A Brief Guide to Literature Essay Writing

Similar to any type of essay writing, a literature essay also has head-body-tail. You need to maintain that standard outline while writing a literature essay. Literature essay requires you to analyze the piece of art critically while asking relevant questions to yourself, like why did the author write this? What is the theme of the composition? How are the characters developed? Here we teach you how to craft the vital parts of literature essay and assemble those to become a full-grown essay. Let’s get started.

Literature Essay Writing


Your introduction should include

  • The name of the author
  • Title of the work
  • An explanation of theme to be discussed

Other essential background should include

  • Setting
  • Introduction of the main characters.

The thesis should come at the end of the introduction in literature essay writing. Thesis is created to relate the theme of the work and suggest how the author reveals this theme. Here is an example of good thesis:

Through Paul’s experience behind the lines at a Russian prisoner war camp and especially bombardment in the trenches, Erica Maria Remarque realistically shows how war deprives a man from positive human qualities.

If putting your thesis in one sentence becomes complicated, break it into two different sentences. For example,

In a Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens shows the process by which a wasted life can be redeemed. Through the love for Lucie Manette, Sidney Carton transformed himself from hopeless bitter man into a war hero whose life has a meaning.

Body Paragraphs:

There should be three supporting paragraphs consisting of supporting examples (concrete detail, analysis/explanation for your topic). Literature essay helps you sharpen your critical thinking skills. Each paragraph body should include:

  • Topic sentence

Example: When his characters is first introduced in the novel, Sidney Carton is a loveless outcast who sees little worth himself or in others

  • Textual evidence (quotes from the reading)

Example: When Carton and Darnay first meet at the tavern, Carton tells him, ‘I care for no man on this earth, and no man cares for me.’ (Dickens 105)

  • Commentary (explanation)

Example: Carton makes this statement as he is excusing his rude behavior to Darnay. Carton, however, pretends to be polite. With this seemingly off-the-cuff remark, Carton reveals deeper cynicism and his emotional isolation.

  • A concluding sentence

Example: Thus, before Carton experiences love, he is able to convince himself the world has no meaning.


The conclusion should consists of answers of the question ‘so what’ the readers thought after reading the thesis. A conclusion should do one or more of the following

  • Demonstrate how your essay topic reflects the book as a whole
  • Evaluate how successful the author is to achieve his or her goals
  • Give personal opinions about the topics
  • Connect back to the thesis
  • Give final words on the significance of the work.

Response Essay Help: Ideas, Topics and Guidance

A good response essay is persuasive in nature. It does not only cite facts and examples, but also personal experiences that either refute or support the work you are discussing. The phrases like ‘I thought’ and ‘I believe’ are common phrases in response essay writing. A response essay is normally written on a formal review of a book, artwork or article. There are many pieces of information that you don’t know about responses essay writing. If you want to know them, read the article carefully.

Response Essay Help

How to write a response essay?

The best strategy you can adopt to write a response essay is very simple. You just have to read and respond to your readings.

Read and respond:

While writing a response paper, you require assessing what have been assigned to observe. Here are the steps of completing a responses paper:

  • Observe and read the piece for an initial understanding, identify literary devices like simile, metaphor, image, assonance to convey the overall meaning of the work
  • Re-read the piece
  • Record your thoughts and impressions in notes
  • Find themes which are addressed in various parts of the work and demonstrate how they contribute to the overall meaning
  • Relate aspects to the author’s own life or experience
  • Develop a thesis
  • Write an outline
  • Construct your essay.

Constructing the first paragraph:

After outlining your ideas, you will need to create an essay including strong introductory sentence. While writing a response paper, keep in mind that your first sentence should contain the title of the object to which you are responding including the name of the author. The last sentence of the introductory paragraph should contain a thesis statement.

How to state your opinion in response essay?

There’s no need to feel shy about expressing your own thought in response essay. It may feel strange to write, ‘I believe’ or ‘I feel’ in an essay. But your instructors are actually looking for this. Sample statements that you can use while projecting your personal opinion are:

  • I felt that
  • In my opinion
  • The author seems to
  • The images seemed to
  • I did not like
  • The author was successful in making me feel
  • I was especially moved by
  • It was clear that the artist was trying to
  • My favorite part was…. because.

Response essay topics:

Reading between lines —

  • Should the U.S have a universal health care health?
  • World Wide Web or books?
  • Shouldn’t heavily built passengers pay for two movie theater or plane tickets?

This is how response essay should be approached. If you follow these simple rules of essay writing, you will end up creating a good quality response essay.

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