Originally Posted by katieandduke
yeah I don't read the stories I read cliff notes and sparknotes..lol.. but this yr I am going to read the stories.
You absolutely can't analyse a piece of literature without reading it! The whole point of literary analysis is to look at the text and examine what effects it produces in the reader. You can't do that if you've never looked at the text!
If you have specific texts to study, rather than unseen pieces you have to respond to on the fly, then here's my advice for tackling them.
1. Read through briefly, as you would read any old book, story or poem. This will give you a basic idea of the plot and make you aware of key things to look out for.
2. Read again, a bit more carefully; underline motifs, thematic elements, anything you think is interesting.
3. Actually go through and study the text, analyse it, produce any coursework, do all the real in-depth work.
4. A week before the exam, have another light read of it to refresh the whole in your mind.
Unseen extracts are the nasty ones xD But in my exams, unseen pieces were always compared and contrasted to a text you had studied, so you knew you had to look for the connections and that gave you an angle into your essay.