Ways & How

how to write a literary research paper

how to write a literary research paper

Literary research papers are documents that focus on examining poems, books, plays or short stories. Students in literature or English classes are typically required to write these pieces in order to engage their texts more fully. These pieces of writings usually vary in length, tone, and the style of research. Learning how to write a literary research paper requires you provide an expert analysis of your text. The following steps cover the basics of writing a literary research paper:

  1. Create the thesis statement. The thesis statement for the paper is very important, so you must give it special attention. In fact, the statement informs the reader of the overall point of your research paper.

    In this piece of writing, the writer usually provides an argument that can make his subject debatable. It should be noted that the thesis statement is not the summary of a book or any literary material; instead, it is an arguable statement about an aspect of the material. This statement does not need to be specified in the first few sentences of the paper unless the instructor has specified so.

    In addition, the thesis statement may span more than one sentence.

  2. Create a structure by outlining the rest of the paper. In the usual sense, research papers have an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction is an introduction to the topic the writer is going to write. The body, on the other hand, will include the literary argument’s main points, while the conclusion will wrap up the piece. The conclusion usually clarifies or elaborates on aspects presented in the body of the paper.

  3. Cite the sources of your argument. When writing a literary research paper, you need to write the sources of your article. Citations should accompany any direct quotations of information that you borrowed from your sources. This is very vital because they own the original information. It is a way of respecting and acknowledging the real owner of the quoted article. In the event that you only make a summary or paraphrase the information, list the reference material in your bibliography.

  4. Ensure that your research paper is formatted correctly. If the instructor of an English or literary class gives you instructions on how the paper should be formatted, you should follow their requests, including specifications regarding the title page, section, length, reference and bibliography. If the instructor recommends a certain writing style, then it is advisable to follow the instructor’s recommendation. For example, you may have to follow the Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines, depending on your instructor’s wishes.

  5. Your research paper should include a title page. The readers of the research paper should be able to easily forecast what the argument is all about, even if they only see the title page. You also should include your name, your class, and any other important information that the professor requests. Have the piece proofread many times to check if for grammatical and spelling errors before you submit the research paper to your professor.

Now that you have enough knowledge on how to write a literary research paper, the next time you are told to write a literary research paper, you can successfully handle the task. Good luck with your next project.


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