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09/04/2019

What makes a good literature essay?

QUESTION
What makes a good literature essay?
I am asked to explain portia’s state of mind in julius Caesar, Shakespeare, please give me some tips on what makes a good literature essay, so that I would get a good grade

ANSWER
Your paper should have a thesis.
e.g.: Huck Finn exemplifies a young boy’s natural maturation, from adolescence to young adulthood.

Second, each paragraph should consist of several parts:
*Interpretive statement about the text:
e.g.: Huck Finn individuates over the course of the novel.
*Definition:
e.g.: To individuate means to express individual opinion, think critically, and separate one’s conscioussness from society at large.
*Supporting evidence or quote:
e.g.: Huck Finn says at the end of the novel he doesn’t want to be “sivilized” by Sally, as he has “been there before” (287). [Elsewhere I would have defined “sivilized” to equate to “conformity” based on textual evidence.]
*Explanation of the quote:
e.g.: This resistance to conformity and distrust of society at large is normal in the individuation process. It is a natural unfolding of Huck’s consciousness in the maturation process. [Etc.]

Also, use transitions in your paragraphs: raise an idea at the end of one paragraph to be used in the next. Use plenty of quotes (at least one per paragraph) that are relevant AND explained/elaborated upon immediately. Hold your reader’s hand through your thinking process. Program them.