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|You should begin your writing about
the literature by first using strategies, such as freewriting and listing,
to discover ideas about the topic. Develop a central idea for your essay
and express it in a focused thesis statement, develop a logical plan of
organization, and support your thesis with details and evidence from the
literary works. After planning your essay, write a rough draft, and revise
and edit carefully.
Identify the subject, work, and author (give author's full name)
Introduce essay’s topic
Define key words, if necessary
Present a thesis statement
Have unity - present one central idea
Provide sufficient information to explain thesis statement
Have paragraphs that are unified, coherent, and adequately developed with details and evidence (quotations from the literary work) properly incorporated and documented.
Summarize the main points
Varied in structure and length
Clear in structure and meaning
Definite, specific, and concrete
Punctuation marks should be used correctly.
When writing about literature, remember to do the following:
Underline or italicize the titles of novels or plays.
Use the present tense. For example, when explaining what Frederick Douglass writes in his autobiography, you would write this: Douglass writes, "This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning-point in my career as a slave" (343). Notice that the verb writes is in the present tense.
Incorporate quotes into your writing by introducing the quote as I did above or by blending the quote into your sentence like this: Phillis Wheatley describes Africa as "my Pagan land" (line 1).
Document quotes from the literary works by placing the page number from the prose work in parenthesis and the line number from a poem in parenthesis. Then write the source cited on a works cited page like this example:
Give your essay a title which reflects the content of your essay.
Your essay should be double-spaced, with name and page numbers in the upper right corner.