In the following sample excerpt, the student attempts to present an analogy, but is unsuccessful.  The student doesn’t understand the purpose of an analogy.

Sample Excerpt

Just as humans have a natural instinct to hunt (and gather), the inclination of love in Venus’s understanding should be natural to Adonis. Venus states, “By law of nature thou art bound to breed . . .” (L. 171).  In this statement, the need for continuity exists. And Venus is saying just as the need for continuity has its will, so should love. Love should be able to continue regardless; and humans should be able to carry out the will of love through the need for continuity.

Figure 64: Essay Excerpt on “Venus and Adonis,” William Shakespeare


1) Does the second bolded sentence represent a true analogy? Does the sentence represent the correct form of an “analogy”?

2) How should humans be able to carry out the will of love through the need for continuity?

3) Which comes first: the will of love or the need for continuity?

4) Why should humans carry out the will of love? What is the will of love?

5) What is the need for continuity?

Revision Considerations

Before employing particular literary techniques, include a definition of the word within your analysis. This will help to prepare you for bringing two things or statements together that you believe are analogous. In addition, make certain that the two things you bring together are actually comparable and on the same level.

For example, you can’t compare a dog and a goldfish. These animals derive from two different families and varieties; one walks the earth and the other lives and breathes in a fish bowl. They are not on the same level. However, you can compare two different types of dogs. You can compare their makeup, eating habits, and types of breeding.

Therefore, as you revise your paper, search for key literary words you have used within your paper; review the definitions of those words; and check to make certain that your example actually reflects the meaning of the words.

In the following sample excerpt, the student applies four different types of themes: disloyalty, expectation, creation, and loyalty. The student doesn’t establish clear goals for writing the essay. Therefore, the paper doesn’t reflect a single purpose. Let’s read the excerpt.

Sample Excerpt

The theme of disloyalty is evident in the play and it takes many forms. From parental to marital, disobedience is questioned and authority challenged. Expectation is never allowed respect and creation, itself, altogether becomes a problem for some characters in the play. Loyalty also shifts its focus as well.  Overall, disloyalty manifests itself in the following ways.

Figure 65: Essay Excerpt on the Theme of Disloyalty in Cymbeline, William Shakespeare


1) How can the theme of disloyalty take a form?

2) “Expectation” is not a person. How can expectation “expect” respect?

3) How does “creation” become a problem for some characters in the play? What problem do the characters have with “creation”?

4) What is “creation,” or what does it mean in the play? Are the words “expectation” and “creation” used in the play?  Are these appropriate themes?

Revision Considerations

What makes the student’s analysis “unclear” is the student hasn’t defined how she will use the keyword “disloyalty.” It appears that the reference to other words will serve as definitions for “disloyalty.” In addition, the student also applies the meanings of contemporary words to a dated text.

With this in mind, don’t apply concepts that are not already present in the work itself. In other words, stay within the context of the work. The author provides ample words and phrasing to use for evaluation. Bringing in foreign terms will only confuse the reader and you won’t maintain the integrity of the text.

For extended explanations, see the comments “Ambiguous (Thesis and Author’s Ideas),” “Explain the Parallel Here,” “Not a Theme In,” and “Not Clear.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: