Writing Plot Analysis Made Easy

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What Is a Plot Analysis?

Before you start working on a plot analysis, you have to be clear about what a plot is. Remember, a plot is not the same as the subject. The subject is what the story is about, but the plot is the arrangement of events made by the author. Usually they are arranged in a certain way that helps the writer to achieve a certain effect. These events are usually connected through a cause-effect pattern.

Thus, analyzing the plot of a story means not simply repeating what happens, but explaining why it happens and what point this proves. Furthermore, you list all the conflicts you can find, group them according to type and think about which ones are most important and why.

This list of questions may help collecting ideas and help you learn how to write a plot analysis:

  • What is the situation in the novel/play? Where and when do the actions take place?
  • Who is the protagonist? What does he want?
  • Ask ‘What happened?’ to find out the major events of the story.
  • What is the prize the protagonist wants to get? What keeps him from doing so?
  • What is the inciting incident? With what event does the story begin? Or:
  • What is the conflict between the protagonist and his nemesis?
  • How does an event affect characters? For a plot analysis it’s very important to see how the characters change and what causes these changes.
  • Look for archetypal motifs or patterns. There is always a specific model, on which a story bases. Is it the initiation or the quest or maybe the sacrificial scape goat?
  • What happens to the main character(s)? Answering this question will help you discovering the writer’s message to the reader.
  • How does the main character change? How does a character change psychologically? Does his attitude or point of view change? What does this teach the reader?

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When learning how to write an analysis on plot setting one should have a deep background knowledge on the theory of literature and on different eras in literature and in culture in general. If you are not sure that your knowledge is sufficient, you may need help from a professional writing service like Bookwormlab.com, that is willing to help you 24/7 and is able to elaborate on any topic existing on this planet and beyond that!