Literary Essay

As the name implies, a literary essay expounds a piece of literature in a more contextual way. It is a piece of writing wherein you inform readers by imparting a message. However, it is not intended to persuade others, although there is a possibility that they may be affected by the information you convey. And though it may also include your own personal reflection, the focal point of a literary essay should evolve only around the subject. It must be well written by following certain writing techniques, structure, and style. So to give you a better picture, here are the steps on how to write a literary essay.

How To: Literary Essay Writing


Your professor may be assigning you a piece of literature, or you will find one for yourself. Either way, you have to study that one carefully before you can come up with a good literary essay. And for you to better understand, reread it several times. Do a research about the author if necessary. Take note of important elements, including those which made you confused. Understanding means comprehending.


Gather information that will serve as your evidence. When you make a literary essay, you need not only to analyze and interpret a piece of literature, but also to make an argument out of it. And when you raise an argument, it should sound like you are convincing the readers to agree with your interpretation. And to make it possible, you need to find supporting evidence for your argument.


After doing your research, don’t instantly jump into writing if you want a good result. It is like jumping from frying pan to fire. Instead, brainstorm on what you have learned and break the larger picture into smaller portions. Categorize the data you have gathered and make an outline out of it. In this way, it will be easier for you to do the writing.


It is important to familiarize yourself with the different writing styles and formatting standards. If your professor did not require you a specific format, you can follow the MLA style which is the most commonly used.


Make your introduction as concise as possible, catching your readers’ attention. Then introduce your thesis statement briefly. Discuss every point in one paragraph each and that will be the body of your essay. Don’t forget to cite your sources according to the format you are following, and emphasize the transition among the paragraphs. Then summarize your points in your conclusion, as well as the importance of your essay.

You can compare your own standpoint from the author’s point of view but you don’t have to agree with his entire perspective. Though your ideas are different, as long as you have developed and defended them clearly using intellectual evidences, your viewpoint will be accepted. So by knowing how to write a literary essay, you will be able to touch others with a certain piece of literature.