HomeTo Kill a Mockingbird Essay
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To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic novel written by Harper Lee in 1960. It is a rare occasion in history when a book not only got immediately recognized by critics and celebrated by audiences but also stood the test of time and found its way into the classrooms. Of course, this phenomenon attracted the attention of numerous scholars who wrote volumes upon volumes investigating it.
Today, pretty much everybody knows what goes on in the novel and how one should understand it. Yet, you still should write your own essay about it, and it’d better be something meaningful and exciting. A legit question arises – how To Kill a Mockingbird summary or essay should be written in a way that will impress your reader (and get you that A that you deserve)? Apparently, your reader is your English teacher, and monitoring that students read what they are supposed to read is a part of their job. Basically, this is all you need to know. Your essay on To Kill a Mockingbird should be demonstrating that you have read the novel and understood its message, not more than that.
When you face the task of putting together a To Kill a Mockingbird essay, and you want to succeed in it, you should better know all the details about the task – the word count, the formatting, and – most importantly – the kind of essay. Your teacher may clarify all these details and provide you with To Kill a Mockingbird essay prompts. These prompts should tell you whether you should write about the book as a whole or only about a particular chapter, which theme or character should be in the center of your attention, etc.
As we have mentioned, your English teacher’s job is, most often, simply ensuring that students read and understood the novel, so all a student must do will (most often) come down to a summary (i.e. an informative essay). That is, of course, unless you are taking an advanced English class or it is your major. If the latter is the case, then you should assume that your reader is already aware of the story, so summarizing it for them is unnecessary. Instead, you will have to answer specific To Kill a Mockingbird essay questions and investigate a particular running theme or trace the development of a particular character.
Writing a summary may be somewhat tedious and time-consuming, but it is by no means difficult. All you should do is retell the events that unfold, only in written form. When your task is to write a summary of To Kill a Mockingbird, it may deal with a book as a whole or only one or two chapters. Here, you will be capturing the gist of the text which will include the most crucial events and the most focal ideas. It is worth noting, however, that if you have read the book (or a chapter) once, recollecting all the meaningful details as you write your summary may appear tricky. Read it actively, i.e. to take notes on the go, is a better idea. If you have already read the book, then you should better re-read it for your task. Among other things, you should keep track on the signs of each character evolving, changing their opinions as a result of witnessing or participating in some dramatic or mundane events, etc. If your notes exceed the desired word count of your summary, don’t squeeze them all in, leave only the essential information.
This book is so massively famous and well known that you probably have an idea of what you will be writing in your To Kill a Mockingbird book summary even if you haven’t read it just yet. You know who the characters are and what the central theme is. Nevertheless, if you want to end up with a summary worth reading, you should read the novel actively. As we have already discussed, this involves taking notes of all the meaningful details. Luckily, Harper Lee herself has made the job easier for you by writing out the characters with brilliant meticulousness, achieved by presenting them through the eyes of a child (from whose point of view the narration goes).
Sometimes, your teacher will have you summarize only one chapter of the book (instead of the whole novel). First of all, this helps to avoid students being tempted to copy each other’s work because every student gets his or her own chapter to summarize – you write To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1 summary, you summarize Chapter 2, etc. Secondly, it makes the teacher’s job less tedious, as they have to check, for example, 20 different works instead of checking 20 works recycling the same information. Also, this approach makes your job even easier as summarizing smaller pieces of text takes less effort than working with bigger ones.
As we have already mentioned, if you major in English or are taking an advanced English class, you will be expected to demonstrate somewhat more writing proficiency than a simple summary of To Kill a Mockingbird. You will have to write reflective, argumentative, persuasive, and other essays where you may have to uncover specific topics touched upon in the novel, scrutinize a particular character, etc. Of course, you cannot write about whatever you want – that would involve too much time just to define the topic. Instead, you will have To Kill a Mockingbird essay prompts to refer to. These prompts are quite specific, so you will know exactly what to write about.
It is common knowledge that the central theme of Harper Lee’s novel is racism. As such, you should expect this theme to be touched upon in To Kill a Mockingbird essay questions. In other words, if you are to explore a particular theme in your essay, you can safely assume that you should write To Kill a Mockingbird racism essay.
Harper Lee’s novel is also famous for the author’s brilliant depiction of characters, so tracing character development is also a less-than-rare question to come across among To Kill a Mockingbird essay prompts. The course of events in the novel spans over the period of fours years filled with life-changing experiences. So, it is only natural that characters evolve, and To Kill a Mockingbird character analysis is always an exciting topic for an essay. Usually, you will have a choice between some major characters; however, English and literature majors may expect something even more challenging than that.