The authors begin this book by encouraging the reader to believe it is possible to write a quality essay. They then describe what an essay is and what its purpose is before making the case for the importance of learning how to write effective essaysnot only for school, but for success in other areas of life. The following chapter describes the various types of essaysnarrative, persuasive and expositoryas well as their subcategories, and their use in school settings. Subsequent chapters of this book are very similar to the material in the series volume on report writing skills in describing the preparation for writing and the writing process itself, but here less emphasis is placed on citation of sources and creating a bibliography. More important is that readers focus on understanding the purpose of the essay, which can be "decoded" from the essay prompt. Examples are given for compare/contrast, analyze, and describe/explain approaches. Again, this is a straightforward and accessible format that will be useful for middle school students. It is a good addition for classroom or school libraries needing material on this topic. Part of the "Sharpen Your Writing Skills" series. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.