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Book report

This is an objective summary of the major ideas and arguments in a book presented by the author. It gives adequate information to assist the reader in deciding whether the book is of any use of interest. A book report assignment involves teachers giving students a book that they use to write their reports. At times, the student has the liberty to choose the kind of work he wants to report on. Teachers select the list of books to be used by the student using methods such as the works of a particular author, reading in multiple works to students aloud and having each student select one of the books for his report or choosing the book using the class selection process. as such, you must know how to write a book report.

When writing a book report for works of fiction, it includes bibliographical information about the work. It also incorporates the narrative and setting, key story elements and key characters as well. You also have to talk about the purpose of the author’s work, the student’s opinion on the author’s work and a thesis statement that sums up the main idea inferred from reading the book.

The process of writing can be made easy if the students write sequences of action summaries, journals, or story pyramids. Other creative works such as illustrations also accompany book reports or report covers.

Respective book components can also be made into separate artistic works including pop-up cards, character diaries, newsletters, game boards, word switches, as well as story maps.

The reports that students produced should be on multiple pages which include prewriting, first draft, revision, first evaluation, editing a pre-writing, publishing and post-project evaluation.

Before you read, consider the following aspects of book report format to understand how to write a book report

  • Title
    Think about what the title suggests
  • Preface and introduction
    They should provide important information that pertains to the author’s intention and the scope of his work. Identify any existing limitations and find out if the author has omitted any important aspects of the subject.
  • Table of contents
    This shows the organisation of the book about the main ideas and how they are developed.

Points to consider while reading the book

  • The overall feel of the book or the genre.
    Find out if the book fits into the genre or not. To come more familiar with that genres, you cause several sources that are of the same genre.
  • The author’s point of view
    You have to identify and understand the perspective of the author in relation to the book. The genre should be the category used in writing, and the style is the manner in which the author expresses his opinion. The author can present diverse perspectives depending on the style he has used to express his opinion.
  • Ascertain if you disagree or agree with the author
  • Take notes as you read the work
  • Read the book several times, as you take notes because they will be useful in your book report. Repeat the process to see a different aspect of the story, the characters, the plot and the setting more clearly. Ensure you write these notes, and you do not need to organise them as such.
  • Ascertain if you can follow the author's thesis statement
  • Look at the style he has used and see if it is formal or informal
  • Ascertain if all the concepts have been defined accordingly, the language is clear, and the idea development is evident.
  • Identify the areas that have been covered and those that have not been covered. Ascertain the accuracy of this information
  • Establish if the conclusion of the author and his summary are convincing enough
  • Tell if the footnote is providing the relevant information and if they clarify or extend the points made in the book.
  • Identify the accuracy of the index and the sources that the author has used, whether primary or secondary
  • Ascertain the achievement of the book and see if there is more work needed. Make a comparison of the book to others by the same author, or with the books in this field by other authors. 

Writing your report

Mention the book and the author and proceed to summarise your lesson from the book. Give an account of what happens in the book and discuss all the elements that you liked, those you did not like, or anything that would have changed in your book report. Identify if you can recommend this book to anyone else and give your reasons. When you are ready to write the review, think about the following aspects:

  • Characters
    Talk about the elements of the characters that you liked most. You also include information about the characters that you liked best and state your reasons. Tell the audience how the author unfolds his story or the major idea of his work through your book report.
  • Organization
    The bigger chunk of your book report should provide a summary of the work. You then proceed to analyse the characters and the major themes of the book.
  • Evaluation
    Select one or two points from the book and create a discussion around them. Let the reader know what worked for your and how this work compares with other works of the same author or books in written by other authors in the same genre, and that you know how to write a book report. Ascertain the effectiveness of the major themes, motifs, or terms that are introduced in the book. If the book made a logical or emotions appeal to you, let the reader know about it.
  • Recommend
    After reading and writing a book report, would you recommend the book to other people? Provide reasons for your recommendations and the information you would tell the reader before they decide to read the book. Think of the conversations you would have after reading the book.

Structuring your book report introduction

Writing the introduction of your book report can sometimes be tricky. This is not a problem that affects book reports only, but it extends even to other types of writing. If you know how to write a book report introduction, consider the following tips:

Make an appropriate introduction of your book report

Make the introduction fit the assignment. If you are dealing with only one book and are not allowed to use outside sources, your introduction should identify the author, the title, the main topic, and the purpose of writing the book.

If you are dealing with a book that relates to topics or themes that you have discussed in class or reporting on two books of the same topic, ensure you encompass all these requirements in your book reports.

Explain the relationships

Before you can report on two books on the same topic

Explain to the reader how they are related. This should happen in the introduction part of the book report. Talk about the comparable aspects of the two books identifying where the authors agree or differ. Simply put, if your assignment is more complex, your introduction must strive to accomplish the purpose.

Use the introduction to express your position on the issue at hand. In other words, make know your thesis about the author to the audience. As you write, you can keep these aspects in mind:

  • Identify if the book is a memoir, a collection of facts, a treatise, or an extended argument.
  • Find out about the author and what the preface or forewords tell you about the purpose of the work, background, and credentials. Identify the author’s approach to the topic.
  • Identify the main topic that the author is addressing. Show the relationship of the work to a discipline, a profession, specific audience or other works talking about the same topic.
  • Talk about how you have taken the position of the work and the criteria you have used to base your position.

While writing your book report, always maintain objectivity as you express your ideas and major arguments about the work.

Provide an overview

Provide an overview of the work in your book report. This is just the general information that the reader might not get in the introduction but is essential in understanding the work better.

An overview is a description of the books division into chapters, sections, or points of discussion. This may also include background information concerning the topic, and your point of view on the topic.

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