10 Best Books on Essay Writing

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a woman dressed in white holding a book with essays and poems

 

You can improve your essay writing skills with practice, repetition, and by putting in the necessary work.

 

You can also become a better writer almost involuntarily, just by observing the world, living your life to the fullest, and reading everything you can put your hands on. This can definitely help if you want to start writing for a living.

But sometimes there’s a need for more specific knowledge that will accelerate your progress. If you want to produce great pieces of writing and impress your peers and teachers, you should take a look at the following list of best books on essay writing.

 

Also, if you’re planning to  write a college admission essay , you may want to check my article on how to write a great essay.

 

I hate writing, I love having written. – Dorothy Parker

 

10 Books That Will Help You With Essay Writing

 

1. A Professor’s Guide to Writing Essays: The No-Nonsense Plan for Better Writing by Dr. Jacob Neumann

 

This is the highest-rated book on the subject available on the market right now. It’s written for students at any level of education. The author uses an unorthodox approach, claiming that breaking essays down into different formats is unnecessary.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a persuasive or a narrative essay – the difference is not in how you write, but rather in how you build your case.

Length: 118 pages
Published: 2016

 

For Educators and Students Alike
A Professor's Guide to Writing Essays (Paperback)
$10.95

A wonderful guide for achieving college to professional level essay writing. Useful for both professors and students.

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11/29/2021 12:31 am GMT

 

2. College Essay Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Successful College Admissions Essay – by Ethan Sawyer

 

Every year, millions of high-schoolers scramble to achieve above-average GPAs and score well on the SAT, or in some cases, the ACT, or both. On top of that, they also have to write a 650-word essay and find their way to their dream college. If you’re one of them, then make sure you read this concise book.

Ethan Sawyer (The College Essay Guy), breaks the whole essay-writing process down into simple steps and shows you the way around the most common mistakes college applicants usually make.

Length: 256 pages
Published: 2016

 

Write Impressive Essays
College Essay Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Successful College Admissions Essay
$9.58

A comprehensive guide on writing impactful college admission essays. Packed with great examples, brainstorming exercises, and other writing aids.

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11/29/2021 12:17 am GMT

 

3. The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment by Susan Thurman

 

The institution of a grammar school is defunct, but it doesn’t mean you can ignore the basic rules that govern your language. If you’re writing an essay or a college paper, you better keep your grammar tight.

Otherwise, your grades will drop dramatically because professors abhor simple grammar mistakes. By reading this little book, you’ll make sure your writing is pristine.

Length: 192 pages
Published: 2003

 

Valuable Reference for Writers
The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need
$8.99

The ultimate guide for producing excellent compositions that are clear, concise, and grammatically sound.

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11/29/2021 12:16 am GMT

 

4. Escape Essay Hell!: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Narrative College Application Essays by Janine W. Robinson

 

A well-written essay has immense power. Not only that it is one of the prerequisites to getting admitted to colleges and universities, but you also have to tackle a few essay questions in most, if not all exams you will ever take for career or academic advancement. For instance, when taking the LSAT to qualify for law school, or the MCAT to get into med school, or the DAT to pursue a degree in dentistry or even the GRE or GMAT as the first step in earning a master’s degree.

That is why this book is highly recommended to anyone navigating through the sea of higher learning.

In this amusing book, Janine Robinson focuses mostly on writing narrative essays. She’s been helping college-bound students to tell unique stories for over a decade and you’ll benefit from her expert advice.

The book contains 10 easy steps that you can follow as a blueprint for writing the best “slice of life” story ever told.

Length: 76 pages
Published: 2013

 

In Paperback or Kindle Edition
Escape Essay Hell!: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Narrative College Application Essays
$10.98

Let former journalist and magazine editor Janine Robinson teach you the rudiments of writing impactful narrative essays.

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11/29/2021 12:12 am GMT

 

5. The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present by Phillip Lopate

 

This large volume is a necessary diversion from the subject of formal, highly constrained types of writing. It focuses only on the genre of the personal essay which is much more free-spirited, creative, and tongue-and-cheek-like.

Phillip Lopate, himself an acclaimed essayist gathers seventy of the best essays of this type and lets you draw timeless lessons from them.

Length: 777 pages
Published: 1995

 

Great Essays from the Last 4 Centuries
The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present
$14.44

Deviate from the formal form of essay and delve into the personal kind. Learn how to write life essays from a treasure trove of great examples.

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11/29/2021 12:31 am GMT

 

6. The Best American Essays of the Century by Joyce Carol Oates

 

The art of the modern essay starts with Voltaire at the beginning of the eighteen century. Since then, many a writer attempted to share their personal stories and philosophical musings in this free-flowing form. Americans are no different.

In this anthology, Joyce Carol Oates shares some fantastic reads which you need to absorb if you want to become a highly-skilled polemicist.

Length: 624 pages
Published: 2001

 

Enlightening and Inspiring
The Best American Essays of the Century
$15.49

Part of the Best American Series, this book features essays from Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Susan Sontag, Maya Angelou, and more.

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11/29/2021 12:30 am GMT

 

7. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser

 

On Writing Well is a classic writing guide that will open your eyes to the art of producing clear-cut copy. Zinsser approached the subject of writing with a warm, cheerful attitude that seeps through the pages of his masterpiece.

Whether you want to describe places, communicate with editors, self-edit your copy, or avoid verbosity, this book will have the right answer for you.

Length: 336 pages
Published: 2016 (reprint edition)

 

Greatly Improves Your Writing
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
$14.49

This book has been helping budding and professional writers for more than three decades. Sold more than a million copies.

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11/29/2021 12:21 am GMT

 

8. How To Write Any High School Essay: The Essential Guide by Jesse Liebman

 

The previous titles I mentioned were mostly for “grown-up” writers, but the list wouldn’t be complete without a book for ambitious high-school students.

Its length is appropriate, making it possible even for the most ADHD’d among us to get through it. It contains expert advice, easy to implement essay outlines, and tips on finding the best topics and supporting them with strong arguments.

Length: 124 pages
Published: 2017

 

Enhances Your Writing Skill
How To Write Any High School Essay: The Essential Guide
$7.99

The inside information in writing great essays to impress teachers. Comprehensive and easy-to-follow instructions for high school and middle school students.

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11/29/2021 12:21 am GMT

 

9. Essential Writing Skills for College and Beyond by C.M. Gill

 

On average, after finishing high school or college, Americans read only around twelve books per year. This is a pity because books contain a wealth of information. People at the top of the socio-economic ladder read between forty and sixty books per year – and you should too!

But reading is just one skill that gets neglected after college. Writing is the other one. By reading the “Essential Writing Skills” you’ll be able to crush all of your college writing assignments and use them throughout your life to sharpen your prose.

Length: 250
Published: 2014

 

Awesome Writing Aid
Essential Writing Skills for College and Beyond
$9.24

College students would find this illustrated edition paperback truly helpful in writing high-level compositions. Also available in Kindle edition.

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11/29/2021 12:14 am GMT

 

10. The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing by Margot Livesey

 

If you want to write, you first need to read some of the best essays ever written. Developing your own style is a result of conversing with great minds, and then borrowing from them to create something new. All great artists are inspired by someone.

In Hidden Machinery, Margot Livesey shares her essays on what makes good fiction and a strong narrative. It’s a must-read for all aspiring writers.

Length: 224
Published: 2017

 

A Must-Read for Writers
The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing
$14.58

From a New York Times bestselling author comes this book for literature lovers and aspiring authors.

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11/29/2021 02:05 am GMT

 

How did you like this article? Are you going to read any of the books listed above? Can you recommend any other book which I should add to this list? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

4 thoughts on “10 Best Books on Essay Writing”

  1. Thanks for your inspiring recommendations,they’re really good and timely to my quest for improving my writing skills. I love to start from the basic-Essential Writing Skills for College and Beyond..

  2. Thank you and I found there is one book recommended by you in the list for high school student. I would appreciate if you could please recommend more books to improving writing for high school student. Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Maria! Thanks a lot for your comment. I’m happy that you’ve enjoyed the article. Yes, I just might come up with a new article about improving writing skills as a high school student. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Virginia Mattingly

    Like Maria, I turned to your article for recommendations for high school students and have added a few titles to my school library’s next book order. Thank you Rafal!

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