How To Write a Literary Essay on a Book

Writing a literary essay on a book may be scary but is not as difficult as you think. You may be wondering what a literary essay is but on realization of what it means you will be amazed by how it is easy to write. To write a literary analysis essay example on a book, you will need to organize your thoughts. It can be easy if you read through the literary analysis essay prompts covered below after the description of a literary essay.

What is a literary essay?

A literary essay has a similar format to a book report. The difference comes in the quality of a report and the literary essay. A literary essay needs rigor, meaning presenting more than a clever thought of a book. An essay involves the use of quotes, reading about the book and referencing other sources arguments. With rigor, your paper will stand out from the rest.  The tone of a literary essay needs to present argumentative statements about the book you are defending using examples from the book’s chapters and third-party sources. When writing an essay on a book, the tone needs to be authoritative, precise and smart to get the best performance in your essay.

The structure of a literary essay

Before writing a literary essay on a book, you need to read the book, understand the tone and structure, and create your perspective about the book’s theme, plot, and characters. After that, you can structure your essay as illustrated.

  1. Introduction

The introduction of an essay sets the tone of your writing. In the introduction section, you need to be clear, and the text needs to be grounded on what you target to discuss. Have the basic facts about the book in the introduction. Use three to five body sentences to set the scene and support your thesis statement. Finally, you will need to present your thesis statement that is argumentative, meaning it can be true or false as you end your introduction.

  1. Body paragraph

When writing an essay on a book, the body paragraph section is meant to provide evidence that supports your statements. Short essays can have one body paragraph, while a serious research paper can have 12 paragraphs. The number of paragraphs is not important as long as it follows the same structure of having a mission statement, support sentences and a closing point. The mission statement should point out a specific way in which the book you read supports your thesis. Support statements can be made of quotes and paraphrases to support the thesis statement. It is highly recommendable that you use transition words to bring the main points together at the closing section.

  1. Conclusion

The conclusion is a reflection of the introduction section. It is the section you use for restating your premises and asserting that you have proven the thesis statement you were tackling. It needs to provide a reflection that is closely similar to the universal statement. In the body sentences section, you will give a summary of your main arguments in each of the body paragraphs within a maximum of seven sentences.  The final thought section will provide a restatement of your thesis plus a sentence of why it is important.


Literary essays are an advanced version of book reports. Preparing yourself to write the essays can significantly prepare you to face a writing challenge. By embracing rigor, reading profoundly and engaging your imagination with the book and the texts therein, you will find it enjoyable writing your literary essays. Remember the tone and rigor difference between a book report and a literary essay, and you will always submit a quality paper.

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