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Help Writing an Essay on a Book

If you need help writing an essay on a book, you have come to the right place. Known also as literary essays, this type of essay can be equated more or less to a modern day book report. Once you get your thoughts organized it can be a really easy task.

Getting Started

Here are the basic steps:
1. Select a book – This may already be done for you, if you are currently enrolled in either an English or literature class.
2. Determine the goal for the length – Keep in mind that an essay on a book would already have a predisposed assigned number of words. Let’s set the word count (for the sake of illustration) at 500 words. A 500-word essay is pretty comprehensive and would allow you enough words to describe the plot of the story while having time to disseminate what themes are present and what morals are being conveyed.
3. Decide on a format and style – You will probably be told to use either MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (Amercian Psychological Association) standard writing style.

So, if you were assigned a 500-word essay, using MLA format, then you would need to use a Times New Roman, 12-point font, with a one-inch (all around) page margin and double space throughout the essay.

4. Read the assigned book. Let’s say (once again for the sake of illustration) that you were assigned to read a book entitled “The Count of Monte Cristo.” You would need to be familiar with the themes that are within the story behind “The Count of Monte Cristo.”

Sample Help Writing an Essay on a Book

So you have your book, the formatting is complete and you know the word count for the essay. Half the battle is won regarding writing this essay. Basically, you would begin your essay introducing the book.
For example, you might begin your essay like so:

“The Count of Monte Cristo” is a action-adventure book written by the popular French author, Alexandre Dumas.

So your first sentence is pretty straightforward and tells what book you read and who the author is. The second, third, and fourth sentences give a bit of background on the storyline and then the fifth sentence concludes the first paragraph yet provides a smooth transition into the second paragraph. The last sentence may go something like this,

While the plight of revenge of Edmond Dantes was engaging, the idea of forgiveness was completely remiss throughout the text.

You may consider opening the second paragraph with a quote from the book or something that really stood out thematically to you as a reader. Here is another example of a leading sentence that you would start out your second paragraph with.

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”

Possibly one of the most memorable quotes in the entire book, this quote gives a solid basis to move forward to the next thought. Spend the next sentences exploring the quote that set the tone for the second paragraph. Then, spend the next few paragraphs engaging your reader with your view on the book and what you have learned.
The good thing about writing an essay on the book is that you can present both sides of any argument that may pervade the storyline of the book. The sky is literally the limit on what information you can present.


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