Langston Hughes – Harlem

Upon first sight of Langston Hughes famous 1950’s poem, you catch a title loaded with antecedent implications into the history of a city, but most importantly the culture that made this city a hub for African American history. Immediately we are taken into the drop back of Harlem and, at the time written, the tension … Read more

Robert Worth – A Rage for Order

Robert Worth, a longtime NYT journalist and bureau chief in the Middle East, was at Tahrir on that day when Egyptians rediscovered their country and their fellow citizens. There is a vivid and thrilling, almost dreamy, chapter on those eighteen days in Tahrir, where shared experiences had forged friendships and understanding between people of disparate … Read more

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle, a novel written by Upton Sinclair, illustrates the United States’ living conditions in a capitalist society. Today, years after its publication, the United States is known to be a predominantly capitalist nation due to the fact that it is seen as the best economically and socially sustainable option by many individuals. On the … Read more

“Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” by Patrick Süskind

In this essay, I am going to analyse Patrick Süskind’s application of olfactory imagery to enhance the plot of the book, “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”, whilst citing specific incidences from various chapters of the book. Olfactory imagery is the figurative or descriptive language in a literary work pertaining to odours, scents, or the … Read more

The Color of Water

Searching for a place to belong and an identity is a universal quest. Many people find belonging and understanding of the self within communities of religion, culture, or language. Others, however, do not easily fit in with any community, and as a result are forced to wander until they find their own home. This situation … Read more

Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison’s debut novel The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, tells the story of a young African American girl by the name of Pecola Breedlove, who wishes for blue eyes. Set in Lorain, Ohio, during the Great Depression, the book relies on flashbacks of a number of different characters to skilfully narrate the story of … Read more

Le Crépuscule du soir

This poem is from a book, Les Fleurs du mal, a volume of poems written by Charles Baudelaire. This poem comes from the section Tableaux Parisiens. This section of the book depicts a day-night cycle in Paris, starting with Le Soleil and ending with Le Crépuscule du Matin. The majority of these poems were written … Read more

How to write a Literature Essay

When writing a 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 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 literature essay, you identify your audience. Planning for your 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  literature essay. These are among the various important aspects that you need to keep in mind when writing a 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 a 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 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.


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 a 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 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 a literature essay.
  4. When using quotations in your literature essay, bear in mind the importance of properly citing and acknowledging the source of the quotations used to avoid plagiarism in your essay.