How to write outstanding college level book reports
Many generations of students from completely different areas have been facing the same common assignment: writing a book report. Book reports are very popular because professors like them, and they are not going to disappear anytime soon. However, students are rarely excited when they get a book report assigned. Book reports require you to not only read a book and understand its key concepts but also to provide a detailed analysis.
First, your book report must address the most important aspects, such as the title, information about the author, key information about the characters, and plot summary. These are the details that you would also provide in a book review, as well. However, a book report is different because you should also provide your personal opinion. The author’s point is usually presented in the form of a thesis statement and then supported with examples from the book. We decided to help you write an outstanding book report. Here are some useful tips.
Understand your assignment
First of all, you should know exactly what you’ve been asked to do. Make sure to clarify all the requirements, deadlines, and the necessary format. For example, if you’re being asked to write an essay, it can be an essay about the main theme of the book or about a particular character. Read your prompt carefully and don’t hesitate to talk to your instructor if you have any questions.
Read the book
Obviously, you need to read the book before writing anything about it. Many students prefer to skim through a book, looking for certain keywords and trying to select the most important passages. This is a very bad practice because, this way, you may miss something important. Make sure to dedicate enough time to reading.
Nathan Stewart, writer at LegitWritingServices advises: “Don’t copy information from book reports. On the one hand, it may seem that using reports written by professionals is a good idea, however you work will suffer from plagiarism issues.”
When reading a fiction book, make sure to write notes and focus on the following details:
- the plot;
- the setting;
- characters and connections between them;
- themes addressed in the book;
- literary symbols and metaphors;
- the author’s viewpoint.
When reading a nonfiction book, focus on the chapter titles to have a better understanding of the structure. Here are important things to consider:
- the general topic of the book;
- the most important events;
- the key characters and the way they impact the topic;
- new information that you’ve learned from the book.
Write an outline
We recommend that you write an outline before you start to write the book report itself. This way, it will be easier for you to create a proper report with a clear structure. Plan your report and think of what information you’re going to write first, and how you’re going to connect different sections so that your report will be logical and easy to read. Plan the introduction, body, and conclusion. Review your notes and select the best pieces of evidence to support your thesis statement.
Write a strong introduction
The introduction is one of the most important sections of a book report because it’s the first thing that your readers will see. Grammarly recommends writing a hook that will immediately grab the reader’s attention. A hook is basically one or two sentences that are aimed at capturing your reader’s attention. Write an explanatory introduction, mentioning the title of the book and the author. You should also explain what your report will be about. Even if you haven’t been asked to include a thesis statement in your report, having one will give you a certain advantage because your report will be more focused and specific.
Write body paragraphs
Use your outline and notes to write the main body of the report. Provide a brief plot summary and add your own thoughts, considering the themes of the book in the context of your topic and thesis statement. If it’s a nonfiction book, you should also explain the author’s thesis. Explain why the author uses a particular tone and style. Pay your attention to any symbols. Address the most important moments in the storyline, and use evidence from the book to support your own claims.
Write the conclusion
In the last paragraph of your book report, sum up your key points and the most important evidence. Some instructors may also ask you to restate the author’s name and the title of the book. The conclusion also gives you an opportunity to leave your readers with something to think about. For example, you can ask them a question related to the topic of your report, or consider the book in a broader context, drawing analogies between the events described in the book and important issues from real life.
Edit and proofread
Last but not least, you must edit and proofread your report, writing the final draft. Even the most talented writers need to write several drafts before their paper becomes perfect. We recommend that you never skip this important step. Take a break and then come back to your paper. Make sure that the structure is logically correct and all the sections are formatted according to the required style. Edit sentences that sound awkward or are hard to read. After this, proofread your report and fix any grammar or spelling mistakes. Also, don’t forget about the formatting of your paper. Use the standard MLA format in case your teacher hasn’t provided a specific format to follow.
Although writing a book report may seem to be a difficult task, you can make it much easier if you follow our step-by-step guide. Book reports allow you to demonstrate your understanding of various books and complex topics, as well as your analytical skills. We hope that our tips will help you write a book report that will impress everyone.
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