How To Write Literature Essays

Literature essays are typically set-up to in multiple paragraphs that state the information, build up on statements and then conclude by reiterating key points within the essay. Organizing your literature essay goes as follows:

  • Make sure to read and reread the literature that you will be writing the essay on. Make sure that you cover any sections that are confusing prior to beginning to write. You may want to take notes or use note cards to make it easier to separate and organize the information. You will want to mark what parts of the literature you read is structural, have style points, contain the plot, sub plot and the point of view.
  • You will want to gather research material that cover the different aspects of the literature you read. You will want to make sure you have different opinions and aspects of the piece so you are able to compare this to your own view point, as well as possibly use it in the essay too. These research materials should be marked and have notes taken so you can organize the information.
  • After you’ve have researched all your material and read over the text within notes from both, go through all your notes to make sure to organize them and remove any unnecessary information. Make sure you have the author, title of the research and the page numbers so that you are able to cite your work in the essay as well.
  • Now begin creating your outline for the essay. Choose your topic for the essay and than the sub topics that you will be expanding on. The topic should be the thesis of essay. Each sub topic should have a clear statement sentence that will be expanded on within the paragraph. Each paragraph should build off the one before it, as well as relate back to the thesis statement and the view that you are proving or discussing. The sub topics should support, expand and discuss the view point that you have chosen about the essay.
  • The number of paragraphs you have will depend on the length of the essay and how much information needs to be covered. Typically, five paragraph essays are the standard number, however there can be more paragraphs if need be. Make sure to start laying out the paragraphs and looking to see that they are in the correct order and follow a clear understanding.
  • Once you have completed these paragraphs, make sure to write your conclusion paragraph. This should restate the thesis of the literature essay, however in a different way than the first paragraph and cover the key points of the essay as well. You can add additional facts at this point to tie the entire essay together.
  • Complete the works cited page with all the references and research used.

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