How to Craft a Top-Notch Literary Essay and Impress your Professor

For most students taking literary courses are often required to write one or two academic writings while in school. To do this they are required to read a lot of books and discuss them in class. These students studying literacy courses will be required to write a lot of essays but the major type of essay that they will be working on is the literary essay. In this article, we will be discussing the basic steps that you need to follow while working on your literary essay.

Meaning of literary essay

A literary essay is a special writing assignment that involves an argumentative analysis of a piece of literature. In this type of essay, the author examines the book, novel, play or poem, and analyses the idea, plot, characters and tone the writer uses to narrate his story. A literary essay allows the student to think about some basic questions that relate to the essay he or she is working on. These types of questions can include how the book is relevant, how the book is written, why the book is written by the essay. The student should answer all these questions in your essay.

Things to consider when writing your literary essay

A. Focus on the topic.

To write a good literary essay a student must be sure to understand the text that he or she is working on perfectly. He or she should get the authors' idea, plot and the significance of each character. The student should know what relationship exists between the ideas, plots, characters' behavior and the various changes they undergo during the text. The literary essay should be aimed at answering the following questions.

1. What part of the text was remarkable?

2. Why the author used a particular literary device?

3. What development do the characters undergo?

B. Gather reasonable and effective evidence.

As any other essay, this type of essay should require extensive and well-detailed research that will support and validate your essay. Collect facts, expressions and other evidence that allows you to make a reasonable conclusion to your analysis. He should also try to get enough materials to make your essay very persuasive. Also, try to check the internet for more samples of excellent literary essays so that you can read through them and get more information on how your essay should look like. Gather a little information about the author so that you can understand his intentions better.

C. Use enough direct quotations

The importance of using direct quotations in your literary essay can never be overemphasized. Quotations illuminate and support the ideas you are trying to develop. The judicious use of quoted material will make your point clearer and more convincing. As with all other textual evidence make sure you explain how the quotations are relevant and let the reader know why the quotation is significant to your argument. Below are some rules you should follow when you are using quotations in your essay.

1. Brief quotations should be carefully introduced and integrated into the text of your paper. Quotation marks should be around all briefly quoted materials.

2. Lengthy quotations should be separated from the rest of your essay.

3. If any word is added to a quotation to explain who or what the quotation refers to, you must use the bracket to distinguish your addition from the source.

4. You must use ellipse if you omit any word from the source you are quoting.

5. Use a line of the spaced period to indicate the omission of an entire line of poetry.

Structure of a Literary Essay

Just like all other types of essay the literary essay is divided into three parts: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.


The introduction of a literary essay should try to capture the attention of your reader. The most effective way to do this is to bring direct focus on the subject you are working on through the use of a brief question, quotation and anecdote or startling statement or a combination of all to trigger the curiosity of your reader and make want to read more of your essay. Very importantly, you should include the title of the work of literature and the name of the author of the book you are analyzing.


The body of the essay should take the next three paragraphs of your literary essay. This is the section where you develop fully all the ideas you have been collecting in this section. You should make your audience see why you are analyzing the text in the way you analyze it. The body of a literary essay should contain a convincing explanation of all the ideas you have, and also enough evidence for the text that will support the ideas.

Each paragraph of your literary essay should start with your topic sentence that explains that is contained in that particular paragraph, this will allow your readers to understand your essay easily.


The conclusion of your essay should occupy the last paragraph of the essay. It should give your essay a sense of completeness and let the reader know that they are coming to the end of the essay. While writing the concluding paragraphLiterary Essay, be sure not to introduce a new topic as this can confuse your reader and make your essay unreasonable.

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