What Is A Book Report?
A book report is a written piece (in essay form) that discusses the contents of a book. It summarizes the book's various aspects, such as author, title, plot, setting, and characters, in order to reveal the extent of a student's understanding of what he/she has read. It is a common writing assignment at elementary through high school levels.
As the term itself suggests, a book report is a type of written project that discusses a specific book. Often written in essay form, a book report summarizes the contents of a book. In many instances, a book report may also analyze the book as well as offer an evaluation of a book’s strengths and weaknesses.
How to Write a Book Report?
A book report is one of the most common academic writing compositions, especially because this is one of the types of academic writing that students are exposed to since grade school. A book report is an easy writing exercise. It is meant to determine the aptitude of the students in reading comprehension by checking if the content of the essay matches the content of the book.
Book reports are basically extended summaries of a specific reading requirement. However, it is important to note that an error in understanding the literature, whatever it may be, will automatically be an error in a book report. Even though book reports are detailed summaries, an excellent book report still needs to be supported by critical information.
Main Parts of a Book Report
There are several ways of organizing or writing a book report. But before learning how to write a book report, it is necessary to understand that there are key elements that must be covered in the written work. Knowing these elements ensures that a book report is complete. All book reports are primarily composed of at least the following key elements:
- Bibliographical Information. This refers to all the initial information that a teacher will look for in evaluating a book report: the title, the author, and the publishing year. There are books that have a number of editions, and that is an important element to mention as well. Be as specific as possible since none of these key points is negotiable; all of them must be included in the report.
- Characters. Most book reports require the student to enumerate the characters, discuss the significance of each character, and indicate the connections between them (e.g. familial links, relationships, etc.). Again, the goal is to determine whether or not you have understood what you have read.
- Setting. Setting refers to the location and time frame of the story (i.e. France, the 18th century). Some books can have multiple settings; hence, make sure to list down all settings. Note that a book report is an extended summary; hence, be thorough in discussing the details. It is easy to confuse readers, especially if a book changes its settings.
- Theme. This is where you start to become critical. Explore the theme(s) involved in the story, and justify why you think such themes are present in the book. If you have limited room for discussion, you may focus on one or two themes in your book of choice. Make sure you use specific lines or parts of the book to prove your analysis.
- Plot. In general, plots are written in a maximum of 300 words. But this can go up to 500 or 600 words depending on the requirements given by your teacher. Note that in lower grades, students are asked to provide a plot summary only. In higher grades, however, this section may require you to include a little bit of analysis to ensure that you understood the story and its meaning(s).
The main parts of a book report are the bibliography, characters, setting, theme/s, and the plot. These parts form a descriptive book report, however, most book reports are expository in nature. The student must be able to identify and justify the symbolism, character developments, accuracies, and the effectiveness of the storyline among many other elements.
These are the basic elements that every book report should cover. Writing a book report requires you to exercise close reading skills as well as analytical skills. Since books are often a couple of hundred pages long or more, it helps to take down notes as you read. Taking notes will help you recall important details, organize information, and analyze content.
Key Points in Learning How to Write a Book Report
Writing a book report is an easy task for many. But it can be a huge dilemma for some who are not comfortable with writing or in a race against time. So how do you write a book report successfully? Before starting to write a book report, the student must first do the following tricks to make the task so much easier:
- Do not consider cramming. Cramming or procrastination is stalling the things you could and should have already done. Seriously, cramming never works for anything. It will only give you extra pressure because you now have to defeat time aside from the book report alone. Panic will also disable you and take control of your thoughts. Do what you can do now and skip all the hassle later. Besides, it will feel really great if you finish your task sooner than expected because then you can just relax and refresh your mind and be more productive.
- Read with a dictionary beside you. The number one reason why a student cannot understand a story is because of words or terms they are not familiar with. For children’s books, this may not be necessary. But college students are often required to submit a book report on classic world literature or stories using British English (and vice versa). Not understanding a word can be a key to disaster later on, because often students only realize that they did not understand a thing because they skipped consulting a dictionary for every term they do not know.
- Read existing book reports on your story. Opposite to cramming, doing research can only do you good and nothing bad. Consulting available book reports on your book will give you a lot of ideas to keep in mind as you read the book. It will also allow you to skip mini-mental puzzles because you will be equipped with mental notes as a guide in reading that story.
- Seriously, just read the book. There is no other tip or trick that will enable you to write your own book report. Note that you cannot write about something you do not know, so read that book now. Choose a book that you love if possible; it will make the writing part easier.
- Get professional writing assistance. There are a lot of circumstances that can leave students incapable of handling a book report task or any other academic writing task. Personal emergencies, sudden sickness, family issues, work-related concerns, or mental and physical fatigue—you name it. Whatever it is, availing of a professional writing service can save your grade from danger. Just make sure that you are getting a custom book report writing service, so you can rest assured that your instructions will be followed.
Writing a book report can be tough work. As if going through hundreds of other assignments not enough, you also need to write about that book you read. But coming up with a good book report need not be impossibly difficult. Following the tricks discussed above should help you with this task. Always remember, starting early, observing discipline, and getting the assistance you need are keys to nailing this project.
Arguably, the most common mistake committed by students when writing a book report is cramming. Reading a book takes time and understanding the content takes more time. This is why the best trick in writing a book report is to read the book now. The best way to ace a book report, however, to get a professional book report ghostwriter to help you at a very cheap rate.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write a Book Report
Now that you know the key points or elements in writing a book report, you can proceed with getting the book report done. Writing a book report follows a specific process. Below are the steps you can follow when completing your project. Of course, different people have different styles and approaches. Feel free to adjust your process according to your specific needs.
1. Read your book. We will not get tired of reminding you to actually read your book. The only way to complete an A+ book report is to actually understand the story as well as the relationship between the elements of the story with each other. Do not attempt to write your book report as you read because that will just confuse you. The reading part must come first before the writing part, and the only writing you should do while you are reading is for quick notes—names, page numbers for quotes, etc.
2. Make notes. Notes will allow you to keep track of the key events in the story. But do not be frantic when making notes because you will end up noting every word in the book. Remember that notes are just short reminders for you to revisit a part of the book later as you do your analysis. Your notes should be about the symbols, evidence, or any key points or clues you feel are important to understand the story.
Tip: Do not make your notes as early as the first ten to fifteen pages. Instead, read at least two chapters of the book before starting with the notes. This will help you refresh your memory and identify the lingering themes in the first few chapters. If you cannot seem to find anything that is worth noting yet, then just continue reading until the plot builds up.
3. Organize your notes. Once you are done reading, organize your notes according to the main sections of a book report (Characters, Setting, Themes, Plot Developments, etc.) or according to the sections you need to discuss as required by your teacher. This is also the time to go back to the book if you missed a few details necessary for your book report.
4. Begin reiterating the story to your reader. This is where you fill out the sections of the book report. Simply collate your notes and turn them into a descriptive report because, for the main parts, your book report must summarize and describe the details of the book. Note that the biggest difference between a book report and a book review is the purpose of the document: a book report must retell the details of the book while a book review must challenge the details of the book.
5. Evaluate your thoughts. Just because a book report is focused on summarizing and describing the book, it does not mean you will not assess the meanings behind the story. If your book report requires you to provide a section of critical literary analysis, then you should allow yourself to share your opinions about the story. You can include the following details in your evaluation:
a) Identify the intended audience for the book. Is it for children, young adults, career women, or people who need to understand the value of self-love? Whatever it is, be as specific as possible, and provide evidence to support your idea.
b) If it is interesting and significant (and only if you have an extra room for discussion), discuss how the author came up with the story. For example, Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven has a heartbreaking story behind it that can make a person break into tears upon hearing the song. More importantly, you might get additional points for taking the time to research that information.
c) Compare and contrast the book to its film adaptation (if there is one) or to another book, which revolves around the same theme(s).
d) Challenge the thesis of the book. Challenge the development of the characters. Is the story appropriate to its settings? Was the author able to portray the very essence of the story well? What could be a better ending for you? What do you feel about the story, the characters? Feel free to share your thoughts with your readers, because that is how they will know that you understood what you read.
Although a book report features summaries of the book’s elements, remember that an excellent essay goes beyond just repeating the contents of the book. An excellent book report shows that you engaged in close reading and critical thinking. It uses tools such as comparison and contrast, analysis of details, evaluation of merits and limitations.
Finish Your Book Report Now!
When writing a book report, understand that you are not to invest your time only in the writing part. Actually, the bigger chunk of writing a book report is the reading part because you need to educate yourself on the book you are planning to create a book report on. Time is of the essence, and if you do not have enough time to handle all your academic writing requirements, know that CustomEssayMeister is here to assist you anytime. Just contact our support team and enjoy a 10% welcome discount for your first book report project. We would be glad to help you ace all of your subjects.