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A complete guide to drama essay writing

Dramas, plays and other performing arts are an integral part of many cultures. Drama essays can pose a big challenge for most students because they really have no idea of the expectations or guidelines for writing this type of essay.

Expectations of your performing arts essay

Unless your instructor has limited you to a certain type of drama essay, you will have the freedom to choose between an informational essay and a persuasive essay. These essays differ in that one type supplies information as a way of educating the reader about a certain topic and the in other one you art trying to persuade the reader to change their point of view to agree with yours.

In searching for your background information for writing drama essays, you can look at online databases, university libraries and even public libraries. For ideas on format, you can look at drama essay examples and see what a winning essay looks like and how they are constructed.

Finding the perfect essay topic

The success of your essay relies heavily on choosing a great topic. If you are excited about the topic, it makes the research much easier and the writing much quicker. Chances are you will have so much to say that you won’t sit at the keyboard staring at the screen and wondering why your topic is so dull and boring.

You could choose a particular drama or play to write on. Is there something that you have studied in the past that would be appropriate? Or perhaps a famous playwright catches your attention. What was his life like? What inspired his plays?

Here are some examples of drama essay topics. These are very broad, general topics that you can use as a starting point.

  • Shakespeare;
  • Macbeth;
  • Hamlet;
  • Othello;
  • A Streetcar Named Desire;
  • Tennessee Williams;
  • Our Town;
  • Thornton Wilder;
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night;
  • Eugene O’Neill;
  • A Raisin in the Sun;
  • Lorraine Hansberry;
  • The Crucible;
  • Death of a Salesman;
  • Our town;
  • Ivan Turgenev;
  • Annie Get Your Gun;
  • Beyond the Fringe;
  • Brigadoon;
  • Man of La Mancha.

Tips for writing an impressive essay

  • Stick to accepted structure – an introduction, body and summary or conclusion. Use formal language.
  • Use first person, meaning you can write “I”. Classroom experiences are acceptable and even expected in this type of essay; use examples from past plays and drama productions.
  • Make sure your writing shows your insight into the topic you have chosen. Think of all the different angles and contexts. Political, social and cultural interpretations all play a major role.
  • Your essay should tell a story and evoke thought, just like a well-written play does. Extend your knowledge and skill in drama to appear in your writing. This will add a dimension to your writing that will bring it to another level all together.
  • Your vocabulary should make your words visible; in other words, they should come to life, just like the characters in a production.
  • When the writing is complete, proofread and revise to make it shine.