Hot Tips on Writing a Book Report
At K-12 level, you will often be tasked with writing book reports. This type of assignment tests your skills in writing, analytical reading, and thoughts expression simultaneously, so no wonder tutors are so fond of book reports. After receiving the assignment for the first time in your life, you might not know where to start. Nevertheless, if you are familiar with a book report format, all you have to do is to follow the requirements, which are pretty straightforward. Below is a brief outline of a book report to get you started.
First and foremost, a book report is an essay, so it should meet the basic requirements to the academic essay structure. More precisely, it should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
This paragraph should contain the basic background information, such as the book’s title, the author’s name, publication details, genre and some additional data if applicable. Here is a simple book report introduction sample, in which you can insert the title of the book you are analyzing:
[Book Title] written by [the Author’s Name] in [publication date] is a [short story / novel / fiction / biography, etc.] that was first published in [place of publication]. The primary focus of the book is on the [briefly state the central idea of the book], which is a response to the events in the author’s life and work [revolution / war / dramatic changes in the society (if applicable)]. The book is a bright example of [genre] because the author describes [explain why you think the book belongs to some genre] and uses such techniques as [name the techniques the author applies to communicate his/her message]. [The last sentence of your introduction should be your thesis statement. It’s a sentence or two explaining the argument you are making with your essay].
In the body of the paper, you discuss everything you want to say about the book. You can start by briefly introducing and describing the main characters. For example, you could say:
Understanding of the central characters of [the Book Title] is crucial for the book analysis. The protagonist of the story is [the name of the Character #1] who proves to be [describe this character by mentioning his/her appearance and behavior. Be sure to use evidence from the book to support your description]. His/her antagonist, [Character #2] is [again, describe the second character and support your claims with strong evidence].
Using this pattern, you can describe other important characters but remember to use evidence from the book, such as quotes, examples, and paraphrases to establish credibility. Next, you can summarize the plot. Since usually book reports do not exceed 300-500 words, do not get carried away when providing the summary. The tutor has already read the book, so you only need to mention the key events and plot twists. Finally, you can mention the author’s techniques, e.g. symbols, themes, etc. However, this is optional.
This is where you summarize the main ideas of the report. You can mention the most important claims and re-state the thesis statement, but do not bring in any new information here.
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