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How to Analyze Narrative Texts

As a student, your teacher may ask you to analyze a narrative. The very words may seem daunting, but rest assured all your teacher is asking you to do is analyze a story. A narrative is a story that may feature several themes, plots and characters. To analyze it, you need to examine the story focusing on a particular literary device or character that you want to discuss. To do this successfully, you need to have read the text and be able to discuss a certain aspect of the text that interested you.

Interact with the text. If you want to analyze a text, you need to have interacted with it. This can mean annotating your reader responses in the margins, asking questions and making statements. All this will help you understand the text more thoroughly and will enable you to do a better job analyzing it. Look at all the information you have written down. Answer some basic questions: What does all this information mean to me? How does this relate to my text? What conclusions can I draw from this?

Examine the text from a specific point of view based on your questions and your responses. Write down some of your ideas. Make a list of three to five ideas/reactions that you feel comfortable discussing. Identify which idea you can best talk about and start developing another list based on that one idea. Now what do you have to say about this narrowed down topic? This process will enable you to identify your topic.

Make connections and draw conclusions. Avoid summarizing the text because that is not analyzing. You need to now respond to the topic you have identified earlier. Write down what you have to say about your subject. Draw conclusions about your text and see if you can make connections to other parts on the text or to other readings, if relevant.

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