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Crafting A Powerful Literary Criticism Essay On Catch-22 


Literary criticism essays are aimed at analyzing and interpreting works of fiction, poetry, or drama. These types of assignments are commonly used to check the students’ understanding of literature and foster their critical thinking abilities. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is commonly one of the books included in a curriculum. Teachers often ask students to interpret this famous American novel and share their ideas on the numerous facets of its style, structure, and plot. Even if you have outstanding ideas to share, it is vital that you share them well. The following tips will help you create a powerful literary criticism essay on Catch-22.

  • Decide what you will interpret.
  • Look through the novel carefully; what particular areas would you like to explore? You can look closer at one of the main characters of the book (e.g. Yossarian or the Chaplain.) You can pay attention to the setting of the novel (e.g. Why did the author choose a little island for such large-scale events to take place?) You can focus on the unusual structure of Catch-22 or look for the true origins of the title. Your interpretation of a factor or issue in the story will serve as the thesis statement of your literary criticism essay.

  • Look for the evidence.
  • Look for the examples from the text that support your position. Secondary research sources, namely the thoughts and ideas of literary critics, can also be used to prove your thesis.

  • Outline your work.
  • Decide how you are going to represent your ideas and what order of providing your arguments will be the most effective. Your literary criticism essay should cover the basic essay structure: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  • Write your paper.

    • State your thesis in the introductory paragraph.
    • It should be simple. For example, a thesis may sound like: “In Catch-22, the author criticizes American bureaucracy, specifically, its incompetence and corruption”. The explanation of how the writer does it and why he does it will be provided in the body paragraphs of your paper.

    • Don’t retell the plot.
    • It should be assumed that the reader knows the content of the novel.

    • Don’t provide your arguments in a chronological order.
    • They should be stated in the order of their importance.

    • Cite the sources.
    • Remember to document secondary sources and direct quotes from Catch-22.

It is not so difficult to write a literary criticism essay if you are interested in the process. If you like the book and if you are passionate about your research question, your paper will be a hit.

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