How to Write a Literature Essay Example

You must be careful not to let your personal opinions or thoughts dominate an essay. Instead, focus on using the text to make a strong claim about it.

This essay explores how the themes of light and dark are present in Romeo and Juliet. It also examines the idea that love is fated and demonstrates how social hierarchies play a role in their story.

Introduction

A good introduction captures the reader’s attention and states a clear opinion on the topic at hand. It also provides a background on the literary work that you are analyzing.

For example, in this essay, the first line states “Atonement shows the flaws of the imagination rather than celebrating it.” This is an interesting statement that will draw readers into the essay.

The introduction should also provide a preview of the argument to follow in the essay. This can be done by listing some of the evidence you will use to support your point. For example, in this essay, the writer uses three different sources to back up their opinion that solar energy is not the answer. This gives the audience a sense of what to expect from the essay and builds the author’s credibility. This is a common practice for essays that discuss controversial topics and positions.

Body

The body of your essay contains all of your arguments and supporting evidence. Each paragraph of the body performs a specific role in your overall argument. A topic sentence that makes a claim, supporting sentences with evidence, and a concluding sentence are all typical features of a body paragraph.

A great way to organize your evidence is to copy passages that you want to include in your essay onto index cards or sticky notes. That way you can experiment with arranging them in different hypothetical orders and decide which ones work best.

The last sentence of a paragraph is your final opportunity to convince your reader that your claim is correct. Avoid introducing new points of discussion in the conclusion, instead use it to wrap up your argument by showing how all of your evidence supports it. You should also restate your thesis statement if you have not already done so. This will make your essay seem more complete and well-rounded.

Conclusion

The conclusion to your literary essay is your final chance to demonstrate that your thesis and all of your body paragraphs work together as a cohesive whole. The purpose of the conclusion is not just to repeat your introduction or sum up your points, but rather to highlight how important those points are.

This is done by stepping back from the specifics of your argument and looking at it in a broader sense. For example, your thesis might be that the main character of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird matures and develops her point of view by book’s end.

You might then use your conclusion to explain how this is true and why it’s significant. This is a good way to make even a dull, elementary literature argument seem exciting and important.

Quotes

When writing an essay about a book, using quotes from the book can help you make your point and give your readers something to think about. However, be sure to cite the quote appropriately so that it doesn’t violate copyright laws.

The best quotes tend to be short phrases or even just a single word. Teachers appreciate this since it shows that you can focus on a small section of the text and offer an analysis of it. You can also use short sentences to link paragraphs together, instead of using long and complicated ones.

For example, this literary analysis essay uses many quotes from the book to examine how each character suffers in their own unique way. It would be a useful reference for students looking to conduct an in-depth character analysis. It is important to remember that you should only use quotations to support your argument and not for any other purpose. This is called plagiarism and can have serious consequences.

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