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English Composition & Literature: Start Here

Library Resources for assignments in Lanier Tech's English 1101, 1102, 2110 & 2130 Composition and Literature courses

On this page, you can scroll down to view examples, typical assignments, recommended resources, and how-to's on multiple types of writing you'll be assigned in ENGL classes at LTC. 

Scroll or quick jump here:

Persuasive Writing/Argumentative Essay Grant Cover Letter Narrative Writing Textual Analysis Genre Analysis

If you're looking for help with a Process Analysis Essay, or a Visual Analysis Essay, those are linked in the English 1010 guide, here.  


Persuasive Writing / Argumentative Essay

Check these databases for ideas: 
Issues & Controversies
Points of View Reference Center
(You will need to login to GALILEO with your LTC email and pw for access)

The Purpose of Persuasive Writing
The idea of an argument often conjures up images of two people yelling and screaming in anger. In writing, however, an argument is very different. An argument is a reasoned opinion supported and explained by evidence. To argue in writing is to advance knowledge and ideas in a positive way. Written arguments often fail when they employ ranting rather than reasoning.

The Structure of a Persuasive Essay
The following five features make up the structure of a persuasive essay:

  • Introduction and thesis
  • Opposing and qualifying ideas
  • Strong evidence in support of claim
  • Style and tone of language
  • A compelling conclusion (Crowther, 122-123)

Tips for Writing a Persuasive Essay:

  1. Choose a subject that interests you. Browse some of the topic in these databases:
    Issues & Controversies
    Points of View Reference Center
    (You will need to login to GALILEO with your LTC email and pw for access)
  2. Begin with an interesting introduction.
    Your thesis statement should be somewhere in the introduction.
    Be sure your thesis is clear and states your position and gives the main points of the essay.
  3. Then, explain the points of view that may conflict with your own to build credibility and trust with the reader.
    State the limits of your argument. This helps you sound more reasonable and honest to those who may be inclined to disagree with your point of view.
    Be respectful with opposing viewpoints.
  4. Make your arguments in support of your viewpoint using the credible, reliable evidence you researched.
    Use a balance of facts and opinions.
  5. Ensure your style and tone are appropriate for your subject and reader while being true to your own voice.
  6. Lastly, write a conclusion that summarizes the main argument and reinforces your thesis.  See the example "The Value of Technical High Schools in Georgia's Business Marketplace" for how a good persuasive essay is written (Crowther, 126-127).

Crowther, Kathryn, et al, "Successful College
Composition" (2016). English Open Textbooks. Book 8.

Persuasive Essay Alternatives

Grant Proposal Cover Letter

Narrative Essay

Narrative Essay


The purpose of a Narrative Essay is to tell a story, usually personal in nature. Depending on your desired message or outcome, a Narrative Essay can relay factual events that really happened or fictional events that you have made up.

For your English 1101 class, your instructor will provide a list of prompts to help guide your writing. Most of these prompts will guide you to write a truthful, non-fiction narrative with a message or central idea. It is not enough to simply tell the story, as you must also communicate an idea to your audience. Here are some examples of potential topics and prompts:

  1. Write about a memorable family vacation or trip.
  2. Write about a life struggle you overcame
  3. Write about a significant moment in your life

Structure of a Narrative Essay

Narrative essays are usually written in chronological order, thus having a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sometimes, though, a writer will use a flashback or a flash forward at the beginning.

Flashback: Beginning with a pivotal event from the past

Flash Forward: Beginning with an exciting moment from the climax of the story

The following are the other basic components of a narrative:

  • Plot: The events as they unfold in sequence.
  • Characters: The people who inhabit the story and move it forward.

Typically, there are minor characters and main characters. The minor

characters generally play supporting roles to the main character, or the


  • Conflict: The primary problem or obstacle that unfolds in the plot that the

protagonist must solve or overcome by the end of the narrative. The way

in which the protagonist resolves the conflict of the plot results in the

theme of the narrative.

  • Theme: The ultimate message the narrative is trying to express; it can be

either explicit or implicit.

Tips for Writing a Narrative Essay

  • Write about something important to you so that the narration will communicate meaning to your audience.
  • Use prewriting techniques to help you stay on topic and organize your ideas. Mind mapping, stream of consciousness writing, and making lists are all good ways to get started and think about our story. Ask yourself Who, What, When, Where and Why when formulating the central idea of your narrative. Why are you writing about this specific memory? What do you want your audience to get out of your story? When did everything happen? Where did it happen?
  • Sequence your events into a timeline to achieve continuity in your writing
  • Think of yourself and other people in your story as characters and create profiles for them
  • Practice Transitions and descriptive phrases; Is it just a red flower? Or is it a flower red as the setting sun with petals soft as velvet? For transition words, consider this useful table:

Crowther, Kathryn, et al, "Successful College
Composition" (2016). English Open Textbooks. Book 8.

Textual Analysis Essay

The purpose of Textual Analysis

Textual Analysis is a term used to study and understand texts. It includes exploring the languages, symbols, patterns, pictures in the text. Textual Analysis helps us understand and have a detailed idea about how people communicate their ideologies and thoughts and experiences through texts. The purpose of textual analysis is to describe the content, structure, and functions of the messages contained in texts.

Structure of Textual Analysis Writing

  • Read your text
  • Know your terms
  • Write an introduction
  • Write a statement
  • Provide evidence to support your point
  • Write conclusion
  • List work cited.

Tips of writing textual analysis

  1. Elements of text analysis to be analyzed are plot, setting, characters, point of view, figurative language, and style
  2. Analyze the structure, characters, setting, citations of a text, and central idea and themes. Consider the what, who, why, and where of the text you are analyzing.
  3. Show your understanding of the text, starting from the beginning in the introduction.
  4. Analyze textual features including textual features and stylistic choices.
  5. Organize your points before writing. First give a clear introduction, use paragraphs to make up main body of the analysis, the last paragraph will be the conclusion.
  6. Provide the main point, give examples of your point, explain why the evidence is necessary, link to the original point or main argument.
  7. Make sure your writing is clear and concise. Keep your register and tone formal and objective. Pay attention to grammar, spelling and syntax.

Literary Reference Center includes thousands of plot summaries, synopses, and work overviews; articles of literary criticism; author biographies; full text of over 430 literary journals; book reviews; classic and contemporary poems and short stories; full text of over 7,000 classic novels; author interviews; and images of key literary figures.

Literature Online is a full-text library of over 330,000 works of British and American poetry, drama and prose. In addition to literary texts, LION includes biographical sketches of major writers, selected author bibliographies, and critical and reference works.

Literature Resource Center provides biographies on thousands of authors, as well as literary criticism, historical context, and social implications of literature.

Examples of Assignments

Genre Analysis

First, what is a genre

  • Genre is a way of categorizing writing and expression to aid audiences in gaining an understanding of a work even before they interact with it!  

  • According to Merriam Webster, the exact definition of genre is: a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content.

  • Examples of genres in writing include expressive genres, such as poetry, screenplays, and short stories and professional genres, such as cover letters, scholarship essays, and business proposals.  

What is Genre Analysis? 

For the purpose of this assignment, a Genre Analysis is a writing process that breaks down the component parts of a specific genre, answering the questions: 

  • Why does this genre exist? 

  • What is its purpose? 

  • Who makes use of this genre? 

  • Where is the genre popular or derived from? 

  • What are the criteria for a piece of writing, media, or object to be included in the genre? 

Structure of Genre Analysis 

Part 1 

Write a 2-3 page paper in MLA or APA that discusses your chosen genre. Make sure you include information such as: 

  • Best practices for writing in the genre 

  • Typical content 

  • Typical form /structure of writing within the genre 

  • Remember to ask yourself the questions above as you research and write! 

You must include academic/peer reviewed sources to support your ideas about your chosen genre. Check out the databases listed here to help you find these sources! 

Part 2 

Create an original sample of a work in your chosen genre. This is an opportunity to write an original short story, group of poems, or draft an excellent scholarship essay! This must be written by you, completely original, and at least 500-750 words.  

Part 3 

Finally, you will write a sample defense of your original sample (Part 2) that defends why it’s a great example of your chosen genre. This only needs to be .5-1 page long, so you need to be very specific regarding how your work matches your research regarding your genre.  

Useful Databases to Find Peer Reviewed Resources

Books and Resources About Genre

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How to Create a Hanging Indent

General Format Requirements

1.1 Margins:  1" on all four edges of the page

1.2 Text Formatting:  Always choose an easily readable typeface (Times New Roman is just one example) in which the regular type style contrasts clearly with the italic and set it to anywhere between 11 and 13 points, unless your instructor specifies a different font size. Do not justify the lines of text at the right margin and turn off the automatic hyphenation feature in your word processing program.  Double-space the entire research paper, including quotations, notes, and the list of works cited.  Indent the first line of a paragraph half an inch from the left margin.  Indent block quotations half an inch as well.  Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unless your instructor prefers two spaces.

*MLA Handbook. Ninth edition., The Modern Language Association of America, 2021, p.1-2.

More MLA Information

MLA style format can be complex.  For more information on how to cite other common sources or for more in depth explanations of citation formats, please open the pdf below, refer to the official MLA Guide found in your campus library or consult with your instructor or campus librarian.