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To kill a mockingbird a separate peace english literature essay

Develop and organize arguments 5. Write the introduction 6. Write the body paragraphs 7. Write the conclusion 1. Now all you have to do is choose one. Do yourself a favor and pick a topic that interests you.

If you are asked to come up with a topic by yourself, though, you might start to feel a little panicked. Maybe you have too many ideas—or none at all. Take a deep breath and start by asking yourself these questions: Did a particular image, line, or scene linger in your mind for a long time? If it fascinated you, chances are you can draw on it to write a fascinating essay. Confusing moments in a work of literature are like a loose thread in a sweater: Ask yourself why the author chose to write about that character or scene the way he or she did and you might tap into some important insights about the work as a whole.

Did you notice any patterns? Is there a phrase that the main character uses constantly or an image that repeats throughout the book? Did you notice any contradictions or ironies? Great works of literature are complex; great literary essays recognize and explain those complexities.

Maybe the main character acts one way around his family and a completely different way around his friends and associates. The best questions invite critical debates and discussions, not just a rehashing of the summary.

Finally, remember to keep the scope of your question in mind: Conversely, is this a topic big enough to fill the required length? Frankenstein and his monster alike? Keep track of passages, symbols, images, or scenes that deal with your topic.

These are the elements that you will analyze in your essay, and which you will offer as evidence to support your arguments. For more on the parts of literary works, see the Glossary of Literary Terms at the end of this section. Elements of Story These are the whats of the work—what happens, where it happens, and to whom it happens. All of the events and actions of the work. The people who act and are acted upon in a literary work.

The main character of a work is known as the protagonist. The central tension in the work. When and where the work takes place. Elements of setting include location, time period, time of day, weather, social atmosphere, and economic conditions. The person telling the story. The narrator may straightforwardly report what happens, convey the subjective opinions and perceptions of one or more characters, or provide commentary and opinion in his or her own voice.

The main ideas or messages of the work—usually abstract ideas about people, society, or life in general.

A work may have many themes, which may be in tension with one another. Elements of Style These are the hows—how the characters speak, how the story is constructed, and how language is used throughout the work.

From the SparkNotes Blog

How the parts of the work are assembled. Some novels are narrated in a linear, chronological fashion, while others skip around in time. Some plays follow a traditional three-or five-act structure, while others are a series of loosely connected scenes. Some authors deliberately leave gaps in their works, leaving readers to puzzle out the missing information.

The perspective from which a story is told. In first-person point of view, the narrator involves him or herself in the story. In third-person point of view, the narrator does not participate in the story. Omniscient narrators see and know all: Remember that the narrator and the author are not the same thing! Whether a character uses dry, clinical language or flowery prose with lots of exclamation points can tell you a lot about his or her attitude and personality.

Word order and sentence construction. Ernest Hemingway, for example, is known for writing in very short, straightforward sentences, while James Joyce characteristically wrote in long, incredibly complicated lines. The mood or feeling of the text. Diction and syntax often contribute to the tone of a work. A novel written in short, clipped sentences that use small, simple words might feel brusque, cold, or matter-of-fact.

Language that appeals to the senses, representing things that can be seen, smelled, heard, tasted, or touched. Language that is not meant to be interpreted literally. A thesis is a claim about a work of literature that needs to be supported by evidence and arguments. The thesis statement is the heart of the literary essay, and the bulk of your paper will be spent trying to prove this claim.

A good thesis will be: Provable through textual evidence. A really strong thesis will argue for a reading of the text that is not immediately apparent. How does the monster tell us so much about the human condition? Good Thesis Statements Question: Would Piggy in The Lord of the Flies make a good island leader if he were given the chance? Golding emphasizes this point by giving Piggy a foil in the charismatic Jack, whose magnetic personality allows him to capture and wield power effectively, if not always wisely.

Develop and Organize Arguments The reasons and examples that support your thesis will form the middle paragraphs of your essay. One essay prompt might ask you to compare and contrast two characters, while another asks you to trace an image through a given work of literature. These questions require different kinds of answers and therefore different kinds of arguments. You can either go subject by subject or point by point. This can be a highly effective strategy if you want to make a counterintuitive argument—that, despite seeming to be totally different, the two objects being compared are actually similar in a very important way or vice versa.

Remember that your essay should reveal something fresh or unexpected about the text, so think beyond the obvious parallels and differences. Trace Choose an image—for example, birds, knives, or eyes—and trace that image throughout Macbeth. Sounds pretty easy, right?

How to Write Literary Analysis

All you need to do is read the play, underline every appearance of a knife in Macbeth, and then list them in your essay in the order they appear, right? In the Macbeth example above, think about the different contexts in which knives appear in the play and to what effect. In Macbeth, there are real knives and imagined knives; knives that kill and knives that simply threaten. Categorize and classify your examples to give them some order. Finally, always keep the overall effect in mind.

Debate Is the society depicted in 1984 good for its citizens? You might be asked to judge a character or group of characters Is Caesar responsible for his own demise? For this kind of essay, there are two important points to keep in mind.

Every literary essay expects you to read and analyze the work, so search for evidence in the text. What do characters in 1984 have to say about the government of Oceania?

What images does Orwell use that might give you a hint about his attitude toward the government? As in any debate, you also need to make sure that you define all the necessary terms before you begin to argue your case. You should define your terms right up front, in the first paragraph after your introduction. Second, remember that strong literary essays make contrary and surprising arguments.

Try to think outside the box.

A Separate Peace Essay

But can you think of any arguments for the opposite side? Even if your final assertion is that the novel depicts a cruel, repressive, and therefore harmful society, acknowledging and responding to the counterargument will strengthen your overall case.

Write the Introduction Your introduction sets up the entire essay. A persuasive literary essay immediately establishes its writer as a knowledgeable, authoritative figure.

An introduction can vary in length depending on the overall length of the essay, but in a traditional five-paragraph essay it should be no longer than one paragraph. However long it is, your introduction needs to: Provide any necessary context. Your introduction should situate the reader and let him or her know what to expect. What book are you discussing? What topic will you be addressing? Why is this topic important, and why is your particular position on the topic noteworthy?

Literary essays make unexpected connections and reveal less-than-obvious truths. This usually happens at or very near the end of your introduction.