how to write an essay of a book

How to Write an Essay about a Novel – Step by Step Guide

how to write an essay of a book

Writing about literature used to scare the heck out of me. I really couldn’t wrap my mind around analyzing a novel. You have the story. You have the characters. But so what? I had no idea what to write.

Luckily, a brilliant professor I had as an undergrad taught me how to analyze a novel in an essay. I taught this process in the university and as a tutor for many years. It’s simple, and it works. And in this tutorial, I’ll show it to you. So, let’s go!

Writing an essay about a novel or any work of fiction is a 6-step process. Steps 1-3 are the analysis part. Steps 4-6 are the writing part.

Step 1. create a list of elements of the novel .

Ask yourself, “What are the elements of this book?”

Well, here is a list of elements present in any work of fiction, any novel:

how to write an essay of a book

Here is a table of literary elements along with their descriptions. 

In this step, you simply pick 3-6 elements from the list I just gave you and arrange them as bullet points. You just want to make sure you pick elements that you are most familiar or comfortable with.

For example, you can create the following list:

This is just for you to capture the possibilities of what you can write about. It’s a very simple and quick step because I already gave you a list of elements. 

Step 2. Pick 3 elements you are most comfortable with

In this step, we’ll use what I call The Power of Three . You don’t need more than three elements to write an excellent essay about a novel or a book. 

Just pick three from the list you just created with which you are most familiar or that you understand the best. These will correspond to three sections in your essay. 

If you’re an English major, you’ll be a lot more familiar with the term “metaphor” than if you major in Accounting. 

But even if you’re a Math major, you are at least probably already familiar with what a story or a character is. And you’ve probably had a takeaway or a lesson from stories you’ve read or seen on screen.

Just pick what you can relate to most readily and easily. 

For example, you can pick Characters , Symbols , and Takeaways . Great!

how to write an essay of a book

You Can Also Pick Examples of an Element 

Let’s say that you are really unfamiliar with most of the elements. In that case, you can just pick one and then list three examples of it.

For example, you can pick the element of Characters . And now all you need to do is choose three of the most memorable characters. You can do this with many of the elements of a novel.

You can pick three themes , such as Romance, Envy, and Adultery. 

You can pick three symbols , such as a rose, a ring, and a boat. These can represent love, marriage, and departure. 

Okay, great job picking your elements or examples of them. 

For the rest of this tutorial, I chose to write about a novel by Fedor Dostoyevskiy, The Brothers Karamazov. This will be our example. 

It is one of the greatest novels ever written. And it’s a mystery novel, too, which makes it fun. 

So now, let’s choose either three elements of this novel or three examples of an element. I find that one of the easiest ways to do this is to pick one element – Characters – and three examples of it. 

In other words, I’m picking three characters. And the entire essay will be about these three characters.

Now, you may ask, if I write only about the characters, am I really writing an essay about the novel? 

And the answer is, Yes. Because you can’t write about everything at once. You must pick something. Pick your battles. 

And by doing that, you will have plenty of opportunities to make a statement about the whole novel. Does that make sense? 

Just trust the process, and it will all become clear in the next steps. 

Let’s pick the three brothers – Alexei, Dmitriy, and Ivan. 

And don’t worry – I won’t assume that you have read the book. And I won’t spoil it for you if you’re planning to. 

So we have the three brothers. We’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step 3. Identify a relationship among these elements

In this step, you want to think about how these three elements that you picked are related to one another. 

In this particular case, the three brothers are obviously related because they are brothers. But I want you to dig deeper and see if there is perhaps a theme in the novel that may be connecting the elements.

how to write an essay of a book

And, yes, I am using another element – theme – just to help me think about the book. Be creative and use whatever is available to you. It just so happens that religion is a very strong theme in this novel. 

What do the three brothers have in common? 

  • They have the same father.
  • Each one has a romantic interest (meaning, a beloved woman).
  • All three have some kind of a relationship with God. 

These are three ways in which the brothers are related to one another. All we need is one type of a relationship among them to write this essay. 

This is a religious novel, and yes, some of the characters will be linked to a form of a divinity. In this case, the religion is Christianity.

Note: there are many ways in which you can play with elements of a novel and examples of them. Here’s a detailed video I made about this process:

Let’s see if we can pick the best relationship of those we just enumerated.  

They all have the same father. 

This relationship is only factual. It is not very interesting in any way. So we move on to the next one.

They all have women they love.

Each brother has a romantic interest, to use a literary term. We can examine each of the brothers as a lover. 

Who is the most fervent lover? Who is perhaps more distant and closed? This is an interesting connecting relationship to explore. 

One of them is the most passionate about his woman, but so is another one – I won’t say who so I don’t spoil the novel for you. The third brother seems rather intellectual about his love interest. 

So, romantic interest is a good candidate for a connecting relationship. Let’s explore the next connection candidate. 

They all relate to God in one way or another. 

Let’s see if we can put the brothers’ relationships with God in some sort of an order. Well, Alexei is a monk in learning. He lives at the monastery and studies Christianity. He is the closest to God.

Dmitriy is a believer, but he is more distant from God due to his passionate affair with his woman. He loses his head many times and does things that are ungodly, according to the author. So, although he is a believer, he is more distant from God than is Alexei.

Finally, Ivan is a self-proclaimed atheist. Therefore, he is the farthest away from God.

It looks like we got ourselves a nice sequence, or progression, which we can probably use to write this essay about this novel. 

What is the sequence? The sequence is: 

Alexei is the closest to God, Dmitriy is second closest, and Ivan is pretty far away.

It looks like we have a pattern here. 

If we look at the brothers in the book and watch their emotions closely, we’ll come to the conclusion that they go from blissful to very emotionally unstable to downright miserable to the point of insanity.

Here’s the conclusion we must make: 

The closer the character’s relationship with God, the happier he is, and the farther away he is from God, the more miserable he appears to be.

how to write an essay of a book

Wow. This is quite a conclusion. It looks like we have just uncovered one of Dostoyevskiy’s main arguments in this novel, if not the main point he is trying to make.

Now that we’ve identified our three elements (examples) and a strong connecting relationship among them, we can move on to Step 4.

Step 4. Take a stand and write your thesis statement

Now we’re ready to formulate our thesis statement. It consists of two parts:

  • Your Thesis (your main argument)
  • Your Outline of Support (how you plan to support your main point)

By now, we have everything we need to write a very clear and strong thesis statement. 

First, let’s state our thesis as clearly and succinctly as possible, based on what we already know:

“In his novel Brothers Karamazov , Dostoyevskiy describes a world in which happiness is directly proportional to proximity to God. The closer to God a character is, the happier and more emotionally stable he is, and vice versa.”

See how clear this is? And most importantly, this is clear not only to the reader, but also to you as the writer. Now you know exactly what statement you will be supporting in the body of the essay. 

Are we finished with the thesis statement? Not yet. The second part consists of your supporting points. And again, we have everything we need to write it. Let’s do it.

“Alexei’s state of mind is ultimately blissful, because he is a true and observant believer. Dmitriy’s faith is upstaged by his passion for a woman, and he suffers a lot as a result. Ivan’s renunciation of God makes him the unhappiest of the brothers and eventually leads him to insanity.”

Guess what – we have just written our complete thesis statement. And it’s also our whole first paragraph. 

We are ready for Step 5. 

Step 5. Write the body of the essay

Again, just like in the previous step, you have everything you need to structure and write out the body of this essay.

How many main sections will this essay have? Because we are writing about three brothers, it only makes sense that our essay will have three main sections.

how to write an essay of a book

Each section may have one or more paragraphs. So, here’s an important question to consider:

How many words or pages do you have to write? 

Let’s say your teacher or professor wants you to write 2,000 words on this topic. Then, here is your strategic breakdown:

  • Thesis Statement (first paragraph) = 100 words
  • Conclusion (last paragraph) = 100 words
  • Body of the Essay = 1,800 words

Let me show you how easy it is to subdivide the body of the essay into sections and subsections.

We already know that we have three sections. And we need 1,800 words total for the body. This leads us to 600 words per main section (meaning, per brother). 

Can we subdivide further? Yes, we can. And we should.

When discussing each of the brothers, we connect two subjects: his relationship with God AND his psychological state. That’s how we make those connections. 

So, we should simply subdivide each section of 600 words into two subsections of 300 words each. And now all we need to do is to write each part as if it were a standalone 300-word essay.

how to write an essay of a book

Does this make sense? See how simple and clear this is?

Writing Your Paragraphs

Writing good paragraphs is a topic for an entire article of its own. It is a science and an art.

In essence, you start your paragraph with a good lead sentence in which you make one point. Then, you provide reasons, explanations, and examples to support it. 

Here is an article I wrote on how to write great paragraphs .

Once you’ve written the body of the essay, one last step remains. 

Step 6. Add an introduction and a conclusion 

Introductions and conclusions are those little parts of an essay that your teachers and professors will want you to write. 


In our example, we already have a full opening paragraph going. It’s our thesis statement. 

To write an introduction, all you need to do is add one or two sentences above the thesis statement. 

Here is our thesis statement:

“In his novel Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevskiy describes a world in which happiness is directly proportional to proximity to God. The closer to God a character is, the happier and more emotionally stable he is, and vice versa. Alexei’s state of mind is ultimately blissful, because he is a true and observant believer. Dmitriy’s faith is upstaged by his passion for a woman, and he suffers a lot as a result. Ivan’s renunciation of God makes him the unhappiest of the brothers and eventually leads him to insanity.”

As you can see, it is a complete paragraph that doesn’t lack anything. But because we need to have an introduction, here is a sentence with which we can open this paragraph:

“Dostoyevskiy is a great Russian novelist who explores the theme of religion in many of his books.”

And then just proceed with the rest of the paragraph. Read this sentence followed by the thesis statement, and you see that it works great. And it took me about 30 seconds to write this introductory sentence. 

You can write conclusions in several different ways. But the most time-proven way is to simply restate your thesis. 

If you write your thesis statement the way I teach, you will have a really strong opening paragraph that can be easily reworded to craft a good conclusion. 

Here is an article I wrote (which includes a video) on how to write conclusions .


You’ve made it to the end, and now you know exactly how to write an essay about a novel or any work of fiction!

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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How to Start an Essay About a Book: A Comprehensive Guide

Starting an essay about a book might seem like an uphill endeavor, but with the right approach, you can create an engaging introduction that sets the tone for your entire paper. Whether you’re a student or an aspiring writer, this guide will provide you with practical insights, creative ideas, and actionable steps on how to start an essay about a book that leaves a lasting impression on your readers.

Introduction: Setting the Stage for Literary Analysis

Writing an essay about a book is an opportunity to delve into the world of literature, explore themes, characters, and narratives, and express your unique perspective. The introduction serves as the gateway to your essay, inviting readers to join you on your literary journey. Let’s explore the art of crafting captivating introductions for essays about books.

Related: Can I Start My College Essay with a Quote? Tips and Insights

How to Start an Essay About a Book

Embarking on the journey of writing an essay about a book requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Here are essential steps to guide you through the process:

1. Understand the Book’s Context and Significance

To create an impactful introduction, begin by understanding the book’s historical context, the author’s background, and the broader significance of the work. This contextual knowledge will help you establish the relevance of the book and its themes to your readers.

2. Choose an Intriguing Angle

Diving into the vast sea of literary elements, select an angle that piques readers’ curiosity. Whether it’s a thematic exploration, character analysis, or a critical review, a unique angle sets the stage for an engaging introduction.

3. Craft a Compelling Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the backbone of your essay. It should succinctly convey your main argument and guide your readers on what to expect. A well-crafted thesis statement is both thought-provoking and informative.

4. Open with a Captivating Hook

Draw readers in with a captivating hook that sparks their interest. This could be a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a vivid description. A compelling hook sets the tone for an engaging essay.

5. Provide Brief Contextual Background

Offer a concise overview of the book’s plot, main characters, and central themes. Provide enough information to orient readers without giving away too much. Leave them curious and eager to explore further.

6. Introduce Your Approach

Outline the approach you’ll take in your essay. Briefly explain the key points you’ll be discussing and the insights you aim to uncover. This gives readers a roadmap for what’s to come.

7. Use LSI Keywords for Depth

Incorporate Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords related to the book and its themes. This not only boosts SEO but also enhances the depth and relevance of your introduction.

8. Incorporate Relevant Quotes

Weave in relevant quotes from the book that supports your thesis. Quotes add credibility and allow readers to connect with the text on a deeper level.

9. Highlight the Book’s Impact

Discuss the book’s impact on literature, society, or culture. Explain why it remains relevant and worth discussing. This shows your awareness of the book’s broader implications.

10. Pose Thought-Provoking Questions

Engage readers by posing thought-provoking questions related to the book’s themes. Encourage them to reflect on their own interpretations and viewpoints.

11. Share Personal Connections

If applicable, share personal anecdotes or connections you have with the book. This personal touch adds authenticity to your introduction.

12. Offer a Glimpse of Analysis

Give readers a glimpse of the analytical journey ahead. Mention the key aspects you’ll delve into and the critical lenses you’ll apply.

13. Address Counterarguments

Acknowledge potential counterarguments or differing interpretations of the book. Demonstrating a balanced perspective strengthens your credibility as an essay writer.

14. Build Anticipation

Create anticipation for the rest of your essay. Tease the insights and revelations readers can expect in the subsequent sections.

15. Power Keywords for Impact

Incorporate power keywords that evoke emotion and create impact. Words like “profound,” “intriguing,” or “riveting” add a dynamic flair to your introduction.

16. Incorporate a Compelling Anecdote

Share a brief and relevant anecdote that relates to the book’s themes. Anecdotes humanize the topic and engage readers on a personal level.

17. Outline Structure and Flow

Provide a brief overview of the essay’s structure and how you’ll navigate through different sections. A clear roadmap enhances readability.

18. Address the Reader Directly

Speak directly to the reader, inviting them to explore the book alongside you. This creates a sense of connection and involvement.

19. Utilize Rich Formatting

Enhance readability by using rich formatting such as bold, italics, and bullet points. These elements visually break up the text and highlight key information.

20. Reference Credible Sources

When discussing the book’s significance or impact, reference credible sources such as literary critics, scholars, or reputable articles. This adds depth to your introduction.

21. Transition to the Main Body

Conclude your introduction with a seamless transition to the main body of the essay. Create a logical bridge that encourages readers to continue reading.

Related: What Brings You Joy College Essay Example

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start an Essay About a Book

Step 1: Choose the Book

Select a book that you want to write about. Ensure that the book is relevant to your essay’s topic and aligns with your thesis or main argument.

Step 2: Understand the Assignment

Read the essay assignment or prompt carefully. Understand the specific requirements, such as the length, format, and any guidelines provided by your instructor.

Step 3: Read and Analyze the Book

Read the book thoroughly, taking notes on key plot points, characters, themes, and any literary devices used by the author. Analyze the book’s significance and consider why it’s worth writing about.

Step 4: Determine Your Approach

Decide how you want to approach the essay. Will you be analyzing a specific theme, character, or literary technique? Clarify your main focus and identify the key points you want to discuss.

Step 5: Craft Your Thesis Statement

Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your main argument or purpose for writing the essay. This thesis will guide the direction of your essay.

Step 6: Choose an Engaging Opening Strategy

Now, let’s delve into different strategies for starting your essay about the book:

1. Quotation: Begin with a relevant and impactful quote from the book. Explain its significance and how it relates to the themes you’ll be discussing.

2. Anecdote: Share a short anecdote or personal story that connects to the book’s themes. This can help create an emotional or relatable entry point.

3. Question: Pose a thought-provoking question related to the book’s themes or characters. Invite the reader to think critically about the topic.

4. Contrast: Highlight a sharp contrast between elements in the book or between the book and real-world situations. This can create intrigue and set the stage for your analysis.

5. Shocking Fact: Present a surprising or shocking fact related to the book’s content, themes, or impact. This can capture the reader’s attention immediately.

Step 7: Provide Context

After your engaging opening, briefly introduce the book by mentioning its title, author, and publication date. Provide a concise overview of the book’s plot or central idea.

Step 8: Preview Main Points

Give the reader a preview of the main points you’ll be discussing in the essay. This helps them understand the structure and flow of your analysis.

Step 9: Transition to Your Thesis

Smoothly transition from the introduction to your thesis statement. Explain how the opening strategy you chose connects to your main argument.

Step 10: Revise and Edit

Review your introduction for clarity, coherence, and grammar. Make sure it effectively introduces the book and sets the tone for your essay.

Remember, a well-crafted introduction can captivate your readers and set the stage for a compelling essay. Experiment with different opening strategies to find the one that best suits your writing style and the content of your essay.

FAQs on How to Start an Essay About a Book

How do i choose the right book for my essay.

Select a book that resonates with you personally or aligns with the theme of your course. Consider books that offer rich material for analysis and discussion.

Can I start my essay with a question?

Absolutely! Starting with a thought-provoking question can be an effective way to engage readers and introduce your essay’s central ideas.

What if I haven’t read the entire book?

While it’s ideal to read the entire book, you can still write a compelling essay by focusing on specific sections or chapters that relate to your chosen angle.

Should I provide a detailed summary in the introduction?

Avoid excessive summarization in the introduction. Instead, provide a concise overview that leaves room for an in-depth exploration of the main body.

How can I make my introduction stand out?

Infuse your introduction with your unique voice and perspective. Be creative, bold, and authentic in your approach.

Is it okay to share personal emotions in the introduction?

Sharing personal emotions or connections to the book can add depth to your introduction, but ensure it aligns with the tone and purpose of your essay.

Final Verdict

Crafting the perfect introduction for your essay about a book is an art that requires a combination of creativity, analysis, and strategic thinking. By following these steps and incorporating engaging elements, you can start your essay on a strong note, capturing your reader’s attention and setting the stage for a captivating exploration of literature.

Remember, the introduction is just the beginning of your essay-writing journey. As you delve into the main body, keep the momentum going with insightful analysis, well-supported arguments, and a cohesive structure.

So, go ahead and embark on your literary adventure. Start your essay about a book with confidence, and watch as your words transport readers into the fascinating world of literature.

Related: How Do You Write a Book Title in an Essay

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A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing an Essay on a Book

Topic and assignment prompt, essay structure, why is it important.

How to write an essay on a book

Outlining Essay Structure

Organizing your essay efficiently is important for making sure it’s clear, concise, and to the point. Before you start writing, it’s important to understand the basic structure of an essay. Most essays are composed of an introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction serves as an opening paragraph where you should introduce the topic and provide any necessary background information that readers may need in order to understand the essay. A good introduction will explain why a reader should care about your topic and capture the attention of the reader.

The body is the main section of the essay where you will provide evidence, quotes, and any other relevant information to prove your point. It is important to make sure that each body paragraph has only one main point, and all of the evidence presented in the paragraph supports that one point.

The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. It should wrap up all of the points you made in the body and leave the reader with a sense of closure. It should also create a takeaway, or something for the reader to remember about what they have just read.

To make sure your essay is organized and has a consistent tone throughout, it is important to outline what each section should include. Outlining your essay structure before beginning eliminates unnecessary stress and makes sure you don’t forget any important points.

Research Phase: The Importance of Researching the Book

Before you dive into writing your essay on a book, you’ll want to make sure that you have done your research. No matter how familiar you are with the subject, it’s important to conduct research to ensure that your essay is accurate and well-informed.

Research can help you form a stronger thesis statement, better support your arguments, and provide evidence for your claims. It can also help you to organize your thoughts, uncover new ideas and angles, gain a deeper understanding of the text, or even find quotes or references that you can use in your essay.

Research should always come first. It helps to lay a strong foundation for the rest of your essay and it can save you from making any embarrassing mistakes. Have a clear understanding of the book’s themes, characters, and plot before you begin. Read reviews and criticisms, and take down notes for later.

Start by reading the book itself. Take your time and pay attention to details. Make notes, highlight any important passages, and consider different interpretations. After you get an overall gist of the book, expand your research outward into scholarly reviews, biographies, and other texts that can provide an objective, informed perspective.

The more research you do, the stronger your essay will be. Be sure to include all of the sources you used in your bibliography section. Research can be a tedious process, but with enough effort and dedication, you’ll be able to craft a well-informed, thoughtful essay on any book.

Pre-Writing Phase: Planning Your Essay

The pre-writing phase is the most important part of writing an essay on a book. Taking the time to plan your essay and organize your thoughts will help structure your argument and make your writing smoother. The pre-writing phase should involve a few key steps.

  • Brainstorm – Before you start writing, spend some time thinking about the book and how it relates to any themes, characters, or symbolism. Jot down your ideas so that you have a better understanding of what you want to focus on.
  • Outline – Write down some notes and make an outline of what you will cover in each paragraph. This will help you stay organized while writing and keep everything on track.
  • Research – Research any facts or quotes you may need to include in your essay. This will help you back up your claims and make your paper stronger.

Taking the time to plan ahead will help ensure your essay on a book is written clearly and effectively. You’ll be able to shape your argument easily and make sure you don’t miss anything important.

Thesis Formation

The thesis statement is a critical part of any essay on a book. It should be clear, concise, and capture the main argument and point of view of the essay. To ensure that your essay’s thesis statement is well-crafted, it is essential to follow a step-by-step guide.

Step One: Brainstorming Ideas

Before writing a thesis statement, you should brainstorm some ideas related to the book’s content. Consider the key elements of the book and think about how they could be connected into an argument or observation. Write down any ideas that pop into your mind, and use them as a basis for forming your thesis statement.

Step Two: Developing the Argument

Once you have a few ideas in mind, it is time to start developing a coherent argument. Try to make a connection between the ideas to create an original argument. Then, think about why this argument is important and what makes it relevant to the text.

Step Three: Writing the Thesis Statement

Now that you have an argument in mind, you are ready to craft your thesis statement. It should be a single sentence that clearly and concisely expresses your main argument. Generally, it should follow the same structure as any other essay’s thesis statement, stating the primary point of view, the evidence supporting it, and any other relevant details.

Step Four: Proofreading

The final step of crafting a great thesis statement is to proofread and edit it. Make sure that the statement is clear, concise, and captures the argument accurately. Additionally, pay attention to grammar and spelling. A minor mistake can weaken the force of the statement significantly.

Creating an effective thesis statement can help get your essay off to a strong start. As long as you follow these steps, you will be able to form a well-developed argument that can help you write a great essay on a book.

Drafting an Organized Paragraph

Editing: benefits and how to approach it effectively.

When writing an essay on a book, editing is a crucial step in the process. It can often be overlooked or skipped, but it shouldn’t be! Editing offers many valuable benefits, and it’s important to understand how to approach it effectively.

One of the biggest benefits of editing is that it gives you the opportunity to look at your essay with fresh eyes. Once you’ve written the paper, it can be nearly impossible to look at it objectively. Editing allows you to look at it critically and make necessary changes.

Editing also helps you to catch grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and typos. A single error can easily ruin an entire essay, so it’s essential to go over the paper and make sure everything is perfect. This can only be done by editing the paper carefully.

Finally, editing can help you to make sure that the essay is coherent and well-written. After writing the paper , you might realize that the introduction and conclusion don’t match up, or that two paragraphs contradict each other. Editing will help you to identify such issues and make the necessary adjustments.

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of editing, let’s look at how to approach it effectively. The first step is to read the entire essay through once without making any changes. This should give you a good overview of the paper and allow you to spot any major issues. The next step is to go through the paper again and make notes as you go along.

You should pay particular attention to grammar, spelling, typos, and structure. Make a note of anything that stands out and needs to be changed. Don’t worry if you can’t fix it right away – just write it down and come back to it later. The goal is to get an overall picture of what needs to be done.

Finally, it’s time to make the actual changes. Take your time and read each sentence carefully before you make any changes. Don’t be afraid to delete or add content between paragraphs to ensure that the essay flows naturally.

In summary, editing is an essential step in the essay-writing process. It offers many benefits, including the ability to look at the essay objectively, catch grammar mistakes and typos, and ensure that the essay is coherent and well-written. When approaching the editing phase, it’s important to read the paper through once without making any changes, make notes as you go, and take your time when making the actual changes.

Formatting – Adhering to Academic Standards

Formatting your essay correctly is a critical step in the writing process. It shows that you have taken care to put together an essay that follows the academic standards.

Here are a few tips for formatting your essay according to academic standards:

  • Make sure the margins of your essay are set to one inch on all sides.
  • Your font should be size 12 Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Use double spacing between lines, and make sure there is no extra space before or after each paragraph.
  • When quoting direct text, indenting it five spaces will make it easier to read.
  • Include a header at the top of your document that includes the title of the essay, your name, and the page number.

Formatted correctly, your essay will present itself as concise, organized, and professional. This is a must when following academic standards.

If you want to ensure that your essay looks even better, check with your professor for specific formatting requirements for your assignment.

By taking the time to properly format your essay, you are showing that you understand the importance of adhering to academic standards. This will help you get the best grades possible!

Understanding the Assignment

Writing an essay on a book can be quite a challenge for many students. One of the most important skills for tackling this task is to understand the assignment. To begin, students should read carefully and take notes on the writing prompt. Pay close attention to all the instructions as they are key to crafting an effective essay. This includes being mindful of any keywords or phrases in the prompt that will require further research.

When interpreting the instructions, it is also important to consider any extra guidelines or expectations the professor may have provided. These can include formatting, length, and specific areas of emphasis such as themes or characters. Questions such as ‘Who is the protagonist?’ or ‘How do the themes interact?’ should be actively considered while writing the essay. This helps produce a focused piece of work that is tailored to meet the requirements.

In addition, consider questions such as ‘What do I need to include?’ or ‘What is the purpose of this essay?’. Answering these questions allows students to identify their main points and develop an argument around them. This is a crucial step for forming an essay that is logical and cohesive.

Finally, students should always use the essay assignment to test their understanding of the book. It is often beneficial to leave time at the end of the writing process to review knowledge and reflect on any unanswered questions. Doing so ensures that the essay is comprehensive and addresses all aspects of the prompt.

Understanding the assignment is a vital step when writing an essay on a book. By paying attention to the prompt and any additional guidelines, students can ensure that their assignment is focused, detailed, and suitable for the task.

Effective Use of Quotes

Make sure your quote is relevant to the main argument of your essay.

Choose a quote that is engaging and thought-provoking.

Include the right amount of detail – don’t use too much or too little.

Explain the quote in your own words and provide context.

Think critically about the quote and how it applies to your argument.

Integrate the quote into your essay so that it flows naturally.

Tools for Writing an Essay on a Book

When writing an essay on a book there are certain tools that can help make the process easier. Knowing some of these basic terms and tools can help you write a better essay and make it much more enjoyable.

Creating an outline is one of the most important steps in writing an essay. It provides structure to your essay, ensuring that each point is made in the correct order and that the essay flows logically. Outlining also helps you stay organized and remember what needs to be included in the essay.

Doing research is important when writing an essay about a book. Read through the text and make notes about any interesting or pertinent information you find. Also, look for additional sources that can provide further insight into the book or the topics it raises.

Grammar and Spelling Checkers

Grammar and spelling checkers can be extremely useful when writing your essay. They can help you identify mistakes or typos that you may have missed. Double-check your work before you submit it to make sure it is as accurate and error-free as possible.

Writing Resources

Finally, there are many great writing resources available online that can provide further advice and guidance on how to write an effective essay. Look through examples of essays written by other students and learn from their techniques and approaches.

Knowing some of these basic terms and tools can help you get off to a strong start when writing an essay on a book. Do your research, create an outline, and use grammar and spelling checkers to make sure your work is as perfect as possible. Finally, don’t forget to look for other writing resources that can provide insight and advice.

Writing an essay on a book can be a daunting task, especially when attempting it for the first time. This guide aims to make the process of writing an essay on a book simple and easy-to-follow. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can make the process of writing your essay much easier.

A good conclusion should summarize the main points of the article, explain how to approach writing the final version, and reiterate why the content was important. To conclude your essay, start by summarizing the arguments and ideas that you presented throughout your paper. Then, move on to discussing why you chose to write the essay and the importance of studying the book. Finally, provide a brief statement that sums up the main points of the essay.

When writing the final version of your essay, there are some key points to keep in mind. First, proofread your work for any typos or errors. Make sure to properly cite any quotes or references that you used in your essay. Finally, consider having a peer review your essay to get another perspective and catch any mistakes that you might have missed.

Writing an essay on a book can be a rewarding experience when done correctly. The most important part of the process is to fully understand the material and the prompt. By following the steps outlined in this article and taking the time to research and plan, you can write an effective essay on a book.

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's " Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization ," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

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How to Write a Book Essay

Book essay writing is an omnipresent assignment imposed by many professors, especially if you are dealing with literature constantly. An essay on a book is usually a way for your teacher to get proof that you gained something from analyzing this book. They want to make sure that you read the book, thus having some personal thoughts that you’d like to express. Also, writing an essay is quite helpful for developing your skills at articulating thoughts. If you want to know how to write a book essay, then we are here to help you understand it in detail.

writing an essay on a book

What to Consider Writing an Essay on a Book

What is different from your usual essay, is that you need to express your thoughts after reading a certain work and then choose a direction to go from. It is a combination of character analysis combined with your personal feelings on the work that ultimately culminates in the creation of an expressive critical essay on a book. But how to write an essay about a book? Mind you, a professional essay on a book consists of certain criteria, that like chemical compounds create a proper reaction from a reader’s perspective:

  • This is the flair that you base your essay upon. This is when you’re creativeness comes to play, you want your essay to be unique
  • The way you structuralize sentences and pick certain words for your essay.
  • The basic structure of an essay, which usually consists of an introduction, main body, and conclusion.
  • Your essay bears an informative approach, being somewhat emotive to express personal thoughts on a particular book.

📚 How to Prepare for Book Essay Writing

Before writing an essay about a book, you need to think clearly about which plan to use, so that the flow of thoughts lines up into coherent, logical sentences.

How to start off an essay about a book? Immediately after receiving the topic of the essay, ideas and images will begin to arise in your head (of course, if you have read the work). On a rough sheet of paper, sketch the phrases or words that first come to mind. Then they can be developed into a whole essay.

So, think carefully about what you want to say about the topic. Then write down your thoughts on paper in a column. And then decide in what order you want to display these thoughts on paper. This is necessary for a clear and distinct structure of the work.

Read the Book Exhaustively

So how to start an essay about a book? Naturally, the main path to successfully writing an essay on a book is to more or less know the contents of the story. We’re not talking about remembering every single character trait or knowing the gist of each internal monologue. Just focus on what you find alluring about the story, trying to create the idea from a scene that you enjoy in particular. Then you can connect this scene to the character development, thus proving a point that even the smallest scene can influence the overall conclusion of the story. Plus, not knowing the story will make you unable to bring in examples, thus making you obliged to order an essay online .

Make Up One’s Mind About the Topic

How to write a book analysis essay perfectly? Another important thing about approaching a book essay is setting up an idea you’d like to share with the readers. Do you want to lead to a positive conclusion, something philosophical, or go in the direction that no one previously dared to? The idea here is that you need to create a point to focus on and try not to digress from it as much. Do you want to show how the hero struggles with basic human needs? If so, then don’t describe scenes where they do the opposite.

Prepare an Outline

How to write an analysis essay on a book? You have to think of a good outline. An outline is a sort of plan that you don’t want to diverge from. Planning is one of the fortes of humanity and without it, your essay might sound clunky and chaotic. Jumping randomly from point to point won’t get you high scores. Imagine creating an overarching ladder where your point gets stronger and stronger due to the logical nature of your essay. Think about how you want to start your essay, the quotes to strengthen your point, and the natural conclusion you’d like to bring your readers to. This is the gist of an outline.

Don’t Forget About Quotes

Another important aspect of how to write a book analysis is quoting a character to properly refer to a particular scene. An essay usually implies that you have access to all the resources you need, so it wouldn’t pose difficulty to look up a direct quote of a character that correlates with your thoughts. This is extremely important for professors as they want to be persuaded that you know what you are talking about. This is especially true if they are a fan of the story you are writing an essay on. People usually look for like-mindedness, being extremely happy about seeing someone agreeing with them.

📑 How to Structure Your Book Analysis Essay

How to introduce a book in an essay? Like any essay, a creative writing paper in literature consists of several elements:

  • Introduction.
  • Definition of the problem, its relevance.
  • The formulation of one’s position.
  • Arguments that support it.

The structure of the final essay on literature should be clear. Do not make too many paragraphs, but do not break the text into many small passages.

How to Start a Book Analysis Essay?

In the introductory part, the information should be written as if it were read by someone completely unfamiliar with the problem. Here you need to reveal the topic, the problem, and the relevance of the essay. The questions you can put in front of you will help with this:

  • What work are you writing your essay/essay on?
  • What do you know about the author of the work?
  • What is the genre of the work (comedy, drama, novel, etc.)? What aspects would you like to explore in your work?

Writing a Thesis Statement

How to start a paragraph about a book? You are in need of a thesis statement. A thesis statement is the main element for creating a perfect introduction and is your cornerstone to transition to the main body. It is a sentence where you state the main point of your essay, wanting to announce what it is that you are going to analyze. Thus the path to succeeding with the thesis statement is to make it correlate with your conclusion. In fact, you might even start writing a conclusion first, and then write a thesis statement based on it.

Create a Body Paragraph

Here it is necessary to highlight the thoughts that the work evoked, the emotions toward the chosen character or its circumstances.

Each idea will have to be supported by examples from the original text of the work. If you say that the problem of war worries the character, then you need to give examples in which this excitement is conveyed to the reader.

The main part is, for the most part, your reasoning about what you care about in the whole story. Show the evolution of your thought here, from what point in the work it originated, how it evolved, and what conclusion it eventually led to.

Book Essay Conclusion

And this is the finale you lead your readers to. So how to write a conclusion for an argumentative essay ? You create a final point based on everything you’ve been describing in the main body, reinstating the main point in the introduction. Mind you, that conclusion shouldn’t have any new information that wasn’t previously described. You just want to make your thoughts ironclad and protect those from basic criticism.

Need Help Writing an Essay on Books?

How to write an essay on a book when you are not invested in it? If you have an issue with creating an essay on books, then we are more than ready to help you out here. Not everyone is ready to read a book for the sake of making a teacher happy. Sometimes literature can be unbearable with a student who has no interest in or time to engage with it. Nevertheless, your assignment needs to be done and if a perfect score is something you are aiming for, then our paper writing services are the way to go.

Our team is made of literature experts that can learn the book in-depth, knowing exactly what your teacher might be looking for. We stick to the structure described in this article, coming up with a quality outline, and then writing a proper essay that is full of argumentation and persuasiveness.

What is the purpose of a book analysis essay?

A book analysis essay is usually created to write your thoughts on a particular book, trying to prove a personal statement concerning it. Perhaps you’d like to dive into the inner thoughts of a character, analyzing what elements led them to a particular path. You can go the other direction and analyze the writer’s style, complimenting them on creating this rich world. Furthermore, a book analysis essay can be full of critique for nobody is obliged to love everything.

How to talk about a book in an essay?

The main idea of writing an essay about a book is stating the point that is yours and yours only. The path to success is all about loving what you write, instead of feeling obliged to do something. If you just want to create something for the sake of just making an assignment, then your essay can feel bland. If you don’t like the work you need to write an essay on, then go with this direction and bring your fair share of critique.

How to start an essay on a book?

Asking yourself how to start an essay on a book? An essay usually starts with an introduction. You start it with a philosophical sentence that usually invites the reader to reminisce about the contents of the book. This is where you usually state the purpose of your essay, outlining the main point that you are further going to prove in the main body.

How many paragraphs are in a book essay?

The format for a book essay can differ from professor to professor but usually, it has five paragraphs or so. You don’t need to create a huge memoir on a particular book. Rather, you pick some narrow aspect hidden within it and try to condense your thoughts into one page. The most important aspect here is to not make it watery, repeating your point with no progress.

How to write an analysis paper on a book with a good outline?

The outline is the blueprint for creating your essay. This is where you want to create your main point, and then plan how you are going to prove it with particular examples from a book. An outline exists to properly structuralize your essay, without feeling random.

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In essay writing, the toughest part is always starting it. Most students agree: when you get the introduction paragraph right, you become much more confident about writing the rest of the paper. And, when it comes to more specific academic…  Read More

How to Write an Essay on a Book

Book essay writing is an omnipresent assignment imposed by many professors, especially if you are dealing with literature constantly. An essay on a book is usually a way for your teacher to get proof that you gained something from analyzing…  Read More

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how to write an essay of a book

essay tips from professional authors

Comprehensive Guide on How to Write an Essay About a Book

how to write an essay of a book

Essays are very common in middle school, high school, and college. Even after graduating college, you may need to write essays in the business world in the form of reports. However, writing an essay about a book takes a slightly different turn. It usually involves writing a detailed summary of the plot of a book or a simple book review.

This writing process may seem as simple as sitting down at the computer and beginning to type for some. But a lot more planning goes into writing a book essay successfully. If you have never written one before or struggle with talking about a book in an essay, you should read on.

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to write essays on books and give you some important steps in the essay writing process.

How to start an essay about a book

A book essay involves closely studying a text, interpreting its themes, and exploring why the author makes certain choices. It can be applied to novels, plays, short stories, poems, or any other form of literary writing.

Book essays aren’t merely book summaries. They can be a form of argumentative essay where you need to analyse the text’s perspective, language, and structure. They also explain how an author uses literary terms and elements to create emotional effects and convey ideas.

Before starting a book essay, it’s vital to carefully read the book and develop a thesis statement to keep your essay focused. As you write, you should follow the standard structure of a professional essay. Seeking professional guidance for your college application? Consider enlisting expert assistance to Write You College Essay and increase your chances of admission success.

It should take this structure:

  • An introduction that gives the reader an idea of what your essay will focus on.
  • The main body, which is divided into paragraphs that develop an argument using the text’s ideas.
  • A conclusion that summarises the main ideas you have given with your analysis.

Mentioning a book in an essay

Writing a book essay is not as easy as it may seem, especially when you are not sure how to write a book title in an essay. Some of the questions that most students ask include; Can I use quotation marks? Should I underline the book title? Will I use italics? Does the format depend on the referencing of the paper?

Every question highlighted is essential in learning how to mention a book in an essay. However, it is important to know that different writing styles have varying writing standards.

The style used to write a title of a book in an essay varies based on the formatting style of the paper. There are the APA, MLA, and Chicago writing styles.

Let’s take the example of an APA format.

The rules that apply to an APA format are different from those used in MLA and Chicago writing formats. Here are some of them:

  • Capitalise the first word and every word with more than four letters
  • For two-part hyphenated words, capitalization of both words is necessary
  • Words after dash or colon should also be capitalised
  • Use quotation marks instead of italics for reference material such as dictionaries.
  • Use italics for titles of Books, Films, Videos, journals, magazines, newspapers, and TV shows.

Learning the different book title writing styles for each paper format is very important, especially when writing a college essay about a book.

How to write an essay about a book

Writing a book essay can be tricky, so here are the steps that will guide you:

  • Read the book and locate literary devices

The first step is to read the book and take notes carefully. As you read, pay attention to the main points of the story. For instance, you can take note of things that are intriguing, surprising, or even confusing in writing. These usually form the basis of your analysis.

To begin your analysis, there are many key areas that you can focus on. As you analyse each element of the text, try to think about how they all connect.

  • Generate a thesis

Your thesis in a book essay is the point you want to make about the text. It’s usually the main argument that gives your essay direction and prevents it from being a collection of random observations about a book. If you’re given a prompt for your essay, your thesis must directly relate to the prompt.

  • Write a title and introduction

To start your book essay, you’ll need a good title and an introduction.

The title should indicate what your analysis will focus on. It generally contains the author’s name and the book you’re analysing. Keep it as brief and interesting as you can.

Your essay introduction should provide a brief outlook of where your argument is going. It should contain your thesis statement and an outline of the essay’s structure.

  • Write the body

Each paragraph in the main body should focus on one topic or argument of your book essay. Don’t try to add everything you can think about the text, but only key analysis that fuels your argument.

  • Write your conclusion

The conclusion of your analysis should wrap up the essay and summarise your key points while emphasising their significance to the reader. To achieve this, briefly summarise your key arguments, and locate the conclusion they’ve led you to.

Unlike regular essays, writing a book essay requires adherence to more rules and writing formats. You should always comprehensively read the book you want to write an essay about and follow a given writing style.

how to write an essay of a book

How to Write an Essay

Use the links below to jump directly to any section of this guide:

Essay Writing Fundamentals

How to prepare to write an essay, how to edit an essay, how to share and publish your essays, how to get essay writing help, how to find essay writing inspiration, resources for teaching essay writing.

Essays, short prose compositions on a particular theme or topic, are the bread and butter of academic life. You write them in class, for homework, and on standardized tests to show what you know. Unlike other kinds of academic writing (like the research paper) and creative writing (like short stories and poems), essays allow you to develop your original thoughts on a prompt or question. Essays come in many varieties: they can be expository (fleshing out an idea or claim), descriptive, (explaining a person, place, or thing), narrative (relating a personal experience), or persuasive (attempting to win over a reader). This guide is a collection of dozens of links about academic essay writing that we have researched, categorized, and annotated in order to help you improve your essay writing. 

Essays are different from other forms of writing; in turn, there are different kinds of essays. This section contains general resources for getting to know the essay and its variants. These resources introduce and define the essay as a genre, and will teach you what to expect from essay-based assessments.

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab

One of the most trusted academic writing sites, Purdue OWL provides a concise introduction to the four most common types of academic essays.

"The Essay: History and Definition" (ThoughtCo)

This snappy article from ThoughtCo talks about the origins of the essay and different kinds of essays you might be asked to write. 

"What Is An Essay?" Video Lecture (Coursera)

The University of California at Irvine's free video lecture, available on Coursera, tells  you everything you need to know about the essay.

Wikipedia Article on the "Essay"

Wikipedia's article on the essay is comprehensive, providing both English-language and global perspectives on the essay form. Learn about the essay's history, forms, and styles.

"Understanding College and Academic Writing" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This list of common academic writing assignments (including types of essay prompts) will help you know what to expect from essay-based assessments.

Before you start writing your essay, you need to figure out who you're writing for (audience), what you're writing about (topic/theme), and what you're going to say (argument and thesis). This section contains links to handouts, chapters, videos and more to help you prepare to write an essay.

How to Identify Your Audience

"Audience" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This handout provides questions you can ask yourself to determine the audience for an academic writing assignment. It also suggests strategies for fitting your paper to your intended audience.

"Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Content" (Univ. of Minnesota Libraries)

This extensive book chapter from Writing for Success , available online through Minnesota Libraries Publishing, is followed by exercises to try out your new pre-writing skills.

"Determining Audience" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This guide from a community college's writing center shows you how to know your audience, and how to incorporate that knowledge in your thesis statement.

"Know Your Audience" ( Paper Rater Blog)

This short blog post uses examples to show how implied audiences for essays differ. It reminds you to think of your instructor as an observer, who will know only the information you pass along.

How to Choose a Theme or Topic

"Research Tutorial: Developing Your Topic" (YouTube)

Take a look at this short video tutorial from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to understand the basics of developing a writing topic.

"How to Choose a Paper Topic" (WikiHow)

This simple, step-by-step guide (with pictures!) walks you through choosing a paper topic. It starts with a detailed description of brainstorming and ends with strategies to refine your broad topic.

"How to Read an Assignment: Moving From Assignment to Topic" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Did your teacher give you a prompt or other instructions? This guide helps you understand the relationship between an essay assignment and your essay's topic.

"Guidelines for Choosing a Topic" (CliffsNotes)

This study guide from CliffsNotes both discusses how to choose a topic and makes a useful distinction between "topic" and "thesis."

How to Come Up with an Argument

"Argument" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

Not sure what "argument" means in the context of academic writing? This page from the University of North Carolina is a good place to start.

"The Essay Guide: Finding an Argument" (Study Hub)

This handout explains why it's important to have an argument when beginning your essay, and provides tools to help you choose a viable argument.

"Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument" (University of Iowa)

This page from the University of Iowa's Writing Center contains exercises through which you can develop and refine your argument and thesis statement.

"Developing a Thesis" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This page from Harvard's Writing Center collates some helpful dos and don'ts of argumentative writing, from steps in constructing a thesis to avoiding vague and confrontational thesis statements.

"Suggestions for Developing Argumentative Essays" (Berkeley Student Learning Center)

This page offers concrete suggestions for each stage of the essay writing process, from topic selection to drafting and editing. 

How to Outline your Essay

"Outlines" (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via YouTube)

This short video tutorial from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows how to group your ideas into paragraphs or sections to begin the outlining process.

"Essay Outline" (Univ. of Washington Tacoma)

This two-page handout by a university professor simply defines the parts of an essay and then organizes them into an example outline.

"Types of Outlines and Samples" (Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab)

Purdue OWL gives examples of diverse outline strategies on this page, including the alphanumeric, full sentence, and decimal styles. 

"Outlining" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Once you have an argument, according to this handout, there are only three steps in the outline process: generalizing, ordering, and putting it all together. Then you're ready to write!

"Writing Essays" (Plymouth Univ.)

This packet, part of Plymouth University's Learning Development series, contains descriptions and diagrams relating to the outlining process.

"How to Write A Good Argumentative Essay: Logical Structure" ( via YouTube)

This longer video tutorial gives an overview of how to structure your essay in order to support your argument or thesis. It is part of a longer course on academic writing hosted on Udemy.

Now that you've chosen and refined your topic and created an outline, use these resources to complete the writing process. Most essays contain introductions (which articulate your thesis statement), body paragraphs, and conclusions. Transitions facilitate the flow from one paragraph to the next so that support for your thesis builds throughout the essay. Sources and citations show where you got the evidence to support your thesis, which ensures that you avoid plagiarism. 

How to Write an Introduction

"Introductions" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page identifies the role of the introduction in any successful paper, suggests strategies for writing introductions, and warns against less effective introductions.

"How to Write A Good Introduction" (Michigan State Writing Center)

Beginning with the most common missteps in writing introductions, this guide condenses the essentials of introduction composition into seven points.

"The Introductory Paragraph" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post from academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming focuses on ways to grab your reader's attention at the beginning of your essay.

"Introductions and Conclusions" (Univ. of Toronto)

This guide from the University of Toronto gives advice that applies to writing both introductions and conclusions, including dos and don'ts.

"How to Write Better Essays: No One Does Introductions Properly" ( The Guardian )

This news article interviews UK professors on student essay writing; they point to introductions as the area that needs the most improvement.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

"Writing an Effective Thesis Statement" (YouTube)

This short, simple video tutorial from a college composition instructor at Tulsa Community College explains what a thesis statement is and what it does. 

"Thesis Statement: Four Steps to a Great Essay" (YouTube)

This fantastic tutorial walks you through drafting a thesis, using an essay prompt on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter as an example.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement" (WikiHow)

This step-by-step guide (with pictures!) walks you through coming up with, writing, and editing a thesis statement. It invites you think of your statement as a "working thesis" that can change.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement" (Univ. of Indiana Bloomington)

Ask yourself the questions on this page, part of Indiana Bloomington's Writing Tutorial Services, when you're writing and refining your thesis statement.

"Writing Tips: Thesis Statements" (Univ. of Illinois Center for Writing Studies)

This page gives plentiful examples of good to great thesis statements, and offers questions to ask yourself when formulating a thesis statement.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

"Body Paragraph" (Brightstorm)

This module of a free online course introduces you to the components of a body paragraph. These include the topic sentence, information, evidence, and analysis.

"Strong Body Paragraphs" (Washington Univ.)

This handout from Washington's Writing and Research Center offers in-depth descriptions of the parts of a successful body paragraph.

"Guide to Paragraph Structure" (Deakin Univ.)

This handout is notable for color-coding example body paragraphs to help you identify the functions various sentences perform.

"Writing Body Paragraphs" (Univ. of Minnesota Libraries)

The exercises in this section of Writing for Success  will help you practice writing good body paragraphs. It includes guidance on selecting primary support for your thesis.

"The Writing Process—Body Paragraphs" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

The information and exercises on this page will familiarize you with outlining and writing body paragraphs, and includes links to more information on topic sentences and transitions.

"The Five-Paragraph Essay" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post discusses body paragraphs in the context of one of the most common academic essay types in secondary schools.

How to Use Transitions

"Transitions" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explains what a transition is, and how to know if you need to improve your transitions.

"Using Transitions Effectively" (Washington Univ.)

This handout defines transitions, offers tips for using them, and contains a useful list of common transitional words and phrases grouped by function.

"Transitions" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This page compares paragraphs without transitions to paragraphs with transitions, and in doing so shows how important these connective words and phrases are.

"Transitions in Academic Essays" (Scribbr)

This page lists four techniques that will help you make sure your reader follows your train of thought, including grouping similar information and using transition words.

"Transitions" (El Paso Community College)

This handout shows example transitions within paragraphs for context, and explains how transitions improve your essay's flow and voice.

"Make Your Paragraphs Flow to Improve Writing" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post, another from academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming, talks about transitions and other strategies to improve your essay's overall flow.

"Transition Words" (

This handy word bank will help you find transition words when you're feeling stuck. It's grouped by the transition's function, whether that is to show agreement, opposition, condition, or consequence.

How to Write a Conclusion

"Parts of An Essay: Conclusions" (Brightstorm)

This module of a free online course explains how to conclude an academic essay. It suggests thinking about the "3Rs": return to hook, restate your thesis, and relate to the reader.

"Essay Conclusions" (Univ. of Maryland University College)

This overview of the academic essay conclusion contains helpful examples and links to further resources for writing good conclusions.

"How to End An Essay" (WikiHow)

This step-by-step guide (with pictures!) by an English Ph.D. walks you through writing a conclusion, from brainstorming to ending with a flourish.

"Ending the Essay: Conclusions" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This page collates useful strategies for writing an effective conclusion, and reminds you to "close the discussion without closing it off" to further conversation.

How to Include Sources and Citations

"Research and Citation Resources" (Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab)

Purdue OWL streamlines information about the three most common referencing styles (MLA, Chicago, and APA) and provides examples of how to cite different resources in each system.

EasyBib: Free Bibliography Generator

This online tool allows you to input information about your source and automatically generate citations in any style. Be sure to select your resource type before clicking the "cite it" button.


Like EasyBib, this online tool allows you to input information about your source and automatically generate citations in any style. 

Modern Language Association Handbook (MLA)

Here, you'll find the definitive and up-to-date record of MLA referencing rules. Order through the link above, or check to see if your library has a copy.

Chicago Manual of Style

Here, you'll find the definitive and up-to-date record of Chicago referencing rules. You can take a look at the table of contents, then choose to subscribe or start a free trial.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

"What is Plagiarism?" (

This nonprofit website contains numerous resources for identifying and avoiding plagiarism, and reminds you that even common activities like copying images from another website to your own site may constitute plagiarism.

"Plagiarism" (University of Oxford)

This interactive page from the University of Oxford helps you check for plagiarism in your work, making it clear how to avoid citing another person's work without full acknowledgement.

"Avoiding Plagiarism" (MIT Comparative Media Studies)

This quick guide explains what plagiarism is, what its consequences are, and how to avoid it. It starts by defining three words—quotation, paraphrase, and summary—that all constitute citation.

"Harvard Guide to Using Sources" (Harvard Extension School)

This comprehensive website from Harvard brings together articles, videos, and handouts about referencing, citation, and plagiarism. 

Grammarly contains tons of helpful grammar and writing resources, including a free tool to automatically scan your essay to check for close affinities to published work. 

Noplag is another popular online tool that automatically scans your essay to check for signs of plagiarism. Simply copy and paste your essay into the box and click "start checking."

Once you've written your essay, you'll want to edit (improve content), proofread (check for spelling and grammar mistakes), and finalize your work until you're ready to hand it in. This section brings together tips and resources for navigating the editing process. 

"Writing a First Draft" (Academic Help)

This is an introduction to the drafting process from the site Academic Help, with tips for getting your ideas on paper before editing begins.

"Editing and Proofreading" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page provides general strategies for revising your writing. They've intentionally left seven errors in the handout, to give you practice in spotting them.

"How to Proofread Effectively" (ThoughtCo)

This article from ThoughtCo, along with those linked at the bottom, help describe common mistakes to check for when proofreading.

"7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful" (SmartBlogger)

This blog post emphasizes the importance of powerful, concise language, and reminds you that even your personal writing heroes create clunky first drafts.

"Editing Tips for Effective Writing" (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

On this page from Penn's International Relations department, you'll find tips for effective prose, errors to watch out for, and reminders about formatting.

"Editing the Essay" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This article, the first of two parts, gives you applicable strategies for the editing process. It suggests reading your essay aloud, removing any jargon, and being unafraid to remove even "dazzling" sentences that don't belong.

"Guide to Editing and Proofreading" (Oxford Learning Institute)

This handout from Oxford covers the basics of editing and proofreading, and reminds you that neither task should be rushed. 

In addition to plagiarism-checkers, Grammarly has a plug-in for your web browser that checks your writing for common mistakes.

After you've prepared, written, and edited your essay, you might want to share it outside the classroom. This section alerts you to print and web opportunities to share your essays with the wider world, from online writing communities and blogs to published journals geared toward young writers.

Sharing Your Essays Online

Go Teen Writers

Go Teen Writers is an online community for writers aged 13 - 19. It was founded by Stephanie Morrill, an author of contemporary young adult novels. 

Tumblr is a blogging website where you can share your writing and interact with other writers online. It's easy to add photos, links, audio, and video components.

Writersky provides an online platform for publishing and reading other youth writers' work. Its current content is mostly devoted to fiction.

Publishing Your Essays Online

This teen literary journal publishes in print, on the web, and (more frequently), on a blog. It is committed to ensuring that "teens see their authentic experience reflected on its pages."

The Matador Review

This youth writing platform celebrates "alternative," unconventional writing. The link above will take you directly to the site's "submissions" page.

Teen Ink has a website, monthly newsprint magazine, and quarterly poetry magazine promoting the work of young writers.

The largest online reading platform, Wattpad enables you to publish your work and read others' work. Its inline commenting feature allows you to share thoughts as you read along.

Publishing Your Essays in Print

Canvas Teen Literary Journal

This quarterly literary magazine is published for young writers by young writers. They accept many kinds of writing, including essays.

The Claremont Review

This biannual international magazine, first published in 1992, publishes poetry, essays, and short stories from writers aged 13 - 19.

Skipping Stones

This young writers magazine, founded in 1988, celebrates themes relating to ecological and cultural diversity. It publishes poems, photos, articles, and stories.

The Telling Room

This nonprofit writing center based in Maine publishes children's work on their website and in book form. The link above directs you to the site's submissions page.

Essay Contests

Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards

This prestigious international writing contest for students in grades 7 - 12 has been committed to "supporting the future of creativity since 1923."

Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest

An annual essay contest on the theme of journalism and media, the Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest awards scholarships up to $1,000.

National YoungArts Foundation

Here, you'll find information on a government-sponsored writing competition for writers aged 15 - 18. The foundation welcomes submissions of creative nonfiction, novels, scripts, poetry, short story and spoken word.

Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest

With prompts on a different literary work each year, this competition from Signet Classics awards college scholarships up to $1,000.

"The Ultimate Guide to High School Essay Contests" (CollegeVine)

See this handy guide from CollegeVine for a list of more competitions you can enter with your academic essay, from the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards to the National High School Essay Contest by the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Whether you're struggling to write academic essays or you think you're a pro, there are workshops and online tools that can help you become an even better writer. Even the most seasoned writers encounter writer's block, so be proactive and look through our curated list of resources to combat this common frustration.

Online Essay-writing Classes and Workshops

"Getting Started with Essay Writing" (Coursera)

Coursera offers lots of free, high-quality online classes taught by college professors. Here's one example, taught by instructors from the University of California Irvine.

"Writing and English" (Brightstorm)

Brightstorm's free video lectures are easy to navigate by topic. This unit on the parts of an essay features content on the essay hook, thesis, supporting evidence, and more.

"How to Write an Essay" (EdX)

EdX is another open online university course website with several two- to five-week courses on the essay. This one is geared toward English language learners.

Writer's Digest University

This renowned writers' website offers online workshops and interactive tutorials. The courses offered cover everything from how to get started through how to get published.

Signing up for this online writer's community gives you access to helpful resources as well as an international community of writers.

How to Overcome Writer's Block

"Symptoms and Cures for Writer's Block" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue OWL offers a list of signs you might have writer's block, along with ways to overcome it. Consider trying out some "invention strategies" or ways to curb writing anxiety.

"Overcoming Writer's Block: Three Tips" ( The Guardian )

These tips, geared toward academic writing specifically, are practical and effective. The authors advocate setting realistic goals, creating dedicated writing time, and participating in social writing.

"Writing Tips: Strategies for Overcoming Writer's Block" (Univ. of Illinois)

This page from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Center for Writing Studies acquaints you with strategies that do and do not work to overcome writer's block.

"Writer's Block" (Univ. of Toronto)

Ask yourself the questions on this page; if the answer is "yes," try out some of the article's strategies. Each question is accompanied by at least two possible solutions.

If you have essays to write but are short on ideas, this section's links to prompts, example student essays, and celebrated essays by professional writers might help. You'll find writing prompts from a variety of sources, student essays to inspire you, and a number of essay writing collections.

Essay Writing Prompts

"50 Argumentative Essay Topics" (ThoughtCo)

Take a look at this list and the others ThoughtCo has curated for different kinds of essays. As the author notes, "a number of these topics are controversial and that's the point."

"401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing" ( New York Times )

This list (and the linked lists to persuasive and narrative writing prompts), besides being impressive in length, is put together by actual high school English teachers.

"SAT Sample Essay Prompts" (College Board)

If you're a student in the U.S., your classroom essay prompts are likely modeled on the prompts in U.S. college entrance exams. Take a look at these official examples from the SAT.

"Popular College Application Essay Topics" (Princeton Review)

This page from the Princeton Review dissects recent Common Application essay topics and discusses strategies for answering them.

Example Student Essays

"501 Writing Prompts" (DePaul Univ.)

This nearly 200-page packet, compiled by the LearningExpress Skill Builder in Focus Writing Team, is stuffed with writing prompts, example essays, and commentary.

"Topics in English" (Kibin)

Kibin is a for-pay essay help website, but its example essays (organized by topic) are available for free. You'll find essays on everything from  A Christmas Carol  to perseverance.

"Student Writing Models" (Thoughtful Learning)

Thoughtful Learning, a website that offers a variety of teaching materials, provides sample student essays on various topics and organizes them by grade level.

"Five-Paragraph Essay" (ThoughtCo)

In this blog post by a former professor of English and rhetoric, ThoughtCo brings together examples of five-paragraph essays and commentary on the form.

The Best Essay Writing Collections

The Best American Essays of the Century by Joyce Carol Oates (Amazon)

This collection of American essays spanning the twentieth century was compiled by award winning author and Princeton professor Joyce Carol Oates.

The Best American Essays 2017 by Leslie Jamison (Amazon)

Leslie Jamison, the celebrated author of essay collection  The Empathy Exams , collects recent, high-profile essays into a single volume.

The Art of the Personal Essay by Phillip Lopate (Amazon)

Documentary writer Phillip Lopate curates this historical overview of the personal essay's development, from the classical era to the present.

The White Album by Joan Didion (Amazon)

This seminal essay collection was authored by one of the most acclaimed personal essayists of all time, American journalist Joan Didion.

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace (Amazon)

Read this famous essay collection by David Foster Wallace, who is known for his experimentation with the essay form. He pushed the boundaries of personal essay, reportage, and political polemic.

"50 Successful Harvard Application Essays" (Staff of the The Harvard Crimson )

If you're looking for examples of exceptional college application essays, this volume from Harvard's daily student newspaper is one of the best collections on the market.

Are you an instructor looking for the best resources for teaching essay writing? This section contains resources for developing in-class activities and student homework assignments. You'll find content from both well-known university writing centers and online writing labs.

Essay Writing Classroom Activities for Students

"In-class Writing Exercises" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page lists exercises related to brainstorming, organizing, drafting, and revising. It also contains suggestions for how to implement the suggested exercises.

"Teaching with Writing" (Univ. of Minnesota Center for Writing)

Instructions and encouragement for using "freewriting," one-minute papers, logbooks, and other write-to-learn activities in the classroom can be found here.

"Writing Worksheets" (Berkeley Student Learning Center)

Berkeley offers this bank of writing worksheets to use in class. They are nested under headings for "Prewriting," "Revision," "Research Papers" and more.

"Using Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism" (DePaul University)

Use these activities and worksheets from DePaul's Teaching Commons when instructing students on proper academic citation practices.

Essay Writing Homework Activities for Students

"Grammar and Punctuation Exercises" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

These five interactive online activities allow students to practice editing and proofreading. They'll hone their skills in correcting comma splices and run-ons, identifying fragments, using correct pronoun agreement, and comma usage.

"Student Interactives" (Read Write Think)

Read Write Think hosts interactive tools, games, and videos for developing writing skills. They can practice organizing and summarizing, writing poetry, and developing lines of inquiry and analysis.

This free website offers writing and grammar activities for all grade levels. The lessons are designed to be used both for large classes and smaller groups.

"Writing Activities and Lessons for Every Grade" (Education World)

Education World's page on writing activities and lessons links you to more free, online resources for learning how to "W.R.I.T.E.": write, revise, inform, think, and edit.

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How to Write an Essay about a Book

An essay about a book, called a book review, is like a helpful report that tells you about the book. It talks about the main idea, characters, and how the author writes. It also gives a summary of what happens in the book. This kind of essay helps others decide if they want to read the book as well. 

When you are writing an essay about a book, follow these important steps:  

Examine the text thoroughly.  .

Before you start writing your essay, it is crucial to carefully read the poem, short story, novel, play, or whatever you are studying. If it is short, like a poem, read it multiple times until you really get what it is trying to say. For longer pieces, mark or highlight parts that catch your attention as you read. This will help you figure out the main point of your essay later. 

Skipping this step can cause big problems. Take enough time to read and understand the text well. This will set the groundwork for a great literary analysis paper. 

Think of a Topic.  

After you finish reading, the next step is to produce ideas for what to write about. This can be a bit tricky, but it requires you to look at things closely and use your imagination. Your teacher might have given you some questions to help. If not, here are some things to think about: 

  • How does the story connect to the world around us? 
  • What parts of the story did you find interesting or confusing? Think more about why those parts caught your attention. 
  • Look at the characters. Why do they do what they do? Can you compare or contrast different characters? Do they represent something else? 
  • Think about where the story happens. If it were in a different time or place, how would it be different? Why do you think the author picked this place? 
  • Did any pictures in your mind stand out? 
  • Think about the extensive ideas in the story. Which ones keep coming up, and what do they tell us about the main message of the story? 
  • What do you think the author wanted to say in the story? Do you think they did an excellent job, and why? 

Gather and Explain the Proof.  

When you are thinking about your idea, think about what evidence supports each potential topic. It is good to be creative, and you want to pick an idea that is not too obvious. But also, be careful not to choose something so hard to understand that it is tough to back up your argument. 

Start collecting proof to support your main idea. This is where the highlighting and careful reading you did earlier will come in handy. If you think there is enough proof for your argument, move on to the thesis part. Also, do not ignore evidence that goes against your idea. You might find a way to explain things that seem to go against your thesis in a way that supports it. 

Write a thesis.

Your thesis is the big idea you are saying in your paper. It is the most important part. Being able to support your thesis well is even more important than picking a unique topic. 

When you write your thesis, make sure it is something people can argue about. It should not just be a fact. For instance, a bad thesis would be: 

"Harry Potter is a series about magic and friendship." 

This is bad because it is too obvious, and everyone would agree. Remember, a literary analysis is not just summarizing the book. A better thesis could be: 

"In the Harry Potter series, the author challenges our ideas about good and evil. Despite making us think certain characters are purely good or bad, J.K. Rowling actually shows us the complexity of morality in unexpected ways." 

The student who wrote this would need to find enough proof to back up their idea. But this thesis is better because people can argue about it, it is specific, not something everyone already knows, and it is a bit surprising. 

Build and Arrange Your Points.  

You have gathered proof and made a main point. Now, let us dive in and start putting everything together on a well-organized paper. Make an outline and decide where each piece of proof fits in your main argument. At this point, you might realize you need more supporting points. 

As you look at the text more closely and pick out parts that back up your main point, you might see that your main point needs some adjustments. It is fine to change your main point based on the evidence you find.

Write a First Draft.

Now, it is time to bring together all you are planning and start writing your literary analysis. This first version of your essay does not have to be perfect. Do not worry too much about getting all the grammar right or making your sentences sound fancy. The polishing part comes later. 

Right now, concentrate on presenting your main point and clearly stating all the ideas you have discovered. Spot places where you might need more explanation and find parts in the text that support that. Organize your essay in a way that makes sense to you. Perfecting things comes later. 

Improve Your Points and Check Again.  

Now that your ideas are on paper, it is time to make them better and review. Are any of the things you wrote saying the same thing? Can you say your point more succinctly? After looking more closely, are you realize that some of the proof you gathered does not fit into your paper like you thought? 

Be tough when you edit your first draft. This is when you should start paying attention to grammar, how your sentences are structured, and the main point you are making. Keep going back to your main point to make sure your essay is staying on track. Is each paragraph helping to prove the point you made in your main point? 

Get another Opinion and Finish Up.  

Before you submit your paper, have someone you trust read it over. New eyes can catch small mistakes in spelling and grammar, or bigger issues with how your paper is set up or what it is saying. Make sure the person reviewing it knows you want honest feedback and will not be upset by their helpful suggestions. 

Other Considerations for Writing a Book Essay:  

Additionally, it is an innovative idea to see how the book you are discussing compares to others that are similar. This helps you figure out if the book has a unique perspective or if it is just like many others. This way, your essay or review becomes more complete and gives a strong opinion about the book. 

Checking out the author’s life story can give you clues about their viewpoint. Understanding the author better can help you get a better grip on the book. It adds more layers to your understanding. 

Finish your book review by sharing your thoughts and suggestions. This includes whether you recommend the book to potential readers. Let them know if you think it is worth their time. 

To sum it up, making an essay about a book is easier when you follow these simple ideas. They highlight getting and sharing information about the book's content, the author's life, the book's theme, and how it is written. Always aim to help your reader decide if the book is worth diving into. 

Different Ways to Look at How a Book is written:  

Description:  .

  • Explain how the author shows scenes and events. 
  • Use words or even pictures to show all the details. 


  • Understand how the author tells the series of events. 
  • Usually, it is in order, but in a novel, the author might change the order for the latest ideas. 


  • Look at how the author breaks down the story. 
  • Explain in a detailed way while staying impartial. 


  • Explore how the author tries to persuade. 
  • Focus on using arguments to support a statement or address a problem. 

Final Words  

In summary, answering the question "how to write an essay about a book" becomes straightforward when you follow the outlined guidelines. These guidelines emphasize gathering and presenting information on the book's content, including the author's biography, the book's theme, thesis, and writing style. Always keep in mind that your aim is to help your reader impartially decide whether the book is worth investing their time in. 


How do I start writing an essay about a book?  

Begin by thoroughly reading the book and taking notes on key themes, characters, and events. Then, develop an outline to organize your thoughts before diving into the actual writing. 

What should I include in the introduction of my book essay?  

In the introduction, provide essential details about the book, such as the author's name, the title, and the publication date. Additionally, offer a brief overview of the main theme or purpose of the book. 

How can I analyze the style of a book in my essay?  

To analyze the style, focus on how the author describes scenes (description), unfolds events (narration), breaks down the story (exposition), and employs persuasive techniques (argumentation). Discuss these elements in detail to highlight the author's writing style. 

What should be the focus of the body paragraphs in my book essay?  

Each body paragraph should delve into a specific aspect of your analysis, whether it is character development, plot structure, thematic elements, or the author's writing style. Provide evidence from the book to support your analysis and tie each paragraph back to your thesis. 

How do I conclude my essay about a book effectively?  

Offer your concluding thoughts on the book, highlighting its significance and potential impact. Avoid introducing the latest information and leave the reader with a clear understanding of your perspective on the book. 


Top of Form

  • Rutenberg, A. How to Write an Essay.
  • Khoshhal, P. A. M. (2021). How to Write an Academic Essay. International Journal for Research in Applied Sciences and Biotechnology, 8(6), 31-36.

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Expository Essay

Expository Essay About A Book

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Learn the Basics of Crafting an Expository Essay about a Book

Expository essay about a book

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Looking for ways to write an effective expository essay on a book?

An expository essay about a book can be a challenging task, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating.

With the right approach and understanding of the basics, you can turn your assignment into an engaging exploration of your chosen text.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the steps for creating an effective expository essay about a book.

So let's begin! 

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is an Expository Essay About a Book?
  • 2. Expository Essay About a Book Examples
  • 3. How To Write An Expository Essay About a Book?

What is an Expository Essay About a Book?

So what is an expository essay? An expository essay is a type of writing that examines and explains a topic in detail. 

Writing an expository essay about a book can be a fun and educational way to explore the meaning of literature. It allows you to analyze the author’s writing style, themes, or various other aspects of a book.

In such an essay, you are expected to choose a particular aspect of a book and write an essay discussing that aspect in detail.

For example , you can write an expository essay about the depiction of authoritarianism in George Orwell's 1984. Similarly, you can choose to discuss any aspect of a book you’ve read.

Now that you know what an expository essay is, let's look at some examples.

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Expository Essay About a Book Examples

To understand expository essays better, let’s take a look at some examples:

Expository Essay About a Book Example

Expository Essay About a Novel

Book Expository Essay Example

Reading these sample essays will help you understand what an expository essay about a book should look like.

Looking for more sample expository essays? Read our expository essay examples blog.

Now that you've read some essays, it's time for you to write one yourself. Let’s move on to the steps for writing your essay about a book.

How To Write An Expository Essay About a Book?

Expository writing requires a few simple steps to ensure your paper is well-structured and engaging.

Here are the steps you should follow to write an effective essay about a book:

Step 1. Read and Analyze the Book Thoroughly

Whether you have been assigned a book by your instructor or have chosen one yourself, you should read it thoroughly.

Before you begin writing your essay, it’s important to do your research. That means reading carefully through the book, taking notes on key aspects of the text, and making observations.

When analyzing a book, you may look for the following aspects:

  • Prominent themes
  • Important characters or events in the story
  • Why the author chose to write the book
  • How the text relates to its historical context

In short: read, take notes, and make observations.

Here’s a very useful video about how to discuss a book in your writing:

Step 2. Choose a Topic

Once you’ve read and analyzed the book in detail, pick out an interesting aspect you can write about.

Your chosen topic will serve as your essay’s focus and help guide your writing. It could be anything from a character’s development to an in-depth look at the themes or symbols in the book.

In addition to writing about a book, there are many other expository essay topics for you to explore.

Step 3. Outline Your Essay

Before diving into your essay, it’s important to create an expository essay outline that will serve as your roadmap. An expository essay commonly consists of five paragraphs, often referred to as the "five-paragraph essay" structure. 

Your outline should contain: 

Start by writing down your main points and supporting ideas and then organizing them into logical sections. It helps your essay flow logically.

Step 4. Write the First Draft of Your Essay

At this point, you can begin writing your essay.

Use the outline you created to structure your points and support them with evidence from the book. Make sure to remain objective in your analysis, citing facts and examples from the text.

Step 5. Edit & Revise

Once you’ve written your first draft, review it and make any changes or corrections necessary.

Make sure to double-check for grammar and spelling mistakes as well as the accuracy of facts. You may also want to get a second opinion from a friend or teacher before submitting your essay.

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

To wrap it up,

Writing an expository essay assignment about a book can be a great way to explore literature.

By following the steps outlined in this blog, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an effective and engaging essay.

Still, facing difficulties writing your essay? Don't worry! MyPerfectWords is here to help. is a reliable destination for your essay writing needs, catering to students across academic levels. Our expository essay writing service is conveniently accessible with just a few clicks.

Connect now to experience academic excellence with our legitimate essay writing service !

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Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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How to Write Book Titles in Your Essays

How to Write Book Titles in Your Essays

3-minute read

  • 26th May 2023

When writing an essay, you’re likely to mention other authors’ works, such as books, papers, and articles. Formatting the titles of these works usually involves using quotation marks or italics.

So how do you write a book title in an essay? Most style guides have a standard for this – be sure to check that first. If you’re unsure, though, check out our guide below.

Italics or Quotation Marks?

As a general rule, you should set titles of longer works in italics , and titles of shorter works go in quotation marks . Longer works include books, journals, TV shows, albums, plays, etc. Here’s an example of a book mention:

Shorter works include poems, articles, chapters of books, episodes of TV shows, songs, etc. If it’s a piece that’s part of a biggHow to Write Book Titles in Your Essayser work, the piece considered a short work:

Exceptions to the Rule

The rule for writing book titles in italics applies specifically to running text . If the book title is standing on its own, as in a heading, there’s no need to italicize it.

Additionally, if the book is part of a larger series and you’re mentioning both the title of the series and that of the individual book, you can consider the book a shorter work. You would set the title of the series in italics and place the book title in quotation marks:

Punctuation in Book Titles

Do you need to apply italics to the punctuation in a book title? The short answer is yes – but only if the punctuation is part of the title:

If the punctuation isn’t part of the title (i.e., the punctuation is part of the sentence containing the title), you shouldn’t include in the italics:

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Summary: Writing Book Titles in Essays

We hope you’ll now feel confident when you’re writing and formatting book titles in your essays. Generally, you should set the title in italics when it’s in running text. Remember, though, to check your style guide. While the standards we’ve covered are the most common, some style guides have different requirements.

And once you finish writing your paper, make sure you send it our way! We’ll make sure any titles are formatted correctly as well as checking your work for grammar, spelling, punctuation, referencing, and more. Submit a free sample to try our service today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write the title of a book in a sentence.

Set the title of the book in italics unless the book is part of a larger work (e.g., a book that’s part of a series):

When do you use quotation marks for titles?

Place titles of shorter works or pieces that are contained in a larger work in quotation marks:

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how to write an essay of a book

  • Writing an essay on a book

Dec 4, 2019 | Writing , Essay Writing , Writing guide

how to write an essay of a book

It is common knowledge that not every student likes writing. There is a lot that is involved in this task such that the student feels too overwhelmed at times. These students have no other choice but to tow the line and write assignments that will help them to get good grades. One such assignment involves writing an essay about a book. The idea is to give the audience a good opinion of the work such that they can decide to reads it or not. Even though literature is not among the most favorite subjects even in high school, the student is still expected to bring his A-game.

If the assignment requires you to write an essay on book, be ready to go through everything necessary for its success. Think of all the aspects that make the book interesting or not. Follow the author has discussed the various aspects in that piece of literature. It is your prerogative to know how to write an essay on a book, whether you like it or not.

Writing essays on books is a common assignment that you will have to face. As such, you are supposed to take a stand on a given work. You have to analyze it in the bigger context as well as analyze the themes therein. You also have to pay attention to the literary merit of the author. This means you have to read the book severally to understand everything about it. You have to capture what the authority intended to be the primary message of the work. Remember, after reading, it is the only time you can take up a stance on the work. This will help you to formulate an excellent thesis statement to make your writing more focused. This is one of the best techniques you can apply when you want to know how to write an essay for a book.

What you gain from this essay

One of the important things that you can gain from writing essays on a book is that you enhance your understanding of the work. It is also a chance for you to work hard for those good grades that you want. This is an assignment you need to take seriously, as it not only leaves with good grades but also with excellent skills of analyzing a given piece of literature in a better way that you would have before. Henceforth, you will be writing better assignments, whether or not you are reviewing a book or not.

what you gain from essay on a book

Quick pointers to write a better essay on a book

Before proceeding further, you can take these quick tips that can help you in the first instances. They include the following.

Select a book

If you have not been issued with a book, you can select one and decide to write an essay on it. This should be a book that is interesting to you and by extension, to the audience. However, remember that the audience may or may not have read the book. As such, you should be careful about the details that you divulge here.

Determine the goal for the length

This essay is likely to have a predetermined number of words. As such, you should read the book bearing in mind that you have a limitation on the number of words you can write. As such, be ready with a good strategy that will enable you to write a very competent essay about a book.

Decide the format and the style

If you are lucky enough to choose the format for yourself, choose something that you are familiar with. This will make your work easy because you will have control over everything. On the other hand, if you have been given a format to follow, ensure that you familiarize yourself with it before you even start writing the essays on book.

Need help in writing an essay? Essaymin has expert writers to help you

Read the assigned book.

The best way to capture the essence of a book as you seek to know how to write an essay on a book is to read the work. You cannot capture the message of the book with the first reading; hove well you are at it. You have to read the work severally, identifying different aspects that make the work stand out or fail in one way or the other. Reading is important, and you should invest time in it. This is the only way you get to write an excellent piece of essay on a book.

reading the assigned book

Formulate an excellent thesis statement

Remember that this is an academic assignment. As such, you have to follow all the rules. One of the best ways you will make your essays on book focused is to formulate a very strong thesis statement. This thesis statement is based on the content of the book. It is your stance on the work that you are going to defend through the points you discuss. Your thesis statement ought to be a single sentence or two at most. Use it to pitch your idea to the audience and use as much evidence as possible. The best way to defend your thesis statement is to choose memorable direct quotes from the book to back up your stance on the work.

Your thesis must be insightful enough and must have a very clear counter-argument. For instance, if in the book you believe that the protagonist left his lover because of the tragic upbringing and not because of infidelity and are sure that this argument can sustain your essay, you should sate your stance about hat idea. In most cases, thesis statements are written as the last sentences of the introduction paragraph.

With your thesis statement intact, you already have your thoughts organized. You also have a very good approach that you are going to apply when writing essays on a book.

Formulate a good introduction

This is where you start throwing a spanner into the works. One of the best tricks to know how to write an essay for a book is to grab the attention of the audience from the start; your opening sentence should be striking enough to have the audience drooling for more. This is where you give the background of the book as we as its author. Close your introduction with your thesis statement. This will serve as a reminder to the audience of what the work is all about. It is also a transitional way of introducing the audience to the first topic sentence you are going to talk about in the first paragraph of the body.

The body paragraphs

To write excellent body paragraphs for your essays on a book, you have to present all your arguments. These arguments can never be discussed in a single paragraph. You should divide them into points; then make them topic sentences, each of which takes a single paragraph. The work is to ensure that the topic sentence that you formulate relates to your thesis statement. Remember that everything you are writing here must relate to the book that you are analyzing. The evidence that you use per paragraph must come from the book. This can be direct quotes or paraphrases that are duly cited.

The relevance of the points you make relies on how they connect to the central argument. As such, one of the ways to know how to write an essay on a book It ensures that he pieces of evidence and information you use are strong enough to prove your claims about the book, since you are trying to tell the audience if the book is worth it or not, you should be very convincing enough. Analyze, interpret, and present specific themes within the book. It can be themes, character motivations, rising actions, and all other elements of the book that you think will adequately support the central theme of your essay.

This should happen for every paragraph you write. If you have three body paragraphs, ensure they have distinct evidence from the book as support, and by far, they should help you prove what you want the audience to know. Remember that you are trying to give an honest opinion that is based on facts, albeit from your point of view. As such, work hard to defend it.

the body paragraphs

Using transitions in our work

Another tip of knowing how to write an essay on a book is that you have to use transition. This enhances the flow of your ideas. The audience can follow how you organize your thoughts easily. This not only adds to the readability of your paper but also positions you to get a good grade in the end. The smooth transition from claim to claim makes it easier for the audience to piece all your positions together. They will see the value of your argument. The idea o using transitions is no only used when writing essays on a book, but also in other academic writing tasks. Transitions make your essay more cohesive, thereby achieving its goal easily.

Write your conclusion

This is the last chance you have of making a lasting impression on your audience. It is a time tom wrap the work and ensures that the audience is left with something to think about. The conclusion of your essays on a book allows you to restate your thesis statement. When doing so, you are not necessarily writing it verbatim as it is I the introduction. Some other words that do not negate its meaning in the first place. More so, you can also summarize the points that you have discussed in the body of your essays on book. Emphasize more on the significance of the work. Let the audience know if you are going to recommend it for them. However, the concludes is no to place where you can introduce new evidence or facts or anything else that you ave not discussed on the body of your paper. That would be too much and rightly so because it would go through the readers into confusion.

Revise and edit your work

For you to ensure you have covered everything well in that paper, revise everything. You can go through it to ensure you have covered everything you wanted in it. The idea is to ensure that the paper represents your points well. It is also a way to check whether you have covered all the aspects outlined by your instructor. Rest assured that you would have achieved a very crucial goal of writing a review about a literary work.

As you proofread, look at the grammatical mistakes, punctuation’s as well as the spelling of words, the idea is to ensure that you present a paper that is free of mistakes. Once you are satisfied with your revision and proofreading , you can prepare the final copy of your wok.

Those are the simple points you need to know on how to write an essay for a book. If there are problems with the assignment, you can always trust our online writing services . We shall help you with his assignment and many more. Trust our services and enjoy good grades henceforth.

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how to write an essay of a book

How to Write a Summary of a Book: Steps, Examples, FAQs

how to write an essay of a book

Summarizing a book might sound like a dull chore, but it doesn't have to be! Anyone can do it well with the right approach. Whether you're dissecting a novel for a report or just want to capture the heart of a story you love, you're in the right spot.

Our guide offers practical tips and examples to help you nail it. It doesn't matter if it's a novel, non-fiction, or any other type of book - these methods will make summarizing easier and guarantee you capture the essence of the book spot-on! And if you're still secretly wishing 'if only someone would ‘ write my papers ' - consider it done with our expert assistance!

Let's Understand What Is a Book Summary

A book summary is a condensed version of a book that highlights the main points and key ideas. By writing one, you're giving someone a sneak peek of the book without revealing all the details. Much like a snapshot or a brief overview, it captures the essence of the book. Instead of diving deep into every little detail, a summary focuses on the big picture.

It's a way to get the gist of a book without having to read the whole thing. Summaries are useful for many reasons. They can help you decide if a book is worth reading, refresh your memory about a book you've already read, or provide a quick reference for important information. Overall, a book summary is like a mini version of the book that gives you the main highlights in a nutshell.

Finished a Book but Feeling Uninspired to Summarize?

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Why Write a Book Summary in the First Place

Now, let's explore why writing a book is worth your while. Firstly, it's a great way to distill the key points and main ideas of a book into a concise format. This makes the information more accessible and easier to understand, especially for readers who may not have the time to read the entire book.

Plus, learning how to write a summary of a book can help you develop your critical thinking and analytical skills. By identifying the most important aspects of the book and summarizing them effectively, you're essentially engaging in a process of analysis and interpretation.

What's more, summarizing a book can be a valuable learning tool. It allows you to reflect on and internalize the content of the book, helping you to retain information and deepen your understanding of the subject matter.

And finally, writing a book summary is a way to share what you've learned. You can use your summary to talk about the book with others, whether it's in class, at a book club, or just chatting with friends. It's a way to spread knowledge and start conversations.

Meanwhile, you always have an alternative option to buy essay online and save yourself some time. If that sounds like a better plan, feel free to reach out to us whenever you need to!

Book Summary Vs. Book Review

Now, let our book review writing service experts clear up the difference between a book summary and a book review. While they may seem similar, they serve different purposes. A book summary gives you the gist of what a book is about, focusing on the main points and key ideas. For example, if you were summarizing 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you'd focus on the key themes like the American Dream, love, and wealth, giving a brief overview of the plot without going into too much detail about each event.

Book Summary Vs. Book Review

Now, let's say you're writing a review of the same book; instead of just outlining the plot, you'd share your thoughts on the characters, the writing style, and how the story affected you. For instance, you might discuss how Fitzgerald's elegant prose transported you to the glamorous world of the 1920s or how the tragic love story left you pondering the emptiness of materialism.

So, while a summary gives you the gist of the book's content, a review dives deeper into your personal impressions and reflections on the book. Both are useful in their own way, helping readers decide which books to pick up and offering insights into what makes a book memorable. And if you're not quite sure how to write a book review , make sure to check out our guide with more details.

How Long Should a Book Summary Be?

Now, let's tackle the question: How long should a book summary be? Well, the answer isn't set in stone—it depends on various factors such as the length and complexity of the book, as well as the purpose of the summary. As a general rule of thumb, a book summary should be concise and to the point, capturing the main points and key ideas without delving into every little detail.

For shorter books or novels, a summary of around 250 to 500 words may suffice to cover the essential elements effectively. On the other hand, for longer or more complex works like textbooks or academic papers, a summary may need to be longer, ranging from 500 to 1,000 words or more, to encompass all the important concepts and arguments.

Ultimately, the goal of a book summary is to provide a clear and succinct overview of the book's content, making it accessible to readers who want to grasp the main ideas quickly.

How to Write a Summary of a Book in 6 Steps

Writing a book summary might not seem as tough now that you have all the info we've shared. But with these 6 easy steps, we'll make it even simpler for you to get to the heart of any book. Whether it's an exciting story or an enlightening non-fiction piece, our custom essay writing service experts will walk you through crafting a summary that's clear, concise, and spotlights the key ideas.

How to Write a Summary of a Book

Start with an Introduction (Title, Author, and Context)

The first step in writing a book summary is to introduce the book by providing its title, author, and a bit of context to set the scene.

For example, let's consider summarizing the book 'The Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger. We would start by introducing the book like this:

'Introducing 'The Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger, a classic novel that takes readers on a journey through the mind of its protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Set in post-World War II America, the story follows Holden's adventures in New York City as he grapples with the complexities of adolescence and the loss of innocence.'

In this introduction, we provide the title of the book ('The Catcher in the Rye'), the author's name (J.D. Salinger), and a brief overview of the context in which the story takes place (post-World War II America). This sets the stage for our summary and gives readers a sense of what the book is about before diving into the details.

Identify the Main Characters and Setting

Once you've introduced the book, the next step is to identify the main characters and setting. This helps readers understand who and where the story revolves around.

For instance, if we continue with our example of summarizing 'The Catcher in the Rye,' we would identify the main character and setting like this:

'Our main character is Holden Caulfield, a rebellious teenager who narrates the story in first-person. He's a complex character, struggling with feelings of alienation and disillusionment. As for the setting, much of the story takes place in New York City during the 1950s, where Holden wanders the streets and encounters various people and situations.'

In this step of your book summary, we focus on introducing the protagonist (Holden Caulfield) and briefly describing his character traits. We also mention the setting (New York City during the 1950s) to provide context for the events that unfold in the story. This helps readers understand the backdrop against which the events of the book take place, setting the stage for the summary to come. And, if you're looking for another example to learn from, you can also take a peek at Pride and Prejudice summary .

Outline the Central Plot or Main Idea

After introducing the characters and setting, it's time to outline the central plot or main idea of the book. This step helps readers grasp the overall storyline and understand the key events that drive the narrative forward. If it's a philosophical work like The Divine Comedy summary , you could discuss the main concepts the author explores and the questions they raise.

Continuing with our example, we would outline the central plot like this:

'The central plot of 'The Catcher in the Rye' revolves around Holden Caulfield's journey of self-discovery and rebellion. After getting expelled from his prep school, Holden decides to leave early and spends a few days wandering around New York City. Throughout his escapades, Holden grapples with themes of identity, alienation, and the loss of innocence. Along the way, he encounters various characters and experiences that shape his perspective on life.'

In this step of summarizing a book, we provide a brief overview of the main storyline, highlighting the protagonist's journey and the themes explored in the book. This gives readers a sense of the overarching plot.

Summarize Key Events or Themes

Here, highlight the most significant events or recurring themes in the book. Events could include major plot twists, character developments, or key moments of conflict. Themes, on the other hand, are recurring ideas or messages that the author explores throughout the narrative. This step of how to write a summary of a book helps readers understand the most significant moments and ideas that drive the story forward or convey its message.

Using our example, we would summarize key events or themes like this:

'Throughout 'The Catcher in the Rye,' Holden Caulfield encounters a series of memorable events and grapples with various themes. From his interactions with his family and peers to his encounters with strangers in New York City, each experience contributes to his ongoing search for authenticity and connection. Themes of innocence, alienation, and the loss of childhood innocence permeate the narrative as Holden navigates the complexities of adolescence and the adult world.'

Condense Supporting Details

After summarizing the key events or themes, the next step is to condense supporting details. This involves focusing on the most essential aspects of the story while omitting minor details or subplots that are not crucial to understanding the main narrative.

Continuing with our example, let's include subplots, character relationships, or descriptive elements that enrich the reading experience.

‘Throughout his journey in New York City, Holden Caulfield encounters a variety of characters, including his sister Phoebe, his former teacher Mr. Antolini, and a young prostitute named Sunny. These interactions provide insight into Holden's character and his struggles with loneliness, disillusionment, and the desire for authenticity. Despite his rebellious nature, Holden ultimately longs for connection and understanding in a world he perceives as phony.'

You can also check out our Othello summary to see how we focus on summarizing key supporting details that contribute to the overall narrative and character development.

Conclude with a Recap

In the final step, briefly recap the main points you've covered in your summary. Then, offer your own reflections or insights about the book. Did you enjoy it? What aspects did you find most compelling? This section allows you to share your personal reaction to the book and provide a conclusion to your summary.

'In conclusion, 'The Catcher in the Rye' is a timeless coming-of-age novel that explores themes of identity, alienation, and the search for authenticity. Through the journey of its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, readers are invited to reflect on the complexities of adolescence and the challenges of navigating the adult world. While Holden's rebellious nature may initially alienate some readers, his underlying desire for connection and understanding resonates deeply with audiences of all ages. Overall, 'The Catcher in the Rye' remains a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition.'

You'll also catch a glimpse of how we tie together the threads of the summary and offer some insights on the book's significance in our Hobbes Leviathan summary .

Book Summary Example

Bringing everything together, we've created a polished book summary example for you to help you structure your own work when you're feeling uncertain.

Closing Remarks

In wrapping up, tackling how to write a book summary isn't a walk in the park—it demands your time, energy, and hard work. Yet, if you stick with it and keep at it regularly, you're setting yourself up for success. So, keep pushing through and watch as your skills and knowledge grow. Trust us; the payoff down the road will be well worth the effort you put in!

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How to Write a Book of Essays: A Clear Guide

How to Write a Book of Essays

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Writing a book of essays can be a daunting task for any author, whether they are an experienced writer or a novice. The process of creating a cohesive collection of essays that are engaging and thought-provoking can be challenging, but with the right approach, it can also be incredibly rewarding. In this article, we will explore some tips and strategies for how to write a book of essays that will captivate readers and leave a lasting impact.

One of the most important aspects of writing a book of essays is choosing a theme or topic that ties the collection together. This could be a particular issue or idea that the author is passionate about, or a common thread that runs through each essay. By having a clear theme, the author can ensure that each essay contributes to a larger narrative and that the collection as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Another key consideration when writing a book of essays is the structure of the collection. While each essay should be able to stand on its own, it is important to think about how they will fit together as a whole. This could involve organizing the essays thematically or arranging them in a way that creates a sense of progression or development. By carefully considering the structure of the collection, the author can create a book of essays that is not only engaging but also intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant.

The Art of Essay Writing

how to write an essay of a book

Understanding Your Audience

Before starting to write, it is important to understand who the intended audience is. Knowing the audience helps to tailor the essay to their interests and needs. Whether the audience is academic, professional, or general readers, the essay must be written in a way that is clear and engaging.

Developing a Writing Style

Developing a unique writing style is essential to creating an impactful essay. The writing style should be consistent throughout the essay and should reflect the writer’s personality and voice. It is important to strike a balance between being informative and being engaging, as well as using appropriate language and tone.

Choosing Topics and Themes

Choosing the right topic and theme is crucial to the success of an essay. The topic should be something that the writer is passionate about and has knowledge of. The theme should be carefully chosen to reflect the writer’s perspective and message. It is important to research and gather information on the chosen topic to ensure that the essay is well-informed and credible.

In conclusion, the art of essay writing involves understanding the audience, developing a unique writing style, and choosing appropriate topics and themes. By following these guidelines, writers can create impactful essays that engage and inform their readers.

Structuring Your Book of Essays

how to write an essay of a book

When it comes to writing a book of essays, structuring your work is crucial. A well-structured book will not only make it easier for readers to follow your ideas, but also help you to convey your message more effectively. In this section, we will discuss two important aspects of structuring your book of essays: creating a cohesive collection and organizing chapters and essays.

Creating a Cohesive Collection

A cohesive collection of essays has a unifying theme or message. To create a cohesive collection, you should first identify the central idea or message that you want to convey through your essays. This could be a particular topic, theme, or even a personal experience. Once you have identified your central idea, you should ensure that each essay in your collection relates to it in some way.

To achieve this, you could use a variety of techniques. For example, you could use recurring motifs, images, or even characters in your essays to create a sense of unity. Alternatively, you could use a consistent tone or writing style throughout your collection to create a cohesive feel.

Organizing Chapters and Essays

Once you have created a cohesive collection of essays, the next step is to organize them into chapters. The number of chapters you have will depend on the length of your book and the number of essays you have written. However, regardless of the number of chapters, you should ensure that each one has a clear and distinct focus.

To achieve this, you could group essays based on their topics or themes. Alternatively, you could organize them chronologically or by using a specific structure, such as problem-solution or cause-effect. Whatever method you choose, make sure that it is consistent throughout your book.

In addition to organizing your essays into chapters, you should also ensure that each essay has a clear structure. This could include an introduction, body, conclusion, or any other structure that you feel works best for your message.

In summary, structuring your book of essays is an important aspect of creating a successful work. By creating a cohesive collection and organizing your chapters and essays effectively, you can ensure that your message is conveyed clearly and effectively to your readers.

Formatting and Style Guides

how to write an essay of a book

When it comes to writing a book of essays, adhering to formatting and style guidelines is crucial. This ensures that your work is consistent and professional-looking. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Adhering to MLA and APA Guidelines

The Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) are two of the most commonly used style guides for academic writing. It’s important to choose one and stick to it throughout your book.

MLA style is often used in the humanities, while APA style is more commonly used in the social sciences. Both style guides cover everything from formatting your paper to citing sources.

Some key things to keep in mind when adhering to MLA and APA guidelines include:

  • Using the correct font and font size
  • Double-spacing your text
  • Including a header with your last name and page number
  • Using in-text citations to cite your sources
  • Including a works cited or references page at the end of your book

Title Formatting Rules

The title of your book is the first thing readers will see, so it’s important to get it right. Here are some general rules to follow when formatting your book’s title:

  • Capitalize the first and last words of the title, as well as any other important words (such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives)
  • Use italics for the title of the book
  • If your book includes essays with their titles, use quotation marks for those titles
  • Avoid using a period at the end of the title, unless it’s a question or exclamation

By following these formatting and style guidelines, you can ensure that your book of essays is consistent and professional-looking.

Citing Sources and Building Credibility

how to write an essay of a book

When writing a book of essays, it is crucial to cite sources and build credibility. Citing sources not only helps you avoid plagiarism but also adds credibility to your work. In this section, we will discuss two main aspects of citing sources: crafting a bibliography and in-text citations and references.

Crafting a Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of sources used in your book of essays. It is essential to craft a bibliography that is accurate, complete, and consistent. The following tips will help you create an effective bibliography:

  • Use a citation style that is appropriate for your field of study. Some common citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago.
  • Make sure to include all the necessary information about each source, such as the author’s name, title of the work, publication date, and publisher.
  • Organize your bibliography in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.
  • Double-check your bibliography for accuracy and consistency.

In-Text Citations and References

In-text citations and references are critical components of academic writing. They help you give credit to the sources you use and allow your readers to locate the sources easily. The following tips will help you use in-text citations and references effectively:

  • Use the same citation style consistently throughout your book of essays.
  • Include in-text citations whenever you use a direct quote or paraphrase information from a source.
  • Include a reference list at the end of your book of essays that includes all the sources you cited in your work.
  • Make sure to format your in-text citations and references correctly according to the citation style you are using.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your book of essays is well-cited and credible.

The Publishing Process

Selecting a publisher.

Once the essays have been written and edited, the next step is to select a publisher. It is important to research potential publishers to find the best fit for the book. Consider factors such as the publisher’s reputation, size, and focus. A smaller publisher may offer more personalized attention, while a larger publisher may have more resources for marketing and distribution.

When submitting the manuscript to publishers, be sure to follow their submission guidelines carefully. This may include formatting requirements, a cover letter, and a synopsis of the book. It is also important to be patient and persistent, as the publishing process can take time.

Understanding the Market

Before publishing the book, it is important to understand the market and target audience. This can help with marketing and promotion efforts. Research similar books and authors to see what has been successful in the past. Consider factors such as genre, themes, and writing style.

It is also important to consider the business side of publishing. This includes pricing, distribution, and royalties. Discuss these details with the publisher and negotiate terms that are fair and beneficial for both parties.

Overall, the publishing process can be complex and time-consuming, but with careful research and planning, it can lead to a successful book of essays.

In conclusion, writing a book of essays can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor. The author must have a clear understanding of the purpose and audience for the book, as well as a strong grasp of the essay form. The essays should be well-organized, engaging, and thought-provoking.

One important aspect of writing a book of essays is to ensure that the essays are cohesive and flow well together. This can be achieved through careful selection of topics and themes, as well as through thoughtful editing and revision.

Another key factor in writing a successful book of essays is to establish a strong voice and point of view. The author should be confident and knowledgeable in their subject matter and should strive to convey their ideas clearly and effectively.

In summary, writing a book of essays requires careful planning, organization, and attention to detail. By following these guidelines and tips, authors can create a compelling and impactful collection of essays that will resonate with readers and stand the test of time.

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How to Write A BOOK Title In An Essay

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Writing a book title in an essay can be confusing. But it is necessary for the credibility and clarity of the write-up. Plus, each writing style has its own rules for formatting titles. Hence, doing such an activity could be a real pain for the students.

Don’t worry, as you are in the right place! Since this interesting article focuses on guiding you about how to write a book title in an essay accurately. So, read it thoroughly before you search for a professional  paper writing services  provider.

Table of Contents

Understanding Formatting Guidelines

The first step in learning how to write book name in essay is to learn the basics. It means you need to get comfortable with different formatting guidelines. Let’s begin with the style guides.

Different style guides

When writing essays for college , it’s important to know the rules for formatting book titles. The three most popular style guides are MLA, APA, and Chicago.

In  MLA format , you should usually italicize book titles. You can also put them in quotation marks when a type of work demands.

For example, a book title like “To Kill a Mockingbird” would be italicized:  To Kill a Mockingbird .

However, a chapter title within a book would be placed within quotation marks. For example, “The Ewell Family.”

In  APA style , the first word of book titles is capital.

For example, a book title like “The Catcher in the Rye” would be written as The catcher in the rye

Chicago Style

Chicago style demands a book title to be in italics or quotation marks. It is very similar to the MLA style. But Chicago style gives you a bit more leeway to use italics or quotation marks. It’s best to stay consistent with what you pick throughout your essay when using the Chicago style.

Consistency within the Essay

You must be consistent when including the title of a book in an essay. Figure out what style guide you must follow and ensure you stick with it. That means all the book titles you mention should look the same.

For example, if you choose to italicize book titles according to MLA style. Ensure that all book titles in your essay are italicized consistently. Avoid mixing italicization with quotation marks or using different formatting styles within the same essay.

Inconsistency in formatting can confuse readers and undermine the professionalism of your work. Paying attention to detail and maintaining consistency will contribute to your essay’s overall clarity and readability.

Determine the Appropriate Style Guide to Follow

To determine the appropriate style guide to follow for formatting book titles in your essay, consider the following:

Assignment Requirements

See if your teacher or the instructions for the assignment mention a certain style to go by. Stick to that, if they do, to ensure everything is consistent, and you meet the expectations.

Academic Discipline

Your field of study can affect which style guide you should use. For example, humanities and literature students usually use MLA style, while social sciences usually use APA style. It’s important to know what’s typical in your discipline to choose the right guide.

Formatting Book Titles in MLA Style

Humanities and liberal arts disciplines use MLA writing rules. In MLA style, book titles are usually in italics like in APA style. But there can be variations in capitalization and punctuation. Let’s explore each aspect in detail with examples:

In MLA style, book titles are put in italics to make them stand out from the rest of the text.

Titles of shorter works, such as articles or chapters, are enclosed in quotation marks.

Example 1: Italicized Book Title

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby .

Example 2: Book Chapter (In Quotation Marks)

Smith, John. “The Art of Persuasion.” Essays on Rhetoric.


In MLA style, follows the title case. It means keep the first letter of each word capital. Capitalize articles, conjunctions, and prepositions only if they are the first or last words in title.

Example 3: Correct Capitalization

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.


In MLA style, there should be no special punctuation like colons or periods between the main title and any subtitles. However, if the book’s title includes a subtitle, a colon should separate it from the main title.

Example 4: Book Title with Subtitle

Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success.

Edition and Volume Numbers

To refer to a certain book edition, add the edition number after the book title. If the book is part of a multi-volume work, indicate the volume number after the title as well.

Example 5: Edition and Volume Numbers

Johnson, Mary. Chemistry in Focus. 2nd ed.

Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. Vol. 1.

Translated Titles

If the book you are citing is translated from another language, include the original title and the translator’s name in the citation.

Example 6: Translated Title

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Translated by David Wyllie.

It’s important to remember that MLA style is always changing and being updated. So always refer to the latest edition of the MLA Handbook or your institution’s writing guidelines.

Formatting Book Titles in APA Style

Usually the social sciences disciplines use APA (American Psychological Association) style. Let’s look at how you must consider capitalization, punctuation and italics in this writing style.

Just capitalize the first word of any subtitles and proper nouns.

All other words, such as articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but, or), and prepositions (in, on, at), are in lowercase.

Example 1: 

“The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”

In APA style, book titles are italicized to distinguish them from the rest of the text.

Do not italicize titles of shorter works, such as articles or chapters. Just enclose them in quotation marks.

Example 2: Italics

Here’s an example of an italicized book title:

The Catcher in the Rye

In APA style, there should be a colon (:) between the main title and any subtitle.

When citing a book title within the text of your paper, use title case and italicize it.

When including book titles in your reference list, use sentence case and italicize it.

Example 3: Punctuation

Here’s an example of proper punctuation and citation within the text and reference list:

In-text citation

According to Smith (2019),  The Theory of Everything  provides an in-depth analysis of astrophysics.

Reference list citation

Smith, J. (2019).  the theory of everything . Publisher.

Include the edition number in parentheses right after the book title when a book has a specific edition.

If a book is part of a multi-volume work, you can also indicate the volume number after the title.

Example 4: Parenthesis

Here are examples of how to format book titles with edition and volume numbers:

Edition Number

Johnson, M. (2022). Chemistry in Focus (2nd ed.).

Volume Number

Smith, A. (2021). History of the United States (Vol. 3).

Include the translator’s name in square brackets if you cite a translated book. 

Example 5: Translated Thesis 

Here’s an example of how to format a translated book title:

Kundera, M. (1984). The Unbearable Lightness of Being [Original title: Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí].

Translated by M. Henry.

Formatting Book Titles in Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style is mostly used in the humanities and social sciences disciplines. Chicago style follows two systems, namely Author-Date System and the notes and bibliography system. Let’s explore both of them.

Author-Date System

In the author-date system, you include:

  • In-text citations with the author’s last name
  • The publication year
  • A corresponding entry in the reference list


In the author-date system, book titles are italicized. It makes them Distinguish from other elements in the citation.

Chicago style uses a title case for book titles in the author-date system. It means the first letter of the title, subtitles, and any major words are capitalized.

There should be a period at the end of the full book citation in the reference list.

Example 1: In-Text Citation

Example 2: Reference List Citation

Smith, John. 2019.  The Theory of Everything . Publisher.

Notes and Bibliography System

You use footnotes or endnotes in the notes and bibliography system for in-text citations and a bibliography for the full list of references.

Similar to the author-date system, book titles are italicized in the notes and bibliography system.

In the notes and bibliography system, the Chicago style uses headline-style capitalization for book titles. It means that the first letter of the first and last words of the title are capitalized.

Put a period at the end of each full bibliographic entry in the notes and bibliography system.

Example 3: Footnote/Endnote Citation

John Smith,  The Theory of Everything  (Publisher, 2019), 25.

Example 4: Bibliography Citation

Smith, John.  The Theory of Everything . Publisher, 2019.

You may include the edition number after the title, and for multi-volume works, the volume number after the title.

Example 5: Edition Number

Johnson, Mary.  Chemistry in Focus . 2nd ed.

Example 6: Volume Number

Smith, Adam.  The Wealth of Nations . Vol. 1.

For translated works, include the original title and the translator’s name in the citation.

Example 7: Translated Title

Kafka, Franz.  The Metamorphosis . Translated by David Wyllie.

Citation of Book Titles in Other Situations

Let’s highlight some unusual circumstances of including a title of book in essay. Starting with:

Book titles within quotations

If you’re citing a direct quote from a book in your essay, you may need to put the book title in quotes. Generally, you should use double quotation marks for this.

For example:

According to Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

In the novel 1984, George Orwell explores the theme of government surveillance through the famous line, “Big Brother is watching you.”

By using double quotation marks, you indicate that the words within the quotation marks are taken directly from the book.

Book Titles in Footnotes or Endnotes

In academic writing, footnotes or endnotes can be added to give extra info or credits. When including book titles, how you format them depends on the citation style you’re using.

In Chicago Style, book titles in footnotes or endnotes should usually be italicized or in quotation marks.

For Example:

Jane Austen,  Pride and Prejudice  (New York: Penguin Classics, 2002), 45.

Harper Lee,  To Kill a Mockingbird , (New York: Harper Perennial, 2006), 77.

Handling Foreign language book titles

Follow these rules for citing a book in a foreign language. You should keep the original language title, especially if it’s a popular work.

Italicize the foreign language book title following the same guidelines as you would for an English book title. Include a translation in parentheses if necessary.

Use the original foreign language title in sentence case without italics or quotation marks. Include a translation in brackets if needed.

Italicize or use quotation marks for foreign language book titles, following the same guidelines as you would for an English book title. Include a translation if required.

Special Cases

In certain situations, you might need to format book titles differently. Like if you’re talking about a poem or play. These types of works have their own rules for formatting titles. Let’s get to know them briefly. 

Typically, you’d put poem titles in quotation marks and longer pieces of poetry, like epics, in italics. It’s worth checking the style guide you’re using, though, since the rules can vary.

You’ll usually see the title written in italics when it comes to plays. The names of characters or speakers within the play are usually written with a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, without quotation marks.

Best Practices for Including Book Titles in Essays

Double-check formatting guidelines.

It’s super important to double-check the formatting rules for book titles when writing an essay since each style guide has its own rules. You need to make sure you’re following them properly.

Proofreading for Accuracy and Consistency

Look out for mistakes in how you’ve done the capitals, italics, and quotes. Double-check any extra rules that might apply to foreign language books, poems, plays, and other special cases.

Seek Assistance from Style Guides or Writing Resources

It’s a good idea to get help from style guides or writing tools when you are stuck with citations. You can also buy cheap essay from a well-reputed writing services provider.

It’s super important to get book titles in essays right. Not just for clarity but also to show you’re a pro. Ensure that you stick to the accurate style guide. It could be MLA, APA, or Chicago. Plus, there are special rules for poems and more.

Furthermore, if you need a professional to help you out with citations, do count on the expertise of  our writers . They are always available to get you out of your troubles of how to write book titles in essays.

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How to Write a Book Review That Captivates Readers

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Julia McCoy

how to write a book review

Writing a book review can be both exciting and daunting. It’s an opportunity to share your insights, critique, and appreciation for a literary work while navigating the delicate balance between subjective opinion and objective analysis.

An honest and compelling book review can help you connect with other readers, spark meaningful discussions, and maybe even inspire someone to pick up a new favorite read.

Whether you’re a seasoned reviewer or diving into this craft for the first time, join us as we unlock the art of writing insightful and engaging book reviews.

Get ready to unleash your inner book critic and make your mark in the literary world!

Table Of Contents:

What is a book review, how to write a great book review, tips for writing an effective book review, faqs – how to write a book review.

Read any good books lately? Want to share your thoughts about them?

A book review is a great way to shed insight and give your opinion on a book you’ve read, whether it’s nonfiction, a mystery novel, or a collection of poems.

But what exactly is a book review? And how do you go about writing one that’s engaging, informative, and helpful to other readers?

Elements of a Book Review

What goes into a well-rounded book review? Here are the key elements:

  • The book’s title, author, genre, and publication details
  • A brief summary of the plot and main characters (without spoiling the ending.)
  • Your analysis of the book’s themes, writing style, pacing, and character development
  • Your honest opinion on what worked and what didn’t
  • A star rating or recommendation for who would enjoy the book

The key is to provide enough context and detail to give readers a sense of the book, while also injecting your unique perspective and voice.

how to write a book review

Types of Book Reviews

Book reviews come in all shapes and sizes, from a quick Goodreads rating to an in-depth essay.

Here are a few common types:

  • Reader reviews: These are casual reviews written by everyday readers, often posted on blogs, Goodreads, or Amazon. They tend to be short, personal, and focus on the reader’s experience.
  • Editorial reviews: These are professional reviews written by critics, journalists, or subject matter experts. You’ll find them in newspapers, magazines, and trade publications. They’re more formal in tone and go deeper into literary analysis.
  • Academic reviews: Written by scholars for academic journals, these reviews place the book in a larger context and often compare it to other works in the field. They’re very niche and targeted at fellow academics.

No matter what type of book review you’re writing, the goal is the same: to share your unique take on the book and guide other readers.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of how to write a book review that stands out.

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating: you need to read the entire book before you can review it. No skimming or skipping chapters allowed.

As you’re reading, pay attention to the book’s overall structure, pacing, and style. Jot down any passages or quotes that stand out to you, both positive and negative. These will come in handy later when you’re writing your review.

Take Notes While Reading

Don’t rely on your memory alone. As you’re reading, take notes on the following:

  • The main characters and their development throughout the story
  • The central themes and messages of the book
  • The author’s writing style and tone
  • Any major plot points or twists (just be careful not to give away spoilers in your review)
  • Your emotional reactions to the book – what made you laugh, cry, or think differently?

I like to keep a notebook handy or jot down notes on my phone as I’m reading. That way, I can easily refer back to my initial impressions when I’m ready to start writing my review.

Just like any good essay, your book review should have a clear thesis statement. This is essentially your main argument or opinion about the book, which you’ll then support with examples and evidence from the text.

Your thesis could be as simple as “I loved this book because…” or “This book fell short for me because…”

The key is to make a strong, opinionated statement that you can back up with specific details.

Organize Your Thoughts

Before diving into the writing process, take a moment to organize your thoughts. I like to create a rough outline with the following sections:

  • Introduction: Hook the reader with a strong opening line and briefly summarize the book’s plot and main themes.
  • Summary:  In a paragraph or two, give an overview of the story, main characters, and central conflict. Remember, this isn’t a play-by-play recap, just the broad strokes.
  • Analysis: This is the meat of your review, where you’ll discuss the book’s strengths and weaknesses in detail. Touch on the writing style, pacing, character development, and how well the author executed their vision.
  • Conclusion: Wrap up your review with a concise summary of your thoughts and a recommendation for those who would enjoy the book.

Having a clear structure in mind will make the writing process much smoother. Plus, it ensures you cover all the essential points without rambling or getting off track.

You’ve hooked the reader with your title and subtitle – now it’s time to reel them in with your introduction. Aim for an opening line that’s bold, opinionated, and intriguing, like: “I couldn’t put this book down” or “I had high hopes for this novel, but it left me feeling disappointed.”

From there, give a brief overview of the book’s genre, themes, and place in the author’s larger body of work (if relevant).

For example: “In her debut novel, [Author] transports readers to a dystopian future where [brief plot summary]. With shades of [similar well-known book], it’s a fast-paced, action-packed story that explores themes of [theme 1] and [theme 2].” 

The key is to give readers just enough context to understand what the book is about and why it’s significant, without giving away too much of the plot.

Provide a Brief Summary

Next, it’s time to write a brief summary of the book’s plot, main characters, and central themes.

But remember, a book review is not a book report . You don’t need to recap every single plot point or detail. Instead, focus on the broad strokes:

  • Who are the main characters?
  • What’s the central conflict or problem they face?
  • What themes or messages does the story explore?
  • And most importantly, what makes this book unique or noteworthy?

For example: “The story follows [character name], a [brief description] who must [central conflict]. Along the way, [he/she/they] encounters [brief description of key events or supporting characters]. Through [character name]’s journey, [author] explores themes of [theme 1], [theme 2], and [theme 3].”

Keep your summary concise – a couple of paragraphs at most. The goal is to give readers a taste of the story, not a full plot synopsis.

Analyze and Evaluate the Book

Now it’s time to dive into your analysis and evaluation of the book. This is where you’ll discuss the book’s strengths and weaknesses in detail, and share your honest opinions on what worked and what didn’t.

Some key points to consider:

  • Writing style: Is the author’s prose clear, engaging, and easy to follow? Do they have a distinctive voice or tone?
  • Pacing: Does the story move at a good pace, or does it drag in places? Are there any parts that feel rushed or glossed over?
  • Character development: Are the characters well-rounded and believable? Do they undergo meaningful change or growth throughout the story?
  • Themes and messages: What big ideas or questions does the book grapple with? Does it offer any fresh insights or perspectives?
  • Originality: Does the book bring something new to its genre, or does it feel derivative of other works?

As you discuss these elements, be sure to back up your opinions with specific examples and quotes from the text.

For instance: “One of the book’s greatest strengths is its vivid, immersive world-building. [Author] brings the [setting] to life with lush, sensory details, like this description of [quote from book]. As a reader, I felt fully transported to this [adjective] world.”

Or: “Unfortunately, the pacing of the novel is uneven. The first half moves at a glacial pace, with long stretches of exposition and little action. It’s not until the midpoint that the story really finds its momentum, with a series of shocking plot twists and high-stakes confrontations.”

The key is to provide evidence for your claims, so readers understand where you’re coming from and can decide if they agree with your assessment.

Use Specific Examples

When it comes to writing book reviews, the devil is in the details. It’s not enough to say that you liked or disliked a book – you need to explain why, using concrete examples from the text.

For instance, instead of simply stating that the dialogue was awkward, show readers what you mean with a specific quote: “The dialogue often feels stilted and unnatural, like this exchange between [character 1] and [character 2]: ‘[quote from book].’ No one actually talks like that in real life.”

Or if you’re praising the author’s descriptive language, give readers a taste with a short excerpt: “[Author]’s prose is lush and evocative, painting vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. Take this description of [setting]: ‘[quote from book].’ With just a few well-chosen details, [he/she/they] transports us to this [adjective] place.”

Using specific examples not only makes your points more convincing but also gives readers a sense of the book’s style and tone. They can see for themselves if the writing resonates with them or not.

When discussing the book’s plot and characters, be careful not to give away any major twists or reveals – especially if they happen late in the story. No one likes having a book spoiled for them.

If you need to mention a plot point or character arc in your review, try to keep it vague and focus on the overall impact rather than the specific details.

For example: “The ending packs an emotional punch, with a series of surprising revelations that recontextualize everything that came before. It’s a bold choice that will leave readers thinking long after they turn the final page.”

Or: “[Character name]’s transformation from [adjective] to [adjective] is one of the book’s most compelling aspects. [His/her/their] journey is full of unexpected detours and setbacks, but the payoff is worth it in the end.”

If you absolutely must discuss a spoiler, be sure to give readers fair warning first. A simple “spoiler alert” or “warning: major plot point ahead” will do the trick.

Conclude with Your Recommendation

As you wrap up your review, it’s time to give your final verdict. Did you love the book? Hate it? Feel ambivalent?

Don’t be afraid to share your honest opinion, even if it goes against the grain.

Your conclusion should include:

  • A brief summary of your overall thoughts on the book
  • Who you think would enjoy the book (fans of a certain genre, readers who like a particular writing style, etc.)
  • Your star rating or grade (if applicable)
  • Where readers can find more information or purchase the book

For example: “Despite a few pacing issues, [Book Title] is a thrilling, thought-provoking read that will appeal to fans of [similar book or author]. With its richly drawn characters, immersive world-building, and timely themes, it’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys [genre]. 4/5 stars.”

Or: “Unfortunately, [Book Title] didn’t live up to my expectations. While the premise was intriguing, the execution fell flat, with one-dimensional characters, clunky dialogue, and a predictable plot. I wanted to love this book, but in the end, I can only recommend it to die-hard fans of [author]’s previous work. 2/5 stars.”

Remember, your goal is to give readers enough information to decide if the book is right for them. Be honest, be specific, and be true to your own reading experience.

We’ve covered the basics of how to write a book review – but how do you write a truly great one?

Here are a few tips to take your book reviews to the next level.

Before you start writing, think about who your review is for. Are you writing for a general audience of casual readers or a more niche group of fans or scholars? Are you posting on your personal blog or submitting to a professional publication?

Knowing your audience will help you tailor your language, tone, and level of detail to their needs and expectations.

For instance, a review for a YA book blog might be more casual and focused on the characters and romance, while a review for an academic journal would be more formal and analytical.

Be Honest and Objective

It’s important to be honest in your reviews, even if that means going against popular opinion or potentially offending the author. Your readers trust you to give them the straight scoop, not just tell them what they want to hear.

That said, there’s a difference between being honest and being mean. Avoid personal attacks or snide remarks about the author or their work.

Focus on the book itself, and express your opinions in a fair, constructive way.

For example, instead of saying “This book is a piece of garbage and the author should be ashamed,” try something like “While I appreciate what the author was trying to do, the execution fell short for me, with weak characterization and a lack of narrative tension.”

When writing a book review, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the author’s reputation, the book’s hype, or your personal biases. But remember, your job is to review the book itself, not the author or the cultural context around it.

Focus your analysis on the book’s content – the story, the characters, the themes, the writing style.

What works and what doesn’t? What insights or questions does the book raise? How does it compare to other books in its genre or by the same author?

Of course, you can mention relevant background information or context, but keep it brief and tie it back to your main points about the book.

Avoid Summarizing the Entire Plot

One of the biggest mistakes I see in book reviews is spending too much time summarizing the plot.

Remember, your review is not a book report. Readers can get a basic plot summary from the book jacket or Amazon page. Instead of recapping every twist and turn, focus on the big picture – the main characters, the central conflict, and the key themes.

Give readers just enough context to understand what the book is about and why it matters, without getting bogged down in the details. If you do need to discuss specific plot points, try to be vague and avoid major spoilers. You can allude to “a shocking twist” or “a satisfying resolution” without giving away the goods.

Use Quotes Sparingly

Quotes can be a great way to illustrate your points and give readers a taste of the author’s writing style. But use them sparingly — a few short excerpts are better than long block quotes that take up half the review.

Read our complete guide on how to properly quote a book .

How do I write a book review?

Dive into the book, jot down your thoughts, craft a thesis, organize your points, and share without spoiling. Wrap up with your verdict.

What are the 4 stages of writing a book review?

Start by reading critically. Next, outline your main points. Then analyze and evaluate. Finally, draft and polish your review.

What are the 3 elements of a book review?

A solid intro that hooks readers; an insightful analysis that digs deep; plus, an honest recommendation to wrap it up.

What are the five parts of a book review?

An engaging introduction sets the stage; a brief summary provides context; a detailed evaluation offers depth; examples bring clarity; and a final recommendation seals the deal.

Writing a book review is your chance to join the conversation and share your unique perspective with fellow book lovers. By following these tips on how to write a book review, you’ll be well on your way to crafting reviews that captivate readers and showcase your passion for literature.

how to write an essay of a book

Written by Julia McCoy

how to write an essay of a book


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On the Road Full Book Summary

This essay about “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac explores the essence of the novel through the adventures of Sal Paradise and his encounters with Dean Moriarty. It reflects on the themes of freedom, the search for meaning, and the impermanence of life as experienced by the youth of post-war America. Through spontaneous prose, Kerouac captures the spirit of the Beat Generation, emphasizing the desire to live fully outside conventional boundaries. The essay discusses how the novel resonates with readers by tapping into the universal yearning for exploration and self-discovery. It concludes by reminding us that “On the Road” is more than a book; it’s an invitation to experience life’s vast possibilities and the stories that unfold along the way.

How it works

Diving into “On the Road” is like grabbing a backpack, throwing caution to the wind, and hitchhiking across the soul of post-war America. Jack Kerouac, the maestro behind this timeless piece, didn’t just write a novel; he spun a yarn that wrapped itself around the hearts of the Beat Generation and beyond. This isn’t your standard narrative; it’s a wild ride with Sal Paradise, our guide through a world brimming with the raw essence of life, jazz, and the pursuit of something more.

The book throws us into the passenger seat alongside Sal, a young guy with a thirst for the kind of adventures that can’t be found in any guidebook. He’s drawn to the open road like a moth to a flame, seeking the kind of experiences that leave you changed before you even realize it. Dean Moriarty enters the scene, a whirlwind of charisma and chaos, embodying the freedom and fervor of youth. Together, they set off, crisscrossing the vast American landscape, their journey a tapestry of fleeting moments and enduring memories.

Kerouac’s prose is an electric current, buzzing with a spontaneity that jolts the narrative to life. It’s as if he’s sitting next to you, recounting his tales with a feverish intensity, his words racing to keep up with his thoughts. This is the heart of “On the Road”: a narrative that doesn’t just unfold but erupts, echoing the cadences of the jazz that our protagonists worship. It’s raw, it’s real, and it refuses to be tamed.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. The road, with all its freedom and allure, also winds through landscapes of loss and longing. The very fabric of “On the Road” is woven with a sense of searching, a quest not just for adventure but for meaning in the vastness of America’s plains and cities. Our heroes confront the reality that every mile gained is also a moment lost, every exhilarating high matched with the shadow of the low. Their freedom, boundless as it seems, carries its own cost.

Yet, this is precisely why “On the Road” strikes a chord, even today. It captures a timeless yearning, a whisper in all of us that calls for the open road, for life unscripted. Kerouac masterfully taps into the essence of what it means to seek, to yearn, to chase the horizon and the dreams that lie just beyond. It’s a reflection on the beauty of the journey, with all its twists, turns, and what lies at the end of the road.

In wrapping up, “On the Road” isn’t just a book; it’s an experience, a manifesto for wanderers and dreamers. Through the eyes of Sal and Dean, Kerouac invites us to question, to roam, and to embrace the raw chaos of living. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most profound discoveries are made not at the destination, but on the journey there. So, here’s to the road ahead, to the stories waiting to be told, and to the timeless quest for something more that Kerouac so vividly captured.

Just remember, while this summary might give you a glimpse into “On the Road,” there’s nothing quite like embarking on the journey yourself, page by adventurous page. And hey, if you’re looking to polish your own tales of the road or any writing adventure you’re embarking on, don’t hesitate to seek out some professional guidance to make your story shine.


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NPR suspends veteran editor as it grapples with his public criticism

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David Folkenflik

how to write an essay of a book

NPR suspended senior editor Uri Berliner for five days without pay after he wrote an essay accusing the network of losing the public's trust and appeared on a podcast to explain his argument. Uri Berliner hide caption

NPR suspended senior editor Uri Berliner for five days without pay after he wrote an essay accusing the network of losing the public's trust and appeared on a podcast to explain his argument.

NPR has formally punished Uri Berliner, the senior editor who publicly argued a week ago that the network had "lost America's trust" by approaching news stories with a rigidly progressive mindset.

Berliner's five-day suspension without pay, which began last Friday, has not been previously reported.

Yet the public radio network is grappling in other ways with the fallout from Berliner's essay for the online news site The Free Press . It angered many of his colleagues, led NPR leaders to announce monthly internal reviews of the network's coverage, and gave fresh ammunition to conservative and partisan Republican critics of NPR, including former President Donald Trump.

Conservative activist Christopher Rufo is among those now targeting NPR's new chief executive, Katherine Maher, for messages she posted to social media years before joining the network. Among others, those posts include a 2020 tweet that called Trump racist and another that appeared to minimize rioting during social justice protests that year. Maher took the job at NPR last month — her first at a news organization .

In a statement Monday about the messages she had posted, Maher praised the integrity of NPR's journalists and underscored the independence of their reporting.

"In America everyone is entitled to free speech as a private citizen," she said. "What matters is NPR's work and my commitment as its CEO: public service, editorial independence, and the mission to serve all of the American public. NPR is independent, beholden to no party, and without commercial interests."

The network noted that "the CEO is not involved in editorial decisions."

In an interview with me later on Monday, Berliner said the social media posts demonstrated Maher was all but incapable of being the person best poised to direct the organization.

"We're looking for a leader right now who's going to be unifying and bring more people into the tent and have a broader perspective on, sort of, what America is all about," Berliner said. "And this seems to be the opposite of that."

how to write an essay of a book

Conservative critics of NPR are now targeting its new chief executive, Katherine Maher, for messages she posted to social media years before joining the public radio network last month. Stephen Voss/Stephen Voss hide caption

Conservative critics of NPR are now targeting its new chief executive, Katherine Maher, for messages she posted to social media years before joining the public radio network last month.

He said that he tried repeatedly to make his concerns over NPR's coverage known to news leaders and to Maher's predecessor as chief executive before publishing his essay.

Berliner has singled out coverage of several issues dominating the 2020s for criticism, including trans rights, the Israel-Hamas war and COVID. Berliner says he sees the same problems at other news organizations, but argues NPR, as a mission-driven institution, has a greater obligation to fairness.

"I love NPR and feel it's a national trust," Berliner says. "We have great journalists here. If they shed their opinions and did the great journalism they're capable of, this would be a much more interesting and fulfilling organization for our listeners."

A "final warning"

The circumstances surrounding the interview were singular.

Berliner provided me with a copy of the formal rebuke to review. NPR did not confirm or comment upon his suspension for this article.

In presenting Berliner's suspension Thursday afternoon, the organization told the editor he had failed to secure its approval for outside work for other news outlets, as is required of NPR journalists. It called the letter a "final warning," saying Berliner would be fired if he violated NPR's policy again. Berliner is a dues-paying member of NPR's newsroom union but says he is not appealing the punishment.

The Free Press is a site that has become a haven for journalists who believe that mainstream media outlets have become too liberal. In addition to his essay, Berliner appeared in an episode of its podcast Honestly with Bari Weiss.

A few hours after the essay appeared online, NPR chief business editor Pallavi Gogoi reminded Berliner of the requirement that he secure approval before appearing in outside press, according to a copy of the note provided by Berliner.

In its formal rebuke, NPR did not cite Berliner's appearance on Chris Cuomo's NewsNation program last Tuesday night, for which NPR gave him the green light. (NPR's chief communications officer told Berliner to focus on his own experience and not share proprietary information.) The NPR letter also did not cite his remarks to The New York Times , which ran its article mid-afternoon Thursday, shortly before the reprimand was sent. Berliner says he did not seek approval before talking with the Times .

NPR defends its journalism after senior editor says it has lost the public's trust

NPR defends its journalism after senior editor says it has lost the public's trust

Berliner says he did not get permission from NPR to speak with me for this story but that he was not worried about the consequences: "Talking to an NPR journalist and being fired for that would be extraordinary, I think."

Berliner is a member of NPR's business desk, as am I, and he has helped to edit many of my stories. He had no involvement in the preparation of this article and did not see it before it was posted publicly.

In rebuking Berliner, NPR said he had also publicly released proprietary information about audience demographics, which it considers confidential. He said those figures "were essentially marketing material. If they had been really good, they probably would have distributed them and sent them out to the world."

Feelings of anger and betrayal inside the newsroom

His essay and subsequent public remarks stirred deep anger and dismay within NPR. Colleagues contend Berliner cherry-picked examples to fit his arguments and challenge the accuracy of his accounts. They also note he did not seek comment from the journalists involved in the work he cited.

Morning Edition host Michel Martin told me some colleagues at the network share Berliner's concerns that coverage is frequently presented through an ideological or idealistic prism that can alienate listeners.

"The way to address that is through training and mentorship," says Martin, herself a veteran of nearly two decades at the network who has also reported for The Wall Street Journal and ABC News. "It's not by blowing the place up, by trashing your colleagues, in full view of people who don't really care about it anyway."

Several NPR journalists told me they are no longer willing to work with Berliner as they no longer have confidence that he will keep private their internal musings about stories as they work through coverage.

"Newsrooms run on trust," NPR political correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben tweeted last week, without mentioning Berliner by name. "If you violate everyone's trust by going to another outlet and sh--ing on your colleagues (while doing a bad job journalistically, for that matter), I don't know how you do your job now."

Berliner rejected that critique, saying nothing in his essay or subsequent remarks betrayed private observations or arguments about coverage.

Other newsrooms are also grappling with questions over news judgment and confidentiality. On Monday, New York Times Executive Editor Joseph Kahn announced to his staff that the newspaper's inquiry into who leaked internal dissent over a planned episode of its podcast The Daily to another news outlet proved inconclusive. The episode was to focus on a December report on the use of sexual assault as part of the Hamas attack on Israel in October. Audio staffers aired doubts over how well the reporting stood up to scrutiny.

"We work together with trust and collegiality everyday on everything we produce, and I have every expectation that this incident will prove to be a singular exception to an important rule," Kahn wrote to Times staffers.

At NPR, some of Berliner's colleagues have weighed in online against his claim that the network has focused on diversifying its workforce without a concomitant commitment to diversity of viewpoint. Recently retired Chief Executive John Lansing has referred to this pursuit of diversity within NPR's workforce as its " North Star ," a moral imperative and chief business strategy.

In his essay, Berliner tagged the strategy as a failure, citing the drop in NPR's broadcast audiences and its struggle to attract more Black and Latino listeners in particular.

"During most of my tenure here, an open-minded, curious culture prevailed. We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding," Berliner writes. "In recent years, however, that has changed."

Berliner writes, "For NPR, which purports to consider all things, it's devastating both for its journalism and its business model."

NPR investigative reporter Chiara Eisner wrote in a comment for this story: "Minorities do not all think the same and do not report the same. Good reporters and editors should know that by now. It's embarrassing to me as a reporter at NPR that a senior editor here missed that point in 2024."

Some colleagues drafted a letter to Maher and NPR's chief news executive, Edith Chapin, seeking greater clarity on NPR's standards for its coverage and the behavior of its journalists — clearly pointed at Berliner.

A plan for "healthy discussion"

On Friday, CEO Maher stood up for the network's mission and the journalism, taking issue with Berliner's critique, though never mentioning him by name. Among her chief issues, she said Berliner's essay offered "a criticism of our people on the basis of who we are."

Berliner took great exception to that, saying she had denigrated him. He said that he supported diversifying NPR's workforce to look more like the U.S. population at large. She did not address that in a subsequent private exchange he shared with me for this story. (An NPR spokesperson declined further comment.)

Late Monday afternoon, Chapin announced to the newsroom that Executive Editor Eva Rodriguez would lead monthly meetings to review coverage.

"Among the questions we'll ask of ourselves each month: Did we capture the diversity of this country — racial, ethnic, religious, economic, political geographic, etc — in all of its complexity and in a way that helped listeners and readers recognize themselves and their communities?" Chapin wrote in the memo. "Did we offer coverage that helped them understand — even if just a bit better — those neighbors with whom they share little in common?"

Berliner said he welcomed the announcement but would withhold judgment until those meetings played out.

In a text for this story, Chapin said such sessions had been discussed since Lansing unified the news and programming divisions under her acting leadership last year.

"Now seemed [the] time to deliver if we were going to do it," Chapin said. "Healthy discussion is something we need more of."

Disclosure: This story was reported and written by NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik and edited by Deputy Business Editor Emily Kopp and Managing Editor Gerry Holmes. Under NPR's protocol for reporting on itself, no NPR corporate official or news executive reviewed this story before it was posted publicly.

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Taylor Swift’s ‘Poets’ Arrives With a Promotional Blitz (and a Second LP)

The pop superstar’s latest album was preceded by a satellite radio channel, a word game, a return to TikTok and an actual library. For her fans, more is always welcome.

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The album cover for Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department,” which depicts the star lying on pillows in sleepwear, draping her arms over her body.

By Ben Sisario

Taylor Swift was already the most ubiquitous pop star in the galaxy, her presence dominating the music charts, the concert calendar, the Super Bowl, the Grammys.

Then it came time for her to promote a new album.

In the days leading up to the release of “The Tortured Poets Department” on Friday, Swift became all but inescapable, online and seemingly everywhere else. Her lyrics were the basis for an Apple Music word game . A Spotify-sponsored, Swift-branded “ library installation ,” in muted pink and gray, popped up in a shopping complex in Los Angeles. In Chicago, a QR code painted on a brick wall directed fans to another Easter egg on YouTube. Videos on Swift’s social media accounts, showing antique typewriters and globes with pins, were dissected for clues about her music. SiriusXM added a Swift radio station; of course it’s called Channel 13 (Taylor’s Version).

About the only thing Swift didn’t do was an interview with a journalist.

At this stage in Swift’s career, an album release is more than just a moment to sell music; it’s all but a given that “The Tortured Poets Department” will open with gigantic sales numbers, many of them for “ghost white,” “phantom clear” and other collector-ready vinyl variants . More than that, the album’s arrival is a test of the celebrity-industrial complex overall, with tech platforms and media outlets racing to capture whatever piece of the fan frenzy they can get.

Threads, the newish social media platform from Meta, primed Swifties for their idol’s arrival there, and offered fans who shared Swift’s first Threads post a custom badge. Swift stunned the music industry last week by breaking ranks with her record label, Universal, and returning her music to TikTok, which Universal and other industry groups have said pays far too little in royalties. Overnight, TikTok unveiled “The Ultimate Taylor Swift In-App Experience,” offering fans digital goodies like a “Tortured Poets-inspired animation” on their feed.

Before the album’s release on Friday, Swift revealed that a music video — for “Fortnight,” the first single, featuring Post Malone — would arrive on Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern time. At 2 a.m., she had another surprise: 15 more songs. “I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you,” she wrote in a social media post , bringing “The Anthology” edition of the album to 31 tracks.

“The Tortured Poets Department,” which Swift, 34, announced in a Grammy acceptance speech in February — she had the Instagram post ready to go — lands as Swift’s profile continues to rise to ever-higher levels of cultural saturation.

Her Eras Tour , begun last year, has been a global phenomenon, crashing Ticketmaster and lifting local economies ; by some estimates, it might bring in as much as $2 billion in ticket sales — by far a new record — before it ends later this year. Swift’s romance with the Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been breathlessly tracked from its first flirtations last summer to their smooch on the Super Bowl field in February. The mere thought that Swift might endorse a presidential candidate this year sent conspiracy-minded politicos reeling .

“The Tortured Poets Department” — don’t even ask about the missing apostrophe — arrived accompanied by a poem written by Stevie Nicks that begins, “He was in love with her/Or at least she thought so.” That establishes what many fans correctly anticipated as the album’s theme of heartbreak and relationship rot, Swift’s signature topic. “I love you/It’s ruining my life,” she sings on “Fortnight.”

Fans were especially primed for the fifth track, “So Long, London,” given that (1) Swift has said she often sequences her most vulnerable and emotionally intense songs fifth on an LP, and (2) the title suggested it may be about Joe Alwyn, the English actor who was Swift’s boyfriend for about six years, reportedly until early 2023 . Indeed, “So Long” is an epic breakup tune, with lines like “You left me at the house by the heath” and “I’m pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free.” Tracks from the album leaked on Wednesday, and fans have also interpreted some songs as being about Matty Healy , the frontman of the band the 1975, whom Swift was briefly linked to last year.

The album’s title song starts with a classic Swift detail of a memento from a lost love: “You left your typewriter at my apartment/Straight from the tortured poets department.” It also name-drops Dylan Thomas, Patti Smith and, somewhat surprisingly given that company, Charlie Puth, the singer-songwriter who crooned the hook on Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again,” a No. 1 hit in 2015. (Swift has praised Wiz Khalifa and that song in the past.)

Other big moments include “Florida!!!,” featuring Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, in which Swift declares — after seven big percussive bangs — that the state “is one hell of a drug.” Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, the producers and songwriters who have been Swift’s primary collaborators in recent years, both worked on “Tortured Poets,” bringing their signature mix of moody, pulsating electronic tracks and delicate acoustic moments, like a bare piano on “Loml” (as in “love of my life”).

As the ninth LP Swift has released in five years, “Tortured Poets” is the latest entry in a remarkable creative streak. That includes five new studio albums and four rerecordings of her old music — each of which sailed to No. 1. When Swift played SoFi Stadium near Los Angeles in August, she spoke from the stage about her recording spurt, saying that the forced break from touring during the Covid-19 pandemic had spurred her to connect with fans by releasing more music.

“And so I decided, in order to keep that connection going,” she said , “if I couldn’t play live shows with you, I was going to make and release as many albums as humanly possible.”

That was two albums ago.

Ben Sisario covers the music industry. He has been writing for The Times since 1998. More about Ben Sisario

Inside the World of Taylor Swift

A Triumph at the Grammys: Taylor Swift made history  by winning her fourth album of the year at the 2024 edition of the awards, an event that saw women take many of the top awards .

‘The T ortured Poets Department’: Poets reacted to Swift’s new album name , weighing in on the pertinent question: What do the tortured poets think ?  

In the Public Eye: The budding romance between Swift and the football player Travis Kelce created a monocultural vortex that reached its apex  at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. Ahead of kickoff, we revisited some key moments in their relationship .

Politics (Taylor’s Version): After months of anticipation, Swift made her first foray into the 2024 election for Super Tuesday with a bipartisan message on Instagram . The singer, who some believe has enough influence  to affect the result of the election , has yet to endorse a presidential candidate.

Conspiracy Theories: In recent months, conspiracy theories about Swift and her relationship with Kelce have proliferated , largely driven by supporters of former President Donald Trump . The pop star's fans are shaking them off .


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    On the Road Full Book Summary. Diving into "On the Road" is like grabbing a backpack, throwing caution to the wind, and hitchhiking across the soul of post-war America. Jack Kerouac, the maestro behind this timeless piece, didn't just write a novel; he spun a yarn that wrapped itself around the hearts of the Beat Generation and beyond.

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