The Hate U Give

As the sole witness, Starr, is faced with the killing by cop of her best friend Khalil and pressured into giving a statement of what had occured that dreadful night. If that wasn’t enough she then faces a jury to testify under Khalil’s behave. This starts the beginning where both her worlds begin to fall … Read more

Influence in Literature

Influence is a vast aspect of literature; both classic and contemporary writers are constantly influenced by the great canons in order to explore the boundaries of their work. Many argue that the influence past writers have over others with their work, is a crucial step in creating successful and engaging pieces of writings. Others, however, … Read more

My Antonia by Willa Cather

In her novel, My Antonia, Willa Cather captures the effect of the Nebraskan Prairie life on immigrants and natives in the late nineteenth century. She presents a theme of the diminishment of traditional American values. My Antonia follows a non-linear time plot to depict the nostalgia that the characters later experience. Jim Burden and Antonia … Read more

Steven Segal and Creon

Steven Seagal once said, “I’ve always tried to avoid politics, because most politicians that I know are quite dirty in terms of human dignity, ethics, and morals.” Unlike Seagal, Creon establishes those political rules without taking into consideration morals, ethics, and dignity. Sophocles’ Antigone emphasizes the consequences of a ruler’s abuse of power, revealing how … Read more

Lord of the Flies

Most human beings tend to always hunt for power, and once they gain power, one wants more. The idea of power struggle is very relevant in this novel. Golding uses Ralph and Jack to show power struggle many times throughout the novel. Ralph and Jack have different opinions between what is good, what is evil, … Read more

J.K. Rowling

Joanne Rowling or more commonly known as J.K. Rowling was born on July 31, 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England. Joanne Rowling is best known for her work with the young adult series Harry Potter. Her work with the wizarding world allows readers to escape to a different place, and experience the magic for themselves. Joanne … Read more

Marjane Satrapi

The choice of medium greatly affects the meaning of a narrative. This is true even of relatively similar modes of representation such as with Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis as it was transformed into a future film. The case is much greater given a complex allegory like Yann Martel’s Life of Pi which was made … Read more

Power by John Scott

Power has arguably been a part of our daily lives since the beginning of mankind. In his book Power, Scott (2001, pp. 12-16) explores the different forms of power and how it reveals itself. He begins by dividing the elementary forms of social power into two categories: Corrective influence and persuasive influence. The resources that … Read more

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The novel, The Road by Cormac McCarthy offers a bleak and upfront perspective on a post-apocalyptic world, where humanity is reduced to animalism. The man often uses the phrase “carrying the fire” to describe his continued perseverance in surviving the post-apocalyptic world. While the woman killed herself in despair, the man commits to being a … Read more

Paul’s Case by Willa Cather

Willa Cather’s short story, “Paul’s Case” (1905), uses symbols and ironic instances in order to develop the idea of what the “American Dream” is to convey a feeling of hopelessness throughout the story. The author develops her ideas by depicting Paul’s conflicts and the fantasy he employs to express the human truth to achieve the … 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?