Sometimes book essays are required to address a specific question or view point and provide sufficient evidence to support opinions on the topic in focus. Although such essays may follow a general structure but their focus must be on the issue in question. That said the specific purpose of book essays is to give readers a better understanding of the book and proffer a recommendation. The following steps will help the writer achieve this purpose.
1. Determine the purpose of the essay. It could be to convey a point of view or answer a question. Sometimes your mentor will give you the purpose of the essay. If you have to develop your own objective you may have to do this as you read and understand the book better.
2. Read the book and make notes as you go along. There will be parts of the book you may want to focus on in the essay. Keep an eye open for this. Also make note of portions of the book you may want to use in the essay as evidence of what you state.
3. Make special note of the main plot of the book as it unfolds. Jot down the conflicts in the book.
4. By the time you finish reading the book you would have probably noted down a few probable themes or approaches to the purpose of your essay. From these notes try to analyze which line of reasoning you can take and if you have sufficient evidence to back your reasoning. You may have to weigh a few alternatives before you can zero in on one.
5. By now you know what you will be saying in the introduction of your essay. Now focus on what you will be saying in three or four paragraphs that will form the body of your paper. In addition to what you will be saying here, decide what you can offer by way of supporting your views.
6. Now critically review what you have noted down as the material for the body paragraphs. Assess the flow between the sentences in each paragraph and then review the flow between the paragraphs paying special attention to the coherence between the paragraphs. If required redraft as many times as required.
7. Now go back to the notes you have made relating to the introduction. With this material will you be able to achieve what is required in the introductory paragraph? If not revise what you will be saying there. Make sure that out of this exercise a clear thesis statement evolves.