Are you panic struck because you have been given an assignment to write a literary essay on some famous piece of literature? You feel that you are not capable enough to write on it? That’s not true; of course you are capable of writing a literary essay, why else would your teacher give you such an assignment? All you need are a few guidelines and you will be on your way to writing a good literary essay.

Take help from the guidelines below.

Choose a piece of literature

If the teacher has not already assigned a piece of literature to write your literary essay on, choose one yourself. Read through some good literature and choose one that you think is interesting and easy to write on.

Read it several times

Read the literature piece that you have chosen, several times. Try to understand what it means. Keep a dictionary close to you so that you can look up words that you don’t understand. Make notes of what you understand and mark phrases that you want to include in your literary essay so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of finding them when you sit to write your literary essay


Do research on the author; try to find out what type of a person he was. Try to find out the kind of life that he lead, was he rich, poor, tragedy struck or happy. Such findings will help you in analyzing and understanding his work better. E.g. if the author had lead a tragic life obviously his work will reflect that.

Write your thesis statement

Write down two to three sentences that explain the central idea of your literary essay. This will be your thesis statement. Make sure your essay revolves around the thesis statement.

Draw an outline

Gather all the points together and draw up an outline for your literary essay. The outline should be in the form of bullet points and one line sentences. The purpose of an outline is that you have some thing to refer to when you will start writing.

Start your essay

With the help of the outline that you will draw start writing your essay. Give your thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. Give details in the body. Support your essay with evidence and conclude it with a summary of what you have written.

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