How to Write a Literature Essay


To give your readers time to prepare before your actual discussion of the book’s merits, you may want to supply them first with highlights of the book. Provide a quick summary of the events, as well as key scenes that defined crucial moments. Introduce your readers to the book’s principal characters. Identify the conflict and discuss how this same conflict was resolved.

So now that your readers have a fair idea of the book’s dynamics, it is time to give way to your thoughts and opinions. Know that in writing a literature essay, it is equally important that you highlight your own understanding and appreciation of the book. This is, after all, one of the things that your reader would be interested to find out. How did the book register to you? What perspective or philosophy did you use in trying to understand this book? What were your key takeaways after reading through it?


Of course, your discussion of your thoughts and opinions should be justified by sound logic and reasoning. In asserting a point, for example, you may want to lift a certain snippet of the book to prove your assertion. You may want to pick a particular scene and use it as your anchor in expounding on an idea.

But you do not necessarily have to limit your discussion with what can be read from the subject book itself. In fact, you can go beyond it and compare it with other books of the same genre, or other outputs by the same author, or other books published in the same era. Juxtaposing the subject book against other books provides you the chance to contextualize it and provide your readers a more well-rounded understanding of the book’s merits.


And finally, wind up your discussion by highlighting aspects of the book that stood out, for better or for the worse. If you were pleased by how the book unfolded, write about it and provide a coherent reason why. Otherwise, identify aspects of the book that did not appeal to you that much and cite ways by which the book could have been written better.