Skip to main content

Writing in Literature: Overview

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

In many ways, writing a paper for an English class is no different than writing one for any other class. You are still required to read the material thoroughly, do research, and make an argument of some kind. An essay on literature does present, however, some unique differences, which can cause trouble for the unprepared writer. These pages will provide you with some ideas on how to deal with those differences.

Getting Started

In English classes, two of the most common paper assignments are writing prompt papers and general research papers. Writing prompts are shorter papers assigned throughout the semester or as in-class assignments. Research papers (term papers) are usually much longer than writing prompt papers and are often due half-way through or near the end of the semester. They usually carry a large percentage of the grade.

Other OWL Resources: