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In a literary or analytical essay, you must develop and support a thesis based on literature. Many literary essays follow the format below. When you write a literary essay, you should be familiar with this format and use it to your advantage.
Before writing a literary essay, you should ensure that you understand exactly what the question is asking and then formulate a main idea or thesis. Your thesis gives your essay direction and purpose. It should answer the following questions: What is my point, and how will I develop it?
Literary Essay Format
Title: Try to be creative with your title. An effective title will create interest in the reader and will indicate whether you have a clear understanding of the topic.
Introductory Paragraph: Your introductory paragraph should start with a generalization about life that reflects your topic. It should then mention the literature you will be discussing and your thesis statement. (Please remember to italicize or underline titles of novels, plays and movies. Titles of short stories are always placed in quotation marks.)
Supporting Paragraphs: The paragraphs that follow your introduction should always support your thesis, and illustrate specific details from the literature that you have studied.
Conclusion: An insightful conclusion that reemphasizes your thesis will enhance your essay and leave a positive impression on the reader.
Editing & Proofreading: Pay attention to your choice of language, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure.
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