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OEA is a writing strategy that will help develop in-depth analytical writing skills. OBSERVATION: An observation in literary analysis writing acts very much like a topic sentence in that they both make some sort of claim about literature. An observation is a clearly stated interpretation you make about a part of a story, poem, novel, play, et cetera. An observation is not a definitive truth or a plot detail. It is a logical conclusion you have made about the text that you must prove using direct evidence. he only difference between an observation and a topic sentence is that it is possible to have more than one observation per paragraph, but we will start with one observation per paragraph so for now the observation statement and topic sentence will be the same. An observation you might make about The Scarlet Letter is! " refused. he character of #earl symboli$es the freedom that %ester is

An observation is not! " #earl is the daughter of %ester #rynne.

his statement is so widely accepted that your essay would not say anything new or interesting. EVIDENCE! Evidence is what you use to prove the claim you made in your observation. hus, the evidence must relate directly to the claim. his re&uires you to be well versed enough in your reading of the text that you can find the most appropriate evidence for the 'ob. %owever, you cannot 'ust plop the &uotation in the middle of the paragraph and expect it to prove anything. (ou need to consider! " CONTEXT) hough your reader will be familiar with the text you are writing about, it is necessary to give a bit of context to help the reader understand where the &uotation comes from. his can be done briefly, as a lead-in to your &uotation, or in its own sentence prior to the &uotation. QUOTE INTEGRATION )A &uote may not stand alone* it must be bound to a longer sentence. he following properly integrates a &uotation! #hilosopher +ene ,escartes once proclaimed, -I think therefore I am,. and thus changed the way human kind thinks about logic and existence.


ANALYSIS ! his is the hardest part of English class, but it is also the most important part. In short, analysis is showing how the evidence used proves the claim made in your observation. Also, analysis should imply, not overtly state, why your analysis is worth mentioning at all. Analysis is most always the most underrepresented part of student essays. In this section you must! " DRAW CONCLUSIONS)/omewhere in your analysis you must consider why your analysis of the evidence is worth mentioning at all. Another way to look at this is to think of it as a statement that concludes your argument)sum up your analysis by relating back to your observation. SAMPLE OEA

[O !"#$%&'()*

he sonnet form of 0laude 1c2ay3s poem, -If 4e 1ust

,ie,. works to convey the poem3s message)that one should fight back against in'ustice in a noble manner. [E$'+"),"* 1c2ay conveys this idea explicitly when he writes, -If we must die, O let us nobly die. 567. %e then elaborates by providing examples of how one should and should not fight back! -let it not be like hogs. 587 and -/o that our precious blood may not be shed 9 In vain. 58, :-;7. %e urges people to be -brave. and to face the enemy -life men. 58<, 8=7. [A)%-.!'!* his explicit message is modeled in the form of the poem itself. he sonnet was developed in Italy and England by prominent poets like /hakespeare and #etrarch. It has a strict rhyme scheme 5A>A>0,0,E?E?@@7, rhythm 5iambic pentameter7, and structure 5three &uatrains7. >y writing this rebel-rousing poem while adhering to such structure and form, 1c2ay is literally modeling what it is like to fight back nobly, for he, as a black man writing during the %arlem +enaissance , displays that he can use the most elevated poetic form, which was developed by white westerners. Even though 1c2ay does not identify the -we. of his poem to be the African American population, nor the -murderous, cowardly pack. to be white, /outhern racists, this is a plausible interpretation. herefore, as a black man emerging in a predominantly white profession)poetry)1c2ay accurately drives the message of his poem home by putting it in the form of a sonnet.

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