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Common Reading Essay Contest

Library Common Reading Essay Contest

Richard Blanco visits FIU!

Richard Blanco, author of the 2015-2016 common reading book "The Prince of Los Cocuyos" will be visiting FIU and speaking on these dates:

  • Biscayne Bay Campus:  October 2, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in WUC Ballrooms
  • Modesto A. Maidique Campus:  October 7, 2015, at 12:00 Noon in GC Ballrooms

submit an essay

The FIU Libraries Common Reading Essay Contest 2016 will open on July 1, 2015.  Please check this page on that date for the entry link.

This contest is open to any FIU first year student (freshman) in the 2015-2016 academic year.

guidelines for writing an 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 Do not quote from the book.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.

2016 common reading book

The Common Reading Book for 2015-2016 is "The Prince of Los Cocuyos" by Richard Blanco.

  • Available from July 1, 2015:  Three copies have been placed on Course Reserves at both the Green Library MMC and Hubert Library BBC.  Please visit the Circulation Desk of either campus library.
  • Read Richard Blanco's biography.

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