Essay Writing

How to Structure an English Literature Essay

How to Structure an English Literature Essay (AS and A-Level)

 

Understanding how to structure an essay can be difficult so we asked Hannah one of our English Literature Tutors to guide you through the process.

 

1.  Introduction

  • Use the opening paragraph to frame the project, i.e. what you intend to prove/analyse in this essay to show your individual and original perspective on the text.
  • Introduce the text as a construct making comments about why the text has been written and the context in which it has been produced.
  • Include, in a succinct manner, the following: names of text and author and dates of publication/performance, some brief explanation of text’s reception and its context and a concise consideration of the relevant themes of the text.
  • The key to a successful introduction is brevity, establishing the basic facts of the text whilst employing a clear critical voice: this will immediately establish an academic register in your writing.

 

2.   Thesis

  • In this section you outline your argument in response to the title question, clearly sign posting to the reader what you intend to do in the essay.
  • Acknowledge the terms of the question to discuss what the implications of the question are in terms of how you are going to write your response.
  • Use this section to introduce your own interpretation of the question, adopting an individual critical voice to show your engagement with the text by expressing yourself imaginatively and creatively in your writing.
  • As with the introduction, the thesis should be brief and succinct, giving the reader a general but engaging summary of what you intend to argue throughout your essay.

 

3.  Main Body Paragraphs

  • This will make up the majority of your essay and is where you explore each point of your argument.  You want to ensure that each paragraph has one significant point which is supported with evidence from the text which you then unpack, explain and explore in relation to your thesis.  Ensure that the point you make in each paragraph is relevant to the argument in your thesis and sustainable through textual evidence.
  • The following outline is a useful guideline for structuring each body paragraph:
    (a) Point – opening the paragraph by stating the point you intend to make. This needs to be one of the ideas that is contributing to your overall thesis.
    (b) Evidence from text – this can either be an embedded quotation that enhances or examples the point you are making about the text OR a brief description of something from the text that supports your idea.  Your evidence should be carefully chosen to clearly and efficiently back up the point that you are trying to prove.
    (c) Exploration of evidence and idea – this element of the paragraph is crucial as you are trying to prove an argument by bringing your point and textual evidence together to explore your idea.  Explain how your chosen quotation demonstrates your idea and comment on the quotation in its context, e.g. relevant remarks about how the language used by the writer shows how they are trying to achieve a particular effect.  Justify the credibility of your argument through a convincing exploration of your ideas.
    (d) Refer back to the thesis – having acknowledged the terms of the question and established what your argument will be in the thesis section, you need to show how what you have written in the body paragraph is relevant to your argument.  A couple of sentences on this is effective for showing how the analysis you have just made is proving the argument of your essay.
  • This section is where you lay out your argument, moving from observation to analysis to write an intelligent and convincing response to the question. Be efficient in your choice of quotations and textual evidence; using only what you need shows a succinct and thought-out response.  Within these paragraphs always signpost where you are going with your argument to guide the reader through your ideas for a clear and concise writing style.

 

*Improve your grades with our expert English Literature Tutors*

 

4.   Conclusion

  • The conclusion of an essay is an opportunity for you to give a final, original perspective on the text. It should not be a re-iteration of the introduction or a repetition of the points of your argument.  Instead, you should briefly summarise how the ideas you have written about overall agree or disagree with the title question and provide your own definitive response to the title question.
  • The conclusion is where you can demonstrate your engagement with the text on a personal, as well as intellectual, level; it is an opportunity to be creative and inventive in your writing by offering the reader a final insight that they might not have thought about.  You should ensure that what you say about the text in the conclusion is something that you haven’t had the opportunity to write about in the rest of the essay.  However, keep the conclusion in proportion and avoid tangents that might obscure the positive points you have made previously: be original, yet concise.
  • Some ways that you can conclude an essay might be:
    (a) Commenting on your personal reaction to the text.
    (b) Commenting on how the text still holds relevance for readers in the present day.
    (c) Commenting on why the text is successful as a work of literature in terms of its characters, themes or structure.

Overall, excellent essay-writing must be logical, persuasive and creative, teaming your personal engagement with the text with the ability to observe, analyse and argue a series of coherent and concise points.  A well-written essay demonstrates a thorough understanding of the text as well as a unique perspective on a range of ideas presented in the text.  Logical argument, close knowledge of the text and an individual response will make your essay stand out from the crowd.

Contact Tavistock Tutors today for more information on how to perfect your English literature essay.

For More English Literature Tutors at a specific level see these pages:

English GCSEEnglish A-LevelEnglish IBEnglish PostgraduateEnglish Undergraduate

Additional resources:

How to Write an English Essay
Essay Structure
Essay Structure Debunked

We Are Here To Help

We have hundreds of tutors available right now to help you improve and succeed. From a one hour session online to a full academic
year of face to face lessons, all it takes is five minutes for us to take down your information. We can then find you the most suitable tutors.

Eyup Ozcan
Eyup Ozcan
14:43 24 Feb 20
In the beginning of university terms I was struggling with a few assignments (statistics and research methods specifically). I had contacted many tutoring companies but non of them were able to meet my requirements i.e. some of them were just looking to get their money, some had conditions of how many session you could book and some didn't have the necessary qualifications that were suited for my needs.I had then found Tavistock tutors, they put me through with one of their best statistical tutors they had. I got an email straight away from her and we started working on the assignment and in a few sessions, the assignment was all up to date and I was ready to submit it with great confidence.Tavistock tutors is an amazing company that is worth the investment, they provide you with top class tutors, continuous support outside your lessons as well as being able to match you up with the correct tutor. whenever I need a tutor, all I do is message them on WhatsApp with my requirements and in a day or two, they've found me a perfect tutor.So far I've had great success with tutors in the fields of statistics and research methods as well as medicine related. Really happy with the services I've been given, don't be put of by the membership price, its worth it ;).read more
Muna Ali
Muna Ali
11:48 29 Jan 20
Great service, friendly staff and prompt customer service. Highly qualified selection of tutors and decent price for security and piece of mind.
natalie kanfer
natalie kanfer
15:32 21 Jan 20
By far the best tutoring agency I have ever worked with!
Elena Serena Piccardi
Elena Serena Piccardi
11:26 19 Oct 19
I have been working with Tavistock Tutors for 3 years.I tutor undergraduate and postgraduate students disciplines such as research methods/advanced research methods, SPSS, data analysis, psychology and I also offer support to clients interested in pursuing an academic career (cv and interview preparation).My experience with Tavistock Tutors has been exceptionally good since the very beginning. Each member of the team is striving to provide the best and most personalised service to both students and tutors. This approach helps students achieve their goals and be inspired by tutors, whilst supporting tutors' growth and development of teaching/tutoring skills.Each member of the Tavistock Tutors team is exceptionally passionate about the incredible work they do to help students succeed. Their organisation is fantastic across all the stages of the process: from informing tutors about potential tutoring requests, to communicating any additional personalised requests students might have, to dealing with requests from tutors themselves. Further, their communication is always so friendly and positive: I love interacting with each of them! 😊Overall, I believe this is the finest tutoring agency in London (and probably beyond London!). The tutors are exceptionally talented and a true inspiration for students! As one of the tutors, I cannot be happier I made the decision to join the team a few years ago! They truly made me a better person and supported my personal growth as an individual and as an educator.read more
Melodie Argi
Melodie Argi
08:14 18 Oct 19
Tavistock tutors is by far the best tutor agency is London. The tutor selection is of the highest quality. Handpicked from the British intellectual elite in all sorts of disciplines. The staff is wonderfully helpful as well as being extremely attentive to feedback.read more
Henry Smith
Henry Smith
22:27 17 Oct 19
I have been employed as a tutor with Tavistock Tutors for over 5 years. I tutor mathematics and also help people with job preparation for different career routes (cv, cover letter, interview preparation and online test prep). They are simply a wonderful team of individuals who work collectively and strive to deliver the best possible service to both clients and their tutors. They work doggedly to achieve results. They are particularly honest and their feedback to tutors on how to improve is tailored, concise and always highly constructive. Even after 5 yrs, they only put me forward as a tutor if they think I am the absolute best they can find otherwise they are honest with me and explain why I was not put forward. I think this transparency is a huge reason for their success and keeps the best tutors on their books for years. Their communication on what a client wants is also clinically precise and effective and the team go out of their way to provide potential interests/passions of the client to help the tutor prepare accordingly for the lessons and nurture that interaction. Simply the finest agency and I have tutored with some of the best. World-class tutors and utmost confidentiality with respect to their clientele. I cannot be happier to work for them, a dream job with a team whose capacity for kindness, empathy and boundless intellect never ceases to amaze me. Their work ethic inspires me to relentlessly push myself to be a better tutor with their encouragement and constructive feedback.read more
Albert Tam
Albert Tam
20:50 17 Oct 19
Best tutors in London! Great experience and amazing customer service. Highly recommend, my tutors were all fantastic and a huge help. Really recommend Tavistock Tutors as I never had to worry about not getting the highest quality tutors unlike other agencies and online tutors.read more
I ME
I ME
16:13 17 Oct 19
I’ve used Tavistock multiple times and they never disappoint!I used them for myself secondary school, whilst at university and even now whilst working. Their service is second to none as are their tutors.I highly recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves academically or personally.read more
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
13:22 06 Oct 19
Why most reviewers have one contribution, namely to the Tavistock Tutors?High standards ? Mate get a real job rather than living off other's qualifications.Reality Check(See photos attached - that is the owner “looking for me” 1.5 years after leaving London and while my name and photo was on first page of Tavistock Tutor website...)read more
Jonathan Aaron
Jonathan Aaron
16:39 01 Aug 19
Amazing experience, the tutor was reliable, knowledgeable and reasonably priced and the company was both professional and reliable. Definitely will be using them again!read more
David T
David T
16:34 01 Aug 19
I used Tavistock for some Corporate Finance and Financial Modelling training at my firm. They were extremely helpful and the trainer, Simon, was of top quality, experience and charged a fair price. Thank you!read more
Olivia Pluss
Olivia Pluss
11:05 13 Jun 19
I had a fantastic experience with my tutor Elena and Tavistock Tutors. They were very well organized and made the entire experience so seamless and easy for me. I passed my assignment with great marks and the experience was much less stressful than if I had tried to complete the assignment without Elena's help.read more
J Mathews
J Mathews
11:27 22 May 19
My child used Glenda for HL biology. Glenda was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend her. Extremely intelligent, always prepared, knows how to teach/very helpful, and also just a nice person. Also, I would use Tavistock again for sure because we had such success with Glenda.read more
Alan Radford
Alan Radford
09:34 09 May 19
Tavistock Tutors were a delight to deal with, and highly professional at all times. They provided my daughter with an excellent tutor at very short notice - after my having approached them on a Thursday urgently requesting a tutor for that weekend. Tavistock Tutors immediately gave the matter their attention; they appreciated the urgency and responded quickly and efficiently, and helped to set my daughter up with exactly the right sort of tutor. Fantastic!read more
Sophie Taieb
Sophie Taieb
12:55 29 Mar 19
Very happy with Tavistock tutors services. They provide a wide range of tutors, from all backgrounds and for all types of needs. My uni son needed some help in research and methodology. We found a perfectly suited tutor in less than 3 days. He is very knowledgeable, punctual, open minded and brings the support needed to my son. I would definitely recommend Tavistock tutorsread more
Next Reviews

How to analyse form in an English essay (13+/GCSE/A-level)

Stuck on analysing form in literature? Tavistock Tutors are here to help…
Whether one is helping a student analyse a play or article, a proper consideration of form is crucial. Yet 'form' is a...

6 Reasons To Hire A Tutor For Your Child

Most children will come across several challenges with learning during their school journey. The desire of most parents is to boost their kids enthusiasm for learning, build educational self-esteem an...

How To Utilize Your Summer Holidays?

Holidays are the best period for many students as they are free from their daily school activities. You’ll never get such blissfully long holidays when you’re working — so make the most of them....

Call Now Button