Writing a book report for the first time might be challenging to students especially those without prior knowledge on how to write an outstanding book report. A book report requires you to analyze a large amount of information with very few words and space to discuss the writer’s major themes, the characters, and the plot of the story with an objective eye. This guide will equip you with the necessary tools that will enable you to write not only the most outstanding but also a clear book report. We will provide you with excellent tips on how to write the best book report and how to logically organize the writing process to make your paper more appealing. To begin with, what do you understand by a book report and what makes it different from a book review?
A book report
A book report gives an informative account of a piece of writing by presenting the author’s point of view, analyzing the specific features of a piece of writing and providing a personal opinion about the authors perspective. Book reports share some similarities with book reviews, but the two have some differences. Let us compare the two;
Book report focuses majorly on summarizing a piece of literary work more than conducting an evaluation of the same. Mostly these assignments are assigned to middle and high school students and take different forms. These essays include different elements depending on the grade level of the students.
Book reviews, on the other hand, give a critical evaluation of a fiction or non-fiction work whereby you are expected to provide a summary of the content, assess the value of the material and give your individual opinion about the reader’s point of view. You are expected to either recommend or not to recommend the book or piece of writing to other potential readers. In most cases, book reviews are college assignments, but professionals can also write them. Typically, book reviews are published in academic or scientific journals, magazines or newspapers.
Writing a book report
A book report is meant to help students to improve their analytical and communication skills as well as help them learn how to express their thoughts clearly and logically. Writing a book report will enable you to open your mind to various opinions and help you to look at things from different perspectives and arriving at a concrete conclusion. A well-written book report contains three key elements;
• Summary of the plot
• Analysis of the theme
• character analysis
These are the major components of a book report, and your primary objective should be to discuss and analyze these elements. Despite the nature of your essay, be sure to include some aspects that you will use to convince your reader that the book was interesting to you even if you did not like some aspects of the book. For instance, if you are a reading a fiction book and you don’t like the style that the author has used in writing his/her book; present your dislike in a positive manner such that your reader will sympathize with you.
Steps to be followed when writing a book report
1. Select a book that you would like to write a report on. Identify some essential elements that are necessary for you to get started. Some basic information you will need to have is the title of the book, the genre, the author, publisher and year of publication. Identify the various aspects of the book that have sparked your interest.
2. Read the book carefully while making notes. While reading, keep track of the major themes, characters and their specific features, critical events in the story and the story settings. This will apply if you are reading a fictional work. When reading a non-fiction book, identify the main ideas and be ready to discuss them.
3. Select specific direct quotes from the book or text that you will include in your report to back up your arguments.
4. Organize your notes into sections and categorize your ideas under specific headings and subheadings. Ensure you have sufficient points under each category.
At this point, you are ready to start writing your paper.
Start with writing an introduction to your book report. The introductory paragraph will contain information about the author, the title of the book and the year of publication. Include a sentence that explains the subject of the text as well as giving a brief overview of the meaning.
Write the body of your paper by presenting an extended summary of the text. In this section, identify the author’s primary thesis, and provide your remarks about the tone and writing style of the author. Be detailed enough to give your audience an overview of the text that you are reporting.
Conclude your essay with a few sentences about the impact of the text on you and state whether you recommend or do not recommend the article for further reading. In this section, provide a summary of your ideas and opinions you have developed about the book in the course of your reading and analysis.