Literature: Writing a Literary Essay Unit

Rated 4.91 out of 5, based on 125 reviews
125 Ratings
Stacey Lloyd
Grade Levels
8th - 11th
Resource Type
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52 pages
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Stacey Lloyd

What educators are saying

This is a fantastic resource! It really helped my students understand and organize an analysis essay.
This is a great unit for my students to use as they're learning how to go deeper in their analysis of literature.
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  1. Attractive and engaging resources for teaching 4 essay writing types (literary, narrative, persuasive, expository): daily step-by-step lesson plans, worksheets, student handouts, posters and more! Plus, SAVE BIG by buying this pack - all the items would normally cost $28.Writing doesn't come easily
    Price $17.59Original Price $27.96Save $10.37


Writing doesn't come easily to many students; so to effectively teach literary analysis writing we need to GUIDE students through the process. In this comprehensive literature essay writing pack you will get step-by-step lesson plans, engaging worksheets, helpful handouts and more.  

** NOTE: You can now buy this as part of my BUNDLED WRITING PACK and save 20%**


Think of this as literary analysis boot-camp: over the course of the unit, students will be introduced to the concept of analyzing literature, how to respond to a text, and how to fluently write about their response. Through the analysis of a poetry and short stories, students will learn to structure paragraphs of literary analysis using the PEEL method: writing clear, debatable claims, backing them up with evidence, providing deeper analysis and explanation, and then fluently linking back to the overall topic.


Students will be able to:

  • Make unique, original claims about a text, evidencing critical thought and engagement.
  • Identify and cite strong textual evidence to support their inferences and opinions.
  • Analyze and explain how an author crafts a text using narrative, dramatic or poetic techniques.
  • Write strong literary analysis essays, which are well-structured and detailed.
  • Fluently embed quotations in their writing, with correct punctuation and format.


  • Complete Unit Plan and Suggested Pacing Schedule.
  • 8 step-by-step lesson plans (each one guides the teacher in the most effective way to teach the concepts of the lesson, and provides helpful tips and hints for effective practice). A variety of attractive literary analysis writing worksheets and hand-outs which accompany the lesson plans.


Lesson 1: Introduction - By the end of this introductory lesson, students will be able to explain why we read, study, and analyze literature. and will have set their own goals for the unit.

Lesson 2: P.E.E.L Method - In this lesson, students will learn the P.E.E.L method for structuring their paragraphs of literary analysis, to aid the fluency and clarity in their writing. 

Lesson 3: Analyzing a Poem - Ideally, you should teach the literary essay in the context of the literary work you are studying. As we can’t cover essay lessons on every novel/play out there, this lesson will look at studying a poem and writing a literary essay from there. 

Lesson 4: Writing about a Poem - Having studied the poem in detail in the previous lesson, this lesson students will be guided through the process of planning their poetry essays, and then writing them. 

Lesson 5: Embedding Quotations - By the end of this lesson, students will be able to fluently integrate quotations in their own sentences, citing correctly, and punctuating accurately.

Lesson 6: Analysis of a Short Story - Over two lessons, students will study the short story Thank you Ma’am by Langston Hughes and then plan, draft and write an essay based on the story. 

Lesson 7: Drafting an Essay - In this lesson we will build on the students’ understanding of the short story Thank You Ma’am, by planning and writing an essay on the text. Students will also learn how to incorporate quotations in their essays. 

Lesson 8: Writing Introductions - In this working lesson, students will get to grips with the essay question, and the process required to plan out, draft, and edit a full analysis essay.

Other products go well with this pack:

Literary Elements Bundle

Embedding Quotations: Tools for Teaching Writing

Literary Elements POSTERS

** NOTE: If you like this Guided Writing Pack, then don't forget to check out my other ones:

Persuasive Writing Pack

Creative / Narrative Writing Pack

Expository Writing Pack

Total Pages
52 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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