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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?
But until then, here are seven basic steps to writing a well-constructed literary essay: When you’re assigned a literary essay in class, your teacher will often provide you with a list of writing prompts. You’ll have a much better (not to mention easier) time if you start off with something you enjoy thinking about. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: What struck you?
If you are asked to come up with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little panicked. Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long time?
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.
AP Language and Composition: Multi-Day Workshop Itinerary Presenter: John Corrigan Tech Needs: Projector and Whiteboard for Attendees to write on E-mail ahead to suggest a common read -- CITIZEN or CH. Free texts for participants: College Board Workbook for AP Language and Composition, Everyday use: Rhetoric in Our Lives; Seagull Reader: Essays; and Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers (Modern Library Paperbacks), GRAMMAR IN PRACTICE: SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS and AP LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION (Fitchburg)Day 1MORNINGSNL “Election Night in America” and write a 5-minute essay examining the video’s use of rhetorical strategies to achieve its purpose.
Write a Q, Q, P: 1) Write a question about the night's reading. 3) Write a 4- to 6-sentence paragraph responding to either #2 or #3.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.If you can find a way to explain a work’s contradictory elements, you’ve got the seeds of a great essay.At this point, you don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to say about your topic; you just need a place to begin your exploration.Maybe you’re looking for inspiration, guidance, or a reflection of your own life.There are as many different, valid ways of reading a book as there are books in the world.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.When you read a work of literature in an English class, however, you’re being asked to read in a special way: you’re being asked to perform literary analysis.To analyze something means to break it down into smaller parts and then examine how those parts work, both individually and together.