Writing A 5-Paragraph Literary Essay: An Outline

A literary essay will require you to examine and analyse a piece of literature. Essentially, you may take a novel or a poem or some other piece of literature and try and discuss how effective it was, as well as highlighting any of the best and worst parts relating to the work. Of course, some pieces of literature are almost faultless, whilst others may be full of negative aspects. Furthermore, a literary essay will generally be based upon a mixture of subjective and objective evaluations and, therefore, whilst you may be able to examine the quality of the work according to common standards, there will be some aspects of your paper that will be based on personal opinions.

There are various different styles of academic paper that can be used when writing a literary essay; however, the following will provide an outline of how to write the work based on a five paragraph structure.

Introducing the literature that you will be discussing

Your first paragraph will be the introduction, and this is where you will introduce the reader to the piece of literature that you will be discussing. As well as stating the title of the piece of literature that you will be referring to, you may also include various details about what the literature is about. Equally, you may also wish to provide the reader with more information relating to any aspects of the literature that you had to evaluate.

Essentially, the introduction should inform the reader not only about the literature that you will evaluate, but should also provide them with an understanding of what to expect from the rest of your work.

The body section

With a five paragraph structure, you will have the middle three paragraphs to use as the body section. The body section should highlight any important evaluations or pieces of analysis that you wish to include.

Ultimately, you do not have a huge amount of space to use, seeing as you are limited to only three paragraphs, and also the fact that each paragraph should refer to a new point. Therefore, your paper will essentially described and evaluate three aspects of the literature that you are discussing.

Concluded the work

Your final paragraph will be your conclusion, and this is where you will give your final thoughts, which should refer only to any points brought up in the body section, and not any new ideas or arguments that you wish to put forward.

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