Pellissippi HOME | Library Site A-Z

Literary Criticism: 4. Write Your Paper

Write Your Paper

Literary Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement will be the foundation of your paper. It will outline what will be discussed throughout the body of the paper. For this reason, you want to spend enough time formulating your thesis so that it is strong and clear. 
  • Do your research and look at Work Overviews before finalizing your thesis statement.
  • Review the notes you took while rereading your literary work of choice.
  • Think about what points you want to get across in your paper.

To help get you started, this video provides some good examples of literary thesis statements.

The following video provides guidance and tips for writing a comparative thesis statement.

Organize and Write Your Paper​

Outlines are important for organizing your ideas. They help structure paragraphs, ensure all information needed is covered, and keep you on track towards a finish line!


Outline Example

I. Introduction

A. Try to begin your Intro in a way that will encourage readers to want to read more.

  •  Example: A quote from the literary work you will be covering. 

B. Name the work and author you will be covering. Discuss the issue, possibly even give a brief synopsis, and how it plays into your argument. 

C. Clearly state your thesis. The thesis statement will outline the concepts covered in the body of the paper.

II. Body

A. Begin body paragraphs with a topic sentence. A topic sentence will outline what the paragraph will present.

B. Provide analysis and evidence from the text to backup your argument.

C. Have a closing sentence at the end of each body paragraph that transitions into your next paragraph. 

III. Conclusion

A. Summarize your main points.

B. Demonstrate why your argument is important.

C. Have at least one sentence to wrap up.


It can be helpful to focus on one aspect of revision at a time. Here are a few tips for breaking revision up into manageable steps:

  1. Step away from your essay for a day or even a few hours so that you can read it with fresh eyes.
  2. With the first revision, be sure you main points are clear and worry about commas and spelling later.
  3. Check your organization: Do your ideas flow from one point to the next in a clear and logical way?
  4. Check your thesis and supporting arguments: Do you have enough information to support your main idea?
  5. Check your conclusion: Does your final paragraph tie up the lose ends in a satisfying way?
  6. Check for smaller corrections like spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Sometimes reading your work aloud can help you find grammar errors or confusing wording.

Remember, writing tutors are available to help you. For online help, submit a Microsoft Word doc and your assignment/rubric using your PSCC email to​ Responses could take up to 48 hours.