This FAQ was last updated: Dec 12, 2014     Views: 5414

How do you write an explication

Our answer:
  • 1 First, read the poem, play, novel, or short story several times to make sure that you understand the surface elements of plot, setting, and characters. Make assumptions about the author’s hidden meanings. Don’t worry if you can’t prove the assumptions; explications give your opinions.

  • 2 Focus first on sentences and then on words. Write each sentence on a separate sheet of paper and underneath list the literary devices the sentence contains, such as symbolism, figures of speech, hyperbole, conflict, and imagery. Do the same with words that you believe stand out. At the bottom of each page, state the main point you believe each sentence and word makes.

  • 3 Develop a thesis using the main points you’ve written on the separate sheets of paper. Add to this thesis your understanding of the author’s hidden meanings. For example, if the main thesis is that totalitarian regimes dehumanize people, the author could be injecting personal bias toward a particular political philosophy. This thesis becomes the focus of your explication essay.

  • 4 Decide on the ratio of explication to the original text. The complexity of the original work will be a key factor. For example, a simple poem may require only a few sentences of explication for each stanza while each line of a Shakespearean sonnet may need one or more paragraphs.

  • 5 Open the explication essay by introducing what you believe is the main thesis. As you write the body of the essay, refer back to that thesis after each analysis you make. For instance, after explaining how the song “Under the Sea” in “The Little Mermaid” story appeals to children, the essay writer should reiterate that the author used literary techniques to express deeper messages.

  • 6 Write in an engaging style, since explications can degenerate into highly technical documents most readers avoid. Use active verbs, varied sentence structure, and concise expressions.

  • This answer came from eHow. We thought it was a good one.

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