Why Do College Students Read (and Write Essays on) Novels?March 04, 2019

The question will interest you if you're thinking of the sequel to "A Map of Days". You wonder if the prophecy would blur the thin line separating the peculiar children and mutants, but your professors won't be too interested in the fate of peculiar characters in America. They rather want to know your opinion on "Peter Pan". Is it a satire? This is the question that prompts college students to read novels, and write papers on it. And there's more to come.

Reading books can bring pleasure to some people, but not to college students. It takes time to read a novel, and even more time to analyse it. There are many cash-strapped students, so you shouldn't be embarrassed if you happen to be one of them. This gives you a good excuse to spend more time on reading. The solitary existence can cause homesickness, if not loneliness. You can remind yourself of a line from "The Old Man and the Sea". ("But man is not made for defeat.") You might have heard of L. Ron Hubbard's pulsating tales about daring, young Americans who seek their fortune in the remote waters in the Caribbean. Pirates roam that area, and they come all the way from Africa. It should make you ponder about the possibility of writing an essay on it. You can face a number of bumps, as Hubbard's literary achievements are overshadowed by what he had done later in life. You'll think about it later, though.

This article gives you a glimpse on how to read your (assigned) books, and making the most out of it. Reading can be a tedious activity, but it's all about (right) attitude. Are you ready?

How Did Reading and Writing Shape Your Adolescence?

Where does the power of fiction lies? You can suggest this question to your professor, as there's a high chance that it won't be included in the long list of essay topics. Then again, you might think twice about it. The reason doesn't have to do with the word count. On the contrary, you won't have a problem in penning a few thousand words. You must be persuasive in your arguments, which means that you can't discuss all the ideas that come to mind. If you happen to write an essay on "An Old Man and the Sea", then you may skip the familiar theme on being courageous on the face of defeat. Your professor would be more interested in your response to the criticism on this short novel. Is it too simple (for literary debate)? Is Ernest Hemingway an overrated author? Is the Gulf of Mexico a metaphor (like the ocean in "Moby Dick")? These questions may overwhelm you. If you know what to look (during your lengthy Google search), then you can finish the draft (of your assignment) ahead of the deadline.

Is some literature better than the others? You may be thinking of comparing literary genres, if not authors who happen to make a name on the same genre. You're spot on (if you plan to pursue this line of thought). This can be a debate that may never be resolved, as it's hard to figure out how one (genre or literary work) is better. If you can connect to the emotional trauma that defines ghost stories, then you have a good chance of penning a great essay on Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw". It can also prompt you to launch a scathing attack on Edith Wharton's short story on ghost encounter, which you believe to be too long for such an uncanny tale. Your professor would like it, as agreeing on something, most of the time, won't qualify as literary criticism. Next!

How did reading shape your childhood (or adolescence)? This should be the perfect topic for your admissions essay, but you rather played it safe. (You opted for Shakespeare.) Keep in mind that your preference would enable you to discuss it in great detail. It would make an interesting read, and it can help you stand out early on. (If you like H.G. Wells, then you won't encounter many problems in analysing the works of other notable authors in Modern Literature.) You may be tempted to make comparison, such as Jack Kerouac's travel essays to the insights of peculiar children on travelling. It may not be good enough unless you can write a page or two on the literary depiction of London. If you're afflicted with wanderlust, then you're likely to be carried away. Be careful. (The same thing applies to Hubbard's short tales set in remote space.)

Is There a Need to Read More Books

You won’t ponder this question after looking at the list of books that fall under secondary reading. How about study-life balance? You don’t have to throw it out of the window if you really love reading and writing. It’s easier said than done, but you can start on cultivating that passion right now. If you happen to be a student approaching the second year, then remind yourself that you’re making a great investment (on reading). It’s also a requirement (before you receive your degree). This is not one of luck’s many forms, a reminder that you read too many titles by Hemingway. Your professor (in American literature) would love it, though.

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