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Essay on a Book: Tips for Students

Essay on a Book

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This type of writing is quite popular, and we can say that it’s somewhat similar to book reports. First of all, to write a good essay, you have to organize your thoughts, and sort your arguments in a proper order.


  1. The first and the most obvious step, is choosing a book. Usually you don’t choose a book by yourself, since most often a topic is assigned to students by teachers or lecturers.
  2. You also have to determine the length of your essay. Just like a topic, this parameter is often determined by a teacher. However, if you have an opportunity to choose a length, we suggest you to choose a classical 500-words format. 500-word essays are the most convenient and universal form of paper.
  3. Determine the format. Usually college and university essays are written according to either MLA or APA style. Choosing MLA style for a 500-word essay, use a Times New Roman font, size of the font – 12. Make a one-inch margin from every side, and don’t forget to use double spaces.
  4. Read the whole book. You must determine the key message of your essay. Read a book and take notes, so you could use necessary quotes and details, supporting your thoughts throughout the essay.

The Writing Process

As soon as you determine the length of your essay, the format, and your central statement, your task is half-done. First of all, you have to introduce the book. Write a few words, mentioning the title of the book and the author. Of course, you can try more sophisticated types of introduction, but you still will have about 480 words to express your thoughts about this book. Thus, you can go straightforward, introducing your book, and then write your key statement – the main idea of your essay. We suggest you to go from one sentence to another softly, using transitions. Don’t forget that your essay must be easy to read.

When your introduction paragraph is done, you can start writing the second one with a quote. However, start with anything that grabbed your attention most of all, since this paragraph starts the most important part of your essay – the body part. You can choose the most well-known phrase from the book, explaining how it’s related to your key statement. It will help you interest your readers, pushing them to consider your arguments.

Let your thoughts flow naturally, developing the idea illustrated by the quote. Spend a few next paragraphs, explaining your point, and supporting each your thought with an example from the book. You can use either direct quotes, or just mention certain events, adding references to necessary pages. Don’t forget that your references must be written according to the citation style. MLA, APA, and other citation styles are quite different, so you may need a time to study features of each style.

Don’t be one-sided. Explain your point along with some opposite opinions on each question. You must be able to explain why an opposite point is wrong, as well as why your own point is right. However, some books are quite controversial, so don’t put boundaries on your creativity. This type of essay is different from scientific researches or persuasive essays, so your paper can reflect all existing points. Your key goal is to give your readers understanding of what makes this book special, what lessons it could teach, and why you consider it interesting.

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