How to Write an Essay about a Book: The Ultimate Guide

How to Write an Essay about a Book

According to Dr. Amanda Tinker, an academic skills tutor at the University of Huddersfield, essay writing is daunting but very resourceful and valuable. As a student, you must familiarize yourself with how to write an essay about a book since it is fundamental when writing most academic papers. Unfortunately, writing this literary analysis essay is still challenging for most students. This is a comprehensive guide from our professional essay writers to help you structure an award-winning essay and beat the inferior statistic. Our experts also help students with their essays.

How to Write an Essay about a Book; Definition

An essay about a book, or a literary essay, is an argumentative essay that analyzes various book elements. These include the plot, characters, themes, settings, symbols, and takeaway(s). The essay also shows the author’s literary merit in conveying ideas. 

This essay is not a book review or a chance to show you understand the plot. Instead, it analyzes the literary merit used and the main themes. Some of the themes in a book include love, religion, murder, and friendship, among others. Technically, the goal is to show sound logic and build a sound argument to win readers. 

This essay follows the standard writing structure; that is, it has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. 

Steps on How to Write an Essay about a Book

Having understood what is expected in the essay, use these steps to write a captivating one. 

Read the Book

Writing an essay on a book you are yet to read is practically impossible. Additionally, learning how to write an essay about a book you have not read is in vain, as everything will sound gibberish. Read the book as you point out surprising, intriguing, and confusing matters you can dig into. 

Additionally, pay attention to various literary elements that create effects and meanings. Some of the things to pay attention to as you read the book include:

How to Write an Essay about a Book: The Narrative Voice in the Book

To get the narrative voice in the book, ask the questions:

  • Who is the persona in the book?
  • How are they narrating the story? 

Answers to these questions help you know whether the writer is involved in the story or someone is reporting about other characters from a distance. Moreover, the narrative voice helps identify the tone intended in the story. Is it supposed to be joyful, tragic, sincere, sad, or comic?  

The Book Structure

What structure has the author used when writing this book? Is it a poem, play, or novel? A poem is divided into stanzas and lines, a play is divided into acts and scenes, and a novel is divided into parts and chapters. Identify the effect of dividing the book in the format used. 

Additionally, show the relationship between characters and certain settings if the book is a play or a novel. You can also check whether the story jumps back and forth in time or unfolds chronologically. 

The Language Used

One of the best ways to learn how to write an essay about a book is to notice the style of language and word choices used throughout the book. Identify the figures of speech that appear interesting or unusual. These include imagery, metaphor, and similes, among others. 

How to Write an Essay about a Book: Read the Book

Now that you are not summarizing the book but analyzing it in depth, you will need to read about it. Get secondary literature about the book and use this to get some analysis. 

Additionally, find sources that expound on the elements you intend to discuss. This information will help make your arguments stronger. Nevertheless, when reading about the book, use reliable sources. Unreliable sources can be misleading. 

Draft Your Theme Statement

theme or thesis statement is a sentence showing what the author brings out in the story in one line. This statement directs your essay and proves it is not a mere story summary. For you to create the perfect theme statement, answer these questions:

  • What is the main theme of the story?
  • Who were the characters in the story, and did they evolve similarly?
  • What were the major events in the main character’s life?
  • What stood out in the story, and what elements interested you?
  • Did the author have a takeaway from the story?

The main purpose of writing the theme statement here is to give you a flow and keep you focused. Therefore, don’t overstrain yourself as you strive to perfect it; you can improve it as you continue writing. 

Write the Title, Introduction, Body, and Conclusion

By now, you are ready to get to the main part of how to write an essay about a book. Here is how to go about it:


Use a title that shows the main focus of your analysis. This title should be engaging and contain the name of the book you are analyzing and its author. 

If you find it hard to get a catchy title, continue with the rest of the sections. It is easier to get a perfect title when you better understand your arguments. 


Get an introduction that will hook the reader’s attention and lure them to reading the rest of the essay. Give some necessary background information about the book and outline the idea you intend to contradict or highlight in this essay. 


Divide the body into paragraphs where each paragraph supports a specific point. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence as it makes your point focused. The topic sentence also signals what the paragraph will address. 

Use examples and quotes from the book to justify your claims and prove strengths and weaknesses. Close the paragraph with a sentence summarizing your thoughts and smoothly transitions to the next paragraph. 


This is the last part of how to write an essay about a book. In your conclusion, summarize and emphasize the importance of the essay. Stress your stand so that it is clear to the reader whether you recommend this book. Don’t give any new ideas in the conclusion but restate your final thoughts, making it concise. 

Edit the Essay

After finishing the essay, proofread it to identify and correct possible grammar and spelling mistakes. This is also the chance to reorganize, modify, and better the essay’s clarity and style. 

Do You Need Help on How to Write an Essay About a Book?

We hope you have learned how to write an essay about a book it using the above guide. Can you now write an essay about a book? If you need clarification or help on your essay, our professional writers are ready to guide you and write an essay for you. Contact us for an estimate, or visit our blog to learn more about essay writing. 

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