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The Literary Essay is an insightful, critical interpretation of a literary work. It is not a summary of plot, character or other elements of fiction in any given literary work. …you provide your own formal interpretation and/or opinion of the topic
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work, and the author.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee presents
prejudice and discrimination of black people.
What will you prove/show through this
essay about the literary work under
begin with a topic sentence that
clearly introduces the topic in the
paragraph and end with linking
sentences that introduce the next
answering the following questions:
1. What is the topic? How is the topic relevant?
2. How does the topic relate to the literary work?
3. How does topic affect the development of the literary work as a whole?
You DO NOT, however,write your essay in
a “question & answer” format. It must flow
like the literary work itself.
They will help you to interpret
instead of summarizing!
Do not introduce any new information in the conclusion.
Restate your most important points as a means of bringing your argument to a close.
The conclusion is your last chance to prove your opinion to the reader!
1st sentence: General overview of the
2nd & 3rd sentences: Introduction of the author
and the literary work
Additional sentences: Description and/or
development of the
literary work as it pertains
the topic. It’s where you
introduce your argument.
Final sentence: Restatement of the thesis .
Topic Sentence: Introduces only the argument
in this paragraph.
Development consists of
ideas which support the topic
sentence and thesis
Paragraph 4 – Development of third argument
“He stood there until nightfall, and I
waited for him. When we went in the
house I saw he had been crying; his
face was dirty.” (Lee 63)
Author’s last name and page reference
For reasons unfathomable
to the most experienced
prophets in Maycomb County,
autumn turned to winter that year.
We had two weeks of the coldest
weather since 1885 (Lee 63)
Indent 10 spaces
Lee, H. To Kill A Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Warner Books, 1960.
Use MLA format.
Include the literary work in the works consulted list .