Semester Course: Analyzing Literature - For Fun!

Even the most avid readers can struggle with the skills of analyzing a work of fiction and then being able to discuss what they have found. Over a period of twelve weeks, the focus will be on helping learners to gain familiarity and comfort with this skill, and even learn to enjoy it.

Analyzing Literature – For Fun! on Outschool.

In the first class session we will spend the hour discussing how to analyze fiction. We will talk about components including characterization, themes, plot, setting, point of view, imagery, voice, style, tone, and symbolism. We will also talk about the roadblocks that make analyzing fiction intimidating, and about ways to make it enjoyable rather than scary.

After each class students will either read a story from a provided list of short story links, or a short story of their own choosing, and think about the different components that we discussed in class. Learners can either choose to read a different short story for each class, novels to be split between two classes each, or use their time to examine both. They will then use the provided worksheet to make notes on what they have discovered about each work, focusing on both the experience and on the components.

Through each of the following weeks, learners will talk about the works they have chosen to read, sharing with the other learners their experience of examining the piece and what they learned from the process. Each week their skills will build upon the previous week, with their analysis becoming more detailed and sophisticated, their discussions covering more ground, and their confidence levels becoming more sure. As learners progress we will begin doing analysis in class, both solo and collaborating with other learners.