Basic Rules For Writing A Literary Essay: A Manual For Middle School Students


What are the characteristics that make a piece of good writing stand out from the rest? If you think about it, your essay will become like a piece of literary art when finished. It must be clear and succinct for your readers to be engaged.

Be prepared to do some expanding on certain elements of your essay and then discuss them. First of all you will need to develop your thesis. Decide what you are going to analyze or argue and then what your reasoning is. After that you can plan how you will organize your reasons and evidence.

  1. Formulate your thesis. This sentence will express your main idea and what you want to accomplish in your essay. It could be a question or a statement. When you are forming your thesis, ask yourself what your objective is.
  2. Parts of a good thesis statement include what significance your argument entails, and it should appear as the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. This lets the reader know what’s coming up in the body of the paper.
  3. Your introduction should begin with something relevant an interesting, such as a quotation, interesting fact, irony, analogy or paradox. This will catch the reader’s attention and keep them riveted in reading.
  4. The body paragraphs must support your argument. Gather all the evidence and information you have gleaned from the research. Organize it into an outline. This will help you stay focused and not miss out on any important points. Emphasize the essential elements that contribute to the support of the thesis statement. You should only have one major point in each paragraph.
  5. You must use transition sentences between each paragraph to maintain a flow and consistency throughout the written work. The logic of the paper will seem scattered if you don’t take the reader smoothly from one main idea to the next.
  6. Your strongest supporting idea should be presented first, followed by the weaker ones in descending order. The conclusion should wrap these all together and state what the overall accomplishment of the paper was. The conclusion is the last thing the reader reads and therefore should be the most memorable. It is simply a summary of what has already been stated in the essay; don’t put any new ideas into the conclusion. Reiterating doesn’t mean repeating with the same words. Make sure the concluding paragraph doesn’t sound redundant.