By David B. Pirie
This helpful publication deals the coed of literature distinctive suggestion at the complete technique of serious essay writing, from first dealing with the query all the way through to generating a good replica for ultimate submission to the trainer.
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Additional info for How to Write Critical Essays: A Guide for Students of Literature
Observing techniques of style and structure will save you from mistaking one person’s effort for the word of God. It should also give you useful tips as to how you can make your own criticism more persuasive or amusing. Sample only a few pages of a critical essay and then make a decision as to whether it will prove useful. In some cases, just a few paragraphs may convince you that the author’s topic or approach is too remote from your own and that you must move on to try another essay if you are to find enough genuinely thought-provoking material in the time available.
If this process proves so difficult that it threatens to consume a great deal of time, ask yourself whether you are ready to design a plan and to write your essay. It may be that you still need to do more reading, thinking and note taking. Throughout that earlier stage of researching an answer, you should have been wondering how many issues your essay can explore, and how they relate to each other. As your reading led you to ask one question, you will have been trying to see whether an answer to it must depend on other problems which need to be resolved first.
So beware of patronizing works that you discover were written long ago. On the other hand, do always try to find some articles which have been written recently and which your hard-pressed tutor may not find too familiar. The Modern Language Association publishes annual bibliographies of literary criticism. If you have access to a major library that stocks these and most of the journals where listed articles appeared, do use it. Even if your facilities are more limited, try to find some essays published in the last ten or perhaps fifteen years.