how to write a good literature essay

how to write a good literature essay

How to Write a Compelling Literature Essay

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1. Understanding the Essay Prompt

When students understand the point of the paper, they can start reading about it and take notes. Although this may seem to be obvious, what usually happens is that students read about the subject or they feel interested in a certain detail and write down why that interested them. When students stop and think about it, they also need to think about the reader. When teachers assign any type of essay, their goal is to help the reader/teacher/student to become familiar with an issue related to the subject students are learning about. Once students understand the idea or thesis they are to defend or explain, they have taken the first step to writing a competent and engaging paper. Then, the next step is to carry out the research and start working on the outline, that is to say, to which argumentation, evidence or ideas students are going to take and how they are going to exhibit them.

When students have an essay to write about a particular subject without any established rules on what the paper should look like, then they usually read about the subject and write down everything they have learned. They simply express all their ideas and knowledge about the given issue and, usually, the paper earns a poor grade. Even though they read quite a lot about the subject and their knowledge is large, a literature essay without direction never makes a good paper. The point is that once students select what kind of paper they are going to work on – informative, creative or persuasive – it is time to stop and think about which the main point or idea of the essay is going to be.

2. Conducting Thorough Research

The Basic Most of the time, to learn about the research done on a particular book, the easiest method is to find academic books and journal articles that exist about the book. A relevant explanation can be found in an academic text, assuming that the interpretation provided by the author is valid. However, these interpretations are usually derived from existing academic criticism or homage work, so when you refer to them, the explanation comes with a free pass to use. Additionally, when you use them effectively, these explanations provide evidence and discussed arguments that you can assimilate into your essay. In turn, you can use these imbued elements in a comparative fashion or allow them to influence your essays structure.

When it comes to writing literature essays, many students are stumped. Well, that’s easy—I hear you say. You just need to read the book and then write what you think of it. Really, is that all? But hold it right there. Before you jump straight into book-thoughts mode, you need to do some research to figure out what you want to say about the book. Your research would help you collect evidence and quotes you can use to structure your opinion of the book as well as develop your argument. This evidence and your argument would serve as the backbone of your essay. In this article, you will learn how you can gather information on a book using academic books and journal articles. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds and the outcome is a series of quotes you can show off in your essays.

3. Crafting a Strong Thesis Statement

When you look for a topic or theme that’s patently obvious, chances are that you’ll have a hard time finding research on it since after your research you’ll end up with the obvious. So let the passion you have for the topic guide your curiosity during your reading and let the topic revealed by your research guide what you wish to write about. Sketch ideas for secondary themes and connections between the text you read, take notes, and see what really gets your inspiration going and how ideas come subtly to you when you let your enthusiasm lead you without ‘forcing’ your inspiration. This introspective approach will help you be more in touch with your interests and with your purpose as well and make the whole writing process much more enjoyable. Because although it’s implied that a good and meaningful argument will make a good literature essay, it’s just as important for you to feel like you are genuinely enthusiastic about the topic.

Just like any other type of essay, your literature essay will be framed by a thesis and your arguments to defend it. So, if you’re trying to craft a strong literature essay, rather than beginning with whatever you think would be a good place to start, why not consider beginning with your thesis? That way, you will be able to stick to what you would truly like to discuss, and your arguments will be more cohesive. I’m not saying to write your thesis first and then go and look for evidence to support it, but rather to let your thesis prompt the research you do as you’re reading your primary and supplemental sources (which we’ll get to later) and let that process shape what you wish to discuss. This will help you make sure that your arguments are always tied to your thesis and stay on track.

4. Structuring Your Essay Effectively

Paragraph 2: An essay consists of a beginning, a middle, and an end. In a short simple essay, the end consists in the sentence, with that you lead the reader to agree with you. In a longer essay the end is a conclusion, where you make a general statement about what you have shown to be true or false or instructive or convincing through your various detailed workings-out. So you write the end in a hurry if you have made good notes of the various developing-your-thesis readings you have made in the middle, if during your reading of your sources and your subsequent thinking about what they say and do not quite say, you also think about the total picture that you want your more-informed reader to see. What is convincing? Have you worked it out comprehensively? What of your first destination? Or have the writers implied an alternative meaning, which you now see to be the real one?

Paragraph 1: To prepare for writing your essay about a work of English literature, study the work itself, and then consult interpretive essays about it, as well as critical commentaries. From these you will gather the material for your exposition and your analysis. You will discover what the different writers and critics have thought to be the work’s peculiar qualities, sharing with whom you will be prepared for the difficult yet important step of formulating your own ideas. Moreover, when you get others’ thoughts you will see that you do not have to tell everything about the work, which would be impossible in a short essay, but only what is necessary to make your point, that is to persuade your reader of a certain view of the work’s value or meaning, and thereby into a specific kind of reading.

5. Editing and Revising for Clarity and Coherence

In the presentation of your own ideas, you must ensure that the connections between them and those from secondary sources are expressed in a logical and coherent manner. When writing to a source you must find a way to introduce the quote or paraphrase by showing your readers how a particular source illuminates, illustrates, develops or even contradicts your line of reasoning. For example: procuring a particular position held by an author is not enough to justify his or her inclusion in your argument. Define earlier where she/he stands in the critical debate; link her/his position to the poet’s intentions, text development, or your own sense of the text.

Editing and revising are the final and highly important stages of essay writing. Your essay must be consistently typed with headings clearly identifying the topic, their textual location and the page numbers. Standard (size 12) font with a 1.5 line spacing should be adhered to, and paragraphing should enhance and not interrupt the flow of meaning. If your essay can be presented on one side of the paper, that is approved; if you have a printer, use both sides. All of this can be solved in the drafting stage after you have had time away from the essay and then find two or three hours to polish the presentation. Spell checks and grammar are just an extension of the task and make the essay more professional and/or credible, so there is simply no excuse on the student’s part.

Close reading should be practiced in your first draft: “Your problem is to recreate (or write) the text you are analyzing…” Write your essay in stages. First, leave yourself free-writing time: jot down all the ideas that arise from the reading and making of notes. Quality and quantity are both important; the essential thing is to start writing. However, you mustn’t spend all your time drafting free-writing sections as you will require it elsewhere in the phenomenon of the regular and easy research pattern.

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