Illustration of a man smoking a cigarette

The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

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How to Write an Essay on The Catcher in the Rye

by eNotes

  • Released July 28, 2022
  • Literature subject
  • 10 pages
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To write an essay about The Catcher in the Rye, you need to be familiar with the plot of the story. Many of the chapters in The Catcher in the Rye have important action that can serve as the basis for any essay. However, the following sections represent the best known and, arguably, the most important plot points for the story. Use these as reference points when drafting your essay.


This How to Write an Essay about The Catcher in the Rye document provides you with a step-by-step guide to drafting your essay, valuable contextual information on what to include in your essay, and two sample approaches demonstrating how you can use quotes to craft a character analysis essay.


If you need further guidance on how to select a topic for your essay, please look for our eNotes Suggested Essay Topics and Sample Essay Outlines documents available on our website. Those are designed to provide you with both a starting point and a general orientation from which you can write a substantial analytical paper, as well as outlines that offer a basic sketch of how an analytical paper could be structured to argue a thesis.


Writing is a highly individual activity, and you should never feel bound to any of the outlines. On the contrary, you should feel free to modify or adapt any outline toward your purposes. Further guidance can be found in the “How to Write” guides of the eNotes Essay Lab ( or by asking one of our tutors a question about your essay (