Literature essay writing has no hard and fast rules. Yet it is very different from other types of essay writing. One needs to analyze every aspect of a literary piece, from the character and setting to the tone and theme. Apart from the usual format and relevance to the subject, there is sufficient room for critical analysis, creative thinking, and argumentation.
Even though there are no rules, certain guidelines and suggestions can make your literature essays more effective. These time-tested tips are helpful for all students, from schools to universities.
Writing a literature essay may sound daunting, especially when you have many assignments and limited time to work on them. To finish your paper by the deadline, you must lay out its plan well in advance. If you don’t feel like writing this or any other essay yourself, you can reach out to an online essay writing service for students and have their expert paper writers complete your assignments for you.
But if you are set on writing your literature essay yourself, here are five killer tips to help you out.
Outlines are essential for every academic paper, but having a rigid scheme leaves little room for the idea to evolve, something that’s crucial for a literary analysis. Moreover, as most literary pieces are creative, there’s a good chance your views might change as you read and break down the given text.
But skipping the whole planning process isn’t a good idea either. Without an outline, your essay might just be a collection of valid but random reflections. So instead, choose an outline that you can develop as you move ahead.
Don’t spend too much time perfecting the details, and be open to the idea of changing your original plan. However, make sure that the entire essay sticks to a central theme and doesn’t deviate too much from the main idea.
Apart from the main text, it is essential to refer to related materials such as reviews, discussions, and even literature analysis of the same text by other authors. But these references should only give direction to your opinion and not form your entire perspective. Otherwise, your essay will be a mere collection of others’ views in your words.
Instead, form your perspective and utilize reference materials to substantiate your idea. Your standpoint should shine and stand out from that of others.
It is easy to generalize an idea and apply it to the whole text. But this makes your essay lose credibility. Moreover, an idea that stands true for one section of the text might not be valid for the other. Literary analysis requires you to break down and analyze every part of the novel, prose, or poem. Use this to your advantage and give specific examples to support your argument.
For example, if you comment on a character’s personality, quote the exact lines that make your comment credible. Searching for specific examples will also help you see the same text in a new light, differentiating your essay from others.
Avoid making a point based on a single instance. In any literary work, every statement can give rise to a new argument. But an essay filled with too many single-lined pointers only appears directionless. Instead, strengthen your existing point with supportive statements from the main text.
While citing examples is important, refrain from quoting the text unnecessarily. Remember, too many quotes can make your work look technical and dull.
If prose or poem isn’t specific, most people generally assume that the author is the storyteller. But that isn’t always the case, especially in poetry, where the narrator is usually not specified.
Every work of a writer isn’t their own story. Referring to the writer as the storyteller might change the poem’s context, as the writer might have assumed a different role. In such cases, it is necessary to identify the narrator and refer to them as a separate entity. If you feel that the writer is the narrator, make strong arguments to explain why.
A good literature essay comes from reading the text with an open mind. You may notice ironies, comparisons, patterns, and contradictions. While it is essential to include all the points in your paper, avoid an overly optimistic or critical tone.
Unless specifically asked to criticize or appreciate a literary piece, you should include all points of view in your writing. Unfortunately, many students believe that a positive tone makes the written piece better. Hence, they avoid the critical tone altogether. But this may cause your work to be less substantial, and you may end up leaving several fine points out of your write-up.
Ensure that the essay is organized and the flow of arguments doesn’t confuse readers on how to feel. You can group similar ideas to switch between appreciative and critical content.
Essays on literature are an integral part of most high school and university curriculums. While these assignments appear tricky, the key is to read a lot of related material and form a central theme. For a well-structured essay, start writing it several days before the deadline. Follow the above tips to write a top-notch literature paper that stands out among others. Additionally, save sufficient time to review, edit, and rewrite the text if necessary.