Tips and tricks on how to write a good literary essay

There is a beauty in books. Stories are a necessary part of the human condition, and stories that are more complex require more analysis to comprehend and understand completely. Enter the literary essay. Such essays can be daunting, but with a few tricks and tips we are going to share here, they are something that is certainly tackled able.

Brainstorm all of your ideas in an organized fashion

Literary essays, if anything, are about ideas, and the idea is what can make or break a paper. First, brainstorm ideas. There are many methods to this, but listing them out on a piece of paper is as good as any. Just write down as many interesting ideas or points as you can- they can be details, such as why character a does B, or they can be whole topics, such as a characters whole development and role in the story. From here, prune out bad ideas and look at your good ideas, and find the ones that are related. This will give you a guide as to what your paper can be about, and will help your organize your thoughts.

Keep track of character motivations

Character motivations are very important; perhaps the most important part of a whole novel. Motivation is the glue that holds the plot together- and any author worth his salt will be careful to keep his characters' motivations complete and consistent. This is super important, because if you think about why the characters do things, you'll be able to analyze what kind of people they are, what makes them that what, that motifs and symbols the author uses to define those characters, and so forth. This is as good a place to start as any, and focusing on it will help you understand what belongs in your essay.

Focus your paper

It is easy to let a paper wander all over the story, but write a thesis statement and stick to it. Otherwise, you can wind up with something rambling, and difficult to read. No one wants to read this. Instead, think about a specific topic based on the literature you are working it, or the works of an author, and divide it into logical sub topics, but be sure all these topics relate back to your main idea. Focus is vital to your success.


Most of writing is actually done in editing- do not be afraid to read your paper aloud to make sure it sounds right, and be willing to take out each word that is not needed, even if it is your favorite part- nothing is immune. Being willing to take an honest look at your essay and what it needs will make it the entire better