Writing Literary Essay Structure

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Eventually, you’ll start making connections between these examples and your thesis will emerge.

Here’s a brief summary of the various parts that compose each and every work of literature.

Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole. Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book?

If you can figure out how that pattern weaves through the work and what the significance of that pattern is, you’ve almost got your entire essay mapped out. Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities.

When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment.

You might find yourself reading to get caught up in an exciting story, to learn about an interesting time or place, or just to pass time.These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens.When you’ve examined all the evidence you’ve collected and know how you want to answer the question, it’s time to write your thesis statement.If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay. Maybe you were surprised to see a character act in a certain way, or maybe you didn’t understand why the book ended the way it did.Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a sweater: if you pull on it, you can unravel the entire thing.A thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by evidence and arguments.The thesis statement is the heart of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to prove this claim.Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length? ” “What happens to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird ?“Are Romeo and Juliet’s parents responsible for the deaths of their children? ” “What do the other characters in Julius Caesar think about Caesar?A literary essay also isn’t like the kind of book report you wrote when you were younger, where your teacher wanted you to summarize the book’s action.A high school- or college-level literary essay asks, “How does this piece of literature actually work? ” and, “Why might the author have made the choices he or she did?

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