5 Important Literary Devices and How to Use Them in Your Essays

In my opinion, using a literary device or two may be quite beneficial in this aspect. Here are 5 important literary devices and how to use them.

So, you are working on an essay and are trying to make it look even better than it already is. But, unfortunately, you don’t know how you can improve the write-up even more.

Now, this is a scenario and is quite common in the college student community.

When writing something, they try to use difficult words to make their essay look “good.” But, in truth, that’s not how you can make your write-up more engaging and ‘literary.’

In my opinion, using a literary device or two may be quite beneficial in this aspect. However, before we start working on that, let’s learn more about what literary devices actually are.

What is a Literary Device?

According to an essay writing service in the US, IvoryResearch, a literary device can serve a variety of purposes in essay writing. For example, some of them may help you connect the reader with a write-up emotionally, while others can be used to strike an intellectual response.

According to a popular writing service, IvoryResearch, a literary device can serve a variety of purposes in essay writing. For example, some of them may help you connect the reader with a write-up emotionally, while others can be used to strike an intellectual response.

In some cases, literary devices may also be used to improve the pacing and the flow of the essay. So if you want to inject something special into your writing, literary devices will be a key to your purpose. Move on to the next section to learn more about them.

Literary Devices to be Used in Your Essay

In this section, we will talk about five excellent literary devices and how you can use them same in your essay. It’s going to be a little informative, so sit tight and enjoy the ride.

1: Allegory.

An allegory, in essence, is a type of literary tool that employs the plot and characters to depict an abstract idea or a theme. In an allegorical essay, the basic theme would suggest much more than what has been written in a simplified manner.

Example: The story of “The Tortoise and The Hare” is all about a race between two animals. However, it actually talks about the moral code of never giving up. Some people also use the same to explain how a slow and steady person will always be better than an impulsive one.

But, in some cases, allegory can be quite dark and complex too. 

Consider George Orwell’s Animal Farm as an example. It might look like a dystopian novel at first. However, it’s actually a social commentary on Stalin’s and Soviet Union’s formation. The main characters or the pigs of the novel represent people like Molotov, Trotsky, and Stalin.

2: Allusion.

An allusion, on the other hand, is more about developing the story or an essay in a linear way. It can help the writer in framing the storyline properly while ensuring that the characters have been created carefully as well. It’s mostly used in novels and short stories.

Example: “Bah Humbug” is an allusion that has been used in the popular novella of Charles Dickens’s – A Christmas Carol. The phrase in the novel has always been utilized to convey the dissatisfaction of a character with something.

However, in reality, it mostly refers to one of the worst characters of the storyline – Scrooge. It is a person who’s ill-tempered and behaves rudely with everyone.

3: Anachronism.

Anachronism is something that makes your characters different from an actual plot or setting of a story or an essay. For example, imagine watching a TV adaptation of a Jane Austen story, where everyone is texting each other instead of writing a letter. Weird, right?

Example: Anachronism is a literary device that’s used to denote an error in the chronology of a write-up. It can raise the eyebrow of a reader and make them think twice before reading any further. It’s mostly used to comment on social status or add some humor to the story.

An excellent example of anachronism is the BBC’s TV show, Sherlock. In this piece of the show, you can see Sherlock using a smartphone instead of a pen and paper. He’s sending texts to the police about a criminal or clicking the photo of the evidence.

The usage of this literary device made it easier for the audience to consider Sherlock as their own and helped them understand how a detective might work in the modern world.

4: Cliffhanger.

A cliffhanger is basically all about keeping the audience on the edge of their seat and waiting for the later edition of the story. In most cases, it is done by ending a novel in a tense and impactful situation. It can be used in the introduction to make the reader excited regarding the entire essay, especially the body section where you explain everything.

Example: An example of a cliffhanger is the Half-Blood Prince book of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. In this case, Severus Snape appears to have killed Professor Dumbledore. But, it is impossible for anyone to know or understand the reason behind it.

5: Extended Metaphor.

This is usually used to build an evocative image of a storyline and create an allegorical meaning out of it. It’s mostly used in argumentative essays. However, you can also use it in a theoretical essay to talk about a point before explaining it later on.

It, in turn, can help you engage your readers and ensure that you’re making them understand the context of your article.


So, that will be all for this article.

Hopefully, we can convey whatever information you are looking for here. But, before we finish up, here’s something you should know about – using literary devices in an essay will not be easy. However, if you know how to use it and make the most out of it, you will surely get decent grades altogether. 

Anyway, if you want to know about something else, don’t forget to comment below!

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