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How to Write an Insight Paper

by YaShekia King, Demand Media

    An insight paper gives you the opportunity to explain the insight you gained from reading a text. You should analyze an aspect of the work and include your feelings and ideas about the work itself. An insight paper generally does not require outside research and should not feature a summary of the work but instead should present your personal perspective.

    Items you will need

    • Computer
    • Word processor
    • Dictionary
    • Grammar book
    Step 1

    Read the work on which you are writing your insight paper. For example, if you are writing an insight paper on a literary work such as the short story “The Odour of Chrysanthemums” by D.H. Lawrence, go over the work thoroughly and make notes of parts of the story that stand out to you, such as symbols, imagery or recurring elements -- or motifs. Write an outline explaining the purpose of your paper and the specific points you want to make about the story.

    Step 2

    Draft the introduction to your insight paper. Mention the work on which you are writing the paper, and emphasize why this work is worth writing about. Write the thesis, or purpose, of your paper as well as the literary work's theme -- the message the author is conveying regarding human nature or life. For example, when writing on “The Odour of Chrysanthemums,” your thesis could express the fact that admittedly tough individuals exist in the world, but even they can be humbled by life’s struggles.

    Step 3

    Present two to three parts of the literary work that support your thesis, explaining each point in a separate paragraph. Highlight a striking quotation that relates to your thesis and the words in the quote that support the point you are trying to make. For example, define what the term “imperious” used in “The Odour of Chrysanthemums” means and what aspects of the character of Mrs. Bates show that she is imperious. Explain an incident in the story that brings one of your points to life as well. When writing about “The Odour of Chrysanthemums,” for instance, explain how the character of Mrs. Bates wears a ragged chrysanthemum as a symbol of a marriage that is now defunct. Describe how all of your paper's points support your thesis.

    Step 4

    Write your insight paper’s conclusion paragraph. Reiterate your thesis and again highlight what your analytical approach to this story shows about the author of the literary work, as well as people or society at large.

    Step 5

    Read over your insight paper, making sure each paragraph begins with a smooth transition. Look for errors in spelling, grammar, usage and punctuation.

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    About the Author

    YaShekia King, of Indianapolis, began writing professionally in 2003. Her work has appeared in several publications including the "South Bend Tribune" and "Clouds Across the Stars," an international book. She also is a licensed Realtor and clinical certified dental assistant. King holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University.

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