Essays are a genre of journalism, so they are often assigned by language teachers. The format of an essay on English literature differs from the standard essay structure. In an essay, you need not only to reveal your position but also to convincingly prove it. We have collected the main tips for writing essays on English literature.
Stick to essay requirements
The main requirement for a paper is to meet the required volume of words (not less than 150). Writing too much is also not worth it: the thought must be clear and precise, and the arguments must be specific and convincing. And, of course, the paper must be competent:
- Try to use only those words that you are sure to spell correctly.
- Do not use too complex sentences so as not to get confused with punctuation.
- Write only about the works of which the plot and characters you remember.
- After writing, reread the essay and correct mistakes.
You can also use special writing services to help write an essay correctly if these steps seem too difficult. There, you will receive an essay sample written in accordance with the generally accepted requirements. This will help you figure out how to properly write your own paper.
Choose the right essay topic in English literature
The topic of a paper is usually a quote from a famous person. It can cover such topics:
- Moral qualities of a person (“Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte).
- Homeland and duty towards it (“North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell).
- The problem of fathers and children (“Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen).
- Historical events and your attitude towards them (“The Accrington Pals” by Peter
- Culture, art, and science (“Literature and Science” by Aldous Huxley).
In this case, to write an essay on literature, you need to retell the essence of the quote in your own words and express agreement or disagreement. Essays are also written on the basis of the text. Usually, these texts belong to authors of the 20th century. In such an essay, you need to reflect on the main idea of the presented passage and express your attitude to the author’s position.
Plan writing essays on literature
In order to write a good essay on literature, you need a clear plan. After all, without it, it is easy to lose focus and miss important details. Therefore, the first and main point is to draw up a detailed essay plan. And we’ll show you how to do it.
Writing an essay plan means breaking the text into separate meaningful parts that will mark the main paths of your thought. Each fragment can be equal to one paragraph or several. It is important that they contain one theme. Each micro-theme should have a name, which, in principle, will be the point of the plan. It is better to use an expanded phrase or sentence as the title of a paragraph (fragment or micro-theme). Therefore, it will be clearer for you what and how to write.
Regardless of the type of essay, its structure is the same. The paper includes the following points:
- problem formulation
- comment on the topic (urgency of the problem, importance for society)
- your position
- arguments supporting it
Adhering to the standard structure of the essay is a necessity: introduction, main part, and conclusion. The introduction sets the tone and interest of the essay, so it is important to provide the main idea. The purpose of the main part is to reveal the idea of the essay, to prove the theses given in the introduction, and so on. In the final part, it is worth making conclusions and assessments. And in each of these parts, there can be several sub-items that, like beacons in the sea, will tell you which direction to sail.
Begin and end correctly
The introduction and conclusion are the most important parts of the paper, and they should be small in volume but clearly reflect your thoughts. You can start an essay with a brief description of the author of the quote, text, or general discussion about the features of the modern world associated with the topic of the quote.
For example, if the statement touches on the topic of war, note that war is a terrible lesson for all humankind, from which society has not learned well enough. Even today, many countries are engaged in military operations in which thousands of people die.
The conclusion summarizes the paper, so you need to once again indicate your position on the problem (whether you agree with the quote, include your opinion on the topic raised).
Present arguments and evidence in essays on literature
To prove your position, you need to give two arguments. You should not select examples from your personal life; it is better to turn to classical literature from the 19th and 20th centuries. For example, a work that touches upon the topic of human moral qualities, and many writers of the second half of the 20th century turned to the topic of war. Other topics are narrower, but you can find convincing arguments for them.
Use templates and common phrases for essays on literature
For different parts of the plan, use phrases that will make the paper easier to write. We will give examples of such templates.
- For the wording of the problem: “The author raises the problem …” “It made me think about the problem …” “The problem indicated by the author is as follows: …”
- Comment on the topic: “The relevance of the problem raised is undoubted …” “The problem raised is topical because …” “The problem raised by the author is complex and serious …”
- For a personal point of view: “It is impossible to disagree with the author’s point of view on the problem …” “The author’s position is close to me by the fact that …” “The author’s idea that … seems to be controversial.”
- Arguments: “This problem worried many writers …” “This topic is covered in various works …” “This problem sounds especially acute among authors such as …”
- Conclusion: “Summing up, I want to say …” “The author made me think even more deeply about the problem …” “The essence of the information provided leads to the following …”
Writing an essay on literature is not easy: you need erudition to find convincing arguments. However, these tips can help you quickly prepare a competent and beautiful essay. Good luck!