Writing a book report doesn't sound so much fun, but it's a great opportunity to better understand an author and a work. Unlike reviews, the report is a direct summary of the text's plot. The first step is to start reading the book and writing down the details during the process. Thus, you will create a solid text that facilitates the entire process.
Part 1 of 3: Researching and Defining Report Basics
Step 1. Follow the teacher's directions for the job
Read the statement carefully and write down your doubts. Raise your hand during class or talk to the faculty afterwards to resolve issues. Pay attention to the number of pages, due date and formatting (such as using double spacing and the like).
- For example, find out if the teacher wants you to include full citations (with page number and other details) in the assignment.
- Also ask the teacher which is more important: summarizing or reviewing the book. Most reports include straightforward summaries, with few expressions of opinion. The opposite happens in reviews.
Step 2. Read the entire book
This is the most important part. Before starting to write, finish the work. Go to a quiet place where you can concentrate on activity and the important details of plots or characters.
- Read for one-hour periods with breaks to keep your eyes peeled.
- Allow plenty of time to read the entire book. It's very difficult to write a report when you don't have time to finish.
- Don't trust internet summaries. You cannot tell if they are accurate or correct.
Step 3. take notes while reading.
Use a pencil, highlighter or post-its to highlight details you find curious or confusing or parts you find relevant about a character or plot. Start identifying and highlighting proofs and details that you can use in your work with square brackets, quotation marks, or other characters.
For example, pay attention to sentences that describe important places where the plot takes place, such as "the castle was dark, and the stones cast big black shadows"
Step 4. Organize the overall structure of the report
List the paragraphs according to the plot. State what you are going to discuss in each one, as well as the details you want to include. Don't forget that this may change a little when you start writing your final paper.
- When you finish this part, read the structure and see if it all makes sense. If the paragraphs don't have a natural progression, change the order or add/delete as necessary. Also, see if this general draft covers all of the main elements of the book, such as the plot, characters, and setting.
- This step is a little time-consuming, but it can save you a lot of time when it comes to reviewing the final work.
- Some people prefer to sketch by hand, while others do it on the computer. Choose and follow the method that is best for you.
Step 5. Switch between examples and quotes from the book
As you progress through the draft, try to join general points from the summary with specific details of the work. This way, you will show the teacher that you not only read the book, but that you understand it. Vary a little and keep your quotes brief.
Moderate your use of citations. If you overdo it and use the feature on every line, you will overload the report. Try to include at most one citation per paragraph, without it taking up more space than necessary
Step 6. Don't try to cover every detail in the book
You won't be able to cover all of the report's work. Only include in the work the most important ideas, which give the reader a good idea of what the book is about.
For example: focus on the most important or most featured characters in the book
Part 2 of 3: Writing the crumb of the report
Step 1. Begin the report with an informative introductory paragraph
Say the author's name and the title of the book. Also, start with a sentence that will catch the reader's attention, such as an interesting quote. Finish this paragraph by summarizing the entire plot.
- For example: end the paragraph with "The book chronicles the main character's journey to Africa, and what she discovers and experiences in her travels."
- Don't make an introductory paragraph too long. Ideally, it should have more than two and less than ten sentences.
Step 2. Describe the setting of the book
This is the best way to start the development part of the report. In it, you will be able to prepare the reader for everything that will be discussed next. Try to describe the places where the story takes place so that the teacher knows exactly what you are talking about. Make it clear where the book takes place: on a farm, in the future, etc.
Describe the book's details with vivid expressions. For example: "The farm was surrounded by hills and hills that went far beyond human vision."
Step 3. Include an overview of the plot
Here, you can describe exactly what happens in each moment of the work. Talk about the main events and how they impact the reader. Follow the order of events in the book itself.
For example, if the main character moves to Africa, you can describe what happens to her before the move, how she moves, and what she does when she arrives at her destination
Step 4. Introduce the main characters
When quoting them, describe well how each one is and how important it is to the plot. You can devote an entire section of the report to this description of the protagonists, covering every detail - from their physical appearance to their main actions.
For example, write that the main character in the book is "a middle-aged woman who likes luxury, like buying designer clothes." Then connect these details to the plot, describing how she changes after traveling to Africa
Step 5. Examine the main themes in the development paragraphs
Pay attention to the "big ideas" in the book as you read it. In any work of fiction, the reader must pay attention to the characters' actions - and, if applicable, to their frequent behaviors. In non-fiction works, in turn, note the author's main ideas. What does he want to prove or suggest?
- You might write, for example, "The author suggests that traveling is the best way to get to know new things. That's why the main characters seem happier and more fulfilled after seeing different places."
- In works of fiction, see if the author is using the story to convey a moral lesson. For example, a book about an underdog athlete can serve to encourage the reader to take risks in life and fight for their dreams.
Step 6. Comment on the style and tone of the writing
Read certain parts of the work one more time, paying attention to elements of writing, such as lexical choice. Determine whether the author was formal or informal and see if he seems to have a preference for certain ideas over others. Finally, to better understand the tone, think about how you feel when you read these passages.
For example, if the author uses a lot of slang, he probably prefers to follow a more alternative and relaxed style
Part 3 of 3: Finishing the report
Step 1. Write a concise conclusion
In the last paragraph, recap everything for the reader. Summarize the plot in a few short sentences and say whether or not you would recommend the work to others.
- Some teachers ask students to repeat the author's name and the title of the work in the last paragraph.
- Don't include new ideas in the last paragraph. It only serves to recap and complete the work.
Step 2. Review the work
Reread the report at least twice. In the first one, see if the structure makes sense and if all the paragraphs are very clear; in the second, try to detect typos, spelling, grammar or punctuation errors (wrong commas, inappropriate periods, etc.). If possible, read everything aloud to see if any sentence constructions are awkward.
- Before submitting the work, make sure the names of the author and characters are correct.
- Don't just rely on the computer review tool.
Step 3. Have someone read the report for you
Refer to a relative, friend or colleague. Ask him to leave comments, corrections or suggestions for changes in the margins of the pages.
Say, for example, "I would be grateful if you could read my report and see if it makes sense."
Step 4. Make the last adjustments
With corrections made, print the final version of the report. Read it carefully and carefully and try to catch errors that have gone unnoticed. Then reread the work statement and see if you followed all the instructions.
For example, make sure you use the right font (in terms of style and size) and follow the margin guidelines
- Even though you've written the work, don't use the first person. Text may be inappropriate.
- Resist the temptation to watch film adaptations of the work or read reviews and summaries on the internet. The teacher will notice the difference.
- Stealing or copying other people's work is considered plagiarism. Deliver your work.
- Allow plenty of time to write the report. Don't leave it to the last minute, or you could get in trouble.