class? Wouldn't that make it hard for them to concentrate?
  • How many representatives does each state have in the House of Representatives?
  • What is the difference between the Senate Majority/Minority leaders and the Senate Whip?
  • How are justices to the U.S. Supreme Court elected? Is this a good or a bad thing?
  • What type of education do you need to become Speaker of the House?
  • I heard a rumor that if you modify the photo by at least 10%, it doesn't matter if it's copyrighted and you can use it however. Is that true?
  • What do security and infringed mean in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
  • What did Abraham Lincoln mean by A house divided against itself cannot stand"?"
  • Who is the only U.S. President who never won a nationwide election?
  • What is the current law on compulsory vaccinations in the U.S.? Are there any exceptions for people who don't want to get vaccinated?
  • After the stock market crash, how did President Hoover try to help the economy?
  • My economics teacher said something about stagflation , what is that, exactly?
  • How do interest groups play a role in American government?
  • Has Thanksgiving always been on the same day?
  • Can someone who's not a Republican or Democrat win an election?
  • What can you tell me about the 1976 presidential election?
  • The Electoral College — can anyone apply?
  • How do lobbyists influence public policy decisions?
  • What happens if the president doesn't like a piece of legislation?
  • What are the legal elements of a crime?
  • How did the Whiskey Rebellion change people's perception of federal laws in the United States?
  • How do federal judges get their jobs?
  • If you are dressed to conform to an informal, verbal dress code but a different, written dress code is enforced and you get in trouble, do you have a First Amendment right to challenge it? My teachers enforce the dress code inconsistently.
  • How does the CIA recruit people? What types of majors do they typically target?
  • What is the importance of the Declaration of Independence? Why would the founders of our country need to declare" their freedom? Why is it so important today?"
  • What is Presidential Veto Power?
  • What is the purpose of government, and how does a bill become law?
  • Is there a way, other than retiring, to get out of the Supreme Court (such as being dismissed)?
  • When did the pocket veto start?
  • Who would serve as the new president if both the president and vice president resigned?
  • What was the difference in history between the Middle Ages (Medieval Times) and the Renaissance?
  • What's a Congressional Page and how do you become one?
  • Differences Between Public Universities and Private Schools
  • Entering College Without a Major in Mind
  • Figure Out Your College Preference
  • Freshman Dorm Life: Choosing a Roommate
  • Gain an Edge with Community Service
  • Apply to College Online
  • Approach AP Essay Questions with Ease
  • Choose the Right Dorm
  • Choosing a College: The Importance of the Campus Tour
  • Choosing Between a Large or Small College
  • Get a Clue about Community College
  • The College Admissions Interview
  • Get College Info from People around You
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  • How College Applications Are Reviewed to Determine Acceptance
  • How Many Colleges Should You Apply To?
  • Keep Track of Test Time: Exam Calendar
  • Know What Colleges Are Looking For
  • Know Which Exam's Right for You
  • Pack Your Bags for SAT* Exam Day
  • Plan Wisely for Campus Visits
  • Planning High School Summers with an Eye toward College Admissions
  • Prepare for the Revised SAT*
  • Put Together a College Admission Timeline
  • Read the Right Stuff for the AP* English Literature Exam
  • Save Yourself from Senioritis
  • Start Earning College Credit Early
  • Student Diversity as an Important Factor in Considering Colleges
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  • Take the Right High School Classes to Get into College
  • Technology and the College Application Process
  • Understanding Subject Tests and College Admissions
  • Understanding Your Academic Average and Class Rank
  • Weighing One College's Degree Program against Another
  • Write a College Admissions Essay
  • What Are College Early Action Admissions Plans?
  • What Are College Early Decision and Regular Decision Admissions Plans?
  • What Are College Rolling Admissions Plans?
  • Where Can I Find Info to Compare Colleges?
  • Find Out about Federal Student Aid
  • Filling Out the FAFSA
  • Get to Know the CSS Profile Form
  • Getting Financial Aid Information at School
  • How to Consolidate Private Student Loans
  • Avoid Negotiating with Financial Aid Offers
  • Avoid Scholarship Scams
  • Borrow for College without Going Bust
  • Building a Budget after College with a Financial Diary
  • Consider the Federal Work-Study Program
  • Considering a PLUS Loan
  • Deal with the FAFSA
  • Dealing with Private Student Loans during Financial Hardship
  • Debunking Some Common Myths about Financial Aid
  • How to Gather Information on Your Private Student Loans
  • The Differences between Scholarship and Student Loan Payouts
  • The Federal Pell Grant System
  • Loan Forgiveness of Your Student Loans
  • Negotiating Rent on an Apartment
  • Organize Student Loans with a Private Loans Chart
  • Overpaying on Student Loans for Quicker Payoff
  • Places You Might Not Think to Look for Scholarships
  • Put "Sticker Price" in Perspective
  • Student Loan Deferments and Forbearance
  • Try to Sweeten Your Financial Aid Package
  • Transfer Private Student Loan Debt to Low-Rate Credit Cards
  • Understanding Repayment Periods on Private Student Loans
  • What Happens If You Miss a Student Loan Payment?
  • After the Rush: Pledging a Sorority
  • Avoid Alcohol and Drug Temptations
  • Back to School Considerations for Adult Learners
  • College Professors Appreciate Good Behavior
  • Consider Studying Abroad
  • Deal with the Roommate Experience
  • Decide if the Greek Life Is for You
  • Decide on a Major
  • Find Yourself a Used Car for College
  • Fit Sleep into Student Life
  • Freshman Year Extracurricular Goals
  • Get By on a Limited Cash Flow
  • Get Creative for Summer after College Freshman Year
  • Get the Hang of the Add/Drop Process
  • Get with the Program: Internships, Work-Study, and Service Learning
  • How to Evaluate Campus Life during a College Visit
  • Job Shadow to Explore Careers
  • Key In to Effective Study Habits
  • Maintain Your Mental Health
  • Make the Most of Taking Lecture Notes
  • Pack Up for College
  • Prepare for College Instructor/Student Expectations
  • Put Together a Bibliography or Works Cited
  • Research on the Internet
  • Rule Out Academic Dishonesty
  • Say No to Dating College Friends' Siblings or Exes
  • Student Teaching: Test Drive Your Career in Education
  • Taking a Gamble: Gaming on Campus
  • Transferring from Community College to Four-Year Institution
  • Understand Types of Research Material
  • What to Expect from Sorority Rush
  • Work at a Part-Time Job
  • Write a Top-Notch Research Paper
  • Why do some critics want the 22nd Amendment repealed?
  • What is guerrilla warfare?
  • Years ago I learned that our national highway system has built-in runways for emergency landing strips. Is this still true?
  • What newspapers did Frederick Douglass write for?
  • I know that the days of the week are all named after Norse or Roman gods or the sun and moon, but I can't figure out what Tuesday is named for. Do you know?
  • Can you give me a brief history of Prussia?
  • Who were the Ottomans?
  • Who discovered oxygen?
  • What have been the major Israel and Arab conflicts since World War II?
  • 1What does the cormorant (bird) symbolize in mythology?
  • How did Peter I of Russia come to power?
  • What can you tell me about Kwanzaa?
  • What is the Alma-Ata declaration?
  • I've heard that in some countries, everyone has to sign up for the military between high school and college. Is that true?
  • How were women treated in Ancient Rome?
  • What is the history and meaning of Turkey's flag?
  • How are justices to the US Supreme Court elected Is this a good or a bad thing
  • How did ounce come to be abbreviated as oz.?
  • Why did Cromwell dissolve the first Protectorate parliament?
  • Why does The Great Depression end when the United States enters World War II?
  • What place did the underworld have in Egyptian mythology?
  • Can you explain Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in words that a teen can understand?
  • Who was the most famous mathematician?
  • Where did Christopher Columbus land when he reached the Americas?
  • Who had control of more states during the American Civil War, the North or the South?
  • How did Zeus become ruler of the Greek gods?
  • Why does Santa Claus have so many names — Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, and Kris Kringle?
  • What is antidisestablishmentarianism?
  • What is Leningrad known as today?
  • Who were the leading figures in the Classical period of music?
  • Why didn't the Pope allow Henry VIII a divorce, and who was Catherine of Aragon's relative who came and held siege?
  • Who wrote, A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still"?"
  • Was the Spanish Armada large, and did its crews have notable sailing skill?
  • What was the cause of the War of Spanish Succession?
  • What is the song Yankee Doodle Dandy" really about?"
  • What's the story of the Roanoke colony?
  • How does history reflect what people were thinking at the time?
  • My teacher says there's more than one kind of history. How can that be?
  • What were the turning points in World War II?
  • We just started studying Spanish exploration in North America. What makes it so important today?
  • What was it like for women in the 1920s?
  • Have Americans always been big on sports?
  • Who invented baseball?
  • What did American Indians have to give up for pioneers?
  • How did imperialism spread around the world?
  • How did Imperialism in India come about?
  • What's the big deal about Manifest Destiny?
  • How did the Tet Offensive affect public opinion about the Vietnam War?
  • Why did Christian Lous Lange deserve the Nobel Peace Prize in 1921?
  • Where do the four suits in a deck of cards originate? What do they represent?
  • What was the Roe v. Wade trial?
  • Who is Constantine?
  • I need to know some info on the Monroe Doctrine. I have looked everywhere but I still can't find any information. Can you PLEASE help?
  • Where did the chair originate from? I was sitting on one the other day and it said Made in China," but where did it first come from?"
  • What kind of cash crops did they grow in the South in early America?
  • Everyone talks about how enlightened the Mayans were, but what did they really do?
  • What caused the fall of the Roman Empire? Did Christianity play a role?
  • What was the reason for the downfall of the Russian Empire in 1917?
  • What prompted slavery? Why were the Africans chosen for enslavement?
  • How did World War I start and end?
  • What is The Palestinian Conflict?
  • I don't really understand the French Revolution. What started it, and what stopped it?
  • What was the doctor's diagnosis of Helen Keller when she was a baby?
  • What is the Trail of Tears?
  • When speaking about Native Americans, what is the difference between an Indian tribe and an Indian Nation?
  • What happened during the Boston Massacre?
  • What was sectionalism in America before the Civil War?
  • How did the U.S. attempt to avoid involvement in World War II?
  • What is Ronald Reagan's Tear down this wall" speech about?"
  • Can you describe the United States policy of containment and show an example of an event when the policy was used and why?
  • How many countries are there in the world?
  • What did Columbus do besides sail to the New World?
  • My history teacher said that if your religious denomination isn't Catholic, than you are a Protestant. Is she right?
  • Do you think that Mormons are Christians? What is the full name of the Mormon Church?
  • What principles of the Belmont Report were violated in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study?
  • What is the size of Europe in square miles?
  • The United States was given the right to establish naval bases in the British West Indies during World War II by the British Government in exchange for what?
  • How were the Crusades a turning point in Western history?
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  • What does impertinent mean (from The American )?
  • I know that the verb pluck means to pull out or pull at, but what's the definition when used as a noun?
  • Which novels would you recommend to 15-year-olds on the theme of places and forms of power?
  • In The Pearl, why didn't John Steinbeck give the pearl buyers identifying names?
  • In the play, The Crucible , why would Arthur Miller include the Note on Historical Accuracy?
  • What is perfidy (from Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser)?
  • Is being pedantic a good or bad thing?
  • Is a termagant a type of seabird?
  • What is ichor (from The Iliad )?
  • In The Hunger Games, why did Cinna choose to be the designer for District 12?
  • Is a rivulet really a river, only smaller?
  • Charles Dickens has this person called the beadle" in lots of his books. Is that like a nickname for a man with buggy eyes or something?"
  • In Brave New World, why are family words like father and mother viewed as obscene?
  • What is the main tenet of stoicism?
  • What's the meaning of obsequious (from Theodore Dreiser's urban novel Sister Carrie )?
  • Where are the Antipodes (from Much Ado about Nothing )?
  • What is a truckle bed (from Romeo and Juliet )?
  • What does truculent (from Great Expectations ) mean?
  • If someone inculcates you, should you feel insulted?
  • What does the phrase Ethiop words" mean in Shakespeare's As You Like It ?"
  • I was chatting with a neighbor who said I was quite garrulous . Nice or mean?
  • What does laconic mean?
  • At a restaurant famous for its rude servers, a waitress told me to lump it" when I asked for another napkin. Can you tell me about that phrase?"
  • What does urbane (from Daisy Miller ) mean?
  • I thought necro had something to do with being dead. So, what's a necromancer ? Sounds creepy.
  • In The House of Mirth, this guy named Gus Trenor is eating a jellied plover." Is that some kind of doughnut?"
  • What are some well-known novels whose titles are quotations from Shakespeare?
  • In Orwell's 1984, what does the opening sentence suggest about the book?
  • Understanding the literary genre Magical Realism
  • What's a prig?
  • I asked my granddad if he liked his new apartment and he said, It's all hunky-dory, kiddo." What did he mean?"
  • What does mephitic (from Man and Superman ) mean?
  • I hate finding typos in books. Here's one I've seen several times: jalousies instead of jealousies.
  • On the second week of my summer job at a bookstore, my boss handed me an envelope with what she called my emoluments. Looked like a paycheck to me, though.
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, what are some examples of the characters having courage?
  • What's cud? I was once told to stop chewing my cud and get back to work.
  • What can you tell me about the word patois from The Awakening ?
  • What are thews (from Ivanhoe )?
  • What does pot-shop (from The Pickwick Papers ) mean?
  • Are all dowagers women?
  • If someone is the titular head of a political party, does it mean they have all the power?
  • The word flummox confuses me. What does it mean?
  • Somebody told me I looked pasty. Does that mean I've eaten too many sweets?
  • I started taking private bassoon lessons. When I arrived at my teacher’s house, he told me to wait in the anteroom. I wasn’t sure where to go.
  • Is anomalous the same as anonymous ?
  • I know that a fathom is a unit of measure used by sailors, but how long is a fathom?
  • What is a joss (from Victory, by Joseph Conrad)?
  • What does eschew (from The Pickwick Papers ) mean?
  • What does excrescence (from The Call of the Wild ) mean?
  • What does the word covert mean?
  • In Shakespeare's Sonnet 125, what is an oblation ?
  • In Moby-Dick , what does vitiate mean?
  • In War and Peace , what does bane mean?
  • In Jane Eyre , what are chilblains ?
  • Does mendacious refer to something that is fixable (mendable)?
  • Is kickshawses one of those weird words that Shakespeare coined? What does it mean?
  • You say in CliffsNotes that In Cold Blood was Truman Capote's undoing. How?
  • What is renege , in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra ?
  • What is maxim ? I think it's a female name but I'm not sure.
  • Last Valentine's Day, this guy I barely know gave me a rose and said something about ardent love. What does ardent mean?
  • In Act I, Scene 1, of King Lear, what does benison mean?
  • What kind of literature is a picaresque novel?
  • What does culpable mean?
  • What's a cenotaph ? Every Veterans Day, I hear about the Queen of England laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in London.
  • What does gallimaufry mean in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ? My vocabulary is pretty good, but that one has me stumped!
  • What does it mean to genuflect ?
  • Someone told me I was looking wistful. What is wistful ?
  • In David Copperfield, what does superannuated mean?
  • Does the word syllogism have something to do with biology?
  • I see the word benefactor a lot in my reading assignments. Is that somebody who benefits from something?
  • I found a funny word in The Glass Castle. Where did skedaddle come from and what does it mean?
  • Does sinuous mean something like full of sin"? I saw the word in The Devil in the White City ."
  • In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, what is the meaning of the word propaganda ?
  • What are characteristics of Modernist literature, fiction in particular?
  • What does my brother mean when he says he's too ensconced in his studies to look for a girlfriend?
  • My grandpa complained about a bunch of politicians making what he called chin music . Did he mean they were in a loud band?
  • What is melodrama?
  • In Dracula, what's a missal ?
  • In the terms abject poverty and abject misery, what does abject mean?
  • In Moby-Dick, what does craven mean?
  • What does cicatrize mean?
  • What is a noisome smell" in Tolstoy's War and Peace ?"
  • What is an apostasy, from the George Bernard Shaw play, Man and Superman ?
  • In Jane Eyre, what's syncope ?
  • I just read Dracula. What's the forcemeat in Jonathan Harker's journal?
  • Can the word stern mean more than one thing?
  • Where is Yoknapatawpha county?
  • What does smouch mean?
  • I'm supposed to write a comparison of Hektor and Achilles from Homer's The Iliad, but I don't know where to start.
  • How do you pronounce quay ? And what does it mean, anyway?
  • What are some examples of paradox in the novel Frankenstein ?
  • In Ivanhoe, what does mammock mean?
  • What does rummage mean?
  • Is a mummer some type of religious person?
  • Some guy I don't like told his friend I was acting all demure. What does that mean?
  • When I complained about our cafeteria food, my biology teacher told me he wished they'd serve agarics. Was he talking about some kind of dessert?
  • Where did the name Of Mice and Men come from?
  • What genre would you consider the book, The Outsiders ?
  • In Fahrenheit 451, why would a society make being a pedestrian a crime?
  • What does the phrase, a worn-out man of fashion" mean from Jane Eyre ?"
  • Is sagacity a medical condition?
  • My teacher told me I was being obdurate. Was that a compliment?
  • What motives inspired Iago to plot revenge against Othello?
  • Who was the first king of Rome?
  • What does enervate mean?
  • What is a parvenu ? I saw the word in William Makepeace Thackeray's book Vanity Fair.
  • Is salubrity somehow related to being famous?
  • Do capers have something to do with cops?
  • What's the difference between a soliloquy and a monologue?
  • In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce uses the word pandybat . What's a pandybat?
  • Does the word inexorable have something to do with driving demons out of a person?
  • Do people who prognosticate have some sort of special power?
  • What is a hegemony, from James Joyce's Ulysses ?
  • What are fallow fields ? I'm a city gal who heard the term at a 4-H fair and just read it in Anna Karenina.
  • What's the difference between parody and satire?
  • Lord of the Flies uses the word inimical. What does it mean?
  • What does dreadnaught mean, as it’s used in Bleak House?
  • I saw vertiginous in Madame Bovary. What does mean the word mean?
  • What does overweening mean, in Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes?
  • Can you hear a dirge anyplace but a funeral?
  • Does imperturbable refer to something you can't break through?
  • What are the seven ages of man?
  • What is a chimera , in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë?
  • What's dross ?
  • What is an injunction ?
  • For school I had to make a Napoleon hat, which called for a cockade. What is that?
  • If someone studies assiduously, does it mean they're working really hard or really slowly?
  • Define mood as it relates to a work of fiction. Distinguish mood from effect.
  • My sister calls me the Princess of Prevarication." What's prevarication ?"
  • What's turpitude, as in moral turpitude"?"
  • What's the definition of tenebrous ?
  • This biography I'm reading about Queen Victoria says that she refused to remove the hatchment she had for her husband Prince Albert. What does that word mean?
  • What does sine qua non mean?
  • What's lugubrious mean?
  • What's impugn mean, from Ivanhoe?
  • What does postprandial mean?
  • I love reading fashion magazines and occasionally come across the word atelier. What is that?
  • What does King Lear mean when he says that ingratitude is a marble-hearted fiend"?"
  • What is celerity , from Ivanhoe ?
  • In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein , what are disquisitions ?
  • What's shrive ? My neighbor said she's been unshriven for years, but I think her skin looks quite shriveled.
  • What's a dobbin ?
  • What's polemic ? Over winter break, my uncle told me I was polemic and asked if I was on the debate team at school.
  • I came across a list of homonyms: mu, moo, moue . I know mu is Greek for the letter m , and moo is the sound cows make, but what's a moue ?
  • What does trow mean?
  • In Far from the Madding Crowd , what does cavil mean?
  • What does Charles Dickens mean when he says “toadies and humbugs” in his book, Great Expectations ?
  • Where can I find the word naught in The Scarlet Letter ?
  • I found an old diary from the 1800s where the writer describes how he almost died but was saved by a sinapism . What is that?
  • I know what mulch is, but what's mulct ?
  • When our teacher was introducing the next reading assignment, he said we'll be using the unexpurgated version. What did he mean?
  • For some reason, the word dingle sticks in my head after having read Treasure Island years ago. I never did discover what it meant. How about it, Cliff?
  • In Dracula , what's stertorous breathing?
  • What does philippic mean?
  • I'm usually pretty good at guessing what words mean, but have no clue about exigence . What is it?
  • What's doughty ? How do you pronounce it?
  • What's sharecropping? I'm kind of embarrassed to ask, because it's one of those words everyone assumes you know what it means.
  • I'm working on my summer reading list with Kafka's The Trial. The very first sentence uses traduce , and I don't know what that means.
  • What does the cormorant (bird) symbolize in mythology?
  • I saw the word badinage in the book Uncle Tom's Cabin . Do you think that's a typo that really should be bandage ?
  • On a TV modeling contest, a judge said, Her simian walk is unbelievable." Was that a good thing?"
  • What is the definition of adverbiously , from Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities ?
  • In Oliver Twist , Dodger refers to Oliver as flash companion . Can't find a definition of this anywhere. What does it mean?
  • Do elocutionists kill people?
  • For my English homework, I have to write a love poem. I'm only 13 and I haven't had my first love yet. How would I go about writing about feelings that I haven't felt yet?
  • Where on the body would I find my sarcophagus ?
  • What's stolid ? It sounds like someone who's stupid and built solid like a wall.
  • What's a wonton person?
  • In which play did William Shakespeare state that misery loves company?
  • What's comfit ? Is it a different way of saying comfort?
  • Where did the story Frankenstein by Mary Shelley take place?
  • What kind of person would a shallow-pate be?
  • What are myrmidons of Justice" in Great Expectations ?"
  • Faseeshis … no clue on the spelling, but I kind of got yelled at in school today for being that. What did I do?
  • In The Red Badge of Courage , what's an imprecation ?
  • The word portmanteau shows up in a lot of the literature I read for school assignments. It sounds French. What does it mean?
  • I did something really stupid yesterday, and my grandfather told me I was hoist with my own petard." What does that mean? And what's a petard ?"
  • How do you pronounce Cymbeline, one of Shakespeare's early comedies?
  • What's a bourse ? I read it in my finance class.
  • In The House of Mirth, what are oubliettes ?
  • In Tess of the d'Urbervilles, what are thimble-riggers ?
  • In Wuthering Heights , what's a thible ?
  • Which Hemingway story references the running of the bulls" in Spain?"
  • What's a clink? My dad mentioned that his granddad was there for a long time during World War I.
  • If somebody is toady," does it mean they're ugly?"
  • Who said all's fair in love and war" and where?"
  • Why is there so much talk about baseball, especially Joe DiMaggio, in The Old Man and the Sea ?
  • In the movie Failure to Launch , there's a line that goes, Well, she certainly is yar," in reference to a yacht. What's yar ?"
  • What does mangle mean in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities ?
  • I got detention because a teacher said I was being contumacious . What's that?
  • What are encomiums?
  • What are billets in The Three Musketeers ?
  • In Orwell's 1984 , what is doublethink ?
  • What are orts ? That's a weird word that reminds me of orcs from The Lord of the Rings .
  • What are alliteration and assonance?
  • How is John the Savage's name ironic in Brave New World ?
  • What's quinsy?
  • What is a doppelgänger?
  • What is New Historicism?
  • I found the word unwonted in a book I'm reading. Is that a typo, you think?
  • In Heart of Darkness , what does cipher mean?
  • In the play The Glass Menagerie, would you describe Tom as selfish?
  • What does Kantian mean, from a philosophical perspective?
  • What's a colonnade ? My girlfriend is freaking me out with stories of her dream wedding where she walks down a colonnade. I know this is the least of my problems, but I'm curious.
  • My grandma says she knows how I feel when I knit my brows. Is she crazy?
  • Why is Shakespeare's play titled Julius Caesar , even though he is dead by Act III and plays a relatively small role?
  • I know bier has something to do with dead people, but what is it exactly?
  • My brainy brother owns a Harley and says his girlfriend is the pillion . Is he insulting her or just showing off?
  • I ran across the word mien in a book. Is it a typo?
  • Is a younker a person or a place?
  • Does precipitancy have something to do with the weather?
  • I'm writing a grade 12 comparative essay, and I need a book that I could compare with All Quiet on the Western Front. Any suggestions?
  • A friend says she suffers from ineffable sadness. What's ineffable ?
  • What's a scow ?
  • Is a maelstrom some kind of dangerous weather?
  • What is the meaning of this saying, The cat will mew and dog will have his day"?"
  • What is a paradox ?
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray mentions a panegyric on youth. What does that mean?
  • In Madame Bovary , what's a mairie?
  • In The Kite Runner, what's palliative mean?
  • So what's oligarchy ? In government class, my teacher mentioned that word when we were talking about the Blagojevich scandal in Illinois.
  • Is intrepidity a good thing or a bad thing?
  • My grandmother told me that she thinks grandpa should see an alienist. Does she think he's from another planet or what?
  • Do you have to have licentiousness to get your driver's license?
  • I ran across the word hardihood in something I read the other day. Is it some kind of clothing?
  • I saw mention of haversack in my history book. What does that word mean?
  • I'm guessing the word quadroon is four of something. But what's a roon?
  • I'm trying to understand Shakespeare's play, King Lear . Can you explain these quotes from Act 1, Scene 1?
  • In Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment , what's a samovar ?
  • I came across a music channel that featured tejano," and then I saw the same word when I was reading Bless Me, Ultima. What does it mean?"
  • In The Awakening , there's a term prunella gaiter." I'm guessing that gaiters are a type of covering for your legs, like the gaiters I use on my ski boots to keep snow out. But what the heck is prunella? Is it a purplish color like prunes?"
  • What's sedulous mean?
  • In Chapter 2 of Jane Eyre , what are divers parchments ?
  • A friend of mine said she hopes to get a counterpane for Christmas. What's that?
  • In Wuthering Heights, what does munificent mean?
  • The other day, my dad called my friends a motley crew. Is that his way of saying I should hang out with a different crowd?
  • Why is there an authorship problem with Shakespeare?
  • What is it called when something is out of place in time, like a jet stream in a movie about ancient Rome?
  • In 1984 , does Winston die from a bullet at the end of the book or is he in a dream-state?
  • I saw some old guy in a soldier's uniform selling fake red flowers. He said it was for Veterans Day. What's the connection?
  • I was kind of flirting with this really cute boy when my teacher told me to stop palavering. Did she want me to stop flirting or stop talking?
  • My grandmother says when she was a kid in China, she became Catholic because of the Mary Knows nuns. I tried to look that up on the Internet but couldn't find anything. Can you help?
  • In The Count of Monte Cristo , does cupidity mean love? I'm guessing that because of, you know, Cupid . . . Valentine's Day.
  • My theater teacher called me a name the other day. I don't think it was supposed to be a compliment. What's a somnambulist, anyway?
  • Why was Tartuffe such a jerk?
  • To Kill a Mockingbird has this word fey in it, but I don't know what it means. Does it mean short lived or fleeting?
  • In Pride and Prejudice , what's probity" &mdash
  • I never met my grandma, who my mom says lives in a hovel and wants her to move in with us. Then I saw that word in Frankenstein . What's a hovel? I thought it was like a place that had room service.
  • I have a friend who said something about phantasmagoric. That's not real, is it?
  • Which of the following literary devices is used in these poetic lines by John Milton?
  • In Faulkner's A Rose for Emily," what does noblesse oblige mean?"
  • What is love?
  • What is suggested by the coin image in Book II of A Tale of Two Cities ?
  • Why does Satan rebel against God?
  • I'm reading Candide, by Voltaire, and one of the dudes is an Anabaptist. What's that?
  • What does the poem Summer Sun" by Robert Louis Stevenson really mean?"
  • What did Shakespeare want to say about his beloved in Sonnet 18?
  • In Romeo and Juliet , who was the last person to see Juliet alive?
  • What is the Catechism?
  • What is the overall meaning of the poem Before The Sun," by Charles Mungoshi?"
  • What does ague mean?
  • Is there a reference to venereal disease in Romeo and Juliet ?
  • What is fantasy fiction?
  • What is the exposition in Othello ?
  • Who is the character Susan in Romeo and Juliet ?
  • What is a found poem?
  • What did Alice Walker mean in the essay Beauty"?"
  • Why did Dr. Frankenstein create his monster?
  • What is the name of the surgeon and the English ship he's on in Moby-Dick ?
  • What are the differences between an epic hero and a Romantic hero?
  • In Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, does Gail Wynand commit suicide or only close The Banner at the end of the novel? I'm in a literary dispute over this!
  • What did W.E.B. Du Bois mean when he wrote of second-sight?
  • What is nihilism, and what should I read to get a better understanding of it?
  • What is the difference between an atheist and an agnostic?
  • What are intelligent design and creationism and how are they related?
  • What is misanthropy ?
  • I would like to understand the poem Blight" by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Please help."
  • Can you explain the significance of the question, Which came first, the chicken or the egg?""
  • In Little Lost Robot," by Isaac Asimov, why have some robots been impressioned with only part of the First Law of Robotics?"
  • Can you explain Cartesian Dualism and how Descartes' philosophical endeavors led him to dualism?
  • When reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice , what does entailment mean?
  • What does ignominy mean? (From Shelley's Frankenstein )
  • What does pecuniary mean? (From Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities )
  • How do I analyze Kant's philosophy?
  • What is an apostrophe in Macbeth ?
  • Is music a language?
  • Why should literature be studied?
  • In the book The Scarlet Letter , what is a vigil ?
  • The first week of school isn't even over yet and I'm already in trouble — I forgot my textbook at school and can't do my homework! What should I do now?!
  • What are the renaissance features/characteristics in Hamlet ?
  • What is the exact quote in Hamlet about something being wrong in Denmark? Something smells? Something is amiss?
  • What does Utilitarianism mean, from a philosophical perspective?
  • What was the form of English that Shakespeare used?
  • At the beginning of Act V, Scene 2 of Much Ado About Nothing, does Shakespeare insinuate that anything is going on between Margaret and Benedick?
  • What was the "final solution" in the book Night by Elie Wiesel?
  • With the many novels out there, is there a database of some sort that can narrow down your choices to a specific book of interest for pleasure reading? And if not, why hasn't there been?
  • How do you pronounce Houyhnhnms ? (From Swift's Gulliver's Travels )
  • I just took the quiz on The Great Gatsby on this site. How can Jordan Baker be described as a professional golfer? To my knowledge, the LPGA did not form until the mid-1950s. Shouldn't she be referred to as an amateur golfer instead?
  • What are the humanities?
  • If Father, Son, and Holy Ghost aren't names, what is God's name?
  • What classic novels take place in Florida?
  • In which Hemingway short story is the saying, "Children's shoes for sale"?
  • Who is the "lady" that Robert Plant speaks of in the song "Stairway to Heaven"?
  • Was Odysseus the one who planned the Trojan horse, in the Trojan War?
  • How do I get my smart-but-hates-to-read son interested in reading?
  • Poetry gives me problems. How can I figure out what poems are about?
  • What does it mean to ululate ? (From Golding's Lord of the Flies )
  • Is ambrosia a salad? (From Homer's The Odyssey )
  • What is a harbinger ? (From Shakespeare's Macbeth )
  • What does it mean to be refractory ? (From Dickens' Great Expectations )
  • What is a querulous kid? (From Wharton's Ethan Frome )
  • What does the word runagate mean? (From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet )
  • What is the word, imprimis ? (From Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew )
  • What does the word alchemy mean? (From Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter )
  • What is an estuary ? (From Conrad's Heart of Darkness )
  • What or who is a scullion ? (From Shakespeare's Hamlet )
  • What is a schism ? (From Swift's Gulliver's Travels )
  • What does it mean to be salubrious ? (From Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights )
  • What is a replication ? (From Shakespeare's Hamlet )
  • What is vicissitude ? (From Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables )
  • Can you define indolent ? (From Wharton's House of Mirth )
  • What does the word replete mean? (From Shakespeare's Henry V )
  • What are orisons ? (From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet )
  • What does it mean to be ephemeral ?
  • What does it mean to be placid ? (From Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre )
  • What is a paroxysm ? (From Stoker's Dracula )
  • My English teacher got really mad when I said I was nauseous . Why?
  • What does it mean to be farinaceous ? (From Tolstoy's Anna Karenina )
  • What does dejection mean? (From Shelley's Frankenstein )
  • What is animadversion ? (From Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter )
  • What does it mean to be timorous ? (From Shakespeare's Othello )
  • Someone called me erudite . Is that good?
  • What is a mountebank ? (From Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter )
  • What does incarnadine mean? (From Shakespeare's Macbeth )
  • What does it mean to be puissant? (From Shakespeare's Julius Caesar)
  • What is a purloiner? (From Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities)
  • What does it mean to be affable ? (From Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment )
  • What does it mean to be ostensible ? (From Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court )
  • What does compunction mean? (From Dickens's Bleak House )
  • What is behoveful ? (From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet )
  • What is a precentor ? (From Golding's Lord of the Flies )
  • What does it mean to be loquacious ? (From Cervantes's Don Quixote )
  • What does imprudence mean? (From Ibsen's A Doll's House )
  • What is a conflagration ? (From Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde )
  • What does it mean to be spurious ? (From James' Daisy Miller )
  • What is a retinue ? (From Swift's Gulliver's Travels )
  • What does the word forsworn mean? (From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet )
  • What does the word hauteur mean? (From Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby )
  • What are vituperations ? (From Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl )
  • What are ostents ? (From Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice )
  • What is a sockdolager ? (From Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn )
  • What does insuperable mean? (From Shelley's Frankenstein )
  • What is calumny ? (From Shakespeare's Hamlet )
  • What is an augury ? (From Sophocles' Antigone )
  • What does squally mean? (From Dickens' Great Expectations )
  • What does corporal mean? (From Shakespeare's Macbeth )
  • What does it mean to be plausible ? (From Sinclair's The Jungle )
  • What is a dearth ? (From Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre )
  • What does it mean to vacillate ? (From Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest )
  • What does it mean to obtrude someone? (From Dickens's Great Expectations )
  • What is a heterodox ? (From Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter )
  • What is felicity ? (From Austen's Emma )
  • What does it mean to be effacing ? (From Adams's The Education of Henry Adams )
  • What is a repast ? (From Chan Tsao's Dream of the Red Chamber )
  • What does insouciance mean? (From Sinclair's The Jungle )
  • What is a soliloquy ? (From Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn )
  • I was reading The Iliad and there's this word in it: greaves . What's that?
  • What does the word prodigality mean? (From Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby )
  • Is there an easy way to understand The Canterbury Tales ?
  • What does the scarlet letter symbolize?
  • What is the significance of Grendel's cave in Beowulf ?
  • How did Hawthorne show that Hester Prynne was a strong woman in The Scarlet Letter ?
  • What purpose do the three witches serve at the beginning of Macbeth ?
  • What can you tell me about Grendel from Beowulf ?
  • What figurative language does Stephen Crane use in The Red Badge of Courage ?
  • Why is Roger so mean in Lord of the Flies ?
  • How do Gene and Finny mirror each other in A Separate Peace ?
  • The old man and the young wife — what's up with story plots like this?
  • What part does vengeance play in The Odyssey ?
  • What kind of a woman is Penelope in The Odyssey ?
  • Do fate and fortune guide the actions in Macbeth ?
  • How does Frankenstein relate to Paradise Lost ?
  • How has the way people view Othello changed over time?
  • How does Henry change throughout The Red Badge of Courage ?
  • What's so great about Gatsby?
  • How is To Kill a Mockingbird a coming-of-age story?
  • Why did Ophelia commit suicide in Hamlet ?
  • What is the setting of The Scarlet Letter ?
  • What is a slave narrative?
  • What's an anachronism ?
  • Doesn't Raskolnikov contradict himself in Crime and Punishment ?
  • What is the main theme of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ?
  • What does Shakespeare mean by memento mori ?
  • What are inductive and deductive arguments?
  • How does Alice Walker break the rules" of literature with The Color Purple ?"
  • What role does Friar Laurence play in Romeo and Juliet ?
  • Why did Elie Wiesel call his autobiography Night ?
  • How does Shakespeare play with gender roles in Macbeth ?
  • Where did Dickens get the idea to write A Tale of Two Cities ?
  • What's the purpose of the preface to The Scarlet Letter ?
  • What role do women play in A Tale of Two Cities ?
  • Who are the heroes and villains in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
  • What are the ides of March?
  • Was Kate really a shrew in The Taming of the Shrew ?
  • What role does innocence play in The Catcher in the Rye ?
  • How are Tom and Huck different from each other in Huckleberry Finn ?
  • What is blank verse and how does Shakespeare use it?
  • How do the book and film versions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest differ?
  • What is a satirical novel?
  • What is the role of censorship in Fahrenheit 451 ?
  • How can I keep myself on track to get through my summer reading list?
  • How does Jim fit into the overall theme of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ?
  • What is a major theme of The Great Gatsby ?
  • How does Shakespeare use light and darkness in Romeo and Juliet ?
  • Who is the narrator in Faulkner's A Rose for Emily"?"
  • In Lord of the Flies , what statement is William Golding making about evil?
  • How is The Catcher in the Rye different from other coming-of-age novels?
  • How does Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird show two sides?
  • Was there supposed to be a nuclear war in The Handmaid's Tale ? I couldn't tell.
  • What is experimental theater"?"
  • Does Jonas die at the end of The Giver ?
  • What is an inciting incident, and how do I find one in Lord of the Flies ?
  • How does King Arthur die?
  • In Julius Caesar , what does this mean: Cowards die many times before their deaths
  • How do you write a paper on comparing a movie with the book?
  • Please explain this Kipling quote: Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.""
  • What is a tragic flaw?
  • What is a motif, and how can I find them in Macbeth ?
  • Why didn't Socrates write any books? After all, he was supposed to be so intelligent and wise.
  • Why are there blanks in place of people's names and places in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice ?
  • Was Othello a king? A prince? He's referred to as My Lord" but I'm not sure of his actual title."
  • I need to download some pictures of Juliet. Where would I find these?
  • Why does Odysseus decide to listen to the Sirens, in The Odyssey , by Homer?
  • What does prose and poetry mean? What's the difference?
  • In The Scarlet Letter, why is the scaffold important and how does it change over the course of the novel?
  • Why does the legend of King Arthur hold such a powerful grip over us?
  • Do you like to read books?
  • What are the metrical features in poetry?
  • What are the riddles that Gollum asked Bilbo in The Hobbit ?
  • Can you tell me what these two quotes from Much Ado About Nothing mean?
  • What is connotation, and how do you find it in a poem?
  • What is a dramatic monologue?
  • What is formal fallacy?
  • In the movie Dead Poets Society, what are some themes and values that are relevant to Transcendentalism. What is Transcendentalism?
  • Why didn't Mina Harker realize she was under Dracula's spell when she witnessed her friend fall prey to him, too? Wasn't it obvious?
  • In The Three Musketeers by Dumas, Cardinal Richelieu is labeled as the villain. How could he be presented as a hero instead?
  • In Romeo and Juliet , what are the different types of irony used? Um, what's irony?
  • What is the main theme in Fahrenheit 451 ?
  • In Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities , what fact in Book the Second: Chapters 1-6, confirms Darnay's release?
  • Why is Invisible Man considered a bildungsroman?
  • In A Doll's House , what risqué item does Nora reveal to Dr. Rank that eventually prompts him to disclose his own secret?
  • What is a definition of short story?
  • What percentage of people are considered geniuses?
  • How do I write and publish my own novel?
  • Do I use the past or present tense to answer this question: What is this poem about?" "
  • A Closer Look at Internships
  • Consider Working for a Nonprofit Organization
  • Create a Top-Quality Cover Letter
  • Deciding Whether to Go for Your MBA
  • Dress the Part for a Job Interview
  • Appropriate Attire: Defining Business Casual
  • Famous Americans Who Started Out in the Military
  • The Benefits of Joining a Professional Organization
  • Five Job Interview Mistakes
  • Getting Good References for Your Job Hunt
  • Lying on Your Resume
  • Make the Most of Days between Jobs
  • Military Career Opportunity: Translators and Interpreters
  • Network Your Way into a Job
  • Prepare for a Job Interview
  • Preparing for Job Interview Questions
  • Putting Your English Degree to Work
  • Putting Your Education Degree to Work
  • Take Advantage of Job and Career Fairs
  • Tips for a Better Resume
  • Understand Negotiable Elements of a Job Offer
  • Visit the College Career Office
  • Write a Resume That Will Get Noticed
  • Write a Thank You Note after an Interview
  • Writing a Follow-Up Letter after Submitting Your Resume
  • Your Military Career: Basics of Officer Candidate School
  • Your Military Career: Requirements for Officer Candidate School
  • Know What to Expect in Graduate School
  • Paying for Graduate School
  • Plan for Graduate Education
  • Tackle the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • What Does School Accreditation Mean?
  • Writing Essays for Your Business School Application
  • Apply to Graduate School
  • Basic Requirements for Grad School
  • Choose a Graduate School
  • Decide if Graduate School Is Right for You
  • English Majors: Selecting a Graduate School or Program
  • Getting Letters of Recommendation for Your Business School Application
  • Graduate School Application: Tips, Advice, and Warnings
  • Graduate School: Applying as a Returning Student
  • How to Find a Mentor for Graduate School
  • How to Prepare for Grad School as an Undergrad
  • How Work Experience Affects Your MBA Application
  • Master's Degree in Biology: Choosing a Grad School
  • In what countries does Toyota produce and market cars?
  • How would you use the PDSA cycle in your personal life?
  • I am confused about adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing negative numbers.
  • Who are some famous female mathematicians?
  • Given the set of numbers [7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42], find a subset of these numbers that sums to 100.
  • The speed limit on a certain part of the highway is 65 miles per hour. What is this in feet per minute?
  • What is the sum of the angles of an octagon?
  • In math, what does reciprocal mean?
  • How many grams in an ounce?
  • A number is 20 less than its square. Find all answers.
  • How much is 1,000 thousands?
  • How do I find the angles of an isosceles triangle whose two base angles are equal and whose third angle is 10 less than three times a base angle?
  • Explain with words and an example how any number raised to the zero power is 1?
  • If I had 550 coins in a machine worth $456.25, what would be the denomination of each coin?
  • What three consecutive numbers add up to 417?
  • How many 100,000,000s in 50 billion?
  • Of 100 students asked if they like rock and roll or country music, 7 said they like neither, 90 said they like rock and roll, and 57 said they like country music. How many students like both?
  • What's the formula to convert square feet into square meters?
  • In math, what is the definition of order of operations?
  • What's the difference between digital and analog?
  • What is the square root of 523,457?
  • What are all of the prime numbers?
  • Our teacher told us to look for clues in math word problems. What did she mean?
  • How do I figure out math word problems (without going crazy)?
  • What good is geometry going to do me after I get out of school?
  • I keep forgetting how to add fractions. Can you remind me?
  • My teacher talks about the Greatest Common Factor. What's so great about it?
  • Got any tips on finding percentages of a number?
  • What does associative property mean when you’re talking about adding numbers?
  • How do I use domain and range in functions?
  • How do I change percents to decimals and fractions? How about decimals and fractions to percents?
  • What should I do if my teacher wants me to solve an inequality on a number line?
  • What is a fast and easy way to work word problems?
  • How do you combine numbers and symbols in an algebraic equation?
  • How do I go about rounding off a number?
  • What is the First Derivative Test for Local Extrema?
  • Can you describe a prism for me?
  • How can I double-check my answers to math equations?
  • How do you factor a binomial?
  • I get the words mean , mode , median , and range mixed up in math. What do they all mean?
  • How do you combine like terms in algebra?
  • Can you make it easier for me to understand what makes a number a prime number?
  • Explain probability to me (and how about some examples)?
  • Solving story problems is, well, a problem for me. Can you help?
  • What's inferential statistics all about?
  • Finding percentages confuses me. Do you have any tips to make it simpler?
  • What's a quadratic equation, and how do I solve one?
  • How do you figure out probability?
  • How do you add integers?
  • How do you use factoring in quadratic equations?
  • What are limits in calculus?
  • I've looked everywhere to find the meaning of this word and I can't find it. What's the definition of tesseract ?
  • In geometry, how do you get the perimeters of a square and a rectangle?
  • What is the absolute value of a negative number?
  • A rectangle swimming pool is 24m longer than it is wide and is surrounded by a deck 3m wide. Find the area of the pool if the area of the deck is 324m 2 . Where do I even start to solve this problem?
  • How do you classify numbers, as in rational numbers, integers, whole numbers, natural numbers, and irrational numbers? I am mostly stuck on classifying fractions.
  • How do you convert a fraction to a decimal or change a decimal to a fraction?
  • I am trying to find all solutions to this algebra (factoring) problem, x 3 – 3x 2 – x + 3 = 0, and I keep getting the wrong answer. Please help!
  • Sometimes when I'm doing my pre-calculus homework I need help on some of the problems. Do you know where I can find help on the weekends or whenever?
  • How do you convert metric measurements?
  • I'm curious about converting Celsius to Fahrenheit, or Fahrenheit to Celsius. How do I convert from one to the other?
  • In basic math, the fraction bar shows division. So why does this equation show multiplication instead of division? 9/9 = 1 because 1 x 9 = 9.
  • I'm taking geometry and I'm having problem with the angles and the degree. Is there a way you can help me out?
  • The perimeter of a rectangle is 66m. The width is 9m less than the length. What is the length and width of the rectangle?
  • How many dollars are in 5,000 pesos?
  • How many ounces in a pound?
  • I'm having a hard time remembering percent of change. All I have is P (percent) = amount of change over original amount. Is there a better way of understanding it?
  • How do I figure out tangrams?
  • What are quadrilaterals?
  • What is the least common multiple of 8, 6, and 12?
  • How do you convert decimals to fractions?
  • How did the planet" Pluto get its name? I know it's named after the mythical god of the underworld, but why?"
  • What is the difference between the earth's core and its crust?
  • What does gender really mean?
  • What does plum pudding have to do with physics?
  • What is the functionalist perspective in sociology?
  • What does pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis mean?
  • Why aren't viruses considered living things?
  • Why does your breathing rate increase when you exercise?
  • Everyone says you shouldn't clean your ears with cotton swabs because you could break an eardrum. But if you do break your eardrum, will it grow back?
  • What is a mole?
  • How, and why, is body fat stored?
  • Where on the body do you find ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium?
  • Since she was only married for 72 days, does Kim Kardashian have to give back her wedding gifts?
  • In the United States, how can you get buried at sea?
  • What exactly is Salvia divinorum , and is it legal?
  • What is the composition and volume of whole blood?
  • Should I refer to a widow as Mrs., Miss, or Ms.?
  • Is it possible to catch more than one cold at a time?
  • Why does the Earth have more gravitational force than the moon or some other planet?
  • Did humans evolve from monkeys or apes?
  • What is the largest organ in the human body?
  • How did we end up with both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales?
  • What is absolute zero?
  • What is cell theory?
  • How come when humans flatulate, it smells bad?
  • How do I convert mL into µL, and vice versa?
  • What is the most abundant element in the earth's crust?
  • Is global warming man-made?
  • What exactly is wind? And why does it blow?
  • This sounds really disgusting, but I'm curious: Can humans drink animal blood, or any other kind of blood?
  • Why is space exploration important?
  • How is photosynthesis essential to life on earth?
  • What is the highest mountain in New Mexico?
  • What's the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
  • Who are the unbelievers" referred to in The Koran? What is it that they do not believe?"
  • What is the difference between Sunnis and Shi'ites?
  • What happens when you die?
  • Why is it important to memorize where the 50 states are on a map?
  • What kind of endangered species are there? Can you give me some examples, please?
  • It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open, so when you drive a car, is it against the law to sneeze?
  • What are tectonic plates?
  • I have boy trouble. I want to ask out my friend, but I am not sure he is going to say yes. Plus, he said he had a girlfriend when we talked during school. Plus, my parents don't want me to date.
  • Why is the sky blue?
  • Do you really shrink at the end of the day and then grow in the morning?
  • What is the difference between matter" and "mass"?"
  • What does "nature versus nurture" mean?
  • What are closed contour lines?
  • What is homeostasis ?
  • What does the periodic table look like?
  • Do you know anything about the law of conservation of energy? Is it really a law?
  • I thought I knew what work means, but my physics teacher defines it differently. What's up with that?
  • How do plants know when to drop their leaves?
  • What's the surface of the moon like?
  • How does the number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom differentiate it from another atom?
  • How do big rocks wear down over time?
  • What does genetic recombination mean?
  • How has DNA matching really made big difference in finding out who committed a crime?
  • What's the difference between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems?
  • What is incomplete dominance?
  • Can hydrocarbons be considered compounds?
  • Can you explain what molar mass is?
  • Aren't fungi really plants?
  • What information is contained in a chemical equation?
  • What are the endocrine and exocrine systems?
  • How do electrical charges interact?
  • Are there more than three kingdoms of life? I can never remember.
  • What are the characteristics of electrically charged objects?
  • How does anomie theory explain deviant behavior?
  • Why would anybody think there might be life on another planet?
  • What are chemical solutions?
  • Do you know of any way to simplify the overall subject of biochemical genetics?
  • Can a loud noise really shatter glass?
  • How do magnetic fields work?
  • Did Clarence Darrow really call an animal in to testify at the famous monkey trial?
  • What role does the thyroid gland play in the human body?
  • What did Mendel discover about heredity when he was playing around with plants?
  • How many laws of motion did Newton come up with, and what are they?
  • What in the world is constructive and destructive interference?
  • How do viruses do their dirty work?
  • What do bones do, except give us a skeletal structure?
  • Do all viruses look alike?
  • My teacher keeps talking about solubility. What does that mean, anyway?
  • How do positive and negative reinforcement work?
  • How does nondisjunction relate to birth defects?
  • With all the germs in the world today, how come everybody's not sick all the time?
  • What is thermal equilibrium?
  • How are sound waves created?
  • What do taste buds look like — up-close?
  • How often does an eclipse happen?
  • What is the chemical composition of saltwater?
  • I was told to write a 15-sentence answer to this question: When in life do you learn to expect the unexpected? I don't really know of an answer. Can you help me figure it out?
  • My school is having a blood drive and I am considering donating blood. Can you tell me more about the whole process and if it is painful?
  • Where can I download music for free? And if I do, is it illegal?
  • How do I convince my parents to give me ten bucks?
  • How should I deal with being a perfectionist?
  • How do I convince my little brother and sisters to stay out of my room?
  • Can you eat a rooster?
  • How do I work out a problem with a teacher who loses the assignments I turn in and then accuses me of not doing the homework?
  • Could a Tyrannosaurus rex kill King Kong?
  • How would you describe a rainbow to a person who has been blind their ENTIRE life and doesn't understand colors?
  • Will a tattoo inhibit hair growth?
  • When did gays come about?
  • I was wondering if the tilt on the earth's axis is important to animal life on earth. Could you explain?
  • What are the four types of tissue found in the human body?
  • Is there any easy" way to understand the Krebs Cycle?"
  • Why are prostaglandins sometimes called tissue hormones?
  • What is cell death? And what is the difference between apoptosis and necrosis?
  • How do I find the molar mass of the elements on the periodic table?
  • What do the symbols on the Periodic Table mean? For example, Gold-Au, Silver-Ag, Lead-Pb, Potassium-K, Tin-Sn, Iron-Fe, and Mercury-Hg, where did these symbols come from?
  • How is your mind connected to your dreams? Does this have anything to do with psychology?
  • What are the three main functions of the skeletal system?
  • What are the characteristics of a moneran, protist, and fungus?
  • Why does a placebo work? And who does it work for?
  • What are two properties of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids?
  • What is lymph? Is it part of the circulatory system in our bodies?
  • Can there be life on Mars?
  • How much of the ozone layer is left?
  • Is it possible for a marine mammal to be infected with rabies?
  • What exactly does the RNA do?
  • What is the sperm travel process?
  • What is a bacterial colony?
  • Dealing with the myth of Cinderella, written by the Grimm brothers, how could you analyze it in terms of archetypes that Carl Jung used?
  • What exactly is blood clotting and what are the processes involved?
  • What is the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission?
  • Does a person have to have the same blood type as his or her brothers and sisters?
  • My teacher said that eating poisonous mushrooms can make you sick or even kill you, but that they're not the only fungus that can. What is she talking about?
  • What is the chemical equation for orange juice?
  • What kind of structures are opposable toes?
  • What is an oral groove?
  • Dogs are spayed, but humans have hysterectomies. Isn't it all the same surgery?
  • What does the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) do?
  • What is the angle formed by a horizontal line and a line of sight to a point below?
  • After I take the ASVAB, what is my obligation to the military?
  • If I choose to take the computerized version of the GRE, will I be typing or writing my analytical and issue essays?
  • Are there any MBA programs that don't require the GMAT?
  • Can you use a calculator on the GMAT? What are you allowed to take in with you to the test?
  • Should I keep taking the GMAT until I get a good score?
  • How is the ASVAB scored?
  • I canceled my GMAT score right after I took the test. Now I'm wondering if I did the right thing.
  • What is the ASVAB AFQT?
  • Where can I take the ASVAB?
  • Is it better to guess on GMAT answers or would that count against me?
  • How is my GMAT score used by grad schools?
  • Is it true that the writing assessment sections of the GMAT are graded by a computer?
  • What kinds of scores are reported on the GRE, and how long will it take for me to get my scores?
  • What do I need to bring with me to the GRE testing center?
  • How are GRE scores used?
  • How do I learn stuff for in-class exams?
  • How do I get ready for a math test?
  • Can I take a calculator to my ACT exam?
  • Do you have any tips for doing well on the AP Chemistry test?
  • What can I expect in the math part of the SAT?
  • How can I prepare for the SAT essay?
  • What is the Critical Reasoning section of the SAT like?
  • Is there a fun way to learn SAT vocabulary?
  • What books should I read for the AP English Literature exam?
  • How can I make sure I finish the AP essay question in time?
  • Since I made the soccer team, I don't feel like I have enough time to study. Do you have any study tips so I can use my time better and make sure I don't get kicked off the team for my grades?
  • I'm a huge procrastinator. How can I manage my time effectively to catch up on my assignments?
  • What kind or amount of note-taking is optimal? I get lost while making a notation and miss other parts of the lecture.
  • I study so hard for my tests that I know I know the material, but then I always panic and bomb. How can I reduce my test anxiety?
  • I do really bad on quizzes. I'm okay with tests and homework, but I do horribly on quizzes. What can I do to prepare for quizzes?
  • I've screwed up horribly this semester. I always say I'm going to change my habits, but I always end up getting lazy and doing something else. I want to succeed, but how can I get rid of my own laziness?
  • If you have any music or audio notes playing on tape, CD, or whatever and you fall asleep, is it true that you'll have whatever was played memorized by the time you wake up?
  • I have trouble understanding a book when I read. I try to read so that I can finish the book quickly but still understand what's going on. Could you give me a few tips on how to understand a book while reading at a quick pace?
  • What is the best study method when trying to cram three chapters all at once?
  • What if I have a really bad memory? When I read a page of a book, I can't go back and remember it.
  • Why do some teachers say light a peppermint candle? I mean, I don't think it helps you concentrate.
  • I really suck at taking multiple choice tests. Do you have any suggestions for not psyching myself out before a big test?
  • Is there a WRONG way to study?
  • Are the math questions on the GMAT extremely difficult and complex?
  • Does it matter whether I take the SAT or ACT in my junior year or my senior year of high school?
  • What does AP mean?
  • How can I explain to my friend what I mean when I call him tedious ?
  • Does the word privations has something to do with the government?
  • What's the difference between goulash and galoshes?
  • What exactly is a parallel structure?
  • I have a bet on this: Learnt is a real word, right?
  • Is a boor somebody who boos or somebody who bores?
  • Somebody in my drama club used the word ostentation the other day. What does that mean, anyway?
  • Define paraphrasing.
  • What's another word that means the same thing as malevolence ?
  • I find the same typo in a lot of books I read. Shouldn't connexion be connection ?
  • What do you call a word that only ever appears as a plural?
  • What s the difference between like and such as
  • Can you show an easy way to remember when to use I" or "me" in a sentence? (And please skip the technical grammar rules.)"
  • Should I say, “Can I have a banana?” or “May I have a banana?”
  • Is the proper capitalization Atlantic ocean or Atlantic Ocean ?
  • What does the word supercilious mean?
  • Is grippe something that makes you sick?
  • Does the word elucidation have something to do with drugs?
  • How would you use fervid and fervent in a sentence?
  • How can someone become a good writer?
  • How do you cite CliffsNotes in APA, MLA, and CMS styles?
  • What period in history does histrionics cover?
  • People used to die from consumption. Does that mean they ate too much?
  • Is it ever okay to start a sentence with the word but?
  • What is the longest word in the English language?
  • I'm learning English now, so I gave myself an English name — Vivi." However, an American told me that "Vivi" is not suitable for a name. There are some local reasons. So I want to know if "Vivi" really can't be used as a name."
  • When writing a paper, what do I do to the title of a book? Do I underline it or italicize it?
  • Please look at this sentence: Both Peter and John like soccer. Should it be: Both Peter and John likes soccer.
  • What are the four genders of noun?
  • What is it called when a word is the same both forward and backward?
  • Do swans really sing when they die
  • What does indignation mean?
  • What is a pundit ?
  • What is a cleft sentence
  • What is the difference between narration and first person?
  • Is it grammatically correct to say take some shots"?"
  • My teacher thinks I plagiarized an essay; what should I tell him?
  • Why do some authors use the word an before all words that start with an H? Is this form of writing correct?
  • My school newspaper claimed that I am. is the shortest complete sentence in the English language. Isn't Go. a complete sentence?
  • How did people make up the lb. abbreviation for pounds?
  • Which is correct: "if I was" or "if I were"? And why?
  • How would you use the word antecede in a sentence?
  • Could you please explain the difference between affect and effect ?
  • How do I write a good thesis statement?
  • What do people mean when they talk about information in the public domain?
  • What's the big deal about plagiarism, anyway?
  • Is there a difference between envy and jealousy ?
  • Can you define the words prostate and prostrate ?
  • What does it mean to be threadbare ?
  • Is there a difference between the words ignorant and stupid ?
  • I used the word reoccur in a paper and my teacher said it should have been recur . Can you tell me the difference?
  • What does it mean to be flabbergasted ?
  • When should I write the word lose and when should I write loose ?
  • What does ad infinitum mean? (From Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre )
  • Do loath and loathe have different meanings?
  • I got marked down on a paper for using the word irregardless . Why?
  • What does it mean to be fastidious ? (From Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo )
  • Do stationary and stationery mean the same thing?
  • How is the word among different than the word between ?
  • What is a hierarchy ?
  • What is the difference between tortuous and torturous ?
  • Can you help me understand the difference between the words censor and censure ?
  • I get farther and further confused. Can you help?
  • I can t keep principal and principle clear Can you help
  • My teacher lowered my grade on a paper because I described a scene as grizzly . I thought that was a word.
  • Are the words gamut and gauntlet interchangeable?
  • When do I write some time instead of sometime and sometimes ?
  • Can you help me figure out when to use the word lay instead of lie ?
  • Can you tell me when to use faze instead of phase ?
  • What is the difference between avenge and revenge ?
  • What is the difference between the words precede and proceed ?
  • How do I fix a run-on sentence?
  • How useful are automatic spell-checkers?
  • Is it okay to begin a sentence with and ?
  • When is it okay to use sentence fragments?
  • What is future perfect tense?
  • Is it okay to split infinitives?
  • Why do people often confuse than and then in writing?
  • When do I use commas with clauses?
  • How do I decide which type of pronoun to use when I have multiple pronouns?
  • What types of words or phrases should I avoid in my writing?
  • What is parallel structure in writing?
  • When should I use apostrophe-S?
  • What is a clause?
  • I have to write an essay, and I'm having a hard time getting started. Do you have any tips?
  • How can I make the most out of my first draft?
  • What should I avoid when writing the conclusion of a research paper?
  • Are can and may interchangeable?
  • What is passive voice?
  • What does it mean to be quixotic ?
  • What are linking verbs?
  • What does it mean to use redundant adverbs?
  • How do I organize a comparison essay?
  • How do I decide between who and whom ?
  • How do you use possessives in front of gerunds?
  • Can I end a sentence with a preposition?
  • How do I decide on the scope of my essay?
  • What are participles?
  • What's the difference between will and shall ?
  • Which adjectives can't be modified with more and most ?
  • What are indirect objects?
  • Should I use his , his or her , or their ?
  • What's the difference between farther and further ?
  • What is a storyboard?
  • What exactly is a theme of a story, and how can I recognize it?
  • Why is English class called English in school? English is a language, so I don't think it should be a class. Please help me understand.
  • What is tone exactly and how do you find it in stories?
  • Where do you start when writing a character analysis?
  • What is a dynamic character? What is a static character? How are they different?
  • What's the difference between description and narration?
  • I don't get onomatopoeias! It's as hard to spell as it is to understand!
  • What is a gothic tale?
  • What is the author's style" of a book?"
  • What is a one-word sentence called?
  • What word class would the word Novembery fit in to?
  • My instructor wrote on my paper to be careful about using passive voice. What does that mean?
  • Is it grammatically correct to say, She went missing"? What is the rule?"
  • I need information on the social roles of language. How are individuals judged based on their use of language?
  • What is the origin of the word promotion ?
  • What's a preposition?
  • What are some examples of homographic terms?
  • I have to write an essay for my AP world history class and my teacher said to use direct comparison, but I'm confused on what he means by that. Please Help!
  • I'm reading The Scarlet Letter in my Honors AP English class and my teacher wants us to do a 5 paragraph essay. What's the best way to start the introduction?
  • What are some examples of transitions that I can use in my writing assignment?
  • What does APA stand for?
  • In typing a term paper, what is the proper spacing after a period? I think I've read that one space is now acceptable.
  • What is meant by argue your own thesis?
  • How do I write an introductory paragraph and a concluding paragraph?
  • What are easy ways to identify figurative language?
  • When writing a persuasive essay, what words can take place of being verbs," such as is, are, has, be, were, and was? My teacher crossed all of those out of my paper? What words should I use to replace those?"
  • I have to write a dialogue that might take place between the speakers of The World Is Not a Pleasant Place to Be" and "Where Have You Gone." What exactly is a dialogue?"
  • What is the literary device of writing exactly as a character speaks, even if words are misspelled and the grammar is non-standard?
  • What are the types of tones/attitudes in writing?
  • What are the first-person, second-person, and third-person points of view? Which is used for formal essays?
  • What is a good sentence for the word plinth ?
  • What are footnotes and endnotes? How do I start off a title page?
  • Why can't you be rude or sarcastic in your thesis statement?
  • How do you write a paper, when the topic is yourself? How do you research that kind of thing?
  • What would a raging river be like?

Good writers do create stories that are organized and comprehensible. For example, a story usually follows some organization, whether it's told chronologically, in flashbacks, from different perspectives, and so on. Also, writers provide many clues to the meaning or main ideas they want you to get from the work.

In particular, the following points are important to consider when reading and analyzing literature:

  • Characters: Who are the main characters in the piece? What are the names and roles of the main characters? Who is the narrator, the person telling the story? Does this person have a bias? That is, can you trust what he or she is saying?
  • Events and interaction: What happens in the story? How do the characters interact? How are they related or connected? Why do the characters act or behave the way they do? Why do the events play out as they do?
  • Setting: Where does the piece take place? Is the setting critical to the story? Does the setting provide background? Does the setting give historical, physical, or other information that is key to the story?
  • Time: When does the story take place? Is it timeless, or is it grounded in a particular place and time?
  • Organization: How is the story organized? Most commonly, stories are told chronologically, but in some works, you may find that the author moves back and forth (in time as well as place).
  • Writing style: What does the writing style tell you about the story? Is the writing richly detailed? Is it sparse? (For example, Hemingway was famous for his Spartan writing style.) How does the writing style affect the meaning? Do you have to make assumptions or guesses because there are gaps?
  • Symbolism: Symbolism can be tricky because, sometimes, as the saying goes: "A cigar is just a cigar." Other time, a journey represents something beyond the trip itself. For example, Huck Finn's trip was more about his development as a person than his trip down the river.
  • Theme: What are the themes of the story? What elements or ideas are repeated or emphasized? Think about this throughout your reading, not just at the end. Notice what people, places, and events pop up over and over again.
  • Retelling of a story: Many stories are in some way or form a retelling of a previous story. If you think about Huckleberry Finn's trip, you can find other trips from Greek mythology (Homer's Odyssey ) to the Bible (the trip of the Magi) with similarities.

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Literary Analysis

How to analyze a novel.

Setting is a description of where and when the story takes place.

  • Geography, weather, time of day, social conditions?
  • What role does setting play in the story? Is it an important part of the plot or theme? Or is it just a backdrop against which the action takes place?
  • Study the time period which is also part of the setting
  • Does it take place in the present, the past, or the future?
  • How does the time period affect the language, atmosphere or social circumstances of the novel?


Characterization deals with how the characters are described.

  • through dialogue?
  • by the way they speak?
  • physical appearance? thoughts and feelings?
  • interaction – the way they act towards other characters?
  • Are they static characters who do not change?
  • Do they develop by the end of the story?
  • What type of characters are they?
  • What qualities stand out?
  • Are they stereotypes?
  • Are the characters believable?

Plot and structure

The plot is the main sequence of events that make up the story.

  • What are the most important events?
  • How is the plot structured? Is it linear, chronological or does it move back and forth?
  • Are there turning points, a climax and/or an anticlimax?
  • Is the plot believable?

Narrator and Point of view

The narrator is the person telling the story. Point of view : whose eyes the story is being told through.

  • Who is the narrator or speaker in the story?
  • Is the narrator the main character?
  • Does the author speak through one of the characters?
  • Is the story written in the first person “I” point of view?
  • Is the story written in a detached third person “he/she” point of view?
  • Is the story written in an “all-knowing” 3rd person who can reveal what all the characters are thinking and doing at all times and in all places?

Conflict or tension is usually the heart of the novel and is related to the main character.

  • Is it internal where the character suffers inwardly?
  • is it external caused by the surroundings or environment the main character finds himself/herself in?

The theme is the main idea, lesson or message in the novel. It is usually an abstract, universal idea about the human condition, society or life, to name a few.

  • How does the theme shine through in the story?
  • Are any elements repeated that may suggest a theme?
  • What other themes are there?

The author’s style has to do with the author’s vocabulary, use of imagery, tone or feeling of the story. It has to do with his attitude towards the subject. In some novels the tone can be ironic, humorous, cold or dramatic.

  • Is the text full of figurative language?
  • Does the author use a lot of symbolism? Metaphors, similes? An example of a metaphor is when someone says, “My love, you are a rose”. An example of a simile is “My darling, you are like a rose.”
  • What images are used?

Your literary analysis of a novel will often be in the form of an essay or book report where you will be asked to give your opinions of the novel at the end. To conclude, choose the elements that made the greatest impression on you. Point out which characters you liked best or least and always support your arguments. Try to view the novel as a whole and try to give a balanced analysis.

  • How to Analyze a Novel. Authored by : Carol Dwankowski, Celia Suzanna Sandor, and Catharine Ruud. Provided by : NDLA. Located at : http://ndla.no/en/node/13288?fag=42 . License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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Why we are the home of literature.

Book Analysis is constantly working with the ambition to be the largest database of book summaries and analyses on the internet, helping students and book fanatics get a deeper understanding of their favorite literature.

Since its birth, the website has grown in strength, propelled by a team of literature experts who passionately delve into the deep realm of literature. Their commitment ensures a continuous expansion of our database, enriching our platform with profound literary analysis and captivating insights gathered.

The website Poem Analysis was founded by William Green back in 2020. Will started a website on revision material for students in 2009, called Ask Will Online , most notably to help him with his own studies. As with most English Literature educational syllabuses, Will analyzed poetry and quickly learned it was an area that people liked to read and talk about online – Poem Analysis was born.

After success with Poem Analysis, Will wanted to expand to summarize, analyze and review books from the four corners of the world. He found most websites tended to target poems and literature relating to education and schools. This is great, but what about targeting everything?

Both Poem Analysis and Book Analysis aim to provide the most detail about poetry, books, novels, and general literature, regardless of how popular it is or not. For students, we have the right material. For general interest readers, you’ll find some brilliant new novels, and old ones that can help you appreciate and understand novels you may have read. Knowledge is empowering, and it brings great joy that it is offered on both these websites for free.

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It'll change your perspective on books forever.

Discover 5 Secrets to the Greatest Literature

beginner's guide to literary analysis

Understanding literature & how to write literary analysis.

Literary analysis is the foundation of every college and high school English class. Once you can comprehend written work and respond to it, the next step is to learn how to think critically and complexly about a work of literature in order to analyze its elements and establish ideas about its meaning.

If that sounds daunting, it shouldn’t. Literary analysis is really just a way of thinking creatively about what you read. The practice takes you beyond the storyline and into the motives behind it. 

While an author might have had a specific intention when they wrote their book, there’s still no right or wrong way to analyze a literary text—just your way. You can use literary theories, which act as “lenses” through which you can view a text. Or you can use your own creativity and critical thinking to identify a literary device or pattern in a text and weave that insight into your own argument about the text’s underlying meaning. 

Now, if that sounds fun, it should , because it is. Here, we’ll lay the groundwork for performing literary analysis, including when writing analytical essays, to help you read books like a critic. 

What Is Literary Analysis?

As the name suggests, literary analysis is an analysis of a work, whether that’s a novel, play, short story, or poem. Any analysis requires breaking the content into its component parts and then examining how those parts operate independently and as a whole. In literary analysis, those parts can be different devices and elements—such as plot, setting, themes, symbols, etcetera—as well as elements of style, like point of view or tone. 

When performing analysis, you consider some of these different elements of the text and then form an argument for why the author chose to use them. You can do so while reading and during class discussion, but it’s particularly important when writing essays. 

Literary analysis is notably distinct from summary. When you write a summary , you efficiently describe the work’s main ideas or plot points in order to establish an overview of the work. While you might use elements of summary when writing analysis, you should do so minimally. You can reference a plot line to make a point, but it should be done so quickly so you can focus on why that plot line matters . In summary (see what we did there?), a summary focuses on the “ what ” of a text, while analysis turns attention to the “ how ” and “ why .”

While literary analysis can be broad, covering themes across an entire work, it can also be very specific, and sometimes the best analysis is just that. Literary critics have written thousands of words about the meaning of an author’s single word choice; while you might not want to be quite that particular, there’s a lot to be said for digging deep in literary analysis, rather than wide. 

Although you’re forming your own argument about the work, it’s not your opinion . You should avoid passing judgment on the piece and instead objectively consider what the author intended, how they went about executing it, and whether or not they were successful in doing so. Literary criticism is similar to literary analysis, but it is different in that it does pass judgement on the work. Criticism can also consider literature more broadly, without focusing on a singular work. 

Once you understand what constitutes (and doesn’t constitute) literary analysis, it’s easy to identify it. Here are some examples of literary analysis and its oft-confused counterparts: 

Summary: In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the narrator visits his friend Roderick Usher and witnesses his sister escape a horrible fate.  

Opinion: In “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe uses his great Gothic writing to establish a sense of spookiness that is enjoyable to read. 

Literary Analysis: “Throughout ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ Poe foreshadows the fate of Madeline by creating a sense of claustrophobia for the reader through symbols, such as in the narrator’s inability to leave and the labyrinthine nature of the house. 

In summary, literary analysis is:

  • Breaking a work into its components
  • Identifying what those components are and how they work in the text
  • Developing an understanding of how they work together to achieve a goal 
  • Not an opinion, but subjective 
  • Not a summary, though summary can be used in passing 
  • Best when it deeply, rather than broadly, analyzes a literary element

Literary Analysis and Other Works

As discussed above, literary analysis is often performed upon a single work—but it doesn’t have to be. It can also be performed across works to consider the interplay of two or more texts. Regardless of whether or not the works were written about the same thing, or even within the same time period, they can have an influence on one another or a connection that’s worth exploring. And reading two or more texts side by side can help you to develop insights through comparison and contrast.

For example, Paradise Lost is an epic poem written in the 17th century, based largely on biblical narratives written some 700 years before and which later influenced 19th century poet John Keats. The interplay of works can be obvious, as here, or entirely the inspiration of the analyst. As an example of the latter, you could compare and contrast the writing styles of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Edgar Allan Poe who, while contemporaries in terms of time, were vastly different in their content. 

Additionally, literary analysis can be performed between a work and its context. Authors are often speaking to the larger context of their times, be that social, political, religious, economic, or artistic. A valid and interesting form is to compare the author’s context to the work, which is done by identifying and analyzing elements that are used to make an argument about the writer’s time or experience. 

For example, you could write an essay about how Hemingway’s struggles with mental health and paranoia influenced his later work, or how his involvement in the Spanish Civil War influenced his early work. One approach focuses more on his personal experience, while the other turns to the context of his times—both are valid. 

Why Does Literary Analysis Matter? 

Sometimes an author wrote a work of literature strictly for entertainment’s sake, but more often than not, they meant something more. Whether that was a missive on world peace, commentary about femininity, or an allusion to their experience as an only child, the author probably wrote their work for a reason, and understanding that reason—or the many reasons—can actually make reading a lot more meaningful. 

Performing literary analysis as a form of study unquestionably makes you a better reader. It’s also likely that it will improve other skills, too, like critical thinking, creativity, debate, and reasoning. 

At its grandest and most idealistic, literary analysis even has the ability to make the world a better place. By reading and analyzing works of literature, you are able to more fully comprehend the perspectives of others. Cumulatively, you’ll broaden your own perspectives and contribute more effectively to the things that matter to you. 

Literary Terms to Know for Literary Analysis 

There are hundreds of literary devices you could consider during your literary analysis, but there are some key tools most writers utilize to achieve their purpose—and therefore you need to know in order to understand that purpose. These common devices include: 

  • Characters: The people (or entities) who play roles in the work. The protagonist is the main character in the work. 
  • Conflict: The conflict is the driving force behind the plot, the event that causes action in the narrative, usually on the part of the protagonist
  • Context : The broader circumstances surrounding the work political and social climate in which it was written or the experience of the author. It can also refer to internal context, and the details presented by the narrator 
  • Diction : The word choice used by the narrator or characters 
  • Genre: A category of literature characterized by agreed upon similarities in the works, such as subject matter and tone
  • Imagery : The descriptive or figurative language used to paint a picture in the reader’s mind so they can picture the story’s plot, characters, and setting 
  • Metaphor: A figure of speech that uses comparison between two unlike objects for dramatic or poetic effect
  • Narrator: The person who tells the story. Sometimes they are a character within the story, but sometimes they are omniscient and removed from the plot. 
  • Plot : The storyline of the work
  • Point of view: The perspective taken by the narrator, which skews the perspective of the reader 
  • Setting : The time and place in which the story takes place. This can include elements like the time period, weather, time of year or day, and social or economic conditions 
  • Symbol : An object, person, or place that represents an abstract idea that is greater than its literal meaning 
  • Syntax : The structure of a sentence, either narration or dialogue, and the tone it implies
  • Theme : A recurring subject or message within the work, often commentary on larger societal or cultural ideas
  • Tone : The feeling, attitude, or mood the text presents

How to Perform Literary Analysis

Step 1: read the text thoroughly.

Literary analysis begins with the literature itself, which means performing a close reading of the text. As you read, you should focus on the work. That means putting away distractions (sorry, smartphone) and dedicating a period of time to the task at hand. 

It’s also important that you don’t skim or speed read. While those are helpful skills, they don’t apply to literary analysis—or at least not this stage. 

Step 2: Take Notes as You Read  

As you read the work, take notes about different literary elements and devices that stand out to you. Whether you highlight or underline in text, use sticky note tabs to mark pages and passages, or handwrite your thoughts in a notebook, you should capture your thoughts and the parts of the text to which they correspond. This—the act of noticing things about a literary work—is literary analysis. 

Step 3: Notice Patterns 

As you read the work, you’ll begin to notice patterns in the way the author deploys language, themes, and symbols to build their plot and characters. As you read and these patterns take shape, begin to consider what they could mean and how they might fit together. 

As you identify these patterns, as well as other elements that catch your interest, be sure to record them in your notes or text. Some examples include: 

  • Circle or underline words or terms that you notice the author uses frequently, whether those are nouns (like “eyes” or “road”) or adjectives (like “yellow” or “lush”).
  • Highlight phrases that give you the same kind of feeling. For example, if the narrator describes an “overcast sky,” a “dreary morning,” and a “dark, quiet room,” the words aren’t the same, but the feeling they impart and setting they develop are similar. 
  • Underline quotes or prose that define a character’s personality or their role in the text.
  • Use sticky tabs to color code different elements of the text, such as specific settings or a shift in the point of view. 

By noting these patterns, comprehensive symbols, metaphors, and ideas will begin to come into focus.  

Step 4: Consider the Work as a Whole, and Ask Questions

This is a step that you can do either as you read, or after you finish the text. The point is to begin to identify the aspects of the work that most interest you, and you could therefore analyze in writing or discussion. 

Questions you could ask yourself include: 

  • What aspects of the text do I not understand?
  • What parts of the narrative or writing struck me most?
  • What patterns did I notice?
  • What did the author accomplish really well?
  • What did I find lacking?
  • Did I notice any contradictions or anything that felt out of place?  
  • What was the purpose of the minor characters?
  • What tone did the author choose, and why? 

The answers to these and more questions will lead you to your arguments about the text. 

Step 5: Return to Your Notes and the Text for Evidence

As you identify the argument you want to make (especially if you’re preparing for an essay), return to your notes to see if you already have supporting evidence for your argument. That’s why it’s so important to take notes or mark passages as you read—you’ll thank yourself later!

If you’re preparing to write an essay, you’ll use these passages and ideas to bolster your argument—aka, your thesis. There will likely be multiple different passages you can use to strengthen multiple different aspects of your argument. Just be sure to cite the text correctly! 

If you’re preparing for class, your notes will also be invaluable. When your teacher or professor leads the conversation in the direction of your ideas or arguments, you’ll be able to not only proffer that idea but back it up with textual evidence. That’s an A+ in class participation. 

Step 6: Connect These Ideas Across the Narrative

Whether you’re in class or writing an essay, literary analysis isn’t complete until you’ve considered the way these ideas interact and contribute to the work as a whole. You can find and present evidence, but you still have to explain how those elements work together and make up your argument. 

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

When conducting literary analysis while reading a text or discussing it in class, you can pivot easily from one argument to another (or even switch sides if a classmate or teacher makes a compelling enough argument). 

But when writing literary analysis, your objective is to propose a specific, arguable thesis and convincingly defend it. In order to do so, you need to fortify your argument with evidence from the text (and perhaps secondary sources) and an authoritative tone. 

A successful literary analysis essay depends equally on a thoughtful thesis, supportive analysis, and presenting these elements masterfully. We’ll review how to accomplish these objectives below. 

Step 1: Read the Text. Maybe Read It Again. 

Constructing an astute analytical essay requires a thorough knowledge of the text. As you read, be sure to note any passages, quotes, or ideas that stand out. These could serve as the future foundation of your thesis statement. Noting these sections now will help you when you need to gather evidence. 

The more familiar you become with the text, the better (and easier!) your essay will be. Familiarity with the text allows you to speak (or in this case, write) to it confidently. If you only skim the book, your lack of rich understanding will be evident in your essay. Alternatively, if you read the text closely—especially if you read it more than once, or at least carefully revisit important passages—your own writing will be filled with insight that goes beyond a basic understanding of the storyline. 

Step 2: Brainstorm Potential Topics 

Because you took detailed notes while reading the text, you should have a list of potential topics at the ready. Take time to review your notes, highlighting any ideas or questions you had that feel interesting. You should also return to the text and look for any passages that stand out to you. 

When considering potential topics, you should prioritize ideas that you find interesting. It won’t only make the whole process of writing an essay more fun, your enthusiasm for the topic will probably improve the quality of your argument, and maybe even your writing. Just like it’s obvious when a topic interests you in a conversation, it’s obvious when a topic interests the writer of an essay (and even more obvious when it doesn’t). 

Your topic ideas should also be specific, unique, and arguable. A good way to think of topics is that they’re the answer to fairly specific questions. As you begin to brainstorm, first think of questions you have about the text. Questions might focus on the plot, such as: Why did the author choose to deviate from the projected storyline? Or why did a character’s role in the narrative shift? Questions might also consider the use of a literary device, such as: Why does the narrator frequently repeat a phrase or comment on a symbol? Or why did the author choose to switch points of view each chapter? 

Once you have a thesis question , you can begin brainstorming answers—aka, potential thesis statements . At this point, your answers can be fairly broad. Once you land on a question-statement combination that feels right, you’ll then look for evidence in the text that supports your answer (and helps you define and narrow your thesis statement). 

For example, after reading “ The Fall of the House of Usher ,” you might be wondering, Why are Roderick and Madeline twins?, Or even: Why does their relationship feel so creepy?” Maybe you noticed (and noted) that the narrator was surprised to find out they were twins, or perhaps you found that the narrator’s tone tended to shift and become more anxious when discussing the interactions of the twins.

Once you come up with your thesis question, you can identify a broad answer, which will become the basis for your thesis statement. In response to the questions above, your answer might be, “Poe emphasizes the close relationship of Roderick and Madeline to foreshadow that their deaths will be close, too.” 

Step 3: Gather Evidence 

Once you have your topic (or you’ve narrowed it down to two or three), return to the text (yes, again) to see what evidence you can find to support it. If you’re thinking of writing about the relationship between Roderick and Madeline in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” look for instances where they engaged in the text. 

This is when your knowledge of literary devices comes in clutch. Carefully study the language around each event in the text that might be relevant to your topic. How does Poe’s diction or syntax change during the interactions of the siblings? How does the setting reflect or contribute to their relationship? What imagery or symbols appear when Roderick and Madeline are together? 

By finding and studying evidence within the text, you’ll strengthen your topic argument—or, just as valuably, discount the topics that aren’t strong enough for analysis. 

analysis for books

Step 4: Consider Secondary Sources 

In addition to returning to the literary work you’re studying for evidence, you can also consider secondary sources that reference or speak to the work. These can be articles from journals you find on JSTOR, books that consider the work or its context, or articles your teacher shared in class. 

While you can use these secondary sources to further support your idea, you should not overuse them. Make sure your topic remains entirely differentiated from that presented in the source. 

Step 5: Write a Working Thesis Statement

Once you’ve gathered evidence and narrowed down your topic, you’re ready to refine that topic into a thesis statement. As you continue to outline and write your paper, this thesis statement will likely change slightly, but this initial draft will serve as the foundation of your essay. It’s like your north star: Everything you write in your essay is leading you back to your thesis. 

Writing a great thesis statement requires some real finesse. A successful thesis statement is: 

  • Debatable : You shouldn’t simply summarize or make an obvious statement about the work. Instead, your thesis statement should take a stand on an issue or make a claim that is open to argument. You’ll spend your essay debating—and proving—your argument. 
  • Demonstrable : You need to be able to prove, through evidence, that your thesis statement is true. That means you have to have passages from the text and correlative analysis ready to convince the reader that you’re right. 
  • Specific : In most cases, successfully addressing a theme that encompasses a work in its entirety would require a book-length essay. Instead, identify a thesis statement that addresses specific elements of the work, such as a relationship between characters, a repeating symbol, a key setting, or even something really specific like the speaking style of a character. 

Example: By depicting the relationship between Roderick and Madeline to be stifling and almost otherworldly in its closeness, Poe foreshadows both Madeline’s fate and Roderick’s inability to choose a different fate for himself. 

Step 6: Write an Outline 

You have your thesis, you have your evidence—but how do you put them together? A great thesis statement (and therefore a great essay) will have multiple arguments supporting it, presenting different kinds of evidence that all contribute to the singular, main idea presented in your thesis. 

Review your evidence and identify these different arguments, then organize the evidence into categories based on the argument they support. These ideas and evidence will become the body paragraphs of your essay. 

For example, if you were writing about Roderick and Madeline as in the example above, you would pull evidence from the text, such as the narrator’s realization of their relationship as twins; examples where the narrator’s tone of voice shifts when discussing their relationship; imagery, like the sounds Roderick hears as Madeline tries to escape; and Poe’s tendency to use doubles and twins in his other writings to create the same spooky effect. All of these are separate strains of the same argument, and can be clearly organized into sections of an outline. 

Step 7: Write Your Introduction

Your introduction serves a few very important purposes that essentially set the scene for the reader: 

  • Establish context. Sure, your reader has probably read the work. But you still want to remind them of the scene, characters, or elements you’ll be discussing. 
  • Present your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the backbone of your analytical paper. You need to present it clearly at the outset so that the reader understands what every argument you make is aimed at. 
  • Offer a mini-outline. While you don’t want to show all your cards just yet, you do want to preview some of the evidence you’ll be using to support your thesis so that the reader has a roadmap of where they’re going. 

Step 8: Write Your Body Paragraphs

Thanks to steps one through seven, you’ve already set yourself up for success. You have clearly outlined arguments and evidence to support them. Now it’s time to translate those into authoritative and confident prose. 

When presenting each idea, begin with a topic sentence that encapsulates the argument you’re about to make (sort of like a mini-thesis statement). Then present your evidence and explanations of that evidence that contribute to that argument. Present enough material to prove your point, but don’t feel like you necessarily have to point out every single instance in the text where this element takes place. For example, if you’re highlighting a symbol that repeats throughout the narrative, choose two or three passages where it is used most effectively, rather than trying to squeeze in all ten times it appears. 

While you should have clearly defined arguments, the essay should still move logically and fluidly from one argument to the next. Try to avoid choppy paragraphs that feel disjointed; every idea and argument should feel connected to the last, and, as a group, connected to your thesis. A great way to connect the ideas from one paragraph to the next is with transition words and phrases, such as: 

  • Furthermore 
  • In addition
  • On the other hand
  • Conversely 

analysis for books

Step 9: Write Your Conclusion 

Your conclusion is more than a summary of your essay's parts, but it’s also not a place to present brand new ideas not already discussed in your essay. Instead, your conclusion should return to your thesis (without repeating it verbatim) and point to why this all matters. If writing about the siblings in “The Fall of the House of Usher,” for example, you could point out that the utilization of twins and doubles is a common literary element of Poe’s work that contributes to the definitive eeriness of Gothic literature. 

While you might speak to larger ideas in your conclusion, be wary of getting too macro. Your conclusion should still be supported by all of the ideas that preceded it. 

Step 10: Revise, Revise, Revise

Of course you should proofread your literary analysis essay before you turn it in. But you should also edit the content to make sure every piece of evidence and every explanation directly supports your thesis as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

Sometimes, this might mean actually adapting your thesis a bit to the rest of your essay. At other times, it means removing redundant examples or paraphrasing quotations. Make sure every sentence is valuable, and remove those that aren’t. 

Other Resources for Literary Analysis 

With these skills and suggestions, you’re well on your way to practicing and writing literary analysis. But if you don’t have a firm grasp on the concepts discussed above—such as literary devices or even the content of the text you’re analyzing—it will still feel difficult to produce insightful analysis. 

If you’d like to sharpen the tools in your literature toolbox, there are plenty of other resources to help you do so: 

  • Check out our expansive library of Literary Devices . These could provide you with a deeper understanding of the basic devices discussed above or introduce you to new concepts sure to impress your professors ( anagnorisis , anyone?). 
  • This Academic Citation Resource Guide ensures you properly cite any work you reference in your analytical essay. 
  • Our English Homework Help Guide will point you to dozens of resources that can help you perform analysis, from critical reading strategies to poetry helpers. 
  • This Grammar Education Resource Guide will direct you to plenty of resources to refine your grammar and writing (definitely important for getting an A+ on that paper). 

Of course, you should know the text inside and out before you begin writing your analysis. In order to develop a true understanding of the work, read through its corresponding SuperSummary study guide . Doing so will help you truly comprehend the plot, as well as provide some inspirational ideas for your analysis.

analysis for books


How to Analyze Fiction: A Simplified Guide for Beginners

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on April 17, 2023

Categories Reading

Analyzing fiction is an essential skill that allows readers to dive deeper into literature and better understand a story’s elements, such as characters, plot, themes, and narrative devices. Whether readers study a novel or a short story, thoroughly examining these components can lead to a richer appreciation of the author’s work.

To begin analyzing a work of fiction, one should identify the story’s setting and context. This provides the backdrop for the actions and interactions of the characters, which can influence the plot and the story’s overall message. After examining the setting, it is essential to study the main characters’ motivations, relationships, and development throughout the narrative. These aspects of characterization can significantly contribute to the story’s more profound meaning and themes.

Moreover, readers should pay attention to the plot, which comprises the main events and conflicts that unfold within the story. By analyzing the plot, readers can better grasp the structure and pacing of a narrative and uncover any underlying patterns or messages the author may have intended. Additionally, carefully examining literary devices, such as symbolism, foreshadowing, and irony, can shed light on the author’s creative techniques and style, enhancing the overall understanding of the piece.

Understanding the Basics of Fiction

Fiction is creating stories and characters that engage the reader’s imagination. Understanding a novel or a short story’s essential elements is crucial when analyzing literary works. This section will explore elements of fiction, genres and subgenres, and narrative structure.

Elements of Fiction

Several key elements contribute to a work of fiction’s overall structure and meaning. These include:

  • Plot: The sequence of events within the story, often containing a problem or conflict and a resolution.
  • Characters: The individuals who populate the story, each having their personality, motivations, and actions.
  • Setting: The time and place a story takes place, often significantly shaping the events and characters.
  • Theme: The underlying messages or ideas explored within the story.
  • Point of View: The perspective from which a story is told, whether first-person, third-person, or other.

Genres and Subgenres

Genres are broad categories of literature with similar elements and characteristics, such as themes or narrative techniques. Some common genres of fiction include:

  • Science fiction
  • Historical fiction

Within each genre, there are often numerous subgenres that further categorize stories based on specific themes, styles, or elements. For example, the mystery genre includes detective fiction, cozy mysteries, and psychological thrillers .

Narrative Structure

A story’s narrative structure is how its events are organized and presented. There are several common narrative structures to be aware of when analyzing fiction:

  • Linear: Events occur in chronological order.
  • Non-linear: Events are presented out of sequence, often using techniques such as flashbacks or parallel storylines.
  • Frame narrative: The story is presented within the context of another story, such as through a character recounting past events.
  • Episodic: The story comprises a series of loosely connected episodes or vignettes.

Understanding narrative structure is essential for comprehending the progression of a story and the author’s intentions in presenting events in a particular order.

Close Reading of the Text

Close reading is a critical and systematic approach to understanding a piece of fiction. It entails examining the text’s formal properties, such as its literary devices, language, structure, and style. This section will discuss three sub-topics to help you perform a close reading: identifying key passages, analyzing language and style, and examining themes and symbols.

Identifying Key Passages

When performing a close reading, it is vital to identify the key passages integral to the story’s comprehension and interpretation. These passages often contain significant events or turning points and may convey essential character traits or themes. To identify such passages, ask yourself: What moments define the narrative? What parts of the text reveal something essential about the characters or the story’s themes?

Take note of the passages that stand out, then reread them for further analysis. This process will ensure that you focus on the most significant aspects of the work.

Analyzing Language and Style

Once you have identified the key passages, it is crucial to analyze the author’s choice of language and style. Examine the diction, tone, syntax, and figurative language used by the author, and consider how these elements contribute to the meaning and impact of the text. For example:

  • Does the author use formal or informal language?
  • Are any specific language patterns or repeated phrases contributing to the text’s meaning?
  • How does the author’s imagery, metaphor, or other literary devices affect the reader’s understanding of the story?

By paying close attention to the author’s language choices, you can deepen your understanding of the text and discover new insights.

Examining Themes and Symbols

Lastly, examining the themes and symbols in the fiction is essential. Themes are the central ideas, messages, or insights that the author wishes to convey, while symbols are objects, characters, or events that represent abstract or more profound ideas.

Identify the themes by considering the text’s primary issues or conflicts, and explore how they are developed throughout the story. Look for recurring symbols and analyze their significance within the context of the text. For example, a color or object might symbolically represent a particular theme, emotion, or aspect of a character’s personality. Examining themes and symbols can help you uncover layers of meaning and arrive at a richer, more nuanced understanding of the text.

With these three approaches in mind, you will be well-equipped to perform a close reading of fiction and gain new insights into the text’s meaning and interpretation.

Character Analysis

Character analysis is a critical part of understanding and interpreting fiction. By examining the characters in a story, readers can gain insight into their personalities, traits, roles in the plot, and the conflicts they face. This section will examine key aspects of character analysis, including protagonists and antagonists, character growth and motivation, and character relationships.

Protagonists and Antagonists

Every story has a central character or characters, known as the protagonist(s), around whom the plot revolves. Identifying the protagonist is essential for understanding the story’s main conflicts and themes. Protagonists are often opposed by antagonists, characters who create obstacles or tension for the main character(s). Examining the traits and actions of protagonists and antagonists can provide valuable insight into the story’s dynamics.

When analyzing protagonists and antagonists, consider their goals, strengths, weaknesses, and how they interact with other characters. This can reveal essential aspects of their personalities and plot importance . A multi-dimensional antagonist, for example, may make the story richer and more engaging.

Character Growth and Motivation

Understanding a character’s growth and motivation involves analyzing their change throughout the story. This could include emotional development or changes in beliefs, attitudes, or behavior. Paying close attention to a character’s reactions to situations and other characters can help you understand their motivations and growth.

Ask questions such as:

  • What drives the character to act or change?
  • What obstacles do they face, and how do they overcome them?
  • How does their past influence their choices and development?

Identifying these elements can lead to a deeper understanding of the character’s role and purpose within the story.

Character Relationships

Character relationships are an essential aspect of fiction, as they can drive the plot, create conflict, or reveal aspects of a character’s personality. Analyzing these relationships can help you understand the story’s themes and message.

Consider the connections between characters: are they friends, family members, rivals, or romantic interests? Examine how these relationships evolve and impact the characters involved. Do they encourage growth, or do they hinder a character’s development? Evaluating these relationships can provide valuable insight into the story’s meaning and help you better appreciate the intricacies of the narrative.

Exploring the Author’s Perspective

When analyzing fiction, it is essential to explore the author’s perspective. This can provide valuable insight into the work’s themes, motifs, and underlying messages. There are three critical aspects to consider when examining the author’s perspective: the author’s background, historical and cultural context, and the influences on the work.

Author’s Background

Understanding the author’s background can offer insight into the experiences and beliefs that may have influenced the narrative. Consider factors such as the author’s upbringing, education, and personal life as potential influences on their perspective. For example, an author who experienced poverty might emphasize themes of social inequality and class struggle in their works. Identifying these life experiences can help readers better understand the intentions or context behind the story.

Historical and Cultural Context

Fiction often reflects the historical and cultural contexts in which it was written. These influences can provide an essential layer of meaning to the narrative. Therefore, it is vital to research the period and cultural background surrounding the author and their work. For instance, if the novel was written during the civil rights movement, its themes might address the ongoing struggles for racial equality at that time. By considering the historical and cultural context, readers can better understand the author’s perspective and the work’s significance.

Influence on the Work

Analyzing a work of fiction also involves identifying key influences that have shaped the author’s writing. Many authors draw inspiration from various sources, including other authors, philosophical ideas, or personal experiences. For example, an author might be influenced by elements of literature from a different genre or period. It is essential to recognize these influences to understand better the message and intention behind the author’s work.

By examining the author’s background, historical and cultural context, and key influences, one can gain a deeper understanding of the author’s perspective, aiding in a more comprehensive analysis of the work of fiction.

Comparative Analysis

A comparative analysis of fiction involves examining two or more literary works to identify similarities, differences, and connections between them.

Similar Themes and Techniques

When comparing works of fiction, it is crucial to analyze their themes and techniques to understand the underlying messages and artistic intentions. Identifying similar themes between works can help you recognize patterns or trends between different authors or periods. Common themes often include love, loss, identity, and conflict.

Similarly, evaluating techniques authors use, such as symbolism, allegory, or foreshadowing, can reveal how they effectively communicate the themes and messages throughout their works. You can compare the use of literary devices in the works you are analyzing and note how they contribute to the story’s overall effect.

Contrasts and Connections

While similarities are essential in a comparative analysis, it is equally important to identify the differences and contrasts between the works being compared. These could be character development, plot structure, or narrative voice differences. You can uncover insights into the authors’ unique perspectives and writing styles by comparing how these elements vary between works.

Additionally, recognizing connections between works can enrich the texts’ understanding. Connections can be found in shared themes, motifs, or stylistic choices that indicate a broader cultural or historical context. Identifying these connections can often reveal more significant trends and concepts within literary movements or periods.

In conclusion, a comparative analysis of fiction requires careful examination of similarities, differences, and connections between literary works. This process involves an in-depth exploration of themes, techniques, contrasts, and connections to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the analyzed works.

Presenting Your Analysis

Organizing your thoughts.

Before presenting your analysis, it is essential to organize your thoughts effectively. Start by outlining the key points you’d like to discuss. This can be done using various methods, such as:

  • Creating a logical structure that builds upon each point
  • Using tables or charts to illustrate connections between ideas and evidence
  • Grouping related points under subheadings

Focusing on a clear and organized structure will make your analysis more accessible and engaging for the reader.

Supporting Your Claims

When presenting your analysis, supporting your claims with evidence from the text is vital. This can include direct quotations, descriptions of events or character actions, and references to literary techniques used by the author. Ensure that each claim is:

  • Connected to the evidence provided
  • Accurately and responsibly interpreted
  • Relevant to your overall analysis

This will help you build a strong and convincing argument for your interpretation of the fiction.

Polishing Your Writing

After organizing your thoughts and supporting your claims, the final step in presenting your analysis is to polish your writing. Pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Use clear, concise language to convey your ideas
  • Avoid jargon and explain necessary terminology
  • Maintain a consistent tone that remains neutral and professional throughout the text
  • Proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors

Refining your writing will create a polished final product that effectively communicates your analysis to the reader.

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Humanities LibreTexts

4.5: How to Analyze Fiction - Elements of Literature

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  • Page ID 40396

  • Heather Ringo & Athena Kashyap
  • City College of San Francisco via ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative

Elements of Literature

Before you dive straight into your analysis of symbolism, diction, imagery, or any other rhetorical device, you need to have a grasp of the basic elements of what you're reading. When we read critically or analytically, we might disregard character, plot, setting, and theme as surface elements of a text. Aside from noting what they are and how they drive a story, we sometimes don't pay much attention to these elements. However, characters and their interactions can reveal a great deal about human nature. Plot can act as a stand-in for real-world events just as setting can represent our world or an allegorical one. Theme is the heart of literature, exploring everything from love and war to childhood and aging.

With this in mind, you can begin your examination of literature with a “who, what, when, where, how?” approach. Ask yourself “Who are the characters?” “What is happening?” “When and where is it happening?” and “How does it happen?” The answers will give you character (who), plot (what and how), and setting (when and where). When you put these answers together, you can begin to figure out theme, and you will have a solid foundation on which to base your analysis.

We will be exploring several of the following literary elements in the following pages so that we can have a common vocabulary to talk about fiction:

  • Rhetorical Devices

Here are a few questions to ask when looking at some of the main elements of fiction. We will be looking at each of these in more detail in the following pages.

Setting is a description of where and when the story takes place.

  • Geography, weather, time of day, social conditions?
  • What role does setting play in the story? Is it an important part of the plot or theme? Or is it just a backdrop against which the action takes place?
  • Study the time period which is also part of the setting
  • Does it take place in the present, the past, or the future?
  • How does the time period affect the language, atmosphere, or social circumstances of the novel?


Characterization deals with how the characters are described.

  • through dialogue?
  • by the way they speak?
  • physical appearance? thoughts and feelings?
  • interaction – the way they act towards other characters?
  • Are they static characters who do not change?
  • Do they develop by the end of the story?
  • What type of characters are they?
  • What qualities stand out?
  • Are they stereotypes?
  • Are the characters believable?

Plot and structure

The plot is the main sequence of events that make up the story.

  • What are the most important events?
  • How is the plot structured? Is it linear and chronological or does it move back and forth?
  • Are there turning points, a climax, and/or an anticlimax?
  • Is the plot believable?

Narrator and Point of View

The narrator is the person telling the story. Point of view : whose eyes the story is being told through.

  • Who is the narrator or speaker in the story?
  • Is the narrator the main character?
  • Does the author speak through one of the characters?
  • Is the story written in the first person “I” point of view?
  • Is the story written in a detached third person “he/she/they” point of view?
  • Is the story written in an “all-knowing” third person who can reveal what all the characters are thinking and doing at all times and in all places?

Conflict or tension is usually the heart of the novel and is related to the main character.

  • Is it internal where the character suffers inwardly?
  • Is it external, caused by the surroundings or environment the main character finds themself in?

The theme is the main idea, lesson, or message in the novel. It is usually an abstract, universal idea about the human condition, society or life, to name a few.

  • How does the theme shine through in the story?
  • Are any elements repeated that may suggest a theme?
  • What other themes are there?

The author’s style has to do with the author’s vocabulary, use of imagery, tone, or feeling of the story. It has to do with his attitude towards the subject. In some novels the tone can be ironic, humorous, cold, or dramatic.

  • Is the text full of figurative language?
  • Does the author use a lot of symbolism? Metaphors, similes? An example of a metaphor is when someone says, "My love, you are a rose." An example of a simile is "My darling, you are like a rose."
  • What images are used?

Your literary analysis of a novel will often be in the form of an essay or book report where you will be asked to give your opinions of the novel at the end. To conclude, choose the elements that made the greatest impression on you. Point out which characters you liked best or least and always support your arguments. Try to view the novel as a whole and try to give a balanced analysis.

These are the Elements of Literature, the things that make up every story. This is the first of two videos.

Video 4.5.1 : Elements of literature with Mr. Taylor: Part I

Video 4.5.2 Elements of literature with Mr. Taylor: Part II

Contributors and Attributions

  • Adapted from Writing About Literature: The Basics by CK-12, license CC-BY-NC
  • Adapted from How to Analyze a Novel by Carol Dwankowski, provided by NDLA, license CC-BY-SA

Write Nonfiction NOW!

How to Conduct a Market Analysis for Your Book

August 4, 2014 By Nina Amir 1 Comment

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You conduct a market analysis in the same manner no matter what you write. Let’s look at this activity as if you were writing a book. Know you can apply the same principle to researching article, essay or blog markets as well.

How to Conduct a Market Analysis

The steps for conducting a market analysis are twofold and simple:

1. Describe your ideal reader. Do this in great detail including demographic information. Who do you see reading your work? What are they like? What problems or concerns do they have? Where do they hang out? What do they buy? What do they like to do? Where do they live? What are their professions? How much money do they earn? Are they in relationship? What do they want and need?

2. Determine the size of your market. Do online research, such as on Google, and find statistics that indicate how many of these people exist in the world or in your country. You might look in the database of the census bureau or specific organizations related to your topic. If, for example, your book is for aspiring professional or public speakers, you could go to the official National Speakers Association site and look for data. And numbers are what you want—hard facts that tell you there are “xx number of people” in your target market.

These two steps help you:

  • write for your reader
  • create content that targets your readers’ needs
  • discover if your book (essay, article or blog) has enough potential readers to make it worth writing and publishing

What to Do With Your Analysis

Conduct a market analysis before you write your book for one reason: to create the best possible end product, in this case, a book. That means you need to evaluate the information you accumulated and put it to use.

You want to know if your proposed idea will address the needs of your ideal reader and if enough such people exist in the world to make publishing your book a viable business proposition. Are there enough people out there who will want and need your book to make publishing it financially feasible or profitable? After all, that’s what a publisher looks at.

Those book ideas that have no market at all or indefinable markets as far as specific figures are best abandoned—that is, if you want to produce a successful book by publishing industry standards. If not, you can pursue ideas as indie projects—and books of your heart. However, an agent or publisher will not take on a project unless it has a promising market. Evaluate your project objectively with this in mind. Know that you are taking a risk if you choose to proceed with a book that has no market—a risk a seasoned publishing professional most likely would not take.

Small publishing houses might be willing to take a risk on a book with a small or niche market—if some other factors are in place as well, such as a strong author platform and promotion plan or indication that your proposed book might meet or exceed competitive books’ sales figures. Knowing this, if you want to have your book traditionally published, you will need to look at your market statistics and make an objective determination about what type of publisher to approach.

If you have a market with promising figures, moving forward may seem like a no-brainer. However, sometimes a large market isn’t necessarily the best thing. An agent or acquisitions editor might look at your book idea and think, “This book might not sell well because the market is too large. It’s not unique enough to gain traction there.” In such a case, finding a way to narrow the market by subject, them or a new angle will help your book succeed.

With your market analysis complete, determine if your book idea seems viable or how to make it viable. Should you:

  • continue forward with your project?
  • go back to square one and conceive a new idea with a bigger market or a more viable niche market?
  • rework or re-angle your current book idea to fit a market, thus making it a salable project?

If you’d like to learn more about how and why to conduct a market analysis, read these three posts:

  • How to Describe the Target Market for Your Book
  • Is Your Book Idea Still Viable Even if Your Market is Small?
  • Why a Competitive Analysis Improves Your Book’s Chances of Success

Or join me August 26-September 30 to learn How to Craft a Proposal for a Book that Sells .

How to Craft a Proposal for a Book that Sells

A 6-week course on how to write a business plan for a successful book

Learn how to write a book proposal that convinces agents and acquisitions editors your book is a viable product and that you make a good business partner so they are eager to work with you and to help bring your book to market. Also, discover how to use the “proposal process” as a creative one that helps you produce a book that will sell to a publisher and to readers upon release. Find out how developing a proposal can help you craft a successful career as an author as well as a success book no matter what type of book you write or how you decide to publish.

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January 10, 2023 at 6:26 am

I can imagine this being very important in the case of non-fiction books.

For fiction? This is the job of the pubisher, not the author. I’d say if a publisher demands this for a fiction submission, forget about that publisher. Fortunately, not many seem to.

Smacks of what ruined the music industry. The rise of the beancounters calling the shots. Might be good for the bottom line in the short-term. Certainly not good for the advancement of culture, of art. Probably not even for the bottom line, long-term.

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100 Best Analysis Books of All Time

We've researched and ranked the best analysis books in the world, based on recommendations from world experts, sales data, and millions of reader ratings. Learn more

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The Hero With a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell | 4.59

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The first popular work to combine the spiritual and psychological insights of modern psychoanalysis with the archetypes of world mythology, the book creates a roadmap for navigating the frustrating path of contemporary life. Examining heroic myths in the light of modern psychology, it considers not only the patterns and stages of mythology but also its relevance to our lives today--and to the life of any person seeking a fully realized existence. Myth, according to Campbell, is the projection of a culture's dreams onto a large screen; Campbell's book, like Star Wars , the film it helped inspire, is an exploration of the big-picture moments from the stage that is our world. It is a must-have resource for both experienced students of mythology and the explorer just beginning to approach myth as a source of knowledge.

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Ray Dalio The book I’d give [every graduating senior in college or high school] would be [...] Joseph Campbell’s 'Hero of a Thousand Faces'. It's little bit dense but it’s so rich, so it’s a good one. (Source)

Darren Aronofsky [I'm] totally part of his cult. Because I believe in that hero’s journey. (Source)

Kyle Russell Book 28 Lesson: Embedded in human psychology (and the resulting symbolism we find compelling) is a wish for our struggles to be meaningful, for our suffering to have value, for our effort to pay off for ourselves and those we love - and to then be recognized for it. https://t.co/lWgr4k7d8Y (Source)

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Darrell Huff and Irving Gei | 4.47

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Benjamin Spall [Question: What five books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path?] On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King, [...] (Source)

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The Intelligent Investor

The Classic Text on Value Investing

Benjamin Graham | 4.42

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Thomas C. Foster | 4.37

In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may...

In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may signify a communion; and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

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Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson | 4.33

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Edward R. Tufte | 4.32

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Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J Dubner | 4.30

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The Art and Science of Prediction

Philip E. Tetlock, Dan Gardner | 4.30

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The Future Is Better Than You Think

Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler | 4.27

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Michael Dell The authors of Abundance go so far as to claim that "technology has the potential to significantly raise the basic standards of living for every man, woman, and child on the planet." Before you disagree, read the book. They make a fascinating argument, and make me happier than ever that I ditched my dream of being a doctor to enter the unpredictable world of IT. We live in exciting times. (Source)

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Understanding Comics

The Invisible Art

Scott McCloud | 4.27

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A Wall Street Revolt

Michael Lewis | 4.24

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Alykhan Satchu @surambaya @MihrThakar @NorthmanTrader great book (Source)

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Handwriting Analysis

Putting It to Work for You

Andrea McNichol | 4.23

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Save the Cat

The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

Blake Snyder | 4.23

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Eric Weinstein [Eric Weinstein recommended this book on Twitter.] (Source)

Bill Liao The human world occurs in language so best get good at it! (Source)

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Neville Medhora It takes you through 11 different 'archetypes' of screenplays you can write, and the exact elements each needs to be a great story. (Source)

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Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis

Wayne W. Fisher, Cathleen C. Piazza, et al. | 4.22

analysis for books

The Signal and the Noise

Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't

Nate Silver | 4.21

Bill Gates Anyone interested in politics may be attracted to Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—but Some Don't. Silver is the New York Times columnist who got a lot of attention last fall for predicting—accurately, as it turned out–the results of the U.S. presidential election. This book actually came out before the election, though, and it’s about predictions in many... (Source)

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Principles of Mathematical Analysis

Walter Rudin | 4.20

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A Complete Guide To Volume Price Analysis

Anna Coulling | 4.18

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Numbers Guide

The Essentials of Business Numeracy

Richard Stutely | 4.18

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Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville, Isaac Kramnick, Gerald Bevan | 4.18

analysis for books

Karl Rove Tocqueville was seized by the sharp contrast between Paris and America, where people did not wait for the central government, but went ahead on their own, and I think that’s vital part of what it is to be both an American and a vital part of what is America. (Source)

Yuval Levin It lays out how ideas are translated into political institutions, and even more so into mores and habits and practices of everyday life. (Source)

Robert Reich Tocqueville was not only a brilliant sociologist but he also saw the connections between American society and the budding capitalism of the 1830s. (Source)

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Women Who Run With the Wolves

Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Clarissa Pinkola Estés | 4.16

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Irina Botnari I’m reading more books at the same time. Guilty. Some of them are Tools of Titans - Tim Ferriss, My Berlin Child – Anne Wiazemsky, Women who Run with the Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Tim is full of lessons to learn, remember & implement, I’ll see what the rest of the books will unfold. (Source)

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Against the Gods

The Remarkable Story of Risk

Peter L. Bernstein | 4.15

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Howard Marks So good. (Source)

Jason Zweig In the book, he explores risk at every conceivable level – what it is mathematically and what it is psychologically, how it has played out historically, how people have thought to measure it and also to control it. (Source)

John Lanchester it’s an absolutely fascinating, for-the-layman account of how humanity mastered risk and came to understand probability. (Source)

analysis for books

Lean Analytics

Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster

Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz | 4.15

analysis for books

Ola Olusoga Like Charlie Munger once said: “I’ve long believed that a certain system - which almost any intelligent person can learn - works way better than the systems most people use [to understand the world]. What you need is a latticework of mental models in your head. And, with that system, things gradually fit together in a way that enhances cognition. Just as multiple factors shape every system,... (Source)

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Real and Abstract Analysis

A Modern Treatment of the Theory of Functions of a Real Variable

Edwin Hewitt, Karl Stromberg | 4.13

analysis for books

Marketing Metrics

50+ Metrics Every Executive Should Master

Paul W. Farris, Neil T. Bendle, Phillip E. Pfeifer, David J. Reibstein | 4.13

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Black Flags

The Rise of ISIS

Joby Warrick | 4.12

analysis for books

The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

Jeff Sutherland, J.J. Sutherland | 4.12

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Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets

John J. Murphy | 4.12

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Luke Beller If you want to learn about technical analysis this is a great book. https://t.co/PxE5SOXtlY (Source)

analysis for books

The Undoing Project

A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

Michael Lewis | 4.11

analysis for books

David Heinemeier Hansson Michael Lewis is just a great storyteller, and tell a story in this he does. It’s about two Israeli psychologists, their collaboration on the irrationality of the human mind, and the milestones they set with concepts like loss-aversion, endowment effect, and other common quirks that the assumption of rationality doesn’t account for. It’s a bit long-winded, but if you like Lewis’ style, you... (Source)

Francisco Perez Mackenna ​This summer, Mackenna is learning more about the birth of behavioral economics, the psychology of white collar crime, and the restoration of American cities as locations of economic growth. (Source)

analysis for books

Going Clear

Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

Lawrence Wright | 4.11

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Bryan Callen I love [this author]. (Source)

Handbook of Analysis of Oligonucleotides and Related Products

Jose V. Bonilla and G. Susan Srivatsa | 4.11

analysis for books

What Happened

Hillary Rodham Clinton | 4.10

analysis for books

Bobby Voicu "I also have Hillary Clinton's book 'What Happened' on the go right now and love it ... although not specifically business related, it centres around female leadership and the challenges that we face. Really eye opening & inspiring!" BRIANNE MILLER (Fo… https://t.co/QztUoai6Sx (Source)

Brianne Miller I also have Hillary Clinton's book 'What Happened' on the go right now and love it ... although not specifically business related, it centres around female leadership and the challenges that we face. Really eye opening & inspiring! (Source)

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Civilization and Its Discontents

Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, et al. | 4.10

analysis for books

John Gray Civilisation, as Freud understands it, begins with the restraint of violence… which means that the civilisational condition is one of discontent. (Source)

Sam Freedman A rough synopsis of the book is that love is a social construct designed to prevent us from murdering each other, at the expense of creating profound neurosis, so definitely a bold choice for a second date. https://t.co/pEnlgR6aiL (Source)

David Bell A dispassionate view of the cost of civilisation to the individual. (Source)

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The Most Important Thing

Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

Howard Marks | 4.09

Warren Buffett This is that rarity, a useful book. (Source)

Henry Medine Whenever I am assessing an investment decision I refer to Howard Marks (Oaktree Capital Management) The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor. He lays out explicit techniques for reaching second level thinking and outlines particular questions any investor should ask themselves before making an investment decision. I paraphrased the lessons I found most useful and refer... (Source)

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Counterexamples in Analysis

Bernard R. Gelbaum and John M. H. Olmsted | 4.09

analysis for books

T-SQL Window Functions

For Data Analysis and Beyond

Itzik Ben-Gan | 4.09

analysis for books

The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets

A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward

Benoit Mandelbrot, Richard L. Hudson | 4.09

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James Owen Weatherall What Mandelbrot realised early on, at the start of the 1960s, was that the kind of assumptions about statistics that everyone was making were wrong. (Source)

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Understanding Analysis

Stephen Abbott | 4.09

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Advanced Techniques in Day Trading

A Practical Guide to High Probability Strategies and Methods

Andrew Aziz | 4.09

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Riemann Surfaces

Hershel M. Farkas, Irwin Kra | 4.08

analysis for books

The ABA Visual Language

Applied Behavior Analysis

Makoto Shibutani BCBA | 4.07

analysis for books

The Dictator's Handbook

Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith | 4.07

This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group...

This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty. But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance.

analysis for books

Weapons of Math Destruction

How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Cathy O'Neil | 4.07

analysis for books

Paula Boddington How the use of algorithms has affected people’s lives and occasionally ruined them. (Source)

Ramesh Srinivasan This book is a really fantastic analysis of how quantification, the collection of data, the modelling around data, the predictions made by using data, the algorithmic and quantifiable ways of predicting behaviour based on data, are all built by elites for elites and end up, quite frankly, screwing over everybody else. (Source)

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How to Measure Anything

Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business

Douglas W. Hubbard | 4.07

analysis for books

Nick Ganju About being outcome-based and getting these measurable outcomes. (Source)

analysis for books

Introductory Real Analysis

A. N. Kolmogorov | 4.07

analysis for books

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures

Malcolm Gladwell | 4.06

Sam Freedman @mrianleslie (Also I agree What the Dog Saw is his best book). (Source)

analysis for books

Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight


analysis for books

Matrix Analysis

Roger A Horn | 4.06

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The Book of Why

The New Science of Cause and Effect

Judea Pearl, Dana Mackenzie | 4.06

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D.a. Wallach @EricTopol @yudapearl @bschoelkopf @MPI_IS I love @yudapearl 's book so much! Profound, heterodox. (Source)

Kirk Borne .@yudapearl wrote the awesome "Book of Why", but he recommends this fun and less #mathematics-heavy read >> his #AI lecture given in 1999: https://t.co/kNYIoJ8qcY #DataScience #MachineLearning #Statistics #BookofWhy #Causalinference #Bayes https://t.co/CNQlKP8cU3 (Source)

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Functional Analysis

An Introduction to Banach Space Theory

Terry J. Morrison | 4.06

analysis for books

An Introduction To Infinite Dimensional Analysis (Universitext)

Giuseppe Da Prato | 4.06

analysis for books

The Psychopath Test

A Journey Through the Madness Industry

Jon Ronson | 4.06

analysis for books

Memo Akten @therourke you may very well be a pyschopath!, it doesn't mean you'll be an axe wielding homicidal maniac :) (I think I might be a bit pyschopath, dunno. My AE is a bit of a yoyo. At times I might feel more for a fly in a spiderweb than a person). V interesting book: https://t.co/QRAJAZPhDY (Source)

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Doing Bayesian Data Analysis

A Tutorial Introduction with R

John K. Kruschke | 4.06

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How To Swing Trade

Brian Pezim | 4.06

analysis for books

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

Shoshana Zuboff | 4.06

analysis for books

Nicholas Carr Whatever its imperfections, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is an original and often brilliant work, and it arrives at a crucial moment, when the public and its elected representatives are at last grappling with the extraordinary power of digital media and the companies that control it. Like another recent masterwork of economic analysis, Thomas Piketty’s 2013 Capital in the Twenty-First... (Source)

Naomi Klein From the very first page I was consumed with an overwhelming imperative: everyone needs to read this book as an act of digital self-defense. With tremendous lucidity and moral courage, Zuboff demonstrates not only how our minds are being mined for data but also how they are being rapidly and radically changed in the process. The hour is late and much has been lost already—but as we learn in these... (Source)

Clive Lewis Mp Cant make the brilliant event below? Havent had a chance to read @shoshanazuboff groundbreaking book, ‘Surveillance Capitalism’? Then listen to this brilliant interview with the author as she explains the terrifying scale&ambition of Facebook/Google et al https://t.co/DCtNlFbmE0 https://t.co/ZX0YpW5pOo (Source)

analysis for books

Differential and Integral Calculus, Vol. One

Richard Courant, Edward James McShane, Sam Sloan, Marvin Jay Greenberg | 4.05

analysis for books

An Introduction to Manifolds

Loring W. W. Tu | 4.05

Structured Analytic Techniques For Intelligence Analysis

Richards J. Heuer Jr., Randolph H. Pherson | 4.05

analysis for books

Idempotent Matrices Over Complex Group Algebras (Universitext)

Ioannis Emmanouil | 4.05

analysis for books

Numerical Continuation Methods for Dynamical Systems

Path Following and Boundary Value Problems

Bernd Krauskopf, Hinke M. Osinga, Jorge Galan-Vioque | 4.05

analysis for books

Warren Buffett Accounting Book

Reading Financial Statements for Value Investing

Stig Brodersen and Preston Pysh | 4.05

analysis for books

Chris Mobbs Warren Buffett Accounting Book: Reading Financial Statements for Value Investing (Warren Buffett’s 3 Favorite Books Book 2) https://t.co/uwVh05lLJH https://t.co/sR5CEeOEDf (Source)

analysis for books

Proven Recipes for Data Analysis, Statistics, and Graphics

Paul Teetor | 4.05

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Visual Complex Analysis

Tristan Needham | 4.05

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Introductory Functional Analysis with Applications

Erwin Kreyszig | 4.05

analysis for books

Data Science for Business

What you need to know about data mining and data-analytic thinking

Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett | 4.05

Kirk Borne Great book for Business Analytics and for building #AnalyticThinking >> “#DataScience for Business — What You Need to Know about #DataMining and Data-Analytic Thinking”: https://t.co/e9rAFnVYYQ #BigData #MachineLearning #DataStrategy #AnalyticsStrategy #Algorithms https://t.co/yEblfU2MZd (Source)

analysis for books

Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence

Katherine H. Pherson and Randolph H. Pherson | 4.05

The Definitive Guide to Dax

Business Intelligence for Microsoft Power Bi, SQL Server Analysis Services, and Excel

Marco Russo | 4.05

Dividend Investing Made Easy

Matthew R. Kratter | 4.04

analysis for books

Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do about It

Chris Clearfield, András Tilcsik | 4.04

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Bob Sutton @rotmanschool @ChrisClearfield @NBBAward @PenguinRandomCA A great book. Congrats. (Source)

analysis for books

Analysis, Manifolds and Physics, Part II - Revised and Enlarged Edition

Y. Choquet-Bruhat, C. DeWitt-Morette | 4.04

analysis for books

Fourier Analysis

An Introduction

Elias M. Stein, Rami Shakarchi | 4.04

analysis for books

Money Honey

A Simple 7-Step Guide for Getting Your Financial $hit Together

Rachel Richards | 4.04

analysis for books

Calculus On Manifolds

A Modern Approach To Classical Theorems Of Advanced Calculus

Michael Spivak | 4.04

analysis for books

Impact Mapping

Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects

Gojko Adzic, Marjory Bisset, Tom Poppendieck | 4.04

Fieldwork and Supervision for Behavior Analysts

Ellie Kazemi PhD BCBA-D | 4.04

analysis for books

Charting and Technical Analysis

Fred McAllen | 4.03

Swing Into It

A Simple System For Trading Pullbacks to the 50-Day Moving Average

T. Livingston | 4.03

Stock Trader's Almanac

Jeffrey A. Hirsch | 4.03

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos

With Applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering

Steven H. Strogatz | 4.03

About the Author: Steven Strogatz is in the Center for Applied Mathematics and the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. Since receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard university in 1986, Professor Strogatz has been honored with several awards, including the E.M. Baker Award for Excellence, the highest teaching award given by MIT.

analysis for books

Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis

Dr Dicken Weatherby | 4.03

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Microsoft Excel 2019 Data Analysis and Business Modeling

Wayne Winston | 4.02

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The Content Analysis Guidebook. Kimberly A. Neuendorf

Kimberly A. Neuendorf | 4.02

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The Girl Who Was on Fire

Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy

Leah Wilson, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellino, Sarah Rees Brennan, Terri Clark, Bree Despain, Adrienne Kress, Cara Lockwood, Elizabeth M. Rees, Carrie Ryan, Ned Vizzini, Lili Wilkinson, Blythe Woolston, Sarah Darer Littman | 4.02

Trading: Technical Analysis Masterclass

Master the Financial Markets

Rolf Schlotmann and Moritz Czubatinski | 4.01

analysis for books

Calculus, Volume 1

One-Variable Calculus with an Introduction to Linear Algebra

Inc. BarCharts | 4.01

analysis for books

A Hilbert Space Problem Book

P.R. Halmos | 4.00

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Naked Statistics

Stripping the Dread from the Data

Charles Wheelan | 4.00

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Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques

A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Investment Techniques of the Far East

Steve Nison | 4.00

Become a Writer Today

13 Best Books for Fundamental Analysis: Get Started Today!

Discover the best books for fundamental analysis and learn how to make intelligent and profitable long-term investments.

Fundamental analysis is an investment strategy that stresses the importance of learning to read and interpret a company’s financial statements. The foundational principle of the theory is that the most successful investors make their decisions based on facts, not fads.

They study annual reports, corporate culture, competitors, cash flow, and earnings to evaluate the health of a business and buy stocks when they have the most potential for return on investment. Learning fundamental analysis strategies lets you take the guesswork out of building a lucrative stock portfolio. 

Here Are The 13 Best Books for Fundamental Analysis

1. the intelligent investor by benjamin graham and david dodd, 2. the essays of warren buffett by lawrence cunningham, 3. learn to earn: a beginners guide to the basics of investing by peter lynch, 4. common stocks and uncommon profits by phillip fisher, 5. fundamental analysis for dummies by matthew krantz, 6. buffettology by mary buffett, 7. stocks for the long run by jeremey siegel , 8. the theory of investment value by john burr williams, 9. the little book that still beats the market by joel greenblatt, 10. getting started in fundamental analysis by michael c. thomsett, 11. one up on wall street by peter lynch, 12. security analysis principles and techniques by benjamin graham and david dodd, 13. fundamental analysis for beginners by az penn.

Benjamin Graham

Author Benjamin Graham is known as “The Father of Value Investing,” and this is his seminal work on the subject. As a young investor, 25-year-old Graham made nearly half a million dollars a year. Then, the stock market crash of 1929 wiped out nearly all of his earnings. Rather than giving up, Graham poured his efforts into researching sound investment strategies that could withstand market volatility.  The Intelligent Investor is the result of his work.

Published in 1949, The Intelligent Investor is a classic that has become the standard of value investing. Because the language can be somewhat historical, it is not a light read. However, the most recent edition includes commentary from author and investor Jason Zweig, whose insights and recent real-world examples help clarify the original text for modern readers. Looking for more educational books to binge on a weekend? Check out our round-up of the best books for computer science ! You can also search for our best book guides using our search bar.

“Obvious prospects for physical growth in a business do not translate into obvious profits for investors.” Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

Lawrence Cunningham

While “The Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffet, has never authored a book, he has written a great deal on what makes a company a sound investment. Considering Buffet has amassed billions of dollars through wise investing, his thoughts on the subject are widely accepted as invaluable advice.  The Essays of Warren Buffett is a collection of the billionaire’s annual letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Together, they offer the layman a crash course in sound business practices and how they affect valuation and investment strategy. 

“Calling someone who trades actively in the market an investor is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a romantic.” Warren Buffett, The Essays of Warren Buffet

Peter Lynch, former mutual fund manager at Fidelity , is an icon in the world of finance and is considered one of the most successful investors in history. His book, Learn to Earn , is an approachable, entertaining guide to sound investment strategies that even high school students can understand.

Lynch stresses that high schools should teach young people investing principles and how to use them to build a solid financial foundation. This book is a good entry point for any beginner because it does not require a lot of mathematical prowess or prior knowledge, just an interest in stock investing and money management. It is not a complete guide but a handbook for those who want to get started in stock analysis.

“Debt is saving in reverse. The more it builds up, the worse off you are.” Peter Lynch, Learn to Earn

Phillip Fisher was one of the first investors to stress a “buy and hold” long-term investment strategy. He is considered a pioneer of fundamental analysis, and his authoritative book, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits  has long been considered essential reading.  Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits breaks Fisher’s investment strategy down into 15 key points. Together, they form a method of assessing a company’s characteristics and understanding how they affect its investment potential.

“A company might be an extremely efficient manufacturer or an inventor might have a product with breathtaking possibilities, but this was never enough for a healthy business.” Phillip Fisher, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

As a nationally recognized financial journalist and editor, Matthew Krantz is adept at making Wall Street accessible for his readers.  Fundamental Analysis for Dummies is a solid introduction to growth stocks and offers simple explanations of complex topics like ratio analysis and security analysis.

Fundamental Analysis for Dummies is easier to read than many investment books, so it is an excellent reference to have on hand, even for more experienced investors. New investors will appreciate its straightforward language and real-world examples. Purchase of the book unlocks additional web content, and those interested in technical analysis will appreciate the companion book Technical Analysis for Dummies .

“While faddish stock-picking systems come and go, fundamental analysis has been around for decades. The ability to pore over a company’s most basic data and get a good idea of how a company is doing, how skilled the management team is, and whether or not a company has the resources to stay in business is a valuable skill to have.” Matthew Krantz, Fundamental Analysis for Dummies

Mary Buffett

Warren Buffett’s former daughter-in-law, Mary Buffett, is frequently asked to reveal her private experiences with the finance guru and expose the inner workings of the Buffett family. However, as a successful businesswoman in her own right, she felt that what the world needed to hear was all she had learned from years of studying Warren Buffett’s investing habits.

Buffettology  is an insider’s look at how the Wall Street legend made billions in the stock market. Mary Buffett’s subsequent books, The New Buffettology  and The Buffetology Workbook  offer additional step-by-step guidance for value investing.

“As humans, we are susceptible to the herd mentality, and so we often fall victim to the emotional vicissitudes that propel the stock market and feed enormous profits to those who are disciplined.” Mary Buffett, Buffettology

Jeremey Siegel is an internationally acclaimed expert in finance and a frequent guest on national news outlets. He served for several years as the head of economics training for J.P. Morgan and is now an academic director at the Wharton School of Business. His well-respected book, Stocks for the Long Run , is a data-driven manual for long-term investing and a must for serious investors in value stocks.

This helpful book contains charts and tables that back up Siegel’s investment strategy with hard numbers and clear examples. Siegel covers financial market behaviors like historical trends, future forecasting, and rare “black swan events” like the recent pandemic. It also touches on international investment, making this one of the best fundamental analysis books for beginners and experienced investors.

“Although those who wait long enough will eventually recoup losses on a diversified portfolio of stocks, buying stocks at or below their historical valuation is the best way to guarantee superior returns.” Jeremey Siegel, Stocks for the Long Run

Renowned economist John Burr Williams originally wrote this book as his Ph.D. thesis at Harvard in 1938. In the decades since, it has become the definitive guide for learning the basics of fundamental analysis. In the Theory of Investment Value , Williams proposes that every business has an intrinsic value that can be calculated based on the present value of the company’s future dividends, as opposed to its earnings.

He suggests that determining this intrinsic value is the key to wise investing. Because this book is heavy in theory and mathematical calculations, and because it was originally written for an audience well-versed in economic principles, it can be a difficult read for a beginner. Still, it is a classic for a good reason, and worth the effort.

“To buy when a security goes below its true worth, and to sell when it goes above it is not enough to constitute wise investment.” John Burr Williams, The Theory of Investment Value

This short, humorous book is easy to read and does an admirable job of explaining complex investment ideas in simple terms.  The Little Book that Still Beats the Market  requires only basic middle-school math, so it is an approachable entry point for beginners interested in value investment and personal finance. More experienced investors will appreciate it as a quick and easily digestible refresher on the basics of fundamental analysis.

“Choosing individual stocks without any idea of what you’re looking for is like running through a dynamite factory with a burning match. You may live, but you’re still an idiot.” Joel Greenblatt, The Little Book that Still Beats the Market

Michael Thomsett is a successful investor who has written dozens of books and articles on investment strategy. In Getting Started in Fundamental Analysis , he introduces the basics and includes tools to help beginning investors put those theories to use. From where to find and how to read financial information online to tracking income ratios, Thomsett has created a practical guide to stock market strategy. The book also discusses understanding a business’s health and potential using indicators beyond financial statements.

“Financial statements are a starting point in analysis. They are most useful when they highlight questions you need to ask to get more details.” Michael C. Thomsett, Getting Started in Fundamental Analysis

In One up on Wall Street , mutual fund guru, Peter Lynch, shares his expertise on long-term investing. This is an easy-to-read, conversational-style book where Lynch recounts his successes, mistakes, and common market myths. He stresses his theory that investing in companies you know and understand is best. Lynch suggests that you pay close attention to the products you use and interact with daily, then invest in the ones that stand out as exceptional.

If you can find those products before the analysts, Lynch claims, you’ll wind up with a much sought-after tenbagger – a stock that grows tenfold from the initial investment cost. A New York Times bestseller with over a million copies sold, One up on Wall Street  is a can’t-miss.

“Actually Wall Street thinks just as the Greeks did. The early Greeks used to sit around for days and debate how many teeth a horse has. They thought they could figure it out by just sitting there, instead of checking the horse.” Peter Lynch, One up on Wall Street

David Dodd

Considered one of the most influential investment books of all time, this classic is a must for anyone serious about the stock market. The newest edition features a forward by Warren Buffett, who confesses that he has read Security Analysis Principles and Techniques at least four times and chapter introductions from some of Wall Street’s leading money managers.

Written in 1940, Graham’s sound advice has stood the test of time and every imaginable market condition. Owing to its age, this book is dense and complex. Still, for those with some prior knowledge of finance, it is an invaluable and comprehensive guide to selecting and managing investments. If you enjoyed our guide to the best books for fundamental analysis, we have many more scientific books round-up that you can check out such as the best books for quantum physics .

“Astute observers of corporate balance sheets are often the first to see business deterioration” Benjamin Graham, Security Analysis Principles and Techniques

As the title states, this book is designed for people who are brand new to long-term investing with fundamental analysis strategies. Because it was written with the beginner in mind, it has a comprehensive glossary and quizzes for each chapter that aid in understanding and knowledge retention. 

If you’ve never read an investment book, Fundamental Analysis for Beginners  is the perfect place to start. It covers common rookie investor mistakes, how to accurately assess the health of a business, as well as what to look for and what to avoid when building your portfolio. With the purchase of this book, readers also gain access to additional information on the author’s website.

“So if you don’t excel at math, think accountancy is boring, or don’t have a ‘head for numbers,’ it doesn’t matter – as long as you can use a spreadsheet and calculate percentages, you can learn to invest wisely and productively.” AZ Penn, Fundamental Analysis for Beginners

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our guide on how to write a business proposal !

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Stefani is a freelance writer who specializes in lifestyle and literary pieces. She worked for several years as a high school English teacher before becoming a full-time writer. Stefani is pursuing a graduate degree in English literature focusing on contemporary poetry. When not writing, you can find her in the garden, making plans for her next road trip, or in her workshop, where she restores vintage and antique furniture.

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editors’ choice

9 New Books We Recommend This Week

Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times.

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It’s too early to know the full story behind the mass shooting at yesterday’s Super Bowl parade in Kansas City, but for the back story — the broader context of America’s love affair with guns and the resulting steady drumbeat of horrific incidents — you might look to two of our recommended books this week: Dominic Erdozain’s “One Nation Under Guns” and Jonathan M. Metzl’s “What We’ve Become,” which take cleareyed but different approaches to the country’s gun culture and its intractable challenges.

Also up this week, we recommend a couple of big biographies, of the choreographer Martha Graham and the Marxist revolutionary Frantz Fanon, along with a memoir of undocumented immigration and a true-crime history about a 1931 murder that exposed a network of political corruption. In poetry, we recommend Mary Jo Bang’s latest collection, and in fiction we like new novels by Paul Theroux and the British writer Dolly Alderton. Happy reading. — Gregory Cowles

ONE NATION UNDER GUNS: How Gun Culture Distorts Our History and Threatens Our Democracy Dominic Erdozain

This galvanizing polemic by a historian appalled at American gun violence scrutinizes the historical record to show where contemporary interpretations of the Second Amendment have departed from the framers’ apparent intentions, with disastrous results.

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“Considers guns from cultural, legal and historical perspectives. ... So comprehensive and assured that the moment I finished it, I immediately went back to the beginning and read it again.”

From Rachel Louise Snyder’s review

Crown | $28

WHAT WE’VE BECOME: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms Jonathan M. Metzl

Homing in on a mass shooting at a Nashville Waffle House in 2018, Metzl, a psychiatrist and sociologist, argues that America’s gun violence epidemic requires us to address racial and political tensions deeply embedded in our history.

analysis for books

“Casts a wide net. ... How, he asks, have public health experts failed to effect changes in policy, given their thousands of studies devoted to the myriad ways firearms increase risk and danger?”

Norton | $29.99

THE REBEL’S CLINIC: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon Adam Shatz

This absorbing biography of the Black psychiatrist, writer and revolutionary Frantz Fanon highlights a side of him that’s often eclipsed by his image as a zealous partisan — that of the caring doctor, who ran a secret clinic for Algerian rebels.

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“Part of what gives ‘The Rebel’s Clinic’ its intellectual heft is Shatz’s willingness to write into such tensions…. Portrays a man whose penchant for ‘rhetorical extremity’ could obscure how horrified he was by the brutality he had seen.”

From Jennifer Szalai’s review

Farrar, Straus & Giroux | $32

GOOD MATERIAL Dolly Alderton

Alderton’s novel, about a 35-year-old struggling to make sense of a breakup, delivers the most delightful aspects of romantic comedy — snappy dialogue, realistic relationship dynamics, funny meet-cutes and misunderstandings — and leaves behind clichéd gender roles and the traditional marriage plot.

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“Alderton excels at portraying nonromantic intimate relationships with tenderness and authenticity.”

From Katie J.M. Baker review

Knopf | $28

ERRAND INTO THE MAZE: The Life and Works of Martha Graham Deborah Jowitt

In the hands of a veteran dance critic, this rigorous biography excels at describing the flamboyant choreographer’s work and distinct style. About the messy life between performances, Jowitt is comparatively mild.

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“A study in balance and grace. ... A distinguished biography: its description rich, its author’s rigor unquestionable.”

From Alexandra Jacobs’s review

Farrar, Straus & Giroux | $35

THE BISHOP AND THE BUTTERFLY: Murder, Politics and the End of the Jazz Age Michael Wolraich

The 1931 murder of “Broadway Butterfly” Vivian Gordon exposed an explosive story of graft, corruption and entrapment that went all the way to the top of the state. Wolraich brings a journalist’s eye and a novelist’s elegance to this story of Jazz Age New York.

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“A disquieting reminder of how tragedy can be used to effect change, but also how it is often leveraged for advancement.”

From Lesley M.M. Blume’s review

Union Square | $28.99

MY SIDE OF THE RIVER: A Memoir Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez

When Gutierrez was 4, her parents moved the family from Mexico to Arizona in hopes of giving their children better opportunities than they would have had in their “violent little narco town.” In this moving, timely memoir, she considers the ripple effects of that decision.

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“A testament to the abiding allure — and often daunting reality — of the American dream.”

From Julia Scheeres’s review

St. Martin’s | $29

BURMA SAHIB Paul Theroux

This novel explores George Orwell’s years in colonial Burma, where he trained and worked as a police officer in the 1920s. Theroux’s Orwell is uneasy about his job and repelled by the British ruling class. But these experiences, the book suggests, made Orwell into the sharp thinker he became.

analysis for books

“The Burma that he conjures in these pages is wonderfully present in lush and dense prose. ... Theroux is now in his early 80s and this novel is one of his finest, in a long and redoubtable oeuvre.”

From William Boyd’s review

Mariner | $30


The poems in Bang’s latest collection, her ninth, are full of pleasure, color, sound and light — but also torment.

analysis for books

“The work of miniaturizing a life is painstaking, and Bang’s poems have a characteristic clockwork precision — they tick and spin like mechanical music boxes.”

From Elisa Gabbert’s poetry column

Graywolf | Paperback, $17

Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

Even in countries where homophobia is pervasive and same-sex relationships are illegal, queer African writers are pushing boundaries , finding an audience and winning awards.

In Lucy Sante’s new memoir, “I Heard Her Call My Name,” the author reflects on her life and embarking on a gender transition  in her late 60s.

For people of all ages in Pasadena, Calif., Vroman’s Bookstore, founded in 1894, has been a mainstay in a world of rapid change. Now, its longtime owner says he’s ready to turn over the reins .

Do you want to be a better reader?   Here’s some helpful advice to show you how to get the most out of your literary endeavor .

Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review’s podcast to talk about the latest news in the literary world. Listen here .

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Anand Gopal

MEET & GREET: Anand Gopal

Is the U.S. a democracy or a republic?

Come meet and greet Dr. Anand Gopal, writer for The New Yorker magazine and author of “No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes,” which won the Ridenhour Book Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer and National Book Award. Dr. Anand Gopal is a scholar covering democracy and inequality. He received his PhD from Columbia University where he studied network analysis .

He is currently a professor at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at Arizona State University. Snacks and beverages will be served.

TO REGISTER FOR THE MEET & GREET: Contact  [email protected]

SPONSORED BY: Department of Sociology and Jackson School of International Studies

If you would like to attend Anand Gopal’s upcoming event at Town Hall,  Is the U.S. a democracy or a republic? , on February 28, at 6:30 pm (also available via Livestream), go to  https://www.washington.edu/lectures/events/is-the-us-a-democracy-or-a-r…

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Digital Discovery

Chemical space analysis and property prediction for carbon capture solvent molecules †.

ORCID logo

* Corresponding authors

a IBM Research Europe, Hartree Centre, SciTech Daresbury, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 4AD, UK E-mail: [email protected] , [email protected]

b University of Edinburgh, School of Mathematics, Bayes Centre, 47 Potterrow, Edinburgh EH8 9BT, UK

c University of Oxford, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford, UK

d IBM Research, IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA 95120, USA

e IBM Research, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598, USA

We present a new chemical representation (the CCS fingerprint) and data set (ccs-98) for carbon capture solvents. We then assess the chemical space, data availability and utility of common machine learning algorithms for high throughput virtual screening in the carbon capture solvents field. This is an area of growing importance, as carbon capture and storage is part of the road map towards net zero for many countries around the world. A major class of commercial carbon capture technology involves using solvents, which are commonly blends of amines and N-heterocyclic molecules in water. Whilst these blends have proved valuable, there is an increasing need to identify new candidate molecules which are more efficient and improve performance. We found that the CCS fingerprint can out-perform other common chemical representations when combined with standard machine learning approaches for classifying molecules based on absorption capacity. We demonstrate models achieving classification accuracy for absorption capacity of over 80%.

Graphical abstract: Chemical space analysis and property prediction for carbon capture solvent molecules

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Chemical space analysis and property prediction for carbon capture solvent molecules

J. L. McDonagh, S. Zavitsanou, A. Harrison, D. Zubarev, T. van Kessel, B. H. Wunsch and F. Cipcigan, Digital Discovery , 2024, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D3DD00073G

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence . You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

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The Trump fraud trial verdict goes well beyond ordering the ex-president to pay $355 million. Here's what the ruling means.

  • Trump, his eldest sons, and the Trump Organization must repay $364 million from a decade of fraud.
  • Friday's verdict also bars Trump from running a New York business for three years.
  • Judge Arthur Engoron wrote that Trump's frauds "leap off the page and shock the conscience."

Insider Today

In a scathing verdict that punishes a decade of deceit, the judge in Donald Trump's New York civil-fraud case on Friday slammed the GOP frontrunner, his two eldest sons, and his company with a nearly $364 million cash penalty.

"The frauds found here leap off the page and shock the conscience," the verdict by the New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron , who has presided over the case for more than three years, said.

While Trump is personally on the hook for almost $355 million of that penalty, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump must pay $4 million each, and the former Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg must pay $1 million.

But the verdict hits way beyond just Trump's wallet. It targets his real-estate and golf-resort empire, the Trump Organization, in two ways that Trump has pushed against for years.

First, the verdict wrests control of the company further from the former president and his two eldest sons, leaving major company decisions to a yet-named "independent director of compliance" who'll operate under Trump's court-appointed monitor's continuing watch .

Second, it sets a three-year ban on Trump running the Trump Organization or any other business in the city and state where he made his name — and where he first seized a national spotlight as a brash real-estate mogul. For Trump, it's the commercial equivalent of being run out of town on a rail.

Significantly — and this is a big silver lining for Trump — the verdict reverses the most unfriendly elements of the judge's pre-trial " corporate death penalty " judgment from September.

He no longer has to surrender all of the Trump Organization's New York operating licenses, and the verdict does not mention the forced sale of any Trump properties.

The verdict caps a five-year effort by the office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James .

On Friday afternoon, James issued a statement celebrating the verdict.

She said that Trump has engaged in fraud for years to enrich his own family and company.

Now, he and his codefendants will have to pay more than $450 million, including interest.

"While he may have authored the 'Art of the Deal,' our case revealed that his business was based on the art of the steal," she said.

Trump is expected to immediately appeal, likely putting these and other punishments from the 92-page verdict on ice well past the November election.

But in the coming weeks, Trump will still have to spend millions on a surety bond — a bond guaranteeing performance of a contract or obligation — to guarantee he can pay whatever dollar figure, plus interest, an appellate court ultimately upholds.

Interest also applies to the penalties, potentially adding millions more to his ultimate verdict price tag.

"When confronted at trial with the statements, defendants' fact and expert witnesses simply denied reality, and defendants failed to accept responsibility or to impose internal controls to prevent future recurrences," Engoron wrote Friday.

The verdict holds Trump civilly liable, based on Engoron's three-month Manhattan bench trial, for leading a conspiracy to commit business and insurance fraud with help from his two eldest sons and a pair of long-standing Trump Organization executives.

"Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological," Engoron wrote.

"They are accused only of inflating asset values to make more money," the verdict said.

"The documents prove this over and over again. This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin," he added. "Defendants did not commit murder or arson. They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff. Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways."

In a statement, a Trump Organization spokesperson decried the verdict as a "gross miscarriage of justice."

"Every member of the New York business community, no matter the industry, should be gravely concerned with this gross overreach and brazen attempt by the Attorney General to exert limitless power where no private or public harm has been established," the spokesperson said in the statement. "If allowed to stand, this ruling will only further expedite the continuing exodus of companies from New York."

Read Friday's verdict here .

"Today, justice has been served. This is a tremendous victory for this state, this nation, and for everyone who believes that we all must play by the same rules — even former presidents," James said in her statement Friday. 

" When powerful people cheat to get better loans, it comes at the expense of honest and hardworking people," James continued. "Everyday Americans cannot lie to a bank to get a mortgage to buy a home, and if they did, our government would throw the book at them. There simply cannot be different rules for different people .

Some lesser penalties

The verdict also bans Trump and the Trump Organization from borrowing from New York banks or purchasing real estate in the state for three years. James had asked for a five-year ban on such buying and borrowing in her lawsuit.

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are banned from running a New York business for two years. James had asked for five-year bans for the brothers.

And it bans the two former executives, the ex-CFO Weisselberg and the former Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney, from controlling another New York company's finances.

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Watch: Trump fights back as fraud trial begins

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    2 Take notes as you read. This will not only help you to note any details that appear to be significant, but will also allow you to jot down your thoughts as you read and keep them organized. Include page numbers and chapter numbers in your notes.

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  26. Chemical space analysis and property prediction for carbon capture

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