Guidelines for Writing a Proper English Essay


1)     When writing a paper on a novel or play, mention the title and author in your opening paragraph or second paragraph (depending on opening style)

*opening paragraph = introductory paragraph

2)     State the purpose of your essay (in the fewest words possible) in the introductory paragraph.

3)     Always underline titles of novels (on the title page), except in a text and then you italicize it. Don’t put the title in quotes at any time.

4)     Never begin a paragraph with a quote. It is only allowed to be used as a catchy opening for your introductory paragraph.

5)     Don’t assume I know who the characters are when you mention them, give the back0up information to identify them. Pretend I don’t know anything about the novel and that I haven’t read it. On the other hand, don’t re-tell me the story as your paper.

6)     Be specific! Say exactly what happened – don’t be general with examples, it shows a lack of knowledge.

7)     Keep the same tense throughout the whole essay. The guideline calls to use the past tense in a formal essay revolving around a novel.

8)     Avoid using catch phrases – they make the essay too casual.

     Ex. “…something like that” or “…if you know what I mean.”