How to Write a Literary Essay

A literary essay explains the contextual meaning behind a piece of literature while paying attention to specific details, such as structure and style. This essay form also gives its author a chance to argue complex points in the text by comparing his viewpoint to critical analysis of the piece. The structure of a literary essay is a series of paragraphs stating, building upon, and proving, then reiterating your points in a conclusion.

Organizing a Literary Essay

  1. Read the piece of literature you will be writing about. Reread any sections that are confusing. Take notes on notecards about major elements of the text, including structure, style, point of view, plot and subplot.
  2. Read books and articles that discuss various aspects and opinions of the piece of literature you are writing about. Arrange notecards in front of your work area while you study these critical texts. Write down and even highlight any points in the critical texts that you want to incorporate into your essay.
  3. Arrange notecards in front of your after you are finished reading the text and any critical analysis of the text from other sources. Include the name of the author an title of the text you are citing on your notecards. Choose a point of view that you would like to expand on about the piece of literature.
  4. Write a topic, or thesis sentence, that makes it clear to your audience the text you are studying and the viewpoint you will be discussing. The scope and argument of your viewpoint, and whether it supports the critical analysis or refutes it, will determine the length and structure of your literary essay. Refer to your notecards about the text and the analysis as you write.
  5. Arrange your essay in a paragraph structure. Though similar to the more elementary five-paragraph essay form, the literary essay takes longer to explain and develop its point. Write two to three opening paragraphs about your viewpoint and to alert readers on what specific aspects of the text you will discuss in the body of the essay.
  6. Write multiple paragraphs, depending on the scope of your theme, to argue your viewpoint about the text. Analyze the analysis, deepen the reader’s understanding of the text, highlight specific plot points, argue for or against other analysis.
  7. Write concluding paragraphs to end the essay, making sure to reiterate your viewpoint and add an additional fact or two about the literary text. Include a works cited page at the back of your essay to list all the source materials researched for your essay.

Main goal of literature and classic essay

In most cases we have to deal with classic essay, and less often – with scientific and literature works. In our previous articles we wrote about scientific essays, as they’re most difficult ones. Now let’s fill up the gap.

Classic essay is one of creative ways to convey your thoughts to the masses. Today this literature form is very popular all around the world. Essays are often used in educational institutions, mainly as a reference for independent work.

But essay is also a frequent guest at various competitions testing the level of creativity of the author. After all, it’s no secret that the ability to clearly and accurately lay your thoughts on paper is highly valued anywhere. When writing an essay the author has to intrigue his future readers and drive them into investigation and exploring his or her point of view. One should try to use less complex and incomprehensible means for essay, because they tend to poor readers into bored mood.

The chosen theme should be familiar to the author. Therefore he can defend his views well.

The essay can describe the story with an unusual clarity to draw readers’ attention to the thoughts contained therein. An essay can use as a topic absolutely everything your heart desires, from the narrative of tribal life in Africa up to the analysis of dreams that author have dreamed in early childhood. In any case, the most powerful (in your opinion, sure) passages in the essay should be shown as accurately as possible and startling an imagination.

The main task of the literature essay is to show the entire inner beauty and create an author’s opinion about its true nature. Essays must strike every reader on the spot, i.e., virtuosity and vigor to demonstrate their relevance to the surrounding universe, as well as at the same time praised his abilities and talent. To achieve maximum effect, you have to write honestly and sincerely. On the other hand the main goal of classic essay is to prove some thoughts of author with evident facts and convey an information as simply as possible.

Construction of essay has much impact on the quality of its perception. The text should be treated according to all rules.


How to Avoid Most Common Writing Errors

Writing is a necessity in our society. However, according to Andrea A. Lunsford of Stanford University, most writers make similar mistakes. Luckily, you do not need a degree in English to amend common oversights. Recognizing the most common errors can help you improve your writing.

Where Do Commas Go?

The proper use of commas may seem difficult, but it really isn’t. The most common writing mistake is failure to separate two independent clauses with a comma and a coordinating conjunction. Plain English? When you write two complete sentences, sometimes you join them with an “and” or “but.” To be correct, a sentence like this needs a comma before the “and” or “but.” For example, “I went to the store, and I bought some bread.” Insert a comma before the “and” because the phrases on each side are complete sentences. Simple enough?

Another common error is the absence of commas around parenthetical phrases. Put commas around a phrase you could take out of the sentence without changing its meaning. For example, “My best friend, the sweetest girl in the world, will be visiting tomorrow.” Notice the commas around “the sweetest girl in the world.” You could remove that phrase, and the sentence would still make sense. If the phrase is necessary for the sentence to make sense, you do not use a comma. To illustrate, “My student Tom is very smart.” Unless there is only one student, the name is vital to the sentence.

Which Witch Is Which?

In English, it’s easy to confuse similar words. Learn the correct versions of common words. “There” is a place. “Their” is always possessive. “Their house is beautiful.” “They’re” has an apostrophe. It is a contraction for “they are.” “They’re coming tomorrow.”

“Too” refers to an excess or “in addition to.” It has two Os, as in “too much.” The word “to” is a transition word, usually referring to a place or a direction. “Go to the doctor.” And lastly, the number 2 is written as “two.” Think of the “W” as geometric to remind you.

You and Me… Me and You

Pronouns can be tricky. The following phrase in incorrect: “Me and Molly are going to the movies.” The pronoun “me” is incorrect. Take out the other person’s name, and read the sentence. You are left with, “Me are going to the movies.” You wouldn’t say that. You would say, “I am going to the movies.” The correct pronoun, in this instance would be “I.” To revise, “Molly and I are going to the movies.”

Here’s another example: “She wants to go with Sarah and I.” Once more, take away the other name. We are left with, “She wants to go with I.” To correct the sentence, change it to, “She wants to go with Sarah and me.”

Can I Be a Writing Expert?

The online writing lab of Purdue University offers many helpful resources. You can check out their proofreading section at owl.english.purdue.edu. No writer will ever be perfect, but you can avoid most common mistakes.

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