The book report should be written in about five paragraphs – and sometimes, if needed, more.
How to Write a Good Book Report
Book reports are assigned to students – those generally taking English classes and/or writing programs – with the purpose of testing whether they read a certain book, whether the student can understand the book’s content and can sufficiently analyze it, and if the student’s writing capabilities exemplify that of a well-round college student.
This particular assignment – writing a standard book report – is meant to be informative in nature, and its purpose is to provide an objective report that trains the student-writer to think critically about a story or piece of literature.
If you are interested in how to write a conclusion for a book report, read the article below.
Book reports, which are similar to book reviews, generally describe what happens in a given work of literature, a summary of the text; this means the student-writer producing a book report focuses on the book’s plot, the book’s major characters, its thesis, and/or the main ideas or themes of the work of literature. Book report assignments are given at all grade levels, often in higher education, as well.
Basically, book reports provide the student-writer a way to explain how well they understand a book they’ve been assigned to read, while also providing them an opportunity to express what they learned from it. The expectations and standards of writing vary by each instructor and each program and academic institution, so it is best if the student-writer speaks with their teacher or professor before diving head first into the assignment.
To write a great book report, a student-writer has to gather the following information:
- Writer of the book (its author or group of authors)
- The book’s title, including subtitles
- The company which published the book, where it is located, and the year the book was published
- The number of pages comprising the book
Questions to Get the Student-Writer Prepared:
Authorship: Who wrote the book? Are there any other similar books the author has written?
The Book’s Genre: Is the book fiction? Nonfiction? A book of poetry? Is it a memoir? Autobiography? Short Story? Play? Novella? What demographic is this book aimed for? Young children? Young adults?
The Book’s Title: Does the title attract or repel the student-writers? Does it grab their interest? Does it bore them? And does the title correspond appropriately to the story being told?
Graphics: Are there pictures in the book? Does the book jacket convey anything important or substantial? Does it portray an accurate depiction of what the story is about? Could it have been different? Did the student-writer find that the book jacket image enticed them to have an interest in reading the book?
Things to Consider When Planning a Book Report
Characters in the Book: Among all the characters in the book, who are the most memorable and most important? Why are they worth remembering? What role did they play in telling the story? Does something (bad or good) happen to them? Is the reader meant to identify with them? Is this accomplished? What do the characters represent?
The Book’s Main Ideas: Does the book have a main idea or theme or goal in mind? Is anything learned after reading the book? Does the book make the reader consider anything in particular?
Quotes, Sayings, Excerpts, Extracts: Are there any parts of the book that can be quoted to make the book report stronger? In other words, what can be incorporated into the book report to better explain what the book was about or what it was meant to do or accomplish?
Writing a Book Report
In the beginning of the book report, after announcing the book’s title and author, the student-writer should summarize what they learned – if they learned anything – from reading the book. After this initial paragraph, they should summarize what happens in the book’s plot, discussing elements they noticed, appreciated, agreed or disagreed with, as well as if they would advise others to read it.
Other items to consider including in the book report: the book’s issues, principles or characters; its major (and possibly minor) themes and motifs; how it is organized to tell the story; the book’s general plot – touching on setting, plot, characters, conflict and theme – and how the student-writer feels overall about the book; it should end with their evaluation of the work.
Searching for book report template? Here is a great one below.
The book report should be written in about five paragraphs – and sometimes, if needed, more. It should include an introduction paragraph that has a topic sentence and a thesis statement. The book report should also include a set of at least three body paragraphs defending the thesis statement. Lastly, like with any academic essay, the Book Report must end with a conclusion paragraph. This paragraph serves to effectively end the book report so that the reader understands what the student-writer was attempting to convey.
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