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Lit Papers: Reader vs. Professor

This is another common mistake, because, technically, the reader is your professor. You should try to eliminate this association, because it will not benefit your paper (or the grade you get on that paper) at all. When writing a literature paper, you should assume that your audience is not overly familiar with the work(s) you are discussing. You could pretend that you are writing for a publication… the Screaming Tree.

Imagine that the readers of the Screaming Tree are literate people who have heard of the work you are discussing but have not necessarily read it, or have read it but do not remember it well. You should, therefore, give as much background information as necessary, so the readers can follow your points and arguments. Don’t recite the story in its entirety, however, because you will bore those who are familiar with it. Give just enough information to make your points.

Next, learn about quotations.


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