English Literature Essays (Examples)

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For some reason, English classes strike fear in the hearts of many students. You may be one of them. Do you find the rigid and irregular rules governing the use of “proper” English intimidating? Do you wish people could just write how they talk? Do you find works of classic literature inaccessible? Do you find writing challenging? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we can help you.

If you find understanding literature to be daunting, we can provide you the help you need. Whether analyzing a classic work by Shakespeare or a modern-classic by Rowling, understanding and analyzing literature has the same basic components. Understanding character, plot, allegories, symbolism, connotation, denotation, and imagery are critical in analyzing all types of literature. For more well-known works, we have study guides available that break down the works into these elements, making them easier to understand and more accessible for readers who are struggling with them. If you are challenged by a lesser-known work, we can craft a custom analysis for you, which you can use alongside the work in order to help increase your understanding. Our goal is to make English more accessible for you.

In fact, English has some of the most complex grammar rules of any language. For some people, the focus on these rules can hamper their ability to express themselves. However, there is no question that good grammar is the first step to effective communication. If you are facing challenges with grammar, our grammar guides can help. Grammar starts with understanding how words work: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunctions, interjections, and prepositions all play different roles in sentence structure. Punctuation seems complicated, but it helps the reader “hear” the words as they would be spoken: commas, colons, semi-colons, apostrophes, quotation marks, question marks, periods, and exclamation points all convey emotions and help the reader understand the writer’s meaning. We can help you master the rules of grammar, so that you can make your writing more effective and understandable.

Even if you have mastered grammar, you may find writing challenging. For formal writing, many people find it difficult to develop a thesis. Furthermore, the movement away from the standard five-paragraph essay structure and to the expository essay format has made structuring an essay or research paper more difficult for many writers. Other people find creative writing to be very challenging. Whether you are struggling to start a writing project or have been hit by writer’s block, our experts can help you improve your writing.

Sometimes the best writers still need help in two areas: proofreading and editing. Many people think of proofreading and editing as the same thing. However, proofreading and editing actually have two different functions. Proofreaders read through a document and mark errors for correction. They ensure that an article, paper, thesis, or other written work is free from grammatical errors. Editors, on the other hand, focus on content in addition to grammar and may suggest substantive changes to make a piece of writing more concise and understandable. 

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English Lit an Analysis of

Words: 915 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 37152390

Even physical relationships are prone to dissolution -- as Webster shows: the lovers are murdered one by one. Webster and the other Jacobeans appear to pine for an era of old world spirituality -- for the new modern world, while full of scientific inquiry and triumph (see Bacon), lacks that sensitivity of soul that could effect true and real humility.

3. For, however, a complete and masterful representation of the many facets of human nature in all its strengths and failings, one need look no further than to the works of Shakespeare, which span both Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. For the folly of kingly pride, there is Lear. For the bitterness of ambition on the murdered conscience, there is Macbeth. For the nature of love and the relationship between man and woman there are the marvelous sonnets 116, 129, and 138: all three of which tackle the subject from a different angle. In 116, we find the definition of true love: "Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove. / Oh no! It is an ever fixed mark / That looks on tempests and is never shaken" (1072). In…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Eliot, T.S. "Whispers of Immortality." American Poems. Web. 27 July 2011.

Elizabeth I. "The Golden Speech." The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Eight

Edition. (M. H. Abrams, ed.) W.W. Norton, 2006.

Shakespeare, William. "Sonnets 116, 129, 138." The Norton Anthology of English
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English by Time to Borrow

Words: 3444 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 45578320


The Norman conquest had forever altered the face of history and the face of the English language.

Middle English

The period thought of as the Middle English period roughly from 1150-1500 is a period that is demonstrative of the massive changes associated with the Norman conquest. Though there is some evidence that French did not completely overtake English in common or official use the language had a great influence upon English via the Normans and the elasticity of the language at its source.

The Middle English period (1150-1500) was marked by momentous changes in the English language, changes more extensive and fundamental than those that have taken place at any time before or since. Some of them were the result of the Norman Conquest and the conditions which followed in the wake of that event. Others were a continuation of tendencies that had begun to manifest themselves in Old English. These would have gone on even without the Conquest, but took place more rapidly because the Norman invasion removed from English those conservative influences that are always felt when a language is extensively used in books and is spoken by an influential educated class. The changes of this period…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Baugh, Albert C. A History of the English Language. 2nd ed. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1959.

Emerson, Oliver Farrar. The History of the English Language. New York: Macmillan, 1894.

McCrum, Robert & MacNeil, Robert. The Story of English: Third Revised Edition. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Spreading the Word; Restore VOA's English-Language Broadcast Funds." The Washington Times 15 Feb. 2006: A19.
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18th Century Literature

Words: 651 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 15362802

English Literature

John Dryden, English poet and critics who was is well-known for his political and religious poetry, explicates on the nature of good writing in his essay, "An essay of dramatic poesy." In this discourse, Dryden looks into the qualities that best defines good writing in literature as a literary work created through three important elements: the work must have a purpose, has a well-conveyed message comprehensible to the reader, and is expressed with wit and intelligence in the simplest and easiest language to understand.

For Dryden, works of literature must be created for a purpose, an honest purpose with strong effectiveness, not a literary works written for the writer's benefit only. This kind of writer, which Dryden identifies as the 'first sort of poetry' -- that is, good poetry -- is synonymous with the writer who is "...so much a well-willer to the satire that he spares no man ... And ... ought to be punished for his action ... " The strong influence of the good writer's work is readily compared with the uninspiring work of the bad writer, who is characterized as one who " ... affects plainless, to cover his want of imagination ... The…… [Read More]


Abrams, M. (Ed.). (2000). The Norton anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1. NY W.W. Norton.
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English Romanticism in the 1790s

Words: 3717 Length: 12 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 45643615

"O Sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods, / How often has my spirit turned to thee!" (http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/ballads.html) Now, the poet wishes to "transfer" the healing powers of nature that he himself has experienced to his sister. By stating."..Nature never did betray / the heart that loved her" (http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/ballads.html) Wordsworth assures his sister that she will also find peace in the middle of nature if she believes in the communion with nature. This prediction is an artifice of the poem and is not simple. "Wordsworth's ability to look to the future to predict memories of events that are happening in the present is ingenious and complicated. But Wordsworth beautifully clarifies this concept by using nature as the ideal link between recollection, foresight, and his relationship with another."(Eilenberg, Susan. Strange power of Speech: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Literary Possession. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Moreover, by imagining the future of his sister, Wordsworth feels that only by a common connection with nature, he and his sister can be tied together even after death, because nature makes them one soul that can read the same book of nature. "My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch / the language of…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Ed. Beth Newman. Boston: St. Martin's, 1996.

Baudelaire, Charles. Selected Writings on Art and Literature. London:

Penguin, 1992.

Spector, Jack the State of Psychoanalytic Research in Art History. The Art
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English in Your Opinion Which

Words: 674 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 57947073

" (Frankel, 1963, pg. 122) This is important, because it show how studying Holocaust literature can teach everyone something about themselves that they may not have been fully aware of.

Choose one of the short stories you've read during this lesson and explain how it meets or does not meet the requirements of a modern short story, as explained in your text. Your response should be at least three paragraphs long, explain the criteria you used to evaluate the story, and explain whether or not the story meets the criteria

The story that was evaluated was Mans Search for Meaning. Technically, this fits the definition of short story by: talking about events that actually occurred (in an investigative format). This is important, because it show how this piece of literature would follow pattern of many authors, by discussing various events that had an impact on their lives. (Frankel, 1963)

The way that this was determined was through examining the way the story was told and the time frame that it took place. In Mans Search for Meaning, Frankel limits the overall scope of the literature to the point that he was focused on the how the events would have an…… [Read More]


Frankel, V. (1963). Mans Search for Meaning. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
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English Litreture Responsibility Obligation Suffering and Sacrifice

Words: 800 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 76295981

English Litreture

Responsibility, Obligation, Suffering and Sacrifice in James Joyce's Eveline

Eveline, by James Joyce, tells the story of a young woman with an unhappy life due to the responsibilities placed on her by others, as well as those she has placed on herself. Eveline's life is controlled and constrained by the responsibilities which have created obligations and suffering. Eveline's life has become inescapable, even when she has the chance to run away to Buenos Aires with the man she loves, she finds herself unable to run away from her responsibilities, accepting a life of obligation and suffering. Joyce appears to be showing the reader that responsibility causes suffering, and that despite the feeling of obligations, the suffering is eventually meaningless, bringing nothing but more misery.

Eveline is the story of a women reminiscing and reconsidering her decision to leave Dublin for a new life. Her life has not been happy, even in her childhood her father is portrayed as brutish, hunting his children down with a blackthorn stick when they played in the fields (Joyce 1). This is the past and the melancholy feeling the narrative provides is emphasized by with the accounting of those who have been lost,…… [Read More]

Work Cited

Joyce, James, Eveline, text supplied by the student, also available at  http://www.online-literature.com/james_joyce/959/
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English - Skepticism Cynicism Skepticism vs

Words: 344 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 36814284

Without some degree of academic skepticism, one would be influenced by whichever analysis or interpretation happened to be presented first, even though it might be incorrect. In ordinary non- academic life as well, skepticism is an appropriate perspective because the beliefs and claims of others are often ignorant, biased, or questionable in their motivation. The old adage "if it seems too good to be true it probably is" is an example of prudence in ordinary life that is an expression of healthy skepticism..





Negative Connotations:

Difference between Skepticism & Cynicism

Skepticism is more objective

Open-mindedness vs. preexisting negative expectations Cynicism:

Cynicism is subjective

Bias vs. Blank Slate Concept

Skepticism and Literature Analysis:

Appropriate academic perspective

Alternative would mean accepting first analysis of everything

Skepticism in Ordinary Life:

If it seems too good to be true it probably is… [Read More]

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English I Agree With the Statement That

Words: 1224 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 43758402


I agree with the statement that English is the world's most important language. The importance lies in the breadth of English spoken, rather than the depth. In addition, English is already understood to be the world's de facto second language. Removing English from dominance would require the emergence of another language whose prominence could match it. Lastly, English is the most important language and will continue to be because of its flexibility. There are no other languages in the world that meet these criteria and as such there are no serious threats to the use of English today. This paper will outline these arguments in explaining why English is the most important language in the world today, and refute some of the counterarguments in support of other languages.

The first advantage that English has over all other languages is the breadth of its spread. Languages like Hindi or Mandarin have more speakers, but those speakers are concentrated geographically and culturally. There are other languages that have some geographic breadth -- Spanish, Russian and Arabic are all spoken in over a dozen countries by hundreds of millions of people. However, English combines these factors as exceeds them. Part of this…… [Read More]

Works Cited:

Article 1.

Article 3.

Article 4.

CIA World Factbook. (2012). GDP by purchasing power parity. [online] Retrieved November 26, 2012 from  https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2001rank.html
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English Looking Critically at The

Words: 944 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 5196920

Similarly central to Woolf's aesthetic is the tension between the individual's public personae and his or her 'private' self. Through a range of biographical, autobiographical, and fictional strategies, Woolf explore the extent to which the private self can be conceptualised as a fixed, unitary, and bounded identity. ("Reflections on the Self," Page 44)

The looking-glass or mirror represents, in a way, the self, and it also is a device by which the self can be explored and articulated. The voice of the narrator is one that is blended. The narrator is both the narrator and the character that is being described. The narrator is also the voice of the author. The blending of these voices into one voice, not always necessarily coherent and smooth, is a technique that underscores the content and the themes of "The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection." Reflection upon one's life is not always positive, which might be the overall point of the story. Once the character/narrator/author reflects upon Tyson's life because of the looking-glass, the truth of her life is plain and inescapable. She is a lonely person with little or no meaningful human contact. The opening and closing line of the story is…… [Read More]


Howard, Stephen. "The Lady in the Looking-Glass: Reflections on the self in Virginia Woolf." Journal of International Women's Studies, Vol. 8, No. 5, 44 -- 54, 2007.

Squier, Susan. "Mirroring and Mothering: Reflections on the Mirror Encounter Metaphor in Virginia Woolf's Works." Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 27, No. 3, 272 -- 288, 1981.

Woolf, Virginia. "The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection." Provided.
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English II Teacher to Kill

Words: 606 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 9285781

Scout and Jem are likewise tormented by their classmates because of their father's courageous decision to defend an obviously innocent man. Scout already hates school and feels like a persecuted mockingbird in its controlled, conformist environment. She would rather be playing with her brother and her best friend Dill. School is yet another example of the ways in which society can be cruel and persecutory of people who are 'different.'

Scout is not above hurting other people, however. When she is humiliated by her teacher because she explains why a poor boy named Walter cannot afford even to borrow money for lunch and her teacher reprimands her, Scout turns against Walter by beating him up during lunchtime. Before she is saved by Boo, she is frightened of him and she and her friends make up stories about him, because they fear what they do not understand. It is this misunderstanding and fear that creates 'mockingbirds' -- both at school, and also in the hateful behavior of people like the Ewells, who attempt to keep African-Americans in their place, to bolster their own social reputation.

A final question that must be asked is if poor, ostracized 'white trash' like the Ewells…… [Read More]

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English Have Learned Valuable Communication

Words: 631 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 61913462

A appreciate the fact that this English course also included sections on writing effective narrative papers. I found narrative papers to be fun to write because they involve storytelling and rich descriptive language. I feel more creative writing narrative papers, which is why I prefer writing them, as opposed to research papers. When we write narrative papers, I can draw from personal experience, which makes the writing process easier than it is during the process of writing a research paper. Also, the techniques of writing narrative papers differ from the techniques of writing research and persuasive papers. Organization and focus is important, but the paper can be less formal in a narrative essay.

A found literary analysis papers to be among the most difficult to write. I found it very helpful to encounter some of the common techniques for approaching literary criticism. Learning about the different formats such as MLA was helpful, and I do feel that I have improved in my writing skills after learning some of the proper techniques of writing literary analysis papers. Because I do enjoy reading, I feel that my writing will improve as I write more about literature in the future.

Some of the…… [Read More]