In general, it is a complex of any written texts. More often than not, it is being considered as fiction meaning that it can be a kind of art. However, this modern notion should not be applied to the culture of distant (ancient) epochs. When separating epochs of other periods from religious, philosophical, scientific, and journalistic spheres, we associate our contemporary perceptions with the past. Nevertheless, while writing about literature, one needs to remember that it possesses the whole string of universal properties, unchangeable in all national cultures and along the entire length of human history. At the same time, such properties are connected with particular problems and restrictions. When composing review of literature, it is worthy to pay attention to the following facts:
- It consists of authors' texts (including anonymous ones - those, which do not have known author, and multi-authored - written by a group of people, sometimes very numerous, if it is literature research paper, but still definite one). The situation, when a text belongs to a particular author and is written by him/her, is important not as a matter of law and not from a psychological point of view but because presence of such particular author provides completeness to this text. For instance, such texts may comprise literature thesis paper. Here, an author makes a final contribution and, only after that, a text starts existing on its own. History of culture knows types of texts, which exist in a different way - for example, folk ones: as a result of authorship's absence, text itself is not fixed, and those, who, once again, retell or rewrite it, can make changes, sometimes essential ones. These or those records of such text in the form of literature article may be linked with a name of writer or scientist who has made this record; though, such literary fixation of colloquial text does not cancel the possibility of existence of its other versions.
- Literary sphere embraces written texts, but not oral ones. Verbal creative work historically goes before written one. So, in order to learn how to write a review of literature, it is useful to know that folk art has always been oral, but modern age witnesses transitional cases. Thus, national cultures, which have passed through a great development progress in XX century, included and still include story-tellers who are engaged in verbal (poetical, on the brink of songs) creative work; earlier, such songs would refer to folklore that would constantly change and develop with help of other story-tellers.
- Literary field embraces texts that came into existence due to human speech, but not synthetic or syncretic texts - those which verbal component cannot be separated from musical, visual, or any other one. A song or opera themselves are not the part of reading matter, and this difference can be even demonstrated in your literature coursework. If a composer creates a song by means of already existing lyrics, written by a poet, there is no problem then. Nevertheless, in XX century, the ancient tradition received a widespread occurrence: the same author produces lyrics and music, and, at the same time, performs it for audience. The question, how legitimate is to retrieve from the given synthetic piece of work only verbal component and consider it as a separate literary composition, remains debatable.
- Literary works embrace texts, which themselves have a social meaning. It means that such things, as private and official correspondence, intimate diaries, school literature essay, etc., are not thought out to be marked as those, which belong to the given sphere. This criterion seems to be simple and evident but, to all intents and purposes, it leads to a variety of complications. On one hand, private correspondence can become the fact of reading matter if it is being maintained by considerable authors: there is a good reason that collected writings of writers and scientists include the chapter of letters, and, sometimes, these letters consist of important and valuable data for science; the same is the case for school articles on Literature of future scientists, politicians, and writers. They (articles and essays) can be, with retrospective effect, involved in the sphere of reading matter shedding light on the following creative work of its authors. Furthermore, in some cases, writers, philosophers, and publicists purposefully change private correspondence or diaries into the literary fact: they write it with a view to other readers, publicly read excerpts, and publish them.
On the other hand, there is a problematic status of authors-amateurs' artistic creativity, whose texts and essays about literature remain to be as their property and the property of a narrow group of their friends and acquaintances. For that matter, new complications have emerged with appearance of the Internet and distribution of websites with free publication where everyone can publish own writings such as literature report. Today, one can find a variety of online platforms where anyone can publish his poems or literary works.
When writing essays about literature, do not forget that literary kinds can be distinguished according to texts' content and their intended use. It is rather challenging to meet the principle of unity when classifying the issue of reading matter. In addition, such classification is able to misinform combining totally different phenomena. Often, typologically different texts of the same epoch are closer to one another than typologically identical texts of various epochs and cultures. That is why the common list may possess only approximate character, and a specific structure of literary space may be applied only to the given culture and time period.
When students get literature writing assignments, they should take into account that there are the following literary kinds:
When writing literature essay, students should know that fiction is a kind of art, which uses words and constructions of written human language as the only material. The specific character of fiction is revealed in combination with, on one side, kinds of art employing the other material instead of verbal-language one (music, visual art), and, on the other side - in combination with other types of verbal text: philosophical, publicistic, and scientific. Critical review of literature can be completed according to the next literary genres.
- Non-Fiction Prose
Peculiar feature of non-fiction prose is a plotline based on real events with infrequent supplementations of artistic fiction. Non-fiction prose includes biographies of prominent people, stories of any events, cross-cultural descriptions, investigations of famous crimes, etc.
- Memorial Literary Works
Memoirs are notes of contemporaries, which tell us about events connected with an author directly or through bystanders. An important feature of memoirs lies in the stress on "documentary" character of text; literature CV can also be the part of memoirs.
- Scientific and Popular-Science Literary Works
Frequently, when writing a review of literature, students take into consideration scientific literary facts, which represent the complex of written works created as a result of researches and theoretical generalizations made within a framework of scientific method. It is intended for informing scientists and specialists about the latest achievements of science. As a rule, scientific work is not thought out to be completed if it is not published. Nowadays, scientific literary forms are standardized; they consist of monographs, reviews, articles, reports, literature based dissertation abstracts, and critical reviews.
Popular-science literary aspect includes literary writings about science, scientific achievements, and scientists, targeted at non-specialist audiences. Popular-science kind is intended both for specialists from other fields of knowledge and for insufficiently prepared readers including children and teenagers. In contrast to scientific literary kind, popular-science works are not being peer-reviewed or certified.
It is supportive content used for obtaining the most general information concerning this or that question. The main kinds of literary references are the following: dictionaries, manuals, and encyclopedias.
- Study Books
Study books are divided into textbooks themselves and exercise books. The purpose of study books is to present the part of knowledge in such a way to allow readers to get a full and clear idea about it.
- Technical Literary Papers
This kind includes works, which belong to the sphere of technology and production.
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