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Essay On Harry Potter: What You Should Avoid In Your Paper

Many students are required to compose an essay about Harry Potter – this is no surprise since the Harry Potter novels have gained notoriety and have become a part of popular culture. The novels are based on the adventures of the boy wizard called Harry Potter, and follow his adventures during his time at the school of witchcraft and wizardry, namely, Hogwarts. However, when writing a paper on Harry Potter there are a couple of things you should avoid that we will discuss on here.

Referencing the movies

This is probably the number one mistake many students make when composing their essay on Harry Potter. Many students think that the movies should offer a good narrative into the Harry Potter books, but this is not true. The movies miss out on many crucial plot points that are included in the book. Thus, if you are tasked with writing a paper on Harry Potter, make sure to read the actual book, and to not just watch the movie, mistakenly thinking that it follows the novels closely.

However, referencing the movies, as part of an analysis comparing the books to their big screen adaption is acceptable and, in many cases, will gain you marks for your insight and ability to spot differences between the two. Just make sure to reference the movies clearly.


Due to the extreme popularity of Harry Potter, there is a plethora of criticism on the books that can be found online. However, you should ensure that you reference this criticism properly if you decide to include it in your work. We encourage you to include and analyze any criticism you feel is appropriate for your essay, as in many cases, this can give you bonus marks, but it should be done in a proper manner to avoid plagiarism.

The best way to do this is through putting the criticism in speech marks and including it in your bibliography at the end of your work. Also, you should provide a commentary on the criticism, saying why you agree or disagree with it. It is important include the name of the person who has provided the criticism.

As you can see, writing a Harry Potter essay is not drastically different from many other papers you may have done in school. However many students slip up in terms of mistaking the movies as a true adaptation of the novels, when the movies miss out on many crucial moments that are present in the book.