The Joy and Hilarity of Students Who Google Essay Questions About Literature


Over the past few years, I’ve written hundreds of essays about creative works.  Some of those works are parts of the canon, while others are merely cool pieces published in random literary journals that caught my eye for whatever reason.  It is a great honor that writers value Great Writers Steal as a resource.  My original intent was to isolate elements of writing craft to help creative writers improve the work.  Along the way, of course, I’ve done an awful lot of literary analysis that is helpful to students who need to write essays in response to their teachers’ questions about literature.

In case you are unfamiliar with Internet stuff, WordPress, the content management system behind Great Writers Steal and a zillion other web sites, lets you know some of the search terms that visitors use to find your site.  I always find these keywords entertaining.  For example, I wrote about Taiye Selasi’s short story, “The Sex Lives of African Girls.”  As a result, I get tons of hits from people searching for “african sex girl,” “girl africa sex,” “sexy african girl” and many other variations on the phrase.  Unfortunately, there is no way for me to apologize to those many readers I have disappointed by supplying them with writing craft advice instead of what they were hoping to see…

Asking students to write analyses of assigned literature is a necessary evil.  Most people aren’t going to sit back and conceive a personal idea with regard to the meaning of “Harrison Bergeron” on their own, but literary homework can often suck all of the fun out of reading.  Students are, of course, making full use of the Internet in hopes of finding help because their teacher asked them, “in beautiful monsters by eric puncher what exactly does pucker reveal and what does he keep hidden.”  How do I know the teacher’s essay question?  Students are just popping them into Google.  Here’s an interesting cross-section of the essay questions that have brought people to Great Writers Steal over the years and some fun answers:


why did gwendolyn brooks choose identity as the theme in we real cool

I suppose the poem could have any “theme,” but identity is likely to be important in a poem with a title that includes the word “we.”

what is the significance of exactly two syllables following each “we” in the poem “we real cool” by gwendolyn brooks?

what nonstandard grammar does we real cool use

write a short story review on beautiful monsters from tin house

what to do when you are bored and at north layton junior high and you dont know what to do except for type in long sentences

That last one is pretty funny.

what effect does the setting of cheever’s reunion has on you

what effect does the setting of reunion by john cheever’s have on us

the effect of reunion by john cheever

settings of john cheevers..reunion

what effect does john cheever’s reunion produce

set the setting of john cheever reunion

what effect does reunion written by cheever have on you

what effect does john cheever’s”reunion”create on you

I am assuming most of these hits are from the same person.  If the man or woman who did these searches is reading this, I would implore them to decide for themselves how the story affects them.  Here‘s a recording of Richard Ford reading the very brief story.

what was the denovemnt of the play the shape of things

The denouement, as you’ll recall, is the period of the story in which the narratives are resolved and the characters adjust to their new normal.  Here’s a spoiler-free version of what I recall as the denouement of Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things: Adam learns the true nature of his relationship with Evelyn and tries to understand what the situation means about him and his lot in life.

compare and contrast stories in the book tenth of december

how does dystopian literature link with the lottery story

That’s a pretty interesting one!  Even though I think most readers assume that dystopian literature usually depicts the future, it doesn’t have to.  A dystopia is merely a society that seems like an unpleasant, scary place to live.  I don’t know about you, but the world of “The Lottery” fits the bill!

what two things rarely go together according to lady bracknell

Ooh!  Oooh!  I know this one.  Behaving well and feeling well.  Read the play.  It’s awesome.

Lady Bracknell.  Good afternoon, dear Algernon, I hope you are behaving very well.

Algernon.  I’m feeling very well, Aunt Augusta.

Lady Bracknell.  That’s not quite the same thing.  In fact the two things rarely go together.

the road not taken happy or sad

I find everything sad, so I’m going with sad.

a good man is hard to find what kind of parallels canyou draw between the good guys and the bad guys

is loving the bad man based on a true story

l the passing by nella larson what are the literary element

Passing is such a great book that it contains ALL of the literary elements.

what is a summary on la pulchra nota about

A summary of “La Pulchra Nota” is a brief description of the story’s plot and characters.

is we real cool the best

“The best” is subjective.  I think it’s a pretty good poem.  So should you!

does mitty’s wife seen “grossly unfamiliar” to him at this moment?

denny mclain falstaff shakespeare

what do you think ozymandias original kingdom was like

what does the nightmare in axis by alice munro depict

“casey at the bat” by ernest lawrence thayer mark the rhyme pattern and identify the meter.

bravery by charles baxter about how men should be

what is greenfeld trying to say about consumerism in the horned men

literal analysis of nemecia by kirstin valdez quade

If assigned to do a “literal analysis” of a story, I think I would just make a photocopy of the story and turn that in to collect an A.

what is the song gravity by sara bareilles about

About three minutes and forty-seven seconds.





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