A thesis statement summarizes the main argument or position of your essay in one sentence. It lets readers know what the essay will attempt to show or prove. Everything in your essay should be connected to your thesis in a straightforward way. Place your thesis at the end of your first paragraph. If you don't understand how to write a thesis, ask your instructor for help. This is an important concept that will keep coming up in courses where you have to write papers.
Once you have a compelling thesis statement, craft the rest of your introduction around it. You can also save this step for after you've drafted the body of your essay if you feel intimidated by the introduction.
The best introductions "grab" the reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. Some effective strategies for creating an introduction include: Jot down an outline for the remainder of your essay. Outlining involves developing a basic structure for your essay, which can help you stay on track while writing drafts. Look over your notes and invention exercises and think about how you can organize this information in an outline.
Think about what information should come first, second, third, etc. Just try to get the major ideas on paper. Collect all of your notes and materials. Before you start to write, gather together all of the notes, books, and other materials that you will need to reference in order to answer the essay prompt effectively.
Support is essential for an effective English essay, so do not try to write your essay without these materials. If you have time, read through your notes before you begin. Make sure that you have your outline handy as well. You can build on your outline by expanding on each of the points in the order that they are listed in. Include topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph.
Topic sentences signal to readers what a paragraph will discuss. Start each of your paragraphs with a topic sentence so that your instructor will be able to see that your ideas progress in a clear, direct manner.
Develop your ideas as much as possible. Make sure that you include as many details as possible throughout your essay. Remember that padding filling in with meaningless text or using extra wordy sentences is not an effective strategy for writing essays because instructors can see right through it.
Your instructor has probably read hundreds of student essays over their career, so they'll know when an essay has been padded. Fill your essays with details that make your essay useful and insightful instead. If you get stuck, some good strategies for developing your ideas include: Returning to the invention stage. This includes exercises such as freewriting, listing, or clustering. You can also revisit your notes and books to see if there's anything you missed or forgot.
You can find a writing lab on most college campuses. They are free to students and can help you improve your writing at any stage in the writing process. Talking to your instructor. Take advantage of your professor's office hours or one-on-one appointments. Meet with them and discuss ways that you can improve your essay before you hand it in.
Cite sources using MLA style citations. If you use any sources at all in your essay, then you will need to cite them using the style that your instructor prefers. MLA style is the most common citation format used in English courses, so you will need to know how to use it. Provide in-text citations as well as a works cited page at the end. An MLA style works cited page starts on a new page at the end of the essay. Provide entries for each of the sources that you used.
These entries should include the information necessary to allow the reader to find the source with ease. It's necessary to include an in-text citation for any information that you quote, summarize, or paraphrase from a source. Work towards a conclusion.
The general structure of an essay usually goes from broad to specific. You could visualize this tendency as an upside-down pyramid or as a funnel. By the time you get to your conclusion, it should feel as though the information in your conclusion is inevitable.
It's essentially a recap of everything you've spent your whole essay trying to prove. You may find that you want to use your conclusion to: Qualify or complicate the information in your essay Suggest a need for further research Speculate on how the future will change the current situation.
Give yourself plenty of time. Leaving your essay to the last minute is not a good idea. Try to allow yourself at least a couple of days to revise your work. It is important to take a one to two day break from your essay after you have completed it. Then you can come back to it and revise with a fresh perspective. Focus on improving the content of your essay first. Some people only focus on the grammar and punctuation when revising an essay, but this is less important than the content of your essay.
Answer the essay question in as much detail as possible. Reread the essay question or assignment guidelines and ask: Do I have a clear thesis? Is my thesis the focus of my essay? Do I include adequate support for my argument? Is there anything else I could add? Is there a logic to my essay? Does one idea follow the next?
If not, how might I improve the logic of my essay? Ask a friend to read your essay. Having a friend or classmate take a look at your work can be helpful as well. Someone else may catch simple errors or notice something else that you missed because you have been looking at the document so much. Make sure that you swap papers at least one day before the paper is due so that you will have time to correct any errors that your friend finds.
Read your essay out loud. Reading your essay aloud can help you to catch simple errors that you might not have noticed otherwise. As you read, correct any errors that you find and make a note of anything that you think could be improved, such as adding more details or clarifying the language.
Analyze the topic or essay question. Take time to read over the essay question or guidelines and think about what the assignment is asking you to do. You should underline any keywords such as describe, compare, contrast, explain, argue, or propose. You should also underline any central themes or ideas that the assignment asks you to discuss such as freedom, family, defeat, love, etc.
It's important to have a clear idea of what they want before you start working on the assignment. A well-detailed answer that satisfies the assignment requirements A clear and direct piece of writing that is easy to follow A polished paper with no minor errors, such as typos or misspellings.
Think about what you will need to include. Consider what you will need to include in your essay. For example, if you are tasked with writing about a character in a book, then you will need to provide lots of details about that character.
You as a writer need to ensure the quotation you present serves the purpose you aim to and make sense as its stands in opening paragraphs. Needles to say, you need to place a connecting sentence to keep the pace of the writing. To create more impact on your readers, you can present dialogues in case it is a play for example,.
You need to remember that you have only one chance to impress your examiner that is opening sentence. So you should try different techniques to bring some freshness in your writing.
Quoting a word or phrase from the text is one of the impactful ways. You can involve funny anecdote in the opening paragraph. Placing humorous anecdote does not mean your entire essay has to be funny. Your topic should not be your title.
Title should reflect your approach towards the writing. You can tweak your title in a such way to demonstrate that your title is persuasive argument directly related to text. The readers should know the plot, main characters and theme of the discussed text in order to make them acquainted with the story so that they can assume what is coming next.
After placing the background of the story, readers want to about the topic. With the help of the backdrop, your readers get a vague idea of the text. This is why providing a clear idea is necessary. It should be placed at the end of the paragraph in order to clear your stance in front of your readers. Thesis statement should be one or two sentence long and consist of approach that generated after reading the text.
After gaining the theoretical knowledge, here is a practical example to make you understand the above aspects more properly. In this epic piece of poetry, Virgil glorified the cruelty of the war and heroic feats of Aeneas on the battlefield. In order to do so, he presented realistic picture of war, which declines the idea of death and destruction projects nobility….
The common structure of any main body paragraph goes like this; paragraph should start with a topic sentence, and followed by a series of sentences, which are extensions of topic. The sentences should include an argument and show how they support they are saying. Keep in mind that stringing quotes and facts together do not make a good quality critical essay.
To perfect the above structure, you can try Point — Quotation — Comment strategy. In the place of topic sentence, write the point, to validate the point, you require providing evidence from the text, at the end, you comment how the point make your claim valid related to the essay question or subject.
It is mandatory that you place an evidence after each point. It can be quotations, paraphrased text, embedded quotations, ideas from the text. Each body paragraph should follow the above suggestions, to see the theoretical knowledge applied in practical, read these examples of body paragraphs:. Shaw projects an ironic contrast between two central characters. In the beginning of the play, readers come across the glorious and brave character of handsome Bulgarian officer Sergius Saranoff.
On the contrary, the character of Captain Bluntschli, is projected as a coward in the story by the author, who climbs up to a balcony in order find a escape…. Raina Petkoff, one of the central characters of the story, started romanticizing Saranoff as her ideal hero because he has several heroic stories to share with her. As the play proceeds, author unfurls more stories about the famous raid. Despite its success, the raid was a suicidal gesture….
Raina is seen to be the only women in the play, who does not acknowledge the validity of war and be concerned about the cruelty and violence in the war…. Technically, this is the last thing the examiner will read. So it is your responsibility to be influential. Generally, conclusion should be a summary of your argument, but only summarizing the major points will not let you have a good quality literature essay conclusion.
A good critical conclusion provides the readers a sense of closure. Similar to introduction, conclusion also should have an interesting opening sentence. This opening sentence should be related to the first paragraph, which gives your readers a sense of fulfillment.
Restating the thesis in concluding paragraph is necessary because it reminds the readers the purpose of their reading. The idea is to add a layer of depth to it. It is advisable that it should be emphatic. This is not about summarizing the main points in other words. The readers should see the big picture to your arguments that is made of all little parts of arguments presented in the body of the essay.
Interpreting a literary text critically can lead to you in different directions, it is on you to choose certain aspect you think is viable. Eventually, you deny those views that already exist in order to substantiate your outlook. You as writer should make your audience to feel your analysis is meaningful and important. If you come up with a question or a suggestion, express it in the conclusion section. It provides a direct gate away to talk to your audience and it makes them feel a valuable.
As mentioned above, a literary analysis is subjective. So, different perspectives on the same text co-exist. You may have project other perspective as flawed in order to validate your outlook. But you cannot deny the existence of other perspective. In last paragraph of the essay, you can include a statement about other known opinions and why your part of the arguments has more authenticity.
The idea is to show you have done enough background research and have answer to the critics of your own work. This is about theoretical part, now it is time to apply this knowledge practically. Here is an example of literature essay conclusion:. Shaw composed this play in his early literary life. Two lovers finally meet after getting all confusions cleared up and live happily ever after….
This is how you should develop an English literature essay. These above mentioned suggestions are as valuable as any guide resource you find on the internet. If you really want to learn how to convert your average essay to an excellent one, you may need to consult essay experts who have explicit idea about literature essay writing. Where to find qualified and knowledgeable experts? Here is your answer.
Essay writing help online is another way of students obtaining direct assistance. Students can find online tutors to direct them on how to write. There are many samples on various topics a student can read and see the necessary .
English Lit essay questions allow a good deal of leeway so you ˇllneed to make it clear exactly what your take on the question is. o In some types of literature essays (check this with your teacher), argument and so help ˝answer ˛the essay question or title.
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