This article was co-authored by Jake Adams. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This article has been viewed 1,, times. Writing a book report may not seem fun at first, but it gives you a great chance to really understand a work and its author. Unlike a book review, a book report requires that you give a straightforward summary of the text.
Your first step is to pick up the book and start reading. Take detailed notes and annotations as you go along. These will help you to build a solid outline, which will make the writing process much easier. To write a book report, start by introducing the author and the name of the book and then briefly summarizing the story.
Next, discuss the main themes and point out what you think the author is trying to suggest to the reader. For tips on editing and polishing your paper before turning it in, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers.
Raise your hand during class or talk with your teacher afterward to go over any concerns. Make sure that you know the required paper length, due date, and any formatting requirements, like double-spacing. Most book reports are direct summaries with only a few opinions mixed in.
In contrast, a book review or commentary is more opinion-driven. Check what kinds of topics you might be asked to write on from the book, so you'll know what to be on the lookout for as you read. Read the entire book. This is the most important step.
Before you even think about writing, sit down and read the text. Find a quiet place where you can concentrate on the book and nothing else. It helps to keep your paper in mind as you read, paying particular attention to any important plot points or characters. Try to find a pace that is comfortable for you.
If you get distracted after 15 minutes, read in minute intervals. If you can go an hour, read for an hour at a time. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get through the entire book. If you're reading a digital book, you can even make bookmarks that will be easily searchable once you have to write your report.
Take careful notes when reading. Keep a pencil, highlighter, or sticky notes handy as you read. If you prefer to work with your phone or a computer, open up a work document and take all your notes there. If you find something that you are curious or confused about, mark it. When the author discusses a major plot point or character, do the same thing.
Start identifying evidence and details that you can use in your report by bracketing or placing a note by quotations or good examples. Create an outline. This should be a paragraph-by-paragraph listing of how your paper will be organized. Expect that this outline might change a bit when you start writing.
Writing often leads to its own realizations, so have a plan but be flexible. Also, check to see if your outline covers all of the major elements of the book, such as the plot, characters, and setting. Outlining does take a bit of time, but it will save you time in the editing stage. Some people prefer to outline with pen and paper, while others just type up a list on the computer. Choose the method that works the best for you. Intermix examples and quotations from the text. As you construct your outline, try to pair any general points of summary with specific details from the book.
This will show your teacher that not only have you read the book, you understand it. Vary your examples and keep your quotations brief. If it seems like every other line is a quote, try to dial back. Aim to include a maximum of one quotation per paragraph. Quotes and examples should still take a backseat your summary. Instead, make sure that your report includes the most important ideas and gives your reader a real feel for the book.
Part 2 of Open with an informative intro paragraph. In general, an introduction should be sentences long, though in rare cases they may be shorter or longer. Try to describe the locations mentioned in the book so that your teacher will know exactly what you are referring to. If the story takes place on a farm, go ahead and say so. If the setting is imaginary or futuristic, make that clear as well. Include a general plot summary.
This is where you describe exactly what happens when in the book. Your plot summary should mention any major events that take place in the book and how they impact the characters. This portion of your report should appear akin to a detailed outline of the book itself. For instance, if the main character moves to Africa, you might describe what happens before the move, how the move goes, and how they settle in once they arrive. Introduce any main characters.
As you mention each character in your report, make sure to introduce who they are and why they are important in the book. You can also devote an entire section of your report to describing the primary characters focusing on everything from what they look like to their most important actions. Character introduction will likely happen in the same sentences and paragraphs as plot introduction. Examine any main themes or arguments in your body paragraphs. What are they trying to prove or suggest?
That is why her main characters all seem happier and more grounded after visiting new places. For example, a book about a fictional underdog athlete could be used to encourage readers to take chances to pursue their dreams. Comment on the writing style and tone. Look over sections of the work once more and pay particular attention to writing elements, such as word choice.
Ask yourself whether or not the book was written in a formal way or more informally. See if the author seems to favor certain ideas and arguments over others. To get a feel for tone, think about how you feel when you read parts of the book. Part 3 of Write a concise conclusion. Your concluding paragraph is where you pull everything together for your reader. Include a few quick sentences summarizing the entire book.
Save the space for your recap. Edit your paper. Re-read your paper two times, at least. A review offers a critical assessment of the content in relation to other studies on the same topic. This involves documenting your reactions to the work under review--what strikes you as noteworthy or important, whether or not the arguments made by the author s were effective or persuasive, and how the work enhanced your understanding of the research problem under investigation.
In addition to analyzing a book's strengths and weaknesses, a scholarly review often recommends whether or not readers would value the work for its authenticity and overall quality. This measure of quality includes both the author's ideas and arguments and covers practical issues, such as, readability and language, organization and layout, indexing, and, if needed, the use of non-textual elements.
Developing an Assessment Strategy There is no definitive methodological approach to writing a book review in the social sciences, although it is necessary that you think critically about the research problem under investigation before you begin to write. Therefore, writing a book review is a two-step process: 1 developing an argument about the value of the work under consideration and 2 clearly articulating that argument as you write an organized and well-supported assessment of the work A useful strategy in preparing to write a review is to list a set of questions that should be answered as you read the book [remember to note the page numbers so you can refer back to the text!
Here are some sample questions that can help you think critically about the book: Thesis or argument. What is the central thesis—or main argument—of the book? If the author wanted you to get one main idea from the book, what would it be? How does it compare or contrast to the world that you know or have experienced? What has the book accomplished? Is the argument clearly stated and does the research support this? What exactly is the subject or topic of the book? Is it clearly articulated? Does the author cover the subject adequately?
Does the author cover all aspects of the subject in a balanced fashion? Can you detect any biases? What type of approach has the author adopted to explore the research problem [e. How does the author support their argument? What evidence does the author use to prove their point? Is the evidence based on an appropriate application of the method chosen to gather information? Do you find that evidence convincing? Why or why not? Does any of the author's information [or conclusions] conflict with other books you've read, courses you've taken, or just previous assumptions you had about the research problem?
How does the author structure their argument? Does it follow a logical order of analysis? What are the parts that make up the whole? Does the argument make sense to you? Does it persuade you? How has this book helped you understand the research problem?
Would you recommend the book to others? Question to ask may include: The author: Who is the author? The nationality, political persuasion, education, intellectual interests, personal history, and historical context may provide crucial details about how a work takes shape. Does it matter, for example, that the author is affiliated with a particular organization?
What difference would it make if the author participated in the events they wrote about? What other topics has the author written about? Does this work build on prior research or does it represent a new or unique area of research? The presentation: What is the book's genre? Out of what discipline does it emerge?
Does it conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre? These questions can provide a historical or other contextual standard upon which to base your evaluations. If you are reviewing the first book ever written on the subject, it will be important for your readers to know this. Structure and Writing Style I. Bibliographic Information Provide the essential information about the book using the writing style [e.
In general, it would look like this: [Complete title of book. If you find it difficult to discern the overall aims and objectives of the book [and, be sure to point this out in your review if you determine that this is a deficiency], you may arrive at an understanding of the book's overall purpose by assessing the following: Scan the table of contents because it can help you understand how the book was organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they were developed [e.
Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject? From what point of view is the work written? What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? If necessary, review related literature from other books and journal articles to familiarize yourself with the field.
Who is the intended audience? What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? You can evaluate the quality of the writing style by noting some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, accurate use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, and fluidity [i.
How did the book affect you? Were there any prior assumptions you had about the subject that were changed, abandoned, or reinforced after reading the book? How is the book related to your own personal beliefs or assumptions?
What personal experiences have you had related to the subject that affirm or challenge underlying assumptions? Would you recommend this book to others? Note the Method Support your remarks with specific references to text and quotations that help to illustrate the literary method used to state the research problem, describe the research design, and analyze the findings.
The description presents background and setting. Its primary purpose is to help the reader realize, through as many details as possible, the way persons, places, and things are situated within the phenomenon being described. Narration : The author tells the story of a series of events, usually thematically or in chronological order.
In general, the emphasis in scholarly books is on narration of the events. Narration tells what has happened and, in some cases, using this method to forecast what could happen in the future. Its primary purpose is to draw the reader into a story and create a contextual framework for understanding the research problem.
Exposition : The author uses explanation and analysis to present a subject or to clarify an idea. Exposition presents the facts about a subject or an issue clearly and as impartially as possible. Its primary purpose is to describe and explain, to document for the historical record an event or phenomenon. Argument : The author uses techniques of persuasion to establish understanding of a particular truth, often in the form of addressing a research question, or to convince the reader of its falsity.
The overall aim is to persuade the reader to believe something and perhaps to act on that belief. Critically Evaluate the Contents Critical comments should form the bulk of your book review. Ask yourself: Has the purpose of the book been achieved? What contributions does the book make to the field? Is the treatment of the subject matter objective or at least balanced in describing all sides of a debate? Are there facts and evidence that have been omitted? What kinds of data, if any, are used to support the author's thesis statement?
Can the same data be interpreted to explain alternate outcomes? Is the writing style clear and effective? Does the book raise important or provocative issues or topics for discussion? Does the book bring attention to the need for further research? What has been left out? Examine the Front Matter and Back Matter Front matter refers to any content before the first chapter of the book.
Front matter that may be considered for evaluation when reviewing its overall quality: Table of contents -- is it clear? Is it detailed or general? Does it reflect the true contents of the book? Does it help in understanding a logical sequence of content? Author biography -- also found as back matter, the biography of author s can be useful in determining the authority of the writer and whether the book builds on prior research or represents new research.
In scholarly reviews, noting the author's affiliation and prior publications can be a factor in helping the reader determine the overall validity of the work [i. Foreword -- the purpose of a foreword is to introduce the reader to the author and the content of the book, and to help establish credibility for both. A foreword may not contribute any additional information about the book's subject matter, but rather, serves as a means of validating the book's existence.
In these cases, the foreword is often written by a leading scholar or expert who endorses the book's contributions to advancing research about the topic. Later editions of a book sometimes have a new foreword prepended [appearing before an older foreword, if there was one], which may be included to explain how the latest edition differs from previous editions. These are most often written by the author. Acknowledgements -- scholarly studies in the social sciences often take many years to write, so authors frequently acknowledge the help and support of others in getting their research published.
This can be as innocuous as acknowledging the author's family or the publisher. However, an author may acknowledge prominent scholars or subject experts, staff at key research centers, people who curate important archival collections, or organizations that funded the research.
In these particular cases, it may be worth noting these sources of support in your review, particularly if the funding organization is biased or its mission is to promote a particular agenda. Preface -- generally describes the genesis, purpose, limitations, and scope of the book and may include acknowledgments of indebtedness to people who have helped the author complete the study. Is the preface helpful in understanding the study? Does it provide an effective framework for understanding what's to follow?
Chronology -- also may be found as back matter, a chronology is generally included to highlight key events related to the subject of the book. Do the entries contribute to the overall work? Is it detailed or very general? List of non-textual elements -- a book that contains numerous charts, photographs, maps, tables, etc.
Is this useful? Back matter that may be considered for evaluation when reviewing its overall quality: Afterword -- this is a short, reflective piece written by the author that takes the form of a concluding section, final commentary, or closing statement. It is worth mentioning in a review if it contributes information about the purpose of the book, gives a call to action, summarizes key recommendations or next steps, or asks the reader to consider key points made in the book.
Appendix -- is the supplementary material in the appendix or appendices well organized? Do they relate to the contents or appear superfluous? Does it contain any essential information that would have been more appropriately integrated into the text? Index -- are there separate indexes for names and subjects or one integrated index. Is the indexing thorough and accurate? Are elements used, such as, bold or italic fonts to help identify specific places in the book?
Does the index include "see also" references to direct you to related topics? Glossary of Terms -- are the definitions clearly written? Is the glossary comprehensive or are there key terms missing? Are any terms or concepts mentioned in the text not included that should have been? Endnotes -- examine any endnotes as you read from chapter to chapter. Do they provide important additional information? Do they clarify or extend points made in the body of the text? Should any notes have been better integrated into the text rather than separated?
Do the same if the author uses footnotes. What kinds of sources appear [e. How does the author make use of them? Be sure to note important omissions of sources that you believe should have been utilized, including important digital resources or archival collections. Summarize and Comment State your general conclusions briefly and succinctly.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. Book reports are informative reports that discuss a book from an objective stance. They are similar to book reviews but focus more on a summary of the work than an evaluation of it.
Most often, book reports are a K assignment and range from to words. Book reviews are most often a college assignment, but they also appear in many professional works: magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. If you are looking to write a book review instead of a book report, please see the OWL resource, Writing a Book Review. Before you begin to read, consider what types of things you will need to write your book report.
First, you will need to get some basic information from the book:. You can either begin your report with some sort of citation, or you can incorporate some of these items into the report itself. While reading a work of fiction, keep track of the major characters. Click HERE for the listing. Character Text Messages: Students can use a site like ifaketext or an app like Texting Story to create a texting conversation between two characters in the story they read. My favorite is iMovie because it is so easy for students to drag and drop pictures and video clips into the provided storyboard templates.
Diorama Green Screen Video: Another idea involving green screen technology would be to have students design and create a diorama that displays the main setting of the story if the book has multiple settings then this project may not be the best fit. Using that app, DoInk, or the computer programs, iMovie or WeVideo, students could "report" straight from the setting or reenact one of the main parts of the book.
Below is an example that Katie from Elementary Einstein's carried out with her class. They were doing reports about the regions of California but a similar idea could be done with a book report! Instead of having students create a diorama, they could "report" in front of their book cover:. They can add their setting, characters, problem and solution.
Create a Timeline Retelling the Important Events: There are lots of different digital tools for creating timelines. Just have students leave off the dates and focus more on the sequencing of events. The timeline below was created using a template I created in Google Slides. Click HERE to make a copy. This book step ladder idea comes from Rhonda Jenkins. Read the description she allowed me to post on my Facebook page:.
Since this post is focused on book reports , I thought it would be neat for students to create these book ladders and then hyperlink each book to a special project they created to go into more detail about the story.
|A typed book report||These are most often written by the author. More reader stories Hide reader stories. This is the most important step. Do you find that evidence convincing? Place of publication. Does it matter, for example, that the author is affiliated with a particular organization?|
|A typed book report||Learn why people trust wikiHow. Does it conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre? Are elements used, such as, bold or italic fonts to help identify specific places in the book? Not Helpful 28 Helpful Choose the method that works the best for you. If it seems like every other line is a quote, try to dial back. They can add their setting, characters, problem and solution.|
|Persuasive essays for elementary schools||Summarize and Comment State your general conclusions briefly and succinctly. These include: A review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. Give yourself plenty of time to write your report. It can be challenging to find the proper vocabulary from which to discuss and evaluate a book. Read through it slowly and carefully. Can the same data be interpreted to explain alternate outcomes? Does it follow a logical order of analysis?|
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|Persuasive essay editing services||I use it every time I need to write a book report and every time I get a better grade! If appropriate and to help clarify your overall evaluation, use specific references to text and quotations to support your statements. Total number of pages]. Glossary of Terms -- are the definitions clearly written? The Book Review or Article Critique. Exposition : The author uses explanation and analysis to present a subject or to clarify an idea. Another example is if someone else spell checked your work.|
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|Esl custom essay editing services for mba||Some Language for Evaluating Texts It can be challenging to find the proper vocabulary from which editha analyze essays discuss and evaluate a book. Cookie Settings. If you get distracted after 15 minutes, read in minute intervals. Introduce any main characters. I learned about this idea from Anita over at Goodwinnovate who does some of the coolest things with green screen technology. By Jill Lepore.|
Using that app, DoInk, or the computer programs, iMovie or WeVideo, students could "report" straight from the setting or reenact one of the main parts of the book. Below is an example that Katie from Elementary Einstein's carried out with her class. They were doing reports about the regions of California but a similar idea could be done with a book report! Instead of having students create a diorama, they could "report" in front of their book cover:.
They can add their setting, characters, problem and solution. Create a Timeline Retelling the Important Events: There are lots of different digital tools for creating timelines. Just have students leave off the dates and focus more on the sequencing of events. The timeline below was created using a template I created in Google Slides. Click HERE to make a copy. This book step ladder idea comes from Rhonda Jenkins.
Read the description she allowed me to post on my Facebook page:. Since this post is focused on book reports , I thought it would be neat for students to create these book ladders and then hyperlink each book to a special project they created to go into more detail about the story.
They could hyperlink to a movie they made, a presentation they created, or digital poster they designed. The possibilities are endless! Newer Post Older Post. Read more. Starting from the introduction, settings, plot, to characters and conclusion, everything flows systematically. It provides an example how the introduction should be as it determines how the thesis is, how the conclusion should be to leave an unending impression on the mind of the readers.
This is a complete guideline manual for writing a book report or review for college students. It shows how to write the report keeping in mind the type off audiences who are the readers. It has a set of questionnaires that a student must answer and have in mind to write a better report. There are separate questionnaires that are useful in writing a novel and biography report, history book report, science book report and much more. This is a step-by-step guideline to write a report or review on a biography book.
It states the steps a reviewer must take before he can start reading it. What are the things to keep in mind, things to collect while reading, the questions that a reviewer must answer before writing a review to have a complete grip on the subject. It states clearly how to present the report in a written format and in an oral presentation. It lists the questions that need to be answered about the person on whom the biography is based on.
A book report is a manual and a set of guidelines for the college students who wants to write a biography on someone. They provide the questionnaire on which the students need to collect information to write a biography. They state the points a biography must have to be an engaging book. On the other hand, the above book reports are guidelines for any book reviewer as they provide a Sample Report Card format and ideas on how to write the introduction, conclusion and the body contain character and plot analysis so that they look professional, unbiased and interesting to read throughout.
Such sample reports make sure that the book reviewers never miss out on any point irrespective of what genre of book it might be.