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English Literature Essay Writing Help

What makes a good English literature essay? To get an answer, first you need to find out what is English literature essay. It is a write-up that carefully examines and sometimes evaluates the work of literature or an aspect of a work of literature. To write successful English literature essay, you need to break the subject down in various components. There are so many things that you need to remember while writing an English literature essay. To know about them, read this article carefully. You will also get your answer to what makes a good English literature essay at the end of this article.

Important elements of literature essay writing

Title

It is important that you give your English literature essay a title. The title should be descriptive, one that reflects your views towards the literature work. Using the same title as that of the literature work in your English literature essay is unacceptable for the readers. The title should be appropriate for the paper depending on the subject.
For example,
• Robert Browning’s Duke: A Portrayal of a Sinister Man
• The A & P as State of Mind
• Theme in ‘The Secret Lion’: The Struggle of Adolescence. 
 

Audience

Who is your audience? Of course, your tutor or examiner. But remember, the professors should not be your priority. You are also writing for those students who are in your class. They have the same assigned work. You have to think at what way you are different from others’ points of views. It is your role to explain and interpret what is in the literature work in relation to the central idea. But you should not ‘retell’ the work of the literature in any way.
When you make references to the text of the short story, poem or play, you are only reminding or informing your audience of something that already exists or they already know. Your principle emphasis should be on drawing conclusion by analyzing different perspectives. Be sure you don’t present the plot summary as your audience who wants to see a different perspective on certain literature work already know the plot summary.

Structure

Thesis statement: It should be restricted, precise and worded declarative sentence that states the purpose of your essay writing. Here are some thesis statement examples that work well for a 500-750 word English Literature essay.
Example 1: Gwendolyn Brooks’s 1960 poem depicts the unique usage of conventional poetic form of ballad to describe the unconventional poetic subject of racial intolerance. 
Example 2: The fate of main characters in Antigone teaches the danger of excessive pride/
Example 3: The imaginary in Dylan Thomas’s poem ‘Fern Hill’ reveals the ambiguity of humans.
 
A. Introduction
• Like any other essay introduction, the introduction of English literary essay should seize the reader’s attention
• Use quotations, a provocative question and a brief anecdote to pursue your readers to continue reading
• Include background information (in brief) to set the scene of your English literature essay
• Clear your readers what position you are taking.
If you successfully include these above elements in your English literature essay writing, you will be able to write a good quality English literature essay introduction.
B. Main body
In this section, you present at least three paragraphs to flow your content in the perfect manner. Here are the elements that any students must add to their English literature essay.
• An explanation of your ideas and evidence from the text that backs your views
• Textual evidence in the form of paraphrasing, specific details and direct quotations
• Each body paragraph must have a topic sentence (preferably in the first sentence of the paragraph).

C. Conclusion
Concluding paragraph serves your English literature essay a sense of completeness and informs your readers that they have come to the end of the paper. Here are the important elements that make a good English literature essay conclusion:
• Restating the thesis statement in other words
• Summary of your main points
• Relevant comment about the literary work you are analyzing
• Remember, this is the not the place you introduce new topic.

What makes a good English literature essay?

• An argument

When you write an English literary essay, you essentially present an argument in order to prove your points. You argue that your perspective, interpretation, evaluative judgment or critical evaluation is a valid one.

• A debatable thesis statement

English literature essay must have specific, detailed thesis statement that describes your perspective. Any good thesis statement should be debatable in terms of presenting the perspective.
Here are few bad examples of thesis statement of English literature essay. Refer to these to gain an understanding of how you should not approach your topic.
‘Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a play about a young man who seeks revenge.’
This above thesis statement is only a summary of the subject. It is hardly debatable.
A better thesis would be:
‘Hamlet experiences internal conflict because he is in love with his mother.’
This thesis is debatable and controversial. You essay argument should form like this:
1. How Hamlet is in love with his mother?
2. Why he is in love with her?
3. What implications are there for readers in this play?

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Literary essay is about analyzing a prose or poem, identifying a particular theme and showing how the author suggests the theme through the point of view from which the story is told. Remember, you need to submit a focused and quality literature essay. But you cannot do it alone. You need expert literature essay help.
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Model literature essay structure

1. Catchy Title

2. Introduction
I. Hook
II. Author
III. Title
IV. Main Characters
V. A Short Summary
VI. Thesis Statement
3. First Body Paragraph
I. A Topic Sentence (What the paragraph is all about, how it is relevant to the thesis statement)
II. Context for the quote
A. Who says it?
B. What episode is taking place when they say it?
III. Quote from the text
IV. Analysis of the quote (How does it prove your thesis?)
V. Closing sentence (Sum up the paragraph effectively along with a transition to the next paragraph)
4. Second Body Paragraph
I. A Topic sentence (what paragraph is all about, how it is relevant to thesis statement
II. Context for the quote
A. Who says it?
B. What episode is taking place when they say it?
III. Quote from the text
IV. Analysis of the quote (Hoe does it prove your thesis?)
V. Closing sentence (Sum up the paragraph effectively along a transition to the next paragraph)
5. Third Body Paragraph
I. A Topic sentence (What the paragraph is all about, how it is relevant to thesis statement)
II. Context for the quote
A. Who says it?
B. What episode is taking place when they say it?
III. Quote from the text
IV. Analysis of the quote (How does it prove your thesis?)
V. Closing sentence (Sum up the paragraph effectively along with a transition to the next paragraph)
6. Conclusion
I. Summarize your argument
II. Extend the argument
III. Show why the text is important.
 

How to use textual evidence in literature essay writing?

Textual evidence should be used judiciously and only when it directly showing relation with your English literature essay. Here you will learn the correct and effective use of textual evidence. Following these suggestions will help you to create a successful English literature essay.

Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is the way to put someone’s words in your own language. Here is a perfect example of paraphrasing in English literature essay writing:
Original from ‘The Secret Lion’: ‘I was twelve and in junior high and something happened that we did not have a name for, but it was nonetheless like a lion, and roaring, roaring, that the biggest things to do.’
After paraphrasing: ‘In the beginning of the story, the narrator described how his life changed in a significant way when he turned twelve, but he and his friends could not identify or give a name to it.’

Specific details

Accurate details always support the development of the central idea of your English literature essay. See the list of some accurate details which you could use in the developmental paragraph from the paper on John Updike’s short story, ‘A & P’
• Usual traffic
• Fluorescent lights
• Checkerboard green-and-cream rubber-tile floor
• Electric eye
• Shoppers like ‘sheep’, ‘house slaves’ and ‘pigs’
• Neatly stacked food
• Dynamite.

Using direct quotations

A relevant use of quoted material can make your points clearer and more convincing in English literature essay writing. But it is also very important that you let know your readers why certain quotations are important for your English literature essay writing.
• In Prose:
When you are referencing from prose in your English literature essay, be sure you give page numbers when you presenting quotations.
• In Poetry:
When you are citing poetry lines in your English literature essay writing, make sure you give the line numbers of poetry lines when necessary.

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