When teachers ask of you to write a literary essay unless indicated otherwise, they mean a literary analysis essay. A literary essay table can be either a narrow field of study (artistic techniques, styles of writing, summary to a writer’s/poet’s literary accomplishments) or, most frequently, an analysis of a novel, play, novella, etc.
It may seem like a time-consuming task to do, which requires lots of reading, research and a deep comprehension of literature. However, fear not since a good literary essay is a composition of a standard template that gives a writer a specific structure, which facilitates the process.
Note: Always make sure that a type of work you’re about to devote your time and efforts to is the correct one, you don’t want to waste your time in vain and redo an assignment again.
What is a Goal of a Literary Essay Template?
Such a type of an academic assignment bears an ultimate purpose, which is:
- To determine the extent of a student’s understanding of a book, author or a literary notion, i.e., how well-acquainted you’re with a topic.
- To demonstrate a student’s ability to research and find credible sources.
- To develop and assess a student’s readiness to express a critical opinion.
With all this in mind, you should realize that this task is nothing by way of finding out about how good of a student you are. Therefore, it’s time to buckle up and start working, if you want to showcase yourself from the best side possible.
Note: No matter what topic or content you’ve selected for your essay, an essay’s ultimate purpose is unchangeable and requires the same: analytical thinking, critical evaluation, proper synthesis, and creativity.
What is the Structural Difference Between an Ordinary Essay and an Analytical Essay?
In fact, there is none. Both the essays have the same components which are:
- Introduction, comprising a thesis statement, general information on a topic and a problem statement.
- Body, comprising, normally but not always, a few paragraphs (3-5) that start with minor thesis statements, which open a discussion and are supported (proven or disproven) by arguments represented by citations (direct or paraphrased) drawn from credible sources, and a minor framing conclusion.
- Conclusion, comprising all the minor summaries from the body paragraphs leading to the conclusion, which is either a supporting or opposing opinion.
Note: Apart from the main elements of an essay stated above, there are other attributes which may be included if preferred: contents, the introductory word including devotion or expression gratitude, references (compulsory) and others.
How to Write a Literary Essay?
You should start by finding and researching a topic unless it’s already given by a teacher. For this, try to find as many sources that are likely to be used while composing a paper. It’s better to be fully prepared and have too many reliable references rather than have too few of them. Also, it’s recommended to look up controversial and opposing opinions that will make your paper more thorough in a teacher’s eyes.
Usually, it’s a right move to choose an artistic headline to a literary essay since it demonstrates your ability to level with an author’s work. For instance, if you’re to analyze the controversial representation of Catholic Church in Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ then you could embellish your essay by calling it ‘At the brisk of Good and Evil’s War: The Role of Catholic Church in Fostering and Devastating Humanity.’
When you’re certain about a topic and a fine headline that will both catch a reader’s eye it’s time to write an introduction. As stated above, an intro is usually a short (3-5 sentences) paragraph. It should include a concise involving sentence that can be either a personal opinion that reflects the topic or a quote by a credible scientist/author.
The point here is to make an eye-catcher that won’t make your reader disregard the paper right away. Then, it’s time to indicate a problem you’re going to research throughout the whole paper. The best way to do so is it to use a rhetorical question.
After you’re done with an introduction, you need to proceed with a body, which is a compilation of statements supported by arguments. Standardly, this part takes not more than 80% of a whole paper and is the most informative. The best way to write a paragraph is to follow a simple structure sampled down below:
- Introduce your statement by linking it to the thesis statement.
- Underscore the importance of such a statement and its actuality for nowadays.
- Include ideas and opinions on the matter by reliable authors.
- Conclude a statement by bringing it back to the thesis statement and show its interconnection.
Even though standards require including up to 5 paragraphs into a body, sometimes their number can be increased in cases when a topic demands more argumentation, and the standard number of such doesn’t correspond with the necessity to use more.
Having included and proven or disproven statements, it’s time to write a summary. A conclusion should not be prepared spontaneously, but be a final opinion deduced from the body paragraphs culminations. In a literary analysis essay, this part comprises a synthesis of opinions that have been suggestively led throughout the whole process of writing.
Also, it’s important not to forget to do some proofreading and to revise. According to Murphy’s Law, the most obvious and shameful mistakes are missed during the first two attempts to correct them. As a means to improve the chances to be more careful while revising, you can ask someone else to read it through for you and give an opinion on a work’s structure, content, and logic of arrangement.
Note: Make sure that you follow a logical structure and not mix up parts since it is considered a major mistake that you wouldn’t want to make.
- Keep it short and concise; don’t water down the content.
- When conclude don’t introduce new information and don’t use phrases like ‘In my opinion’ or ‘I believe’ since it disregards a text’s neutrality and objectivity.
- Always refer to credible sources, i.e., articles, scientific papers, critical essays, but not Wikipedia or SparkNotes.
- Include a controversial statement that won’t give a reader a solution to the thesis statement right away.
- Don’t overuse quotes but make them the cherry on a cake’s top.