Studying English Literature


  1. Do not start on the last night. It is obvious, but it really works. If you are enrolled in a literature course, you should be able to summarize the plot, know the characters and story, so don’t procrastinate when it comes to studying. Make a list of topics that you want to cover and carry them around. This will help you organize the day without having to cram it all in the last second.
  2. Do not go for the ‘write my research paper’ at once. You can fill the gaps by testing yourself. Do you know the key element of learning? Revision. Try this simple technique. Whenever you have an important test tomorrow, sit down and write everything you know on a sheet of paper. Do not cheat or peep, just pretend that you are already taking the test and the teacher is watching you. It can be a little stressful, but nonetheless helps to focus in the matter of seconds.
  3. Listen carefully when your teacher gives you the prompts or the sample questions. Approach him if something is unclear and don’t be afraid to ask. Curiosity is the key to understanding material. Besides, you will be able to zone out the most important information and leave other points for the next day. Do not try to cover as much as you can. Find an ideal setting to start your learning routine, and even if you are a go-getter, alternate work with other activities, such as sleep and socializing with friends.
  4. Learn the definition of archetypes. Famous psychologist Carl Jung claimed archetypes to be the collective unconscious, the collection of features an individual represents. They usually include the Hero, the Youth, the Teacher, the Villain and the Doppelganger. They are also serve as a reminder of the classic structure of any work of fiction. You have to study them to understand the most common traits that can be applicable to characters in the story.
  5. Find a moment that sets the action in motion. Every book has its turning point, when the characters’ action leave them no choice but to go ahead. Define this moments and think of the problems they pose. For example, many Agatha Christie’s detective stories have a fairly calm introduction with plot starting to unravel in the further chapters. You can also summarize each part by writing down its contents in a concise manner or making a list of the chain of events that led to this outcome. This is really helpful when you have a wide range of characters to choose from and have to put them down to keep the information in mind. However, don’t overdo the preparation. You don’t have to scribble every single detail of your essay. The best solution is to find a golden middle between the main notes and thematic moments.