Studying literature is not as simple process as it might seem. One of the hardest things in this field to do is writing an essay about a book. It is important to know that this task differs from a book review in some way. Writing an essay about a book implies an analysis of this book.

Students often make a simple mistake that bears devastating consequences. When you are given a task, you need to understand this task before doing something. An essay about a book wants you not simply to recite the plot of the book. Your professors believe that you can comprehend the sequence of letters and punctuation marks that compose the text.

They want you to make them believe that you understand something from what is written. Now you know what your task consists of. You may start doing it, but in order to do it well you should learn several things about this kind of writing first.

Writing Tips

First of all, if you want to write a good essay about a book this book should be read thoughtfully but not superficially. An obvious thing to say is that it is better to start doing your task a little earlier than the last night before your essay should be provided to your professor. Reading takes some time, so take care of it beforehand.

As it is a common recommendation for writing almost every academic paper you need to create some specific thesis statement. It is an important thing that helps both you and your reader. Since you accentuated a certain idea, you understand what you are writing about, and you reader perceive your text according to this magical sentence.

Make up the detailed plan for the paper before you started writing it. Remember, everything that you write should develop the idea of the topic given in the header. If there is a question, then there should be an answer. Nobody needs lengthy texts about the book upon the whole. Try to reveal the topic in its fullness. All the points of your plan should be devoted to its disclosure. After you`ve done your plan, it is a way too easy to write the draft.

The task does not demand you to invent some new senses or something like that. It wants you to point out what the book tries to tell. Your opinion may differ from the long-established one. Do not be afraid to express your real thoughts about the text. Some fresh view would only improve the perception of your essay. And do not feel pressure about talking on the well-known exegesis of the book at the same time. You read and analyze the book that has been read and analyzed about two billion times by one billion of people. Maybe even more.

Essay Structure

Well, you know what to write. That is great because it is the hardest part. But your task is still to write an essay so you should stick to the established rules of writing an essay. It consists of three immutable parts as before.


This part obviously opens your paper. This is the foretaste and the show bill of the whole paper. Your first sentences set the tone for your text. You should include your thesis statement that was mentioned above in this part. Also, you need to specify the question your essay rise. Introduction should be short but informative. Place here the information you are developing in the next part to facilitate your writing process and to help reader orient himself through your future thoughts.

Body Paragraphs

This is the main part of your paper. Here you develop the ideas stated in the introduction. It is important to follow the consequence and not to digress from the main points. You may allow yourself some lyrical digressions but keep focused on the main ideas. If you don`t follow your own ideas, it looks incoherent, and your paper loses integrity. Hint: it won`t benefit you. So concentrate on the key points and expound it. The length of this part is the biggest. Do not keenly limit yourself but try not to imitate Mr. Tolkien – take a fancy for Hemingway.


The last part of your paper that wants you to summarize everything you said earlier. You should give some brief answers to the raised questions. What is more important, you should tell your reader about what is your resolution about the book. In other words, talk about the conclusions you came to. This part is similar to the first one in the question of the length. So try to store all needed information in few paragraphs.

Essay About a Book: Examples

After you understand what you want to say about the book and learn the structure of the paper, you may start writing it. To accept the art of writing an essay about a book in its fullness let`s see an example of it. Imagine that you write an essay about The Picture of Dorian Gray.


You express your attitude toward the novel. After it, create your thesis statement and let it be the following: Dorian wants to feel life brighter, and that is why he supposes that it is only possible by obtaining an immortal youth and beauty. (Then state other important points). Acting in the way he wants, realizing his nature he jeopardizes the lives of the other people. (Set the questions). Why these actions make his soul older and uglier? Is Dorian right in his beliefs? How it correlates with the moral foundations of the society he lives in?


Develop your thoughts. The meaning of the novel is in showing the superiority of the inner content of the human personality over the external. It does not matter how bright your appearance if your soul is dark. The flesh suffers from the ugliness of the thought and the heart. Eternal youth and beauty cannot make life happier if there is no purity of thoughts.


It is important to stick to the well-known moral law of being that postulates that visible essence cannot be turned into the only meaningful one.