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Revised September 2014 Analyzing Literature Writing Support Services Analyzing Literature: Critical Analysis "My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see." --Joseph Conrad, Preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus It is the task of critical readers to see as clearly as possible what the creative writer is trying to show them. It is the task of critical writers to show their readers as clearly as possible what they have seen. It is not usually their task to evaluate (i.e., decide whether a work is good or bad). This is the task of the reviewer. Elements of a Critical Essay Accuracy: You must be sure that you understand the basic, literal meaning of the text. Check all your references to the text (whether in the form of quotations or paraphrases) to make sure that you have not misread it or read into things that you would like to believe are there. Self-Consistency: Your reading must not c...