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How to Write an Interpretive Essay: Tips and Examples

Why Do You Need to Write a Good Interpretive Essay?

Most subject teachers will set you around 15 different essays to write during each year. Of course, each one will need to be written in a way that not only answers the prompt that the tutor has set you, it also needs to be interesting. Only then will you get the grades that you are looking for when you write your essay.

An interpretive essay is one in which you will review a piece of literature and provide the reader with your interpretation of the point that the author is trying to convey. It is not simply a summary of what has been said by the author. Writing a simple summary of the work being reviewed will certainly not get you the grades that you will need for your course.

Writing a good literary analysis essay is not a simple task and many students will struggle and despite their best efforts may submit an essay that fails to actually deliver what is being asked of them. This is why it is often best to seek out help with your writing from professional services such as ours which can provide you with help and advice that will aid you with your writing.

Could You Use a Literary Analysis Essay Sample?

One way to see just how your paper should be put together is to look at a literary analysis essay sample. Examples are a great way to see what literary analysis format and structure should be employed and the sorts of things that you should cover. What you should never do however is to simply copy them as this would be plagiarism and could get you removed from your course.

interpretive essay sample

Tips for Writing an Interpretive or Literary Analysis Essay

Start by first remembering that you are not going to writing a simple summary, so you are not going to be able to get away with just skimming through the work to find a few key points or reading the back cover. Writing a good interpretive paper requires you to fully understand what the work has to say which means you are going to have to read it.

The following are some easy to follow tips which will help you to craft an essay that will be worthy of the grades that you are looking for:

  • Read and read again: read through the work once and then read through it again to ensure that you fully understand what it really has to say. It may takes several times to be able to identify the key points that the author is trying to communicate and you should take some careful notes to identify the key ideas and passages.
  • Develop your thesis: how do you interpret what the author is really trying to say. There may be more than one way to look at the work and you will need to nail down just what you want to highlight for your own essay. It can be helpful to brainstorm this interpretation with other students.
  • Create an outline for your essay: often a simple 5 paragraph essay structure will be sufficient for you to write an essay of this form. Write simple notes under each section to form your outline as this will help you to clearly organize your own ideas and writing.

The following is what should be covered:

  • The introduction: Introduce the author, the title of the work and provide a brief summary of it. Make your thesis statement: what you feel is the authors purpose and message
  • The main body: for a 5 paragraph essay this would be 3 paragraphs each introducing a separate piece of evidence to support your thesis.
  • The conclusion: Summarize the evidence you have provided. Do not add any additional evidence, show how it clearly supports your thesis. Make a personal comment regarding the work
  • Review your work carefully: Does it have a logical flow and read well? Is your opening attention-grabbing so that you make the reader want to read? Did you use compelling evidence? Does your conclusion support your original thesis? Have you removed all writing errors such as grammatical and spelling mistakes?

Understanding fully what you have been asked to interpret is vital to writing this essay. As Amy Sterling Casil says:

quote about literary analysis

If you are still struggling with how to write your interpretive essay our specialist services can provide you with support through some of the best writers and editors that you will find online!