How To Write A Literary Essay?


An essay is a literary genre where the author can analyze, interpret or criticize a certain topic precisely and briefly. Generally, it only presents a single point of view, and therefore it has a structure that is already determined and very clear.

All universities usually require this type of task, but they can also be very useful when the time comes when you have to study. This is because you can express your ideas about the subject and also be able to discuss notions from the point of view you have.

With all this, you will be able to show the teacher that you are interested in the subject and that you have a good opinion that is formed around it. This can also be a good way to practice for a written midterm or an exam.

Tips for writing a literary essay

1. Choose an interesting topic


It is of utmost importance that the topic is relevant. You can opt for the topics that are currently being discussed. There you can think about the target audience; we are referring to the audience to which the essay will be addressed. It is vital that you gather information from international and local media as well, all this so that you can get to know the topic in depth.

You can also choose to visit different websites, and you have to take note of everything you are learning and the sources to visit in case you want to consult them again. You have to remember that the ideas that you are going to develop must always have good support in the documentation and if you quote something, you must put quotation marks, as well as the footnote.

2. Write down the fundamental points

As you go deeper into the subject and go through the different portals or consult the bibliographies that are indicated, you will get some arguments that you cannot disregard and that has to be included in the text. So that you don’t forget them, you have to make sure that you make a list that is ordered by the points that are considered to be the most important, and in this way, you can include them in your essay.

3. Consider the structure

When the time comes that you have your notes ready, you have to determine the structure that you are going to use. The best tip to be able to write it in a better way is to divide it into two parts. Generally, what is done is to place an introduction, a development, and at the end, the conclusion.

In the first part, the subject matter, the text’s organization, and the research’s purpose should be made known. In the development or body, the information mentioned in the introduction is expanded but with solid arguments.

In the end, in conclusion, you can review the ideas that are considered the main ones or illustrate the author’s opinion on the subject. It is important not to forget that we are talking about an academic paper, which means that it must contain a formal tone, which is why sarcasm and humor must be avoided, as well as colloquial vocabulary.

4. Write a draft


Before writing a paper, the first thing to do is to make a draft. That is why in the essay, there are ideas and structure, and that is why before you start writing, you have to be clear about what you want to include. The outline in the form of a rough draft can be considered a very good idea.

5. Reread the final version and correct it

It is important that before submitting any work, you have to review it. Don’t forget to read it carefully to be able to get some mistakes that have to do with typography, syntax, or spelling.

6. Characteristics of literary essay

There are different types of essays, and there is the academic essay or the critical essay; the literary essay is considered to be freer and more personal in terms of writing. We are talking about the fact that it does not have many strict rules, but in the end, it must have a clear order with the theme of the ideas that have to be exposed. We are talking about a text that is written in prose, and that is where the analysis of a specific topic is shown with the creative use of language and literary resources. Next, we are going to talk about the main characteristics of the literary essay:

  • It is subjective: as we are talking about something that is written from the author’s point of view about the one he is interested in, in a few words, the opinion that is based on reflections, research, and personal experiences.
  • It must be written in prose.
  • It is free: the author has the possibility to write about any subject, they can be personal or public. We are talking about topics of technology, science, philosophy, history, personal experiences, etc.
  • It is the result of a reflective analysis: the author has to do research in order to be able to argue all the opinions he/she is going to express in the text. Unlike the other types of essays, argumentation does not have to be strict, and it can be the result of reflective analysis.
  • It hierarchies the ideas: the literary essay can show in an organized way the ideas that will be woven among others.
  • It is inductive: at the beginning, an inductive analysis can be made in order to present the topic to be dealt with; in short, facts can be observed, analyzed, and classified.
  • It is deductive: after the topic is developed, a deductive analysis has to be made. What we mean by this is that it is going to be evaluated, ideas are going to be evaluated, analyses are going to be made, and in this way, the topic is going to be interpreted in order to draw conclusions at the end.
  • Use formal language: the essay must have fineness in terms of the writing subject, offering a good literary component. That is why it is necessary to take care of the language, and in this way, it is also done creatively to offer great beauty to the text.
  • It is not built with defined or pre-established rules: in the essay, the author has the possibility of being able to express all his ideas and thus be able to express his opinions without having to worry because the writing has a very rigid structure.
  • It consists of three parts: it must have an introduction, development, and the respective conclusions or the author’s opinion.
  • The literary essay is a brief piece of writing: it expresses ideas and research on a specific topic, but the truth is that it is done in a more summarized and very brief way. In the same way, we can say that there are options.

How to write a literary essay?


The first thing we have to do is to say that writing an essay means analyzing it in a thoughtful and organized way. If you want to write a literary essay that is concise and clear, you should follow the steps we are going to discuss below:

  1. The first thing you should do is to think about all the ideas before you start writing about any topic that comes to your mind. What we mean by this is that it has to be something that really interests you and that you have at least some knowledge of.
  2. You should read some writings on the topic you are going to deal with, for example, here, at
  3. For each piece of writing you have read, you have to analyze it individually so that you can gain as much knowledge as you can, and then it will be easy for you to write about the topic.
  4. The first paragraphs are where the introduction should be. You have to write the topic in an argumentative way so that the interest of the readers can grow and they will want to read all the content that you are going to offer in the essay.
  5. All your ideas should contain valid arguments. You can use your personal or collective experiences, but especially what other authors have written about the topic, about the theories or research that were done before yours.
  6. It is important that you research and develop each of the ideas. That is why you have to be very strict when you have to write about the topic.
  7. In the end, you have to write down the conclusions you reached after researching the topic.

Other tips to make a good literary essay


Here we are going to mention some tips for you to make a good literary essay, that is why you should take each one into account:

  • You should have at least three ideas about the topics you would like to write on.
  • Each topic you have to analyze separately, that is why you have to take into account the following questions: which of these is the one that catches your attention the most, which is the one you consider the most important for you, which is the one you master the best and which is the easiest when you have to look for information on the topic.
  • You have to research a lot of literature on the subject. That is why it is important that you can collect the bibliographic survey that has been investigated in a separate document so that you have all the information you need to cite the documents later.
  • You have to write freely, but at the same time, you should reflect on each point you have researched. It is important that, in the end, you manage to put all your ideas in order.
  • You must keep in mind that the essay must be brief. We are not talking about a thesis or a monograph. That is why it has to be summarized, but it should contain all your ideas and opinions you have about everything you have researched and what you have written so far.
  • You have to spend time researching the topic so that you can write with more confidence.
  • When writing, you must use formal language. You can use literary devices and other forms of language that are less rigid than what you would use in a scientific article.

It may be for study, work, or personal desire, but the truth is that many people want to know their ideas through writing. When we talk about the essay, we refer to one of the genres that are considered the best when we have to write our thoughts and argue our position regarding a topic, and it can be about research, history, current affairs, art, society, literature, etc.

We have already seen that essays have a high percentage of subjectivity, but the truth is that it requires thoughtful arguments and a very good analysis.

The topic of the essay must be one that you handle with great ease because, at the time of having to express your ideas, each word should be fluid. Likewise, it must be something you like so you can do it with love and affection. Remember that it must have its introduction, development, and conclusion. You can NOT skip any of these steps because otherwise, the essay will be poorly done.

The most important thing is that you manage to capture the reader’s attention throughout the essay, besides, it has to be understandable so that they can dilute all the information well.

Written by Kan Dail