How to Write a Book Report

Students typically despise book reports. Most of the time, this isn't actually due to the idea of reading and writing; it's more about the book itself. With schools assigning dull, uninteresting and outdated texts for book reports, students can't help but feel discouraged. Book reports can quickly become frustrating and tiresome when this occurs. If students don't understand how to tackle a book report, there are few easy, key steps they can always follow to guide them through the process. These important steps include the following:

  • Read the book. Too many, this seems painfully self-explanatory - but here's the thing: many students believe they can eek by using book summary resources like sparknotes of wikipedia. These sites, however, often don't cover the entirety of the books themes and events. The best way to tackle a book report is to actually read it yourself. Then, when you start crafting the report, it will truly sound like you read it - instead of sounding like you're parroting a wikipedia page. If you really just can't manage to read the book - there isn't enough time, or you aren't a strong enough reader - sparknotes may be your best option. Just make sure to rephrase or paraphrase any information you glean from there.
  • Describe, describe, describe. Who are the characters? What is the setting? Always make sure you explain, through vivid descriptions, about the book. This doesn't have to be an overly detailed analysis, but your readers should have some concept of the general narrative. After you've laid the foundation for their understanding, you can venture into more complex topics: for example, exploring the different motifs and themes present in the book.
  • Identify if the text is fiction or nonfiction. The type of text will severely affect your book report. For example, if you choose a non-fiction text on lightning, you'll have to highlight the author's main informative points - there won't be a setting or story to describe, such as in fiction texts. Be aware of what kind of book report you're required to write, before you start writing it.
  • Make a meaningful critique. Once your reader understands the general story or purpose of your text, it's time to give your statement on the matter. What was the story's purpose? How did you respond to it? There are many diverse questions that can be answered by a book report; make sure you know if your teacher has posed one, of left it open-ended for you to determine.

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