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Writing in Literature: Overview

Summary:

These sections describe in detail the assignments students may complete when writing about literature. These sections also discuss different approaches (literary theory/criticism) students may use to write about literature. These resources build on the Writing About Literature materials.

Contributors:J. Case Tompkins
Last Edited: 2010-04-21 08:26:35

In many ways, writing a paper for an English class is no different than writing one for any other class. You are still required to read the material thoroughly, do research, and make an argument of some kind. An essay on literature does present, however, some unique differences, which can cause trouble for the unprepared writer. These pages will provide you with some ideas on how to deal with those differences.

Getting Started

In English classes, two of the most common paper assignments are writing prompt papers and general research papers. Writing prompts are shorter papers assigned throughout the semester or as in-class assignments. Research papers (term papers) are usually much longer than writing prompt papers and are often due half-way through or near the end of the semester. They usually carry a large percentage of the grade.

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