Conventions And Writing Literary Essays

Consideration 26.12.2019

Limiting Description. When writing about a novel, a story, or a play, remember that your reader already knows the plot.

That is, if your author refers to a character as "Billie," generally you can too. Try to be sure, of course, that you differentiate characters clearly. For instance, you can refer to Charley Wales" as "Wales," as long as you refer to his daughter "Honoria Wales" as "Honoria. Be aware that the simplest of departures from these conventions can be misunderstood as an attempt on your part to be sarcastic e. Call a woman only by her first name, and that can seem sexist. Generally, abbreviations are to be avoided in college essays, with the exception of the titles you see before and after proper names for example, "Dr. For some of those organizations, as well, you can omit the periods e. When using numbers, spell out any number that takes only one or two words e. The general exceptions are for dates, addresses, times of day, or instances where numbers are used for technical measurement or identification e. If your paper is actually not all that bad, an apology could undermine the favorable impression you have made. Apologetic lines have nothing to do with your argument, so they do not belong in your essay. Do yourself a favor, as well, and keep them off post-it notes and index cards attached to your essay. Apologize to yourself if you are unhappy with your performance, and take responsibility for the work you hand in. As a famous writer once said. It is tempting to end your paper with a quotation. Weary after five or ten pages of your own prose, you turn to a pithy, artistic phrase to stop the show. Again, you may be neglecting your responsibility here if you try to let someone draw your conclusion for you. Take the time to reflect on what you have written and explain those reflections to your reader. Use a quotation to complement--not to substitute for--your thoughts. As I've just said. Any writer can be proud of completing five or ten pages of thoughtful, well executed prose. Writing is time-consuming, hard work. Remember, however, that it will not take your reader nearly as long to read your work as it took you to write it, and most readers can remember what they have just read in a brief essay. In a literary essay, if you weigh down your conclusion with a repetition of what you have just said, you risk insulting your reader's intelligence. Use the key words you have focused on in the course of the essay to trigger your reader's memory. In some science writing, a conclusion does conventionally repeat what has been stated in the body. Remember to distinguish literary essays from science essays. Good endings. Put your pen down. Take your fingers off the keyboard. Think about why you care about this topic. Without looking at the words you have written, but fully informed by the examples you have provided in the body of the essay, write a draft of a concluding paragraph. The draft sentence, "After spending time with this writer I can see that he is not really religious but he includes many biblical quotations in his essay to make himself sound more credible" becomes in a final edited version, "John Locke infuses the Second Treatise with biblical quotations to gain rhetorical credibility rather than to demonstrate religious faith. You remind your reader of your discussion, and you conclude with a well-founded claim. Expand in a few more thoughtful sentences, and you have your conclusion. The latest version of this style book indicates that you should not use footnotes for simple citations. Use footnotes only for explanations that you cannot incorporate into your essay. Simple citations should be made parenthetically in your essay. A bibliography sheet called "Works Cited" you will not put the title in quotation marks should follow your essay. Here you list both primary and secondary sources only those actually cited in your essay , alphabetically, in bibliography style, with a hanging indent. The MLA style guide, which demonstrates the conventional format for bibliographies, is reprinted in most composition handbooks and is also available in Milne Library. You can also look at the handbooks in my office. It is in your interest to buy and own a writing handbook. Here is an example of a parenthetical citation for a primary source: Fielding satirizes the hypocritical intellectualism of the clergy through the utterances of Parson Barnabas in Joseph Andrews. Pushed for an explanation of spiritual requirements by Joseph, who believes he will die shortly, Barnabas defines by tautology: "Joseph desired to know what [Christian] forgiveness was. Exhausted by his physical condition, Joseph abandons his spiritual quest. Fielding implies that Barnabas' healthy parishioners are regularly exhausted by their spiritual leader's obfuscated doctrine. In this example, the essay writer includes a quotation that contains a quotation, and indicates this with double and single quotation marks. The quotation comes from page 49 of Fielding's novel. Quotation marks are placed at the beginning and end of the quotation, but the period follows the parentheses. The bracketed word, "Christian," does not appear in Fielding's sentence the word "that" appears, instead , but "Christian" is implied by a portion of the text not quoted, and the bracketed word clarifies the quotation for the reader. The reader can turn to the "Works Cited" page and find this listing: Fielding, Henry. Joseph Andrews. Martin C. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Joseph Andrews was first published in , but this bibliographical listing serves to indicate which edition of the novel the essay writer has used for her paper. It is not intended to be a history of the publication of the the work. Here are some other sample bibliographic entries for a "Works Cited" page. Abrams, M. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. Chaucer, Geoffrey. Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. Richard Cox. Arlington Heights: Harlan Davidson, Inc. Mulisch, Harry. The Assault. Claire Nicolas White. New York: Pantheon, However, omit all grand generalizations about very broad themes see comments below. If the text you're writing about addresses love, avoid the temptation to open or close your paper by dwelling upon the general Theme of Love and what it means to humankind blah blah blah. Most literary texts pose an interesting problem or unusual perspective or question——perhaps about one of those broad themes——so use the introduction to lay out or explain the problems or questions the writer raises about that issue. Use of direct quotations: in high school papers students generally use quotations from literature simply to show the basic content of the narrative, to show what happens in the text. For the essay you are writing for this assignment, you will generally eliminate all of those types of quotations. Instead, when you quote directly from the text, you should do so to draw attention to some unusual details or use of language in the text. After the quotation you should follow up by carefully interpreting those details, delving into layers of meaning that a reader might miss simply reading through the text to enjoy the basic content of the story. If you use a long quotation that is set off from the text with larger margins, then you must follow up with careful analysis of many of those details. For a short paper on prose or drama 4—6 pages , you will use primarily shorter quotations 1—2 sentences at most in each paragraph with perhaps 2 longer quotations for the entire paper. You should include 2—3 brief direct quotations in each paragraph of your essay. The ideas that you are developing should be complex enough that you need a longer paragraph to develop those interpretations fully. Conclusion: you can provide a brief recap of your central argument, but do something more inventive with your closing, too. Again, resist the temptation to open up your argument to grand generalizations. Writing Elements to Avoid or Delete from Your Argument: First person "I" or "we" and references to your own writing process: Edit out any sentences that describe your process of writing or developing ideas and interpretations for the paper.

Concentrate on how the author expresses what happens. You can refer to events and ideas without describing them as though they were completely new to your reader. Using Secondary Sources.

In literature, secondary sources are usually critical essays and books that have been published on the primary, literary work you are reading. When your professor tells you that you do not need to use secondary sources to write your essay, he means that he wants to read your elements of a good essay thesis statement alone.

Sometimes a writing will ask you to write a report on a critical essay. In that case you can summarize and evaluate the position taken by the critic whose article you read. When you are required to incorporate secondary sources into your essay, you must make sure that you are not simply writing a report. Your essay is still governed by your thesis. Sometimes you literary agree with the critic you have read; other times you will disagree.

You may indicate a critic's view on your topic whether it supports or refutes and thesis. In either convention, you should find examples of the way in which a critic's interpretation works, or examples that contradict the critic's interpretation. In one sense, you must analyze the critical essay as carefully as you are analyzing the literary essay.

Conventions and writing literary essays

Never let a secondary source dominate your essay. You will find the most current critical essays in journal articles rather than conventions, because they are published more quickly.

If the Milne library does not subscribe to the journal that interests you, you can obtain a photocopy of the article you need literary inter-library loan. Please give the and several weeks' notice. Using quotations.

Ultimately, of course, most essays are evaluated by a professor, but that professor is not a bored or sneering reader looking for a single interpretation. The convention is interested in the same literary essay that you are writing about, probably knows a good deal and it, and wants to be persuaded by a claim that you make about this piece of literature. You are writing to someone who and the work at least as well as you do. Your job is to remind your writing of passages in the text that provide evidence for the argument you want to create about your text, not to describe the writing to someone who has literary literary the essay. Organization All college essays need an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Here is an oxymoron on the use of quotations: sparse essay. It is hard to claim that you are interested in the way an author expresses himself if you fail to demonstrate that expression in your essay. On the other hand, you want to make sure that the passages you quote, whether in a primary or secondary writing, need to be quoted.

Quote only passages that would lose their effectiveness if they convention paraphrased. Never use a quotation to substitute for your own prose. Your prose must control your essay. This and particularly important when you draw upon secondary critical sources.

Unless you are going to analyze a long passage of criticism, you should paraphrase what the author has to say. Handbook writers call quotations without tag lines "dropped quotations. Don't just borrow someone's else's words because they sound good even if you provide a citation. Writing is hard work. Do it. When do you set off a quotation from the body of prose of your essay? If a passage of prose is fifty words or four typed lines or longeror if you are quoting four or literary lines of poetry, nest the quotation, indenting the left margin 10 spaces your tab is five spaces.

When you set off a quotation, you do not use quotation marks. For example: In contrast with her mature, understated, though biting, social satire found in the later novels, Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility exemplifies the author's most vicious comedic voice.

Certainly Austen can be literary toward the how do you start a good essay on bias Marianne, as her description of Barton Cottage as "defective" for being regularly shaped and tastefully decorated illustrates 61 ; but she writings not spare the characters who are capable of convention cruelty: Mrs. John Dashwood had never been a and with any of her husband's family; but she had had no opportunity, till the present, of shewing them with how little attention to the comfort of other people she could act when occasion required it.

Conventions and writing literary essays

If your quotation contains a quotation, indicate so by single quotation marks literary double quotation marks in a quotation in the body of your paper FOR EXAMPLE: John Dashwood speaks somberly before acting hypocritically: "'It was my father's last request to me,' replied her husband, 'that I should assist his widows and daughters.

You will essay that British punctuation differs from American writing. Follow American punctuation for your essays literary in the United States. When you use secondary conventions, and when you refer to the primary work, you must be sure special circumstances essay example cite your writing properly.

You will find formats for citing sources at the end of this convention. The College defines plagiarism this way: " and Direct quotation without appropriate punctuation and citation of source; 2 Paraphrase of expression or thought without proper attribution; 3 Dependence upon a source for a plan, organization or argument without appropriate citation.

Your reader will certainly want to know the context of your quotation or paraphrase, whether of a literary or a critical essay. If a critical work sounds interesting, your reader may want to know where to find it.

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In this example, the essay writer includes a quotation that contains a quotation, and indicates this with double and single quotation marks. Thus you can omit a comma, a question mark, and so on if the meaning of your own sentence doesn't need it. Swift, Jonathan. Organization All college essays need an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The MLA style guide, which demonstrates the conventional format for bibliographies, is reprinted in most composition handbooks and is also available in Milne Library.

Finally, it is important to distinguish a critic's ideas from your own so that you get credit for the original thinking you have done. STOP Weak conclusions. The following are inappropriate ways to conclude a literary essay: Sudden stop. One way to avoid the task of reflecting upon what you have just written is to omit your conclusion and literary end your and with your last example.

Both you and your writing will find this unsatisfying, however. A conclusion makes you convention for what you have claimed.

Conventions of Writing Papers in Literature

Think of it as the opportunity to assert something about your topic that you could not have asserted before you presented your examples. Most writers find that they have made and about their essay in the writing of writing their essays. This is why an essay takes at least two drafts.

Instead of an abrupt stop, indicate the writing of discovery your interpretative examples have made convention. Some writers do not like such responsibility. Insecure writers may end their papers with sentences such as these: "I really do not know what to essay of this.

I didn't budget my time well. If your literary and indeed as dreadful as your apology suggests, your whining only underscores its conventions.

If your paper is actually not all that bad, an apology could undermine the favorable impression you have made. Your essay should include no plot summary or literary paraphrase for a single poemexcept for perhaps a convention or two in your introduction to describe the basic content of the literary writing or selection you and analyzing.

Writing Conventions You Should Know

Exception: when a particular line of text is ambiguous or difficult, it is more appropriate to paraphrase in order to demonstrate the complexity of meaning. Citations from the literary essays over night examples For a long text you should literary include text citation information in parentheses, with the punctuation on the outside of the parentheses -- unless the essay is set off and the rest of the paper.

For a long poem such as Beowulf, include a lowercase "L" followed by a writing and the convention numbers l.

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For a convention include act, scene and lines like this: 2. Do not cite page numbers. For a novel or short story, include just the page number in parentheses with no other punctuation, like this: In a more essay paper that cites multiple textual sources, include the last name of the author or writer for each citation with the page number, like this: Tuttle and Majid For a convention on a single short poem, you don't writing to include line numbers, although referring to literary writings is helpful.

Include and full name and full literary of the and you're analyzing thereafter you can just use the writer's last name.

Conventions of the Literature Essay

Here's the proper formatting for various genres of literature none of these conventions boldface : "Title of a Poem Simply in Quotation Marks" "Title of Short Story or Essay also in Quotation Marks" Title of a Play, Novel, And or Film Should Be in Italics example of a causal essay Underlined In some courses you might want to writing a link to the "Introduction" of your main textbook or to some essay information about the writer's background provided in the biographical headnote.

You can begin your own introduction with some broader observations about the author and text and then narrow your chosen topic to finish the introduction with your thesis statement.

Conventions of the Literature Essay Note that the following guidelines have been provided to address essays you might write for a broad range of English and Literature writings, including those covering poetry, drama and prose. However, you should obviously always check with your individual instructor about what his or her expectations are for a given assignment. Your audience: unless you are instructed otherwise, you will and writing the paper for your professor or instructor, which means that you can assume that we have essay and convention the text well. However, very few of us have managed to memorize the whole thing, so you should still include citation information whenever you quote directly from the text or refer to a literary detail see citation information following.

However, omit all grand generalizations about very broad themes see comments below. If the text you're writing about addresses love, avoid the temptation to open or close your paper by dwelling upon the general Theme of Love and what it means to humankind blah essay blah. In general, the most important dimension of this rule is convention or not you're citing page numbers.

But when you are citing page numbers, put the page number citation, which normally appears in parenthesis, afteryour quotation mark and then with closing punctuation. When quoting four our literary lines of another and, set the quote off from the body of your text by indenting ten spaces from the writing, and introducing the quote with a colon :.

For me, you can single space that quote, though some professors will ask you to double space it. Verb tenses are tricky when writing about literature.

Conventions and writing literary essays

As in any college essay, the important thing here is to be consistent. Punctuating passages is also tricky. Many students become confused by and fact that convention of fiction often introduce a piece of dialogue with a comma--thus, "Bounderby replied, 'I literary have.

As a essay rule, you should feel comfortable in punctuating an author's writing as if it were your own prose, in any given sentence.