Find useful tips on how to write an interpretive essay. Discover which distinctive features this type of an essay has. Follow the guidelines you will find here.
There is no a student who has never faced a need to write an interpretive essay as this is one of the favorite college assignments in the literature course. It is not a secret that there are not many students who like devoting much time to the literature analysis. However, writing an interpretive essay it is impossible to avoid this. As you may guess from the name of this essay type, it supposes that the writer will interpret the main idea of the literary work expressing his own vision of the subject.
In order to write a good interpretive essay, you will have to take into account that it differs from other academic papers much. Only learning more about its distinctive features you will be able to develop a well-written essay, which should include your attitude to the piece of literature you are going to consider in your work.
There are several steps each interpretive essay should take. The very first thing you should do is to make sure that you have a clear picture of what an interpretive essay is.
What is an Interpretive Essay?
The definition of an interpretive essay may sound like this: “A piece of writing where an essay writer interprets the meaning of an artwork, a literary work or any other subject sharing his own understanding of the main idea.” As a task for such an essay a teacher may use a quote consisting of one or more sentences, which meaning need to be explained.
At first, students should rephrase this quote, showing their understanding of the meaning. Then the author of the essay can either comment on this statement or interpret the meanings laid down in the statement by the author. As a rule, in this type of an essay, a writer is free to refer to the personal experience as well as to the generalization of the social experience (cinema, literature, etc.).
This type of assignment allows the literature teacher to evaluate not only writing skills but first of all an ability to analyze relationships between the characters, situations, which take place, the behavior of the main characters, as well as other subject areas.
Effective Tips for Writing a Top Quality Interpretive Essay
If you have already written essays before, you definitely know that any essay should include three main parts: an introductory part, the main body, and the summary. The interpretive essay is also structured according to these format requirements. However, there are certain things you should take into account if you want to develop an impressive interpretive essay.
● Choose the literary work: First of all, you should brainstorm ideas about the topic of your research. Give preference to those literary works, which have made a strong impression on you. After choosing the work, concentrate on the episode, which you would like to interpret. Imagine that the literary work is a puzzle, which you should divide into separate parts first and then collect again. The same is here. Consider each event, character, activity individually. After having made an analysis of the separate components you may understand the general meaning of the work.
● Make an essay outline: It is much easier to organize your thoughts while making a detailed outline. Remember that you should start with the short introduction, then write your main body consisting of two or three paragraphs where you provide your arguments and the final part is the clear and concise conclusion.
● Support your opinion with the quotes from the text: You should interpret the meaning of the considered literary work in your own words. However, each thought should be supported by the author’s quotes. You may have more than one variant of the meaning interpretation. Depending on how many ideas you have the number of main body paragraphs may vary.
● Find out what literature critics think about the same work: It is a good idea to compare your literature work interpretation with the thoughts of the professionals. If you based on their ideas, you shouldn’t forget to include references. Consider ideas of others but don’t steal their thoughts writing them as your own. You should look for the most original way to express your opinion or even look at the chosen work from another angle.
● Try to be persuasive: Your essay can be called successful if you manage to convince the reader that you are right. Prove that the interpretation you have is worth the attention of your
target audience. To make your statements more powerful you can add citation and quotations from the work.
● Summarize your essay findings: At the end of the paper, you should summarize all ideas briefly. Remember that you shouldn’t give any new information in the final essay part. Write a couple of sentences, which should be logical and meaningful.
● Proofread your essay: Make sure that all characters’ names have been written correctly. The proofreading is a must if you want to be sure that there are no misspellings and grammar mistakes. It is good if you can ask somebody to read your essay as sometimes the writer cannot notice some errors after doing a great job while writing an essay. Pay attention to the formatting style, especially to the references and the title page. Make sure that the work is able to meet all requirements of your college teacher before you hand in the paper.