American Western Art

Essay Writing Ideas From Experts

Guidelines on How to Write an Essay About a Book


Writing an essay about a book for your high school or college class can seem difficult, but it really isn't. You have the book- you already have everything you need!

What is the Assignment?

Keep in mind what your teacher is asking you to do with this essay.

  • Are they asking you to compare the book to another book?
  • Are they asking you to analyze/explain a theme in the book?
  • Or are they asking something else?

Use Your Book

Read the book you are doing an essay on. It is a wealth of knowledge and will supply you with everything you need to write your essay. If it is your own copy, highlight things that you could use later on. If you don’t have your own copy, stick post it notes where you want to take notes. Doing this will help you get ready for your essay as you’re reading and take note of everything you might need. While you’re writing your essay, you’ll have the exact page with the quote that you need within seconds.

How to Write Your Essay

Once you know what your teacher wants you to write about and once you've finished reading the book, you are ready to start writing. Make sure your essay is as long as your teacher needs it to be. If they told you to write an essay between three and five pages, don’t write only two pages because you feel like that’s all you need and don’t write ten pages thinking it’ll benefit you- it’ll come off as unnecessarily long and your teacher has other papers to read too. Follow the guidelines for a good grade. Writing a successful essay is like math. Here’s the formula:

  • Ask yourself questions. What themes are talked about in the text? Make a list for yourself.
  • Pick one or two themes that you like the most, understand the most, and feel most comfortable discussing.
  • Ask more questions. What is the cause of the theme you’re writing about in the book? What are effects from it?
  • If you chose two themes, how do they interrelate?
  • Based off of this, what do you think the author is trying to say or what are they trying to teach us about the theme?
  • Use all of this to come up with your thesis statement. It should be a sentence long.
  • Write your introduction paragraph, including the thesis statement.
  • What evidence from the text supports this statement? You've already come up with answers to that when trying to come up with the thesis. Look at what you came up with when on steps 3 and 4. Write about these and elaborate in your body paragraphs. Add details and combine ideas where you can. Use the plot to prove your thesis.
  • Write your conclusion. Restate the thesis and points made in your paper. Give a conclusive statement at the end.

Follow these steps and you will have a great paper to turn in.

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