How to Write an Essay on "To Kill a Mockingbird"

... Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Harper Lee's classic Southern Gothic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," is set in a small Alabama town during the early 20th century. Writing a quality essay about the novel requires thorough reading, analyzing, brainstorming and planning. Following six steps should make it possible for most students to successfully write an essay and earn a quality grade.

Read the novel carefully, paying attention to details. Highlight or write down any parts that you think are important.

Analyze the story, paying attention to the themes that Harper Lee conveys. For example, one theme is the racism surrounding Tom Robinson and his trial. Another is the portrayal of small town Southern life in Maycomb and its residents' behavior.

Create an outline of your essay before actually writing it. Organize the information into sequential parts that talk about what you think is important. Mention all of the main characters including Jem, Scout, Atticus, Boo Radley, Tom Robinson and Bob Ewell. Try to tie them together and explain their roles in the novel.

Write a rough draft of your essay. It should have an introduction which states your main point or argument. Follow this with the body, which elaborates on the main point. The last part should be your conclusion which ties everything together.

Read over your rough draft and highlight any errors and any areas that can be improved. Read the essay out loud to yourself to avoid any grammatical errors and ensure smooth transitions.

Write the final copy of your essay to make the needed improvements.

  • Don't worry too much about your initial rough draft and making it perfect. Just write what you think is important and edit it later.
  • Having a friend or parent read through your rough draft is an effective way to find errors and make improvements.

Nick Mann has been a writer since 2005, focusing on home-and-garden topics. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.