Developing A Thesis For A Literary Essay: Basic Writing Tutorial


Similar to opinion pieces, the purpose of a literary essay to inform your audience. Although the biggest thing that sets a literary essay apart from opinion pieces is the length of the paper, the aim is not to persuade the reader about what you believe, but rather to be a critical and insightful interpretation of a piece of literature. In essence, you are using ideas and information that may have the result of affecting the way your reader thinks.

Part of your writing may include the use of some personal reflection and involve particular experience you have had. Another characterization that sets this type of essay apart from other pieces that may be written is that it is critical to evince a feeling of language and establish that you have strong command of the various techniques used in writing. In simple terms, it must be well-written.

The thesis


It takes a lengthy process of thinking and research to develop a proper statement. You will need to collect and organize the evidence you are going to use, look for contrasting or similar relationships between the facts you know, and consider how these relationships are significant. A good statement should:

  • explain how you will interpret to the reader what makes the subject matter significant
  • allow the reader to get a view of what they should expect to read during the paper
  • not rely on opinion

Steps to complete before writing the statement


  • Ensure that you completely understand the literal meaning that the author was attempting to convey. Also be certain that you have a firm grasp on the characters and the plot.
  • Annotate as you go along. Make a list of the comments, questions, and reactions you have to what you are reading.
  • Utilize a character map to keep track of any possible changes in your feelings about the characters as you go along.
  • Review all of your notes.
  • Determine what questions intrigue you about the work. Find the most interesting to you and answer it. Your answer is your working thesis statement.

Tips on statement writing


  • Make sure that your statement is clearly asserted and prominently featured in the introduction.
  • Be certain that you have stated the main point.
  • An important elemental question about the literary work should be answered.
  • Be ready for your thesis to evolve as your work progresses and change it accordingly.

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