# Text Analysis: Says, Does, How

Lesson Objective: The purpose of this exercise is to practice literary analysis. Students must be able to understand thematic elements and recognize the complexity of a literary text. Students must also be able to write a critical analysis of such literature. Please note that this strategy can be used for informational text as well.

2. Complete the chart below. Cite three or more quotes from the text (SAYS), analyze the meaning of each quote (DOES), and explain the strategies or devices the author uses to create this meaning (HOW).
3. Write literary analysis paragraph: How does the author use language to convey meaning? The topic sentence should be a clear thesis statement that makes a claim. Support with examples from the text. Use the sample paragraph below as a guide.

Student Example: Says, Does, How (Grendel, by John Gardner, Chapter 1):

Student Example: Literary Analysis Paragraph

In Chapter 1 of the novel Grendel, John Gardner uses first person point of view and figurative language to reveal Grendel as an angry and lonely outcast. As Grendel observes animals and nature, he stomps around angrily and declares himself a “pointless, ridiculous monster” (6).  Grendel explains, “Space hurls outward, falconswift, mounting like an irreversible injustice, a final disease” (9). For Grendel, time moves swiftly but is unkind and unpleasant like a growing disease. Grendel also references the “ancestral crime” (11) of his birth and the fact that his mother won’t discuss it with him. Grendel longs for interaction with others, but he is shunned by God and all other living creatures. Finally, Grendel’s colorful and inappropriate language shows Grendel to be “neither proud nor ashamed,” (6) but a miserable and suicidal monster who struggles to understand his place on earth.

To scaffold the literary analysis paragraph, provide students with the following template:

• Topic sentence - Make a claim/argument (the does)
• Analysis: Provide quotes/evidence from the text as support (the says)
• Explanation: Explain what the quotes mean (the how)
• Anchor - Concludes/summarize the main idea of the paragraph

*Students will need to practice this skill in order to master it. Some recommendations include starting with shorter text, allowing students to work in pairs or small groups before working independently, and modeling how to read text analytically (resources may include How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster or other textual analysis resources)