The very first tip on Literary essays is to avoid going for such topics unless no other option is available. Only those aspirants should risk choose such topics as their first option who have strong academic background or a great aptitude for English literature. Given below are some useful tips which would be quite helpful for you in case you are going to write essay on a literary topic:

1. Comprehend the topic statement
Read the topic statement again and again and comprehend it in all its bearing before working on it. Usually such topics are very tricky and difficult to understand.

2. Write outline smartly
Prepare outline of the essay just the way you would do for other types of essays. This outline, however, would be much different in its body structure and length. Instead of focusing on causes, impacts and recommendations, you should forward more and more arguments in favour of the stance that you have taken.
If the topic allows so, you may go against it. However, it would be wise only if you have extremely solid arguments supported with relevant evidence.

3. Give an impressive introduction
In introductory paragraph, try to make it clear to the examiner that you have fully comprehended the topic and are fully aware of what your stance is going to be. The length of the introductory paragraph should be 3/4th to one full page of an A4 size paper.
Since examiners go through the introductory paragraph very meticulously, it should be exquisitely crafted using suitable vocabulary and idioms.

4. Present solid arguments

While substantiating your stance, use arguments based on logic as well as historical facts. Every argument should be delineated in a separate paragraph. At the start of these paragraphs, give paragraph statement i.e. narrate what your point is, and then prove it with evidence.

5. Provide quotations and references
Use of quotations, facts and figures and references from sources like books, etc. is absolutely imperative. Similarly, you should quote philosophers, writers and poets as maximum as possible. Your arguments should, however, be highly relevant to the topic; the policy of beating about the bush without coming to the main point can prove extremely fatal, in case of literary essays, particularly.

6. Use vocabulary wisely
In literary essay, the presentation of arguments is somewhat different from the other routine essays. Whereas the focus in a routine essay is on what the argument is, in literary essay it is on how it is being forwarded. Selection of words is, therefore, of much more importance in literary essays.

7. Read a lot
As you will be in preparation phase right now, you should start reading literature books and articles written by famous authors as it can be helpful in cultivating a literary sense in your mind.
8. A sample outline
A sample outline of a literary topic is given on the next page.


1. Introduction
2. Pain and its different types
a) Monetary pain
b) Psychological pain
c) Physical pain
3. Gain and its different types
a) Monetary gain
b) Psychological gain
c) Physical gain
4. Is it true that pain is necessary for gain?
a) Pains taken by the Holy Prophet (SAW)
b) Pains taken by Imams in compilation of Ahadith
c) Pains taken by Sufis and Imams
d) Pain in Pakistan Movement and gains thereupon
e) Abraham Lincoln: from common man to president
f) Pakistan’s war on terror
g) Success story of Akhuwat
h) Growth and spread of Edhi network
i) Growth and spread of Shaukat Khanum Hospital
j) Educational revolution in South Korea and Japan
k) Population control in Russia
l) Women empowerment around the world
m) Eradication of polio in a large number of countries
n) Empowerment of media
o) Success story of Malala Yousafzai
p) Revolution in Japan after World War II
q) Rise of China as an economic giant
r) Stories of business empires e.g. Microsoft, KFC, etc.
5. Why are some gains available without pain?
a) Pains of someone else
b) Luck factor
6. Why do some pains not result in gain?
a) Time management
b) Insufficient efforts
c) Wrong direction
d) Luck factor
7. Why are people reluctant to take pain?
a) Underestimating themselves
b) Lack of opportunities
c) Concept of fortune
d) Lack of motivation
e) Elements of laziness
f) Absence of guidance
g) Impact of environment and society
8. What lessons should be learnt from the rule “no pain, no gain”?
a) Lessons at individual level
b) Lessons at national level
c) Lessons at international level
9. Conclusion

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