How to write a literary essay?

In general, literary essay is to examine, analyze and evaluate a piece of literature. One of the most important points is to prove your statements with the evidence from the original passage. Usually writing a literary paper and deep analysis makes the student appreciate a poem, story, play or novel better and understand its role in the literary process. Our articles will provide you with some helpful pieces of information on the components of the literary paper.

  1. 1.       Think about your audience.
  • You should consider that the paper must be understandable not only for your professor but for unprepared reader as well.
  • This does not mean that you have to retell the whole text in details. Instead of this, we recommend you to explain or interpret the literature piece in your own way. Explicate how exact components refer to a thesis statement you developed.
  • Your main task in the literary essay is developing the arguments and drawing conclusions but not retelling the plot. That is why if you provide some quotations it is only for the purpose of reminding the reader about the literature work.
  1. 2.       Textual evidence.
  • Giving the examples of the textual evidence is the peculiarity of the literary paper. If you are writing about a poem or story you must prove your judgments with the actual material. This will be the best way to convince the reader in validity of your position.
  • There are 4 basic forms of textual evidence: summary, paraphrase, specific details and direct quotes.
  • Summary is your condensing of the key points or events from the text. Usually you will need it to show that your thesis is relevant to the text, in general.
  • Paraphrase can be helpful for you need to tell about the details from the original text but your own wording for them. You just need to translate original piece in your words.
  • Specific detail will provide a concrete support of your thesis in the literary essay. These kind of evidence will add trustworthiness to your paper.
  • Direct quotations usually enlighten your ideas. It makes them more convincing and clear. Remember to explain to the reader why you have used the exact quotation and how it represents you position. Make sure you are following the referencing style required by your instructor.
  • If you use lengthy quotations they should be separated from the text of your essay. Sometimes it is necessary to indicate the page numbers.
  1. 3.       General tips on writing the literary essay.
  • Your paper should correspond to the topic assigned and cover all the necessary points.
  • You must indicate the name of the literature piece and its author in the introductory paragraph.
  • Formulate your thesis statement (the core idea) and place it at the end of the introduction.
  • Make sure that each body paragraph starts with the topical sentence that is supported by textual evidence.
  • The conclusion typically summarizes your most important points and may show the subject from a different perspective. However, you should not start a new topic in the conclusive part as it should create a sense of completeness.

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