Skip to main content

Common Reading Essay Contest

Library Common Reading Essay Contest

submit an essay

Submit your essay beginning June 27 on this page for the 2016-2017 FIU Libraries Common Reading Essay.
Contest opens Monday, June 27, 2016
Contest closes Friday, January 20, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

This contest is open to any FIU first year student (freshman) in the 2016-2017 academic year.

2016-2017 common reading book

The Common Reading Book for 2015-2016 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 Do not quote from the book.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.