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Literary Criticism for Students (and anyone else)

A guide to researching literary criticism online and at the library

Writing Your Paper

All your planning has paid off. You've done your research, completed your note-taking, you're on schedule, and ready to write your paper. It should be easy but writing a literary research paper can be a challenging experience. Things to consider as you go through the process:

  • Review your teacher's instructions for the paper in terms of length, formatting, documentation style, etc. and make sure to adhere to them. There is no point in submitting a 20-page paper if your teacher only requires 5.
  • As you write your paper, make sure that when you use the words or ideas of another person that the use is properly documented.
  • Save each draft on your computer. Later on, you might decide you would like to use some of that earlier material.
  • As you continue through the writing process, print out an occasional hard copy of your paper as a back up in case of computer problems.
  • Leave plenty of time for revision and proofreading. Last-minute papers, produced in all-night sessions, just before the paper is due, preclude careful reviewing.
  • Proofread your paper personally in addition to using a spell checker. The spell checker will only pick up misspelled words, not incorrect words.
  • Deliver your paper on time, and according to your teacher's specifications.  After all the effort you put in, you do not want to be penalized for being tardy.

Internet Resources

Read About Writing