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Common Reading Essay Contest

Library Common Reading Essay Contest

submit an essay

The 2017 Common Reading Essay Contest closed on Friday, January 20 at 5:00 p.m.


This contest is open to any FIU first year student registered for the SLS-1501 (or Honors College equivilent) in the 2016-2017 academic year.

2016-2017 common reading book

The Common Reading Book for 2016-2017 is "In Order to Live - A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom" by Yeonmi Park with Maryanne Vollers.

  • Each freshman in 2016-2017 will receive a free copy.  Extra copies will be available in the Green Library (MMC) and Hubert Library (BBC) in June 2016.
  • Read the publisher's summary.

guidelines for writing the essay

To make your essay a strong contender for one of the three prizes, here are some recommendations.

  1. Essays must be at least 2 full pages in length and no more than 5 pages in length.  Title pages and notes pages do not count.
  2. Do not retell the story.  Essay reviewers have already read the book.
  3. Write about YOUR story - how did the book affect you, your viewpoints, your perceptions?
  4. Refer to specific passages in the book when establishing a bond or parallel between the story and something in your life (past, present, or future).
  5. Do not quote from the book.  Do not rewrite passages.
  6. Good grammar is always welcome.
  7. Write naturally.  Be yourself.  Tell your story in your words.
  8. Don't let the first draft be the final draft.  Put the essay down for a day or two.  This will allow you to think about what you have written and make changes to the next draft.
  9. Above all - be honest, seek to find your true and deepest feelings about what you are trying to express.