literature essay contests

literature essay contests

How to Win Literature Essay Contests

1. Choosing the Right Topic

This means: avoiding topics such as woman in work, it is well and good if the announcements do not even mention the need to stick to some specific topic and announce silent submission but do not ignore the subtler instructions. It does not completely solve the problem of writing a paper that is dead territory. You can remember your classmates’ discussions in English courses throughout the semester – find a slant. A fresh look at at a minor work (but avoid to twist the famous works). The perception of short story cycles, plays, criticism or anthology contributory parts, the relevance of a specific issue. A possible angle for viewing is that should be included in your paper should be a focus that interests you. Use any favorite critical formula as a means to put a magnifying glass on the reading.

Remember that short papers exhibit a larger amount of focus than longer ones. Do not try and write everything you can in your topic. You should read the guidelines and be sure you understand what literature contest promotions need of you. If they want you to post manually executed essay on a given topic, you should submit accordingly. They would be irritated by those who send in prepared essays, if no such length is not obviously stated, a 3 to 4 pages essay generally satisfies the submission guidelines. By not sticking with submission contests requirements, you are planting the seeds of your failure.

2. Crafting a Compelling Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a statement of your overall position in an essay. Where research may have lots of issues (and sub-issues), your thesis is a simpler statement. It serves as the answer to the when questions of your readers. A thesis statement is generally one sentence, but may be more if needed. It is usually placed at the end of your opening paragraph. Typically, a thesis statement will have the primary topics broken down into sub-issues. An exposition in literature typically follows the “inverted pyramid” style and allows your reader to first see what the primary issue is and what the sub-issues are before s/he sees your stance on the sub-issues and, only after reading the entire paper, the thesis statement.

Chances are that you’ve read and heard the advice that a good essay must include a thesis statement. Most people realize that they need to address their topic and state an opinion or perspective in their thesis statement, but many writers of essays, particularly for literature, overemphasize the what and what and forget the why and what your perspective is. This guide breaks down the what, what, why and what of the thesis statement, prioritizes introductory paragraph content, and offers options for varying the content according to the purpose of the essay. After you have a well-crafted thesis statement, you should begin a draft of your body with topic sentences that support the thesis statement. Then (and only then), you should flesh out the body. If you try to write your body before you have a good thesis statement, you will often find that you have to shift your thesis, and/or you’re working with three different topics at once, and that often leads to a generic essay that falls short of demonstrating good insight.

3. Developing Strong Arguments

Does a story work better to make the point about dealing with disappointing experiences, or is it an image or a poem? This mechanism leads to more interesting essays – essays in which students want to tell their readers about their texts, not about their prompts, essays in which students don’t think in terms of a thesis statement or a list of key points, essays in which the writer is unselfconsciously exploring the text. The key idea model. Sometimes writers suspect that a particular idea they are developing isn’t really that profound. Eureka! It comes to them in a flash. When I have a model of my own psychology that includes a new dysfunction, it’s an exciting question. You know what your winning essay will look like. Focus on simple but promising ideas that you can develop into ten stimulating points. Ask your instructor for a recommended reading list that will help you find possibilities lurking in famous works.

Developing strong arguments: Develop specific points about your selected meanings that make great arguments. Sometimes students write essays revolving around significant definitions rather than developing concrete, interesting arguments. Once you have a list of ten words or phrases your essay will revolve around, choose the one meaning or any of the phrases with which you can develop ten distinct and interesting points or assertions. What is the difference between a good essay and a really excellent one? A really exciting question or idea. Ideas, in essence, are specific arguments about the way certain experiences influence a text, the way a text works, or the way a text discusses strategies of interpretation needed to address an issue we confront in contemporary culture.

4. Structuring Your Essay Effectively

You can devise a handful of possible arguments that are best presented in order of increasing rhetorical power. Displaying all your good cards as soon as you draw them makes it look like all your cards are mediocre. If there’s no one-to-one correspondence between the individual paragraphs and these points, the essay may feel disconnected. Body sections may entertain various subsidiary ideas arising from but not essential to your main argument. The thesis is a single paragraph or less in length, that is easily restated or generalized, and thus forms a useful focal point that readers should remember. Grouping all your smaller (but not unimportant or unnecessary) points under one super-argument provides a backbone to your essay. A conclusion of your essay should remain humble and not pressure the reader to agree with the ultimate validity of your thesis, but only act as an affirmation that your thesis is the best supported by the evidence.

You create the first impression on judges with your introduction, the first and perhaps only sentences most of them will ever see, so it must be effective. A meat-and-potatoes essay opener would look something like this: In this essay I will discuss the question of whether or not Tomasina is responsible for the struggles of Rosa. You are actually discussing Tomasina’s responsibility, for her father was cruel to Rosa, not Tomasina. You need to base your essay on a single overarching point (this is called a thesis). If the title you have chosen is necessarily ambiguous (e.g. Ethan Frome: A Study of Dashwood Elements), so that you actually have two different or competing arguments, be smart. Structure this as one or more arguments stating one position and one or more arguments stating the other; then go on to show why one set of interpretations is better than the other. If your essay requires a large body of supporting material, the introduction is not the only place to put it. Anything that does not contribute directly to making the key point should be cut or discounted to a subordinate place in the essay. Your evidence should not fit under any head in your essay that has not been coherently introduced in the preceding part of that essay.

5. Editing and Polishing for Perfection

Grammar for Style: The sooner you resign yourself to losing your old grammar ethics, the better off you will be: “Go to” is perfectly reasonable, “are your dreams” is okay, “help you to realize your dreams” is what most people would normally say. Replace every instance of “in order to” with “to.” Your first draft of “The relationship between Islam and women,” might need a little pruning, a little shaping, perhaps even a lot of stuff cut out: abstractions have a habit of burrowing seductively into poorly phrased work. So your sentence that started with “with the advent of knowledge, the Muslim women have achieved” might now become something like: “The Muslim woman’s new confidence is born from her awareness of a whole new world around her; her views have been broadened and she now has beliefs that are in complete contrast to those who claim to be the guardians of.” Editorial work should change the tone from boring to benign. Similarly, sophisticated words are normally better than archaic ones: “lethargic” is better than “lythargyk.”

This is the most important part of writing. You are not Federer; you have time to hit a second serve. Your technique is not amazing so that you could ace with a first. So you have to work hard; you have to hit hard. If you have chosen to write on “The American University of Sharjah’s Program in Business Administration and how it will help you to realize your dreams,” revise your work so that it reads like it. Initial drafts are about generating content but the final draft is about showing off. It’s about spins and slices, and making the whole set up click. Editing is hard; it is more difficult than writing. Why? Because it is a very long job. You won’t write stuff that much every day at home. If you do, you deserve a prize. Editing, on the other hand, is easily done every day when you are sitting at home. Editing is also a fickle art. Just as a writer knows when something comes to him, he also knows when he has made it go to something. Editing is tough but it is also necessary so that it reflects a winner’s belief that the best still has to come.

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