Critical Literary Essays

Introduction

Summary:

This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

Contributors:Mark Dollar, Purdue OWL
Last Edited: 2011-10-19 02:27:10

What Makes a Good Literature Paper?

An argument

When you write an extended literary essay, often one requiring research, you are essentially making an argument. You are arguing that your perspective-an interpretation, an evaluative judgment, or a critical evaluation-is a valid one.

A debatable thesis statement

Like any argument paper you have ever written for a first-year composition course, you must have a specific, detailed thesis statement that reveals your perspective, and, like any good argument, your perspective must be one which is debatable.

Examples

You would not want to make an argument of this sort:

Shakespeare's Hamlet is a play about a young man who seeks revenge.

That doesn't say anything-it's basically just a summary and is hardly debatable.

A better thesis would be this:

Hamlet experiences internal conflict because he is in love with his mother.

That is debatable, controversial even. The rest of a paper with this argument as its thesis will be an attempt to show, using specific examples from the text and evidence from scholars, (1) how Hamlet is in love with his mother, (2) why he's in love with her, and (3) what implications there are for reading the play in this manner.

You also want to avoid a thesis statement like this:

Spirituality means different things to different people. King Lear, The Book of Romans, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance each view the spirit differently.

Again, that says nothing that's not already self-evident. Why bother writing a paper about that? You're not writing an essay to list works that have nothing in common other than a general topic like "spirituality." You want to find certain works or authors that, while they may have several differences, do have some specific, unifying point. That point is your thesis.

A better thesis would be this:

Lear, Romans, and Zen each view the soul as the center of human personality.

Then you prove it, using examples from the texts that show that the soul is the center of personality.

Have too many analysis essays to write? Then you do need help.

Nowadays writing an essay is a common assignment. Essays can be of different types, and, Analysis essays are among them. Literary analysis essay, critical analysis essay, character analysis essay, process analysis essay - each of these can be referred to as “analysis essays”. When you are overloaded with too many assignments like this, you will eventually decide to ask for help with writing an essay.

Literary analysis essay – how is it written?

Before writing any essay, you have to get acquainted with the information you will use in your essay. When writing a literary analysis essay, you will firstly read a book, but you will also need to read critic commentaries. And of course your literary analysis essay must also contain your personal thoughts and opinions.

Critical analysis essay.

The same is true when writing a critical analysis essay. You need to gather sufficient information to be able to make constructive critique in your critical analysis essay.

Character analysis essay & process analysis essay.

If you have an assignment to write either a character analysis essay or process analysis essay you shouldn’t forget that every writing takes time (which is actually money), and tires you out fast.

Don’t hesitate if you don’t have enough time to write a character analysis essay or process analysis essay. Ask our company to do it for you and you’ll be completely satisfied. All we request is the go-ahead so we can get started. We will even use your ideas and information if you like.

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