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How to write a good drama essay


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Sculpture of red theater masks on green grass

Thinking about the cultural heritage of a country, people usually remember music, paintings, costumes, and even cuisine, but often forget about drama. This art has taken various forms in different countries, and most nations have a great history of its development.

For ages, it has evolved from being merely entertainment for masses to something a lot bigger and more valuable. It started reflecting the real life, presenting both beautiful and ugly sides of it, teaching people important lessons, educating them, delivering certain messages, and raising public awareness.

Therefore, if you were assigned a drama essay, you have a wide variety of topics to choose from and viewpoints to consider. While picking the topic might not be the biggest issue, as you likely know a few plays you might want to review, the writing part might be a little tricky. Let us walk you through it though.

Drama essay outline

There is nothing special about the structure of dramatic essays. Its main elements are:

  • Introduction. Start with a hook phrase, provide a few sentences with some background information on the topic, and end the introductory paragraph with a thesis statement showing the purpose of your paper.
  • Body. If you are writing a typical 1-2-page essay, the body will likely consist of about 3-5 paragraphs, each with its own main idea and supporting sentences.
  • Conclusion. The main task of this section is to restate the thesis statement, briefly overview the discussion you had in the body, and leave your readers some food for thought.

Drama essay format

The question of formatting always concerns students because it constitutes a considerable part of the overall grade. If you are a school student, you will likely be asked to use APA or MLA style. But if you study at a university, then the choice of formatting styles can be wider. Therefore, it is better to clarify which one would be the most suitable with your professor before you start working on your essay.

Drama essay help: best tips

Drama studies, the same as numerous other courses, require their students to work on different kinds of tasks, and many of them involve essay writing. Even though you are familiar with various types of papers and have certainly worked on a wide range of topics, the most frequent task you may be assigned is usually an analysis paper. No matter how many essays you have prepared before, drama writing assignments will be a unique, unusual, and unexpectedly enjoyable experience that will fascinate you each time.

As most professors try to help their students relish each drama essay assignment and approach it creatively, they often leave minimum instructions to follow. While some people see it as an opportunity to learn in comfort and recognize the limits of their own perception, others freeze in confusion, having no idea what to do next. It is completely natural to feel baffled when you are used to staying within limits set by teachers but are suddenly given so much freedom for experiments and action. It is just important to come out of this perplexed state and make a clear plan like this one:

Choose a play

Obviously, a drama analysis essay cannot be done if there is nothing to analyze. Therefore, it is important to pick the play first. Teachers can provide their students with a list of plays to choose from, and as you have no time to watch them all and then pick one, read brief descriptions of them on the Web, and go with the play you liked the most.

If you have no list, the situation gets a bit more complicated, but there is no need to worry, as you can create such a list on your own. Focus on the topic you are currently studying on the course, and search for plays that would have the needed time frame, country, exact theatre, or team of actors. Make your own little research on these plays to figure out what they are about and make the final decision on what you are going to analyze.

Think of the assessment criteria

The type of paper you are working on implies that you need to analyze certain aspects of the play you will watch, and it is crucial to decide what those things will be. If you have to focus on technical attributes of the play, then lights, quality of music, costumes, and decorations are the nice assessment choices. However, writing about drama, you will more often be asked to put the emphasis on something spiritual or emotional. In this case, it is better to examine acting itself, as well as the role of crewmembers, their involvement, language, feelings, and contribution to the play. You can always look up the criteria, but it is better to come up with a few on your own, write them all down, and make sure they all will be suitable for your essay on drama.

Outline, write, and revise

When you feel ready for writing about drama, create proper working conditions for yourself, and prepare an outline first. Find a place where nothing will bother you, turn off your phone, and take everything you need for writing. Look up how to structure the work, check out the outline provided above, or find a suitable sample and check how it is organized.

You can either use a similar structure or outline the drama paper on your own using the data you have. Think about the purpose of the work, the information you want to present, and the way you will shape your discussion. Start writing a drama review only when the outline is ready and make sure to proofread it when you finish.

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