Tips for writing Literature Essays

As mentioned in my earlier post, I was working on literature essays for a third party in the last few months, as a ghost writer. I was required to analysis stories, a poem, and drama, and write documented essays on them. In total I wrote 3 essays and finally helped the same person to edit the essays and create a portfolio of these works. It was a requirement in order for him to get a pass grade for his course.

While I was studying I had to write plenty of such essays as well, and I did well, which is why I decided to take on this job. And as I see, there are plenty of jobs to write such essays floating around on the net. Not just documented essays on literary pieces but also academic essays on a whole variety of topics and subjects. I had recently had to do a 5600 word academic paper on a disease (and the pay was extremely low!) which I will discuss about in another post. Well, the point is, since there are many such jobs available, if you’re a budding freelance writer who is hesitating to take on these jobs because you’re not sure how to handle them, then this post is for you. I just thought I’d share some tips I use to ensure the job is well done.

First of all, all essays need to be documented and include references. So take the time to confirm with your client which type of referencing to use. Mostly, for literature essays they require MLA (Modern Language Association) styled citations – both in text as well as a separate list of references at the end of the essay. Just type in “MLA citation format” into google search and you’ll find plenty of sources teaching you how to create MLA citations properly. You can find the same for other types of referencing as well.

ResearchSecondly, in your online research you’re definitely going to find a lot of sources where the piece you’re analyzing has already been analyzed. Though it’s a smart move to use them as guides, never copy their ideas entirely without adding some of your own in the essay. Word-for-word copying is strictly not acceptable, for that’s plagiarism. If you’re going to list these sources down as references, make sure these sources are reliable academic sources and not just that of a student who did his homework on a blog because his teacher asked him to. If they are not reliable sources, then you MUST rewrite it in your own words. Rephrasing the sentences are still considered plagiarism.

It’s always best to go to the library and check out any books that might be relevant to the topic you’re writing about. Books are always the best resources to show in your list of references.

If you’re more of an online person, then try using Google Scholar ( instead of normal Google search. The results in Google Scholar are mostly always academic resources.

Lastly, before writing down any facts in the essay, take the time to cross reference it with other sources. This will make your essay more credible. For example, for one of the essays I wrote, I had to research into the author’s background and things that happened in her life during the time in which she wrote that particular piece. While doing research for this, I found an online resource giving a good description  of her life and background. However, in another printed source, some details were different (dates, mostly). So I had to do more research to clear out this discrepancy before writing it down in the essay. Then, in my list of references, I included both references, with in-text citations as well.

Literature essays require good analytical skills, and this can drain out your energy easily. It also requires you to think deep and ponder about what the author was trying to portray through the many different uses of literary instruments such as metaphors, similes, symbols, themes etc. You need to be able to think from different points of views and come up with arguable central claims. It is definitely not easy work but if you have the patience you can definitely do a good job.


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