How to Write an Interpretive Essay: Tips and Examples

What Is an Interpretive Essay?

An interpretative essay is a form of literary analysis paper that you may be asked to write to clearly show your understanding of a piece of literature. This can be a poem, a story, or just a single page or chapter of a book. This is important as you need to be able to show your ability to actually interpret what someone has to say and then be able to clearly and concisely communicate that meaning while backing up what you have to say. Showing your understanding is far more important than just being able to repeat facts when you write your essay.

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It is not as many students think, and actually write, a simple summary of what the author has written. If you want to get the grades that you need for your course then always avoid providing just a summary as this is going to get you the lowest possible marks. Interpreting the true meaning of what someone has to say is a vital skill and must be used if you are going to get the grades that you want.

Of course writing a literary analysis paper is not going to be easy. The following are some professional tips to help you with your writing so that you can get the grades that you want.

Use a Literary Analysis Paper Sample

Reading an example of critical analysis paper writing is a great way to understand just how your interpretive paper needs to be put together. Examples help you to understand the right analysis paper format to use, how your paper should be structured and the sorts of things that you should cover within your writing.

literary analysis paper sample
Samples, however, do vary considerably online and you should be very critical of what you are looking at to see if it is an actual good example of this style of writing. You must also not simply copy or adapt what you find as this would be considered plagiarism and can get you in some serious trouble.

Tips for Writing a Good Interpretive Style Essay

The following tips will help you to be able to write your paper that will be worthy of getting a good grade as long as you follow them carefully:

  • Understand what you are reading fully before you begin; reading through the work once is not going to be enough. It is very important that you read everything a few times and start to make notes of the key ideas and passages within the work.
  • Brainstorm your thesis; this is the argument that you will make for your essay and should be your interpretation of what the author is trying to achieve through their writing. You need to be able to clearly identify their main point is.
  • Outline your essay; many students just jump into writing, but if you take the time to create an outline it will help you to ensure that your writing has a logical flow and makes sense to the reader. It will also help you to avoid a lot of rewriting later. The following structure can be used for your essay and your outline (introduction, main body, and conclusion).
  • Edit and proofread your work; essays that are submitted containing errors will receive much lower marks even if what you have written is sound. Take the time to perfect your work and avoid submitting an essay with errors within it.

Remember as Swarthmore college reminds us:

quote about interpretive essay

If you should still be finding writing your interpretive essay difficult then our specialist services can help with editing or writing your paper so that it will be worthy of the best results.