What is World Literature

Beyond the skills involved in intimating oneself with world literature, the beauty lies in the enlightening exposure and daunting experience.

According to Scott Fitzgerald—this is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.

In this guide, you are going learn all you need to know about the best methodologies of writing world literature, Iliad literary analysis, Norton anthology of world literature, how to cite the Iliad, homer writing, anthology of literature and other necessary literary terms.

What is World Literature?

Originally, world literature is a term used for Magnus opus of western European literature but with the development/discovery of other literary works from other region, the meaning of world literature experienced a further diversification. Currently, world literature is regarded as a general term used to describe the entirety of global literature/the circulation of literary materials into all parts o the world, regardless of their origins.

The unlimited variety of poetic writing and tales accessible globally makes ones experience with world literature quite fascinating. However, we cannot deny the fact that working with literary pieces from various cultural backgrounds is quite challenging.

Other Necessary Literary Terms You Must Know

The Iliad

It is termed as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium in standard attic. Culturally attributed to homer, Iliad is a Greek grand poem, which is written in dactylic hexameter. This poem narrates the wars and occurrences that happened during the Trojan wars. Most times, when writers are doing research on the Trojan wars and Greek history, they cite the Iliad.

The Norton Anthology of World Literature

This is a globally accepted anthology of world literature that conserves and expatiate the Amos works from the previous edition, while adding the anthology o newer collections.

The Iliad Literary Analysis

This is the complete analysis of the poem written by the great poet, Homer, in which there were heroes like—Ajax, Achilles, Hector, Diomedes, and Glaucus.


A citation is a complete list of the sources you consulted during your research making. It gives your audience the opportunity of cross-checking your facts and it saves you from any plagiarism allegation.

Useful information: Lolita book summary and analysis.

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How to Write World Literature  – Basic Tips Where to Start

    • Assign yourself a topic: world literature is bulky and in order to simplify your task, you need a specific topic. Ascertain your topic and comprehend the task(s) before you. It is after you have ascertained and understood your assigned topic that you can move to the next phase.
    • Get resourceful materials that are related to the topic and Analyze: while writing world literature, you will need to explore many materials, their structure and concept. After getting your facts right; try relating it to your aim and stances.
    • Whatever your topic is, analyze the history of your subjects: give your work a historical basis by citing historical stances and relating your stances with political, cultural, or social references.
    • Make reasonable Comparison in your paper: in order to bring out differences between two or more concepts or subject, you will have to compare and contrast them—so as to bring a very logical conclusion. Comparing helps to draw valid conclusions about global views, ethics, rhetorical goals or literary techniques.

Read also: Research paper on Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Below are the two types of comparison papers:

  1. Writing on Translation: the aim of writing on translation is to compare various translations of the same work. Thereby, allowing you to evaluate the translator’s view on specific aspects of the texts. Also, it exposes the ways individual perspective influence the judgment of a text.
  2. Writing on Adaptation: the main goal of such comparison is to put two literary works—in which one is a creative response to the other. Ore example The Lion King, made by Disney is an adaptation of Hamlet, the original work of Shakespeare. Writing on adaptation fully aims at bringing up a valid argument on the possible similarities and differences between the authentic work and the adaptation.

Search for the occurrences or reoccurrences of your concept with its history and social implications: this can be best done by researching the author’s name of your material and the periods, in which he consulted for instance; the intro of an anthology or the dictionary of biographical literature. When interpreting historical concepts, be careful not to view the past with the eyes of a modern man. Instead view the past with the eyes of the ancients, in order to get the full picture of what they experienced during their time. Also do not explain an American tradition with the perspective of a German because they are not the same. The reason we call it world literature is that it is vast, so also are its writer.

Know the genre of the work you’re writing: a genre is said to be a form of literary sonata/composition that has its very own qualities, themes and styles. However, genres differ across cultures.

Make enquiries, if the text you’re reading was translated: since some words are always lost during translations, you must have it in mind that an already translated text does not provide the full details into about a subject. You cannot be so sure of the original meaning or the accuracy of the text translated, unless you have access to the original text, in the original language.

Discover and ground your thesis: your thesis is your idea, in relation to the topic or your stance. Your thesis should be an argumentative conclusion not an observation or a mere description. Your interpretation must possess a tangible significance and provide the reader a better insight into the topic as a whole.

Read also: Literary analysis of Gone With The Wind.

Use correct citations:

In writing, quoting an incorrect source can disqualify your whole paper. Whenever you quote a source, make sure it is a correct and recommendable one. The recommended style for citing a source is the MLA style. Below is the structure of what MLA style should look like;

Last name First name

Title of Essay

Title of Collection

Ed. Editor’s Name(s)

City of Publication:



Page range of entry

Medium of Publication

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