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How to Write a Point of View Analysis Essay


A point of view analysis essay represents a formal work of writing that focuses its analysis on the point of view of a particular literary composition. An essay that analyzes point of view puts forth some sort of position or an argument. This argument is the essay's thesis statement, and it typically considers the effects that a particular point of view has on different aspects of the narrative.

Point of View

Point of view is the perspective from which the story is told. The first-person narrator relays the story using “I,” showing the reader what he is seeing and experiencing throughout the story. This narrator is typically the main character, but he can also be a supporting character. The third-person narrator relays the story using “he” or “she,” showing the reader a broader perspective. Third-person narration may be limited to a particular character, revealing only his thoughts, actions and/or feelings or omniscient, relaying many characters’ thoughts, actions and/or feelings.

Analyzing Point of View

To write a point of view analysis essay, you should read the literary narrative and take notes on the writer's use of point of view. A writer uses a particular point of view to tell a certain kind of story. Relaying the story from another perspective would make a completely different story. As a result, in analyzing point of view, it is particularly important to pay close attention to the effect that a narrative's point of view has on various aspects of the story and on the story as a whole.

Write Your Essay’s Thesis Statement

Your analysis of a narrative's point of view should be conveyed in one sentence, a thesis statement, which is typically found at the end of your essay's introductory paragraph. The thesis statement should relay your main argument about the writer’s use of point of view and what effect that has on some other aspect of the narrative. For example, you might notice that a first-person perspective might be too limiting because it only presents one character's feelings. As a result, you might conclude that this style of narration gives the story a certain kind of immediacy or tension.

Write the Body of the Essay

Once you have analyzed a narrative’s point of view and developed your thesis statement, you can write the rest of the essay. You should place your thesis statement at the end of your introductory paragraph and use the other paragraphs of the essay to support your thesis. A thesis statement of a point of view analysis essay might be similar to the following example: "In 'Catcher in the Rye,' J.D. Salinger uses first-person point of view to show the unreliability and subjectivity of reality." The body paragraphs of this essay should provide support for this argument by using evidence from the novel to illustrate how the first-person perspective shows unreliability and subjectivity. At the end, you should summarize your main argument and evidence in the conclusion paragraph.

About the Author

Kate Prudchenko has been a writer and editor for five years, publishing peer-reviewed articles, essays, and book chapters in a variety of publications including Immersive Environments: Future Trends in Education and Contemporary Literary Review India. She has a BA and MS in Mathematics, MA in English/Writing, and is completing a PhD in Education.

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