Essays on Books


Writing an essay–MLAFormat for Essays on BooksAllmargins should be 1top, bottom, left, and right.Doublespace everythingthe heading,between the heading and the title of your paper,between the title of the essay andthe body of the paper, the entire essay, and the Work          Cited page. Use12-point font, preferably Times New Roman. Use black ink.HeadingIn the upper lefthand corner ofpage 1, use four lines to list your name, my name,thecourse number or title, and the date.Besure to double space. Onevery page, put your last name and the page number example:Smith 1) in the toprighthandcorner,from the top. Doublespace after the heading, and then center your papers title on the page.Do not put the title in all capitals,boldface, italics, or quotation marks, and do not underline it. QuotationsQuoting from the book is required.Put all direct quotations those taken wordfor          word from the book) in quotationsmarks   ). After the quotation, put the page          number in parentheses if you arewriting about one book, and the authors last name          and the page number if you areincluding quotations from more than one book.           If you want to remove words from aquotation, replace them with an ellipsis three          spaced periods. . . ).Put brackets []) around a word that you added orchanged.           If you are quoting something that isalready in quotation marks in the book for example,          when someone is speaking), use asingle set of quotation marks the apostrophe) inside          the double set      ). Alwaysintroduce quotations with at least a phrase, for example, As Vance pointsout,    Afteryou quote, include a sentence or two to explain why the quotation isimportant.What does it demonstrate orshow us?This is called a quotationsandwich.) Workor Works) Cited pageThisis the last page and has a heading at the top right with yourlastname and the page number.At the leftmargin, begin with the authors last name,thenthe first name.The title of the bookgoes next, underlined or italicized, followed by a period.Then put the name of the publisher, followedby a comma and the year of publication.  Vance, J.D.Hillbilly Elegy:A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.Harper, 2016. NOTE:If this takes more than one line, indent alllines after the first one.If you are writing about both books, they goin alphabetical order, with Lands book first.  Structureparagraph1introduction to the essays topic.Includethe book title underlined OR italicized) and the authors full name.End the paragraph with an ARGUABLEthesis:what will the essay prove? Donot make an obvious statement, such as saying what the book is about.Include in your essay enough details to makeyour points clear, but not so many that you are retelling the entire plot. Body paragraphsas many as you like, eachmaking a point that helps prove your thesis. Refer to the author by LAST name only. Include specific details andquotations.  No body paragraph shouldlack a quotation.Document quotationswith just a page number, for example, since you are writing on only one text47).Always introduce a quotation andcomment afterwards the quotation sandwich). For example, In talking to Vance,Mamaw points out,                            114). Last paragraphconclusion.Summarize what youve said and make clear tothe reader how all of it proves the thesis. Close with a provocative or interesting statement that indicates why allof this matters.Did we learn somethingabout the homeless?Or about how peoplereact to difficulties?Will it changeour behavior? Include a Work Cited page in MLA format.Essay should be approximately five pageslong, not including the Work Cited. ProcessDonot attempt to write the essay in one sitting. Take breaks so you can look at what youve done with a freshperspective. DO NOT BEGIN WITH THE FIRSTSENTENCE!!!You cannot introducesomething when you dont yet know what it is! Start with a tentative thesis, and then sketch out your bodyparagraphs.You can do the introductionlater.Write in a circular pattern,moving backward and forward as you are inspired or motivated.Additional tips:Avoid 1st person pronouns I, me,my, mine).Also avoid 2ndperson pronouns you, your). We and us are fine to use.Avoid slang.Contractions cant, dont, etc.) areacceptable. Be consistent with verb tense; dont movefrom present to past tense or vice versa.  Choose one tense and stick to it. Watch spelling and grammar.Be sure notto write fragments, comma splices, or run-on sentences.  Some Possible Thesis Statements on HillbillyElegy:Despite all the challenges Vance faces, he showscourage, strength, and patience.Henever gives up.Vances past does not define the person hebecame. J. D. Vance is a good Senate candidate for Ohio.J. D. Vance is not a good Senate candidate for Ohio.J. D. Vance has the potential to be a good Senatecandidate for Ohio.The Marines helped Vance become a better person.Vances family life and its disadvantages eventuallymotivate him to succeed.Mamaw is the strongest influence in Vances life.Papaw is the strongest influence in Vanceslife.