literary analysis editing
The strength of the introduction:
After reading your introduction, I feel it offers a lot of background information. However, I feel the
background information you included isn’t very relevant to the thesis. Instead of just stating how gothic
originated, maybe focus more on why it originated or perhaps what it aims to achieve. Additionally, you
Mention Edgar Allen Poe, however the two stories you chose to analyze are not written by Poe, so I
feel that mentioning him is irrelevant. It is also common to give a brief summary of the two stories you
will be talking about to give the background of the stories to the reader. Some minor comments I have are,
in the first sentence, rather than stating “the supernatural and the unknown and mystery and intrigue”
use commas to make it, “The supernatural, the unknown, mystery, and intrigue”. Also, stay away from using the term “we”.
The strength of the thesis statement:
Although your thesis statement is concise, which is always wanted. I feel that it is lacking further
explanation for the “rational” part of the thesis statement. Explain how the stories demonstrate the use of
the gothic genre to critique patriarchal society. For example, is it through the use of symbols, themes, or
I feel that the topic sentence in your first body paragraph doesn’t accurately express the paragraph’s
overall subject. Since you mention both stories in this topic sentence, I thought you would be comparing
the two in the paragraph, however, you don’t. Also, in this topic sentence as well as the topic sentence of
the second body paragraph, I think you should give a brief statement of “how” they show women’s hardship
(in the first paragraph) and the gothic characteristics (in the second paragraph). As for the topic sentence
of the third body paragraph, I feel it is strong, but this paragraph focuses more on the meaning behind
“The Yellow Wallpaper”. Rather than the visuals; so either changes your analysis in the paragraph to focus
on the visuals or change your topic sentence to tailor to the idea of the meaning behind “The Yellow
Wallpaper”. The topic sentence of your last body paragraph is definitely the strongest, it is well rounded
and accurately depicts the topic of the paragraph.
I think you should include more evidence in all of you body paragraphs because you make some
conclusions without giving support. For example, in the first body paragraph you say, “She begins to
see things in the wallpaper as well. She merely sees the design at first, but then she starts to believe
someone inside the wallpaper attempting to get out, which she assumes is herself.” It would be beneficial
to include a quote that shows this and analyze how it shows she assumes it is herself. You also summarize
the story a lot of the time to support what you are saying, instead to support your ideas, give a quotation
and analyze it. Also, make sure to go back and include the page numbers for the quotations, you have the
author’s last name which is good but you also need to include the page number. Additionally, I am not
sure if I missed it or if you don’t have evidence from a secondary source, besides in the introduction.
If you have a secondary source make sure to include a citation for it. Lastly, I feel that you should include
more evidence for “A Jury of Her Peers”. I noticed you spent 3 body paragraphs talking about
“The Yellow Wallpaper” but only one talking about “A Jury of Her Peers” I think it would be more beneficial,
as a comparative essay, to make it a 50/50 split analyzing each story.
I think your conclusion is strong and accurately summarizes all the main points you discussed in your essay.
I like how you not only summarize what you talked about in the essay but also tied it back to the broad
The idea, the use of gothic literature. I don’t have much to critique, the only suggestion I have for you is to maybe
talk about why the stories critique patriarchal society. For instance, you could talk about how the stories
were written in a time period where women were oppressed and that the stories depict that.
I enjoyed the simplicity of your literary analysis. Overall, it is easy to understand and your arguments are well stated. I enjoyed your introduction paragraph and how you discussed gothic literature and it’s themes. There is a sudden transition from gothic literature history to your thesis on critiquing patriarchal society which could be more subtle. You may want to revisit this for a smoother transition. I like the examples from the sources you provided but at times they are choppy so i would suggest some editing around these quotes. For example, on page three you cite Gilman 4 times then mention her another 3 in the same paragraph. The first line of your essay you list 4 items separated by “and” three times. In the second sentence, you list another 4 additional items separated by commas. I am pointing this out for the run-on sentence and because the first two sentences read like a list. Two things stand out in your second paragraph. 1. You make a first-person statement “that reminds me”. 2. You use the pronoun “her” and “she” without an antecedent. A reader unfamiliar with “The Yellow Wallpaper” would be confused by this paragraph. I noticed in Paragraph 3 you mention Gilman by her full name after mentioning her by her last name only in paragraphs 1 and 2. You never mention Glaspell by her full name, and only include her last name once in the introduction and then as in-text citation thereafter. This stood out to me for some reason as odd. It would be cleaner if they are introduced to the essay readers before being referred to by the last name only for the remainder of the essay. In your conclusion paragraph, the short story titles are not in parenthesis which is an easy fix. There could be room for another secondary source to support arguments too. The items mentioned could help your essay be easier to read. I understand your essay or your argument. You are on the right track and I know you will finish this essay strongly. Thank you for sharing with me.
P1 – I can see how the background information is relevant as far as how it pertains to your thesis, but I believe it occupies too much of the foreground and left me to wonder how and when the thesis was going to be brought up. If you put your thesis in between and followed it with your topic sentences, it would have resulted in a more intriguing approach rather than vague until the very end.
P2 – “They are far more developed than the earlier pieces”. I had to read this section a few times to realize that by pieces you meant gothic stories. I would suggest being a bit more specific, considering this sentence, although in succession with the prior that bears relevance, seemed independent since “earlier pieces” could leave one to think that you meant an earlier piece from the authors rather than gothic literature itself. note: there is repetition when you mention “Her spouse treats her like a child, locking her in a room and only allowing her out at set times during the day. As he says, “bless her little heart” and “what is it, little girl?” he treats her like a child”. “treats her like a child” is stated in one sentence after the other. I would suggest substituting it with “These quotes evidently point her spouse to have a belittling tone”
P3 – “The Gothic Characteristics” sounds vague, as it makes one assume there is a set standard of characteristics like “The Ten Commandments”, rather than the ones you are choosing to point out. There wouldn’t be much ambiguity if you replaced “The Gothic characteristics” with “Many gothic characteristics can be found in…” The quotes you used to reinforce your topic sentences and thesis focus on the characteristics well.
P4&5 – The topic sentence is backed up very well alongside the strong arguments, and your reflection on it’s impact to feminist literature ties toward your thesis in a proper manner, The flow of all these elements work together nicely. note: I would put a comma after “disease” and before “rather” in: “…a remedy for their mental disease rather than being treated like children…”
C – I personally would avoid using a word like “concluding” as just a general rule of thumb and replace it with “in hindsight/retrospect” or “it has become evident that…”. note: I would add a comma in between “depth” and “while” in: “…and look at it in depth while addressing issues with women being…”
Overall it was a very empowering read and offered a sense of perspective in some areas I hadn’t delved into. The topic sentences and points have decent to strong quotes backing them up in most of the paragraphs. In terms of formatting, there are a few instances of repetition that occur, and some omitted commas that could be taken care of to solidify your literary analysis.
A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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