Analyze a main theme in the work. What is the authors vision in his/her work?
Trace an important motif. Note that this can overlap with other areas. For example motif may relate to theme, symbol, characterization, and others.
Discuss & trace an important symbol or controlling metaphor in the work. Often this is another approach to addressing motif.
Delve into minor themes in the work and discuss how they may relate to a central or major theme.
Discuss in depth a major conflict in the work. Is it resolved? How is it resolved? If not, what is the impact on the work? What does it suggest about life?
Do an in-depth study of the writers style. The content of a work is certainly related to the style (how the writer uses language/syntax) that is individual to that particular writer.
Perhaps relating to theme: Does the writer have a particular Code(Hemingway, for example) that influences his/her life, view of humanity, and artistic vision.
Consider the work from a Genderposition. How might the interpretation of a work change depending on the readers gender.
Consider these approaches and be aware there are infinite ways to critique/analyze/explicate a work of art. You,

Ll the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy

Essay Assignment  All The Pretty Horses
Objective: In successful completion of this essay assignment you will demonstrate your understanding of basic elements of fiction and your ability to comprehend and interact with literary texts. Additionally, you will demonstrate your ability to write critically and analytically about literature using MLA style. You will also demonstrate your ability to write referentially by incorporating source material into your own argument.
Task: Write a literary analysis essay in response to Cormac McCarthy s All the Pretty Horses.
Formal Requirements: Your essay must
” contain between 1000 and 1200 words.
” cite from no fewer than three quality sources each of which are listed correctly in a works cited page.
” contain no fewer than three correctly formatted in-text/parenthetical citations.
” conform to MLA style guidelines.
” address no fewer than one basic element of fiction (theme, character, setting, point of view, conflict, plot, etc.).
” explain and support a single main idea which is stated clearly in the opening paragraph (thesis statement).
Recommended Process:
1. First, download and read the  Writing about Literature file from our Blackboard site. Consider this document to be your tutorial for writing this essay.
2. Next, read the many scholarly essays which have been collected for you on our Blackboard site. Note that documentation has been provided for you.
3. Next, plan your essay by composing a simple and direct thesis statement and a rough outline which generates support for the thesis. What follows is an example of an effective thesis for a novel (in this case, The Great Gatsby).
Fitzgerald s title for his novel, The Great Gatsby, is ironic because Gatsby is not  great.
4. Now, write your rough draft being sure to cite your sources both internally and in the works cited page.
5. Take your rough draft to the Writing Lab for proofing.
6. Finally, submit your final draft on the due date.
Good Luck!