Fences by August Wilson

Fences Topic Essay Fences, a play written by August Wilson examines Troy Maxson’s development as a character, husband, and father stemming from his traumatic transition from childhood into adulthood, being stripped away from adolescence effectively putting him in a place filled with complacency coming from the oppression of his times and infecting the lives of … Read more

The Cruicible

The play The Crucible is a perfect allegory for the era in which the book itself was written. Miller attempts to parallel the crucible in the book to the political environment of the time period that he wrote the book during, with the puritans being the american citizens and their religion being the anti communist … Read more

The Iliad by Homer

These two similes from Homer’s epic poem The Iliad describe the killing of Sarepdon at the hands of Patroklos using two vehicles: a pine tree, and a bull. In the first simile, Homer chooses to depict the physical fall of Sarepdon in terms his audience would understand: carpenters, axes, and the cutting down of a … Read more

Gender and Sexuality in Villette and North and South

Analyzing nineteenth century views on female gender and sexuality through the lenses of Bronte and Gaskell yield an invaluable insight into the psyche of Victorian society. Villette and North and South, written by Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell respectively, both work to protest the stereotypical trope of the “damsel in the distress” that represented ideal … Read more

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

In “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley there is an in depth discussion between the importance of human lives and nature throughout the story. Throughout the narrative Mary Shelley creates metaphorical bridges to connect the two using Victor Frankenstein’s life as a catalyst between the different relationships, mainly amongst his friends and family. which are seemingly burned … Read more

the Violets by Harwood

Harwood interweaves past and present by highlighting the painful inevitability of time passing reconciled through the warmth of childhood memories whilst encapsulating the universal values of human experience that add to the integral timelessness of her poetry. The poet establishes a continuity between the past and the present in The Violets and At Mornington through … Read more

How to write an English Literature Essay

When writing an English literature essay, it is crucial to keep in mind the importance of the readability of your essay. Throughout the essay, ensure that the essay is not a regurgitation of other writers’ ideas, research notes or facts. This is important because people will not find your essay interesting to read if you would not read it yourself.

The following sections offer fundamental guidelines on how to write an English literature essay.

Plan it out

Planning is an important point, which you need to keep in mind before you even start to write your essay. It is important that before starting to write your English literature essay, you identify your audience. Planning for your English essay requires that you identify a goal or the major points to discuss in your essay. Before starting the essay, ensure that you write all the key points or ideas you intend to discuss in your essay. Visualize how you want your essay to be, and develop an outline of all the paragraphs. Identify the argument of the essay and position.

It is important to have an idea of where you want to take the reader in terms of the impacts you seek to have on the audience after reading the English literature essay. These are among the various important aspects that you need to keep in mind when writing an English literature essay. These suggestions when followed are helpful in writing a high standard essay, which is relevant to the topic of discussion.

Learning how to write an English literature essay is not just about writing the essay. You also need to know how to structure the essay in the correct way.

Structure of an English literature essay


This is the most important factor in an essay. The length of each paragraph is a crucial point for consideration to avoid a reader getting lost while reading it. Paragraphs are useful to both you as the writer, and the reader of the essay. Use different paragraphs to categorize your points and ideas. Ensure that you use short paragraphs throughout your essay. A high standard essay should not have paragraphs that exceed an A4 page.


English literature essays require that you have a strong argument unless the paper instructions need you to write a summary of a provided text. Ensure that your argument is not biased. The discussion should comprise all the possible position of the argument. A quality essay should provoke discussion by including different thoughts using the texts creatively.

Literary techniques

The aim of writing an English literature essay is to demonstrate an individual’s love of words and English language. Utilize literary devices like alliterations, onomatopoeia, sibilance, and anaphora to make your English essay interesting. These technique can be effectively used when writing poetry.


All sources used in the essay should be credited and acknowledged using footnotes and creating a reference list. There are various ways which you can use to credit texts and ideas from other writers that you have used in your essay. In-text references can comprise name of the author, year of publication, and page number of the source. This allows a reader to look up the source used should he want. Ensure that your footnotes for the essay are well notated, and include information about the edition of the source and name of the publisher.


Use quotations in your essay to support facts, theories, ideas, thoughts, and argument in the essay. Quotations are effectively presented either as part of an essay sentence or as a word. Ensure that you include quotations in your essay creatively. In cases where you think that you need to use lengthy quotations to support your discussion or argument, make sure that you satisfy the following areas in your essay:

  1. Quotations should be set in the middle of a page in addition to leaving a single blank line before starting the quotation, and after the end of a quotation.
  2. A high Standard English literature essay picks relevant sentences or words form lengthy quotations in a source, and discusses how the quotation relates or supports the argument a writer is making.
  3. It is acceptable to use a single ‘comma’ quotation mark, or a “double” to mark your quotations in an English literature essay.
  4. When using quotations in your English literature essay, bear in mind the importance of properly citing and acknowledging the source of the quotations used to avoid plagiarism in your essay.

Did our ‘how to write an English literature essay’ guide help you?