What is the purpose of writing a book report

That includes us, by the way. Use our outline, by all means, but if you swipe that thesis and use it verbatim, you're gonna have a bad time. Teachers have Google. The best way to prove you did the work is to provide details. Doing so also shows your teachers you have a personal investment in the book. If you're blanking on what to include, think about these possibilities:. Our outline is written to be as general as possible. Just about everybody will accept a report crafted like this.

That said, make sure you follow any format your assignment requires. Change our outline around if you need to. Failing to follow stated rules is a fast route to a zero. If your teacher hasn't provided a specific format, you can wow them by using MLA format.

Getting this right is another power move. Here are the main rules:. For detailed MLA rules, check out our bibliography guide.

Writing a Book Report

Book reports aren't usually as formal as classic five-paragraph essays. If your teacher allows some creative freedom, don't be afraid to express yourself. It's your report, after all. Every book affects every person differently. If you liked it, say why.

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

If you didn't like it, likewise. As long as your report is detailed and well-written, you can and should make it your own. For more literary help, check out our Examples of Tropes page and see how many pop up in your book of choice. For example, does the villain wear black? By continuing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Please set a username for yourself. People will see it as Author Name with your public flash cards. Pick Your Book This is the most important step and the easiest to mess up.

Format for Writing a Book Report

Write an Outline Here's where you get your actual cheat sheet. Basic Book Report Format Students often ask which information should go where? Introduction "Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. Universal Statement : Something true and obvious about the book. But, it lays the groundwork for how to proceed. Body Sentences : Provide context. Write no more than five sentences about the book's author, genre , and setting.

Make sure they support your thesis statement. In his many careers, he encountered people and experiences beyond the usual…" Thesis Statement : This is the most important part of your paper. Make a claim, something you think is true and you can support with examples from the book. We've got ideas for how to write an excellent thesis statement if you're stuck. In any case, follow this format: Mission Statement : Describe one specific way the book's text supports your thesis. Support : Offer about five to seven sentences, providing examples from the book that support your thesis.

Closing : "Look at how well I supported my thesis! But that's the gist of what a closing sentence should accomplish. Conclusion The conclusion effectively functions as a mirror image of the introduction, summarizing important points, or what you have learned. Reflection : Not quite as general as the universal statement, but the reflection is close.

Keep it to one sentence each. Think of your conclusion as the last few minutes of class: wrap this thing up so everybody can get to lunch. Thesis Statement Plus : Restate your thesis, but with an added sentence about what makes it important. If you're blanking on what to include, think about these possibilities: Discuss why you chose the book.

This works best in the introduction, after the universal statement. Have you read books by this person before?

Is it a genre that you like? Was it a recommendation? If so, by whom? Offer a personal reflection on the book. Getting personal is usually verboten in the classic five-paragraph form. Not so with book reports. Slip some personal details into the conclusion. Draw comparisons between your own life and a character's, or plot events and your own experiences.

Add some quotes.

10 ways to write an objective book review

You may not be required to include direct quotes from the text to back up your claims. Do so anyway unless your teacher says otherwise. Be sure to ask your teacher if you need to use a certain format. Quotes are a power move in a book report, proof that you really and truly read the thing and took it to heart. You have to start at the beginning and have a plan for getting your ideas on paper in a way that will wow your professor. But first, you might be wondering why you even need to know how to write a good book review.

The Setting

When it comes down to it, you need to learn how to write a summary of a book because it helps you develop your analytical skills, skills that will be necessary throughout your life. Your instructor will also want to see that you have a good grasp on what you have read and that you can evaluate it critically, summarizing the book, providing an assessment, and giving a recommendation as to whether or not to read it.

What this handout is about

Now that you have a solid idea of why you are required to learn how to write a book review and the types of book reviews there are, you need to understand some of the basic rules for writing a novel summary. Here are some basic rules and tips that you should follow when learning how to write a book report.

With these initial tips under your belt, it is time to move on to the actual report.


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Here are some tips you need to know to get you started. When learning how to write a college book review, you need to consider your first steps. There are three ways to write your book report, depending on the focus requested by your professor:.

A plot summary provides the reader with your general impression of the book and its significance. General guidelines when writing a plot summary include:. General guidelines when writing a character analysis include:. A theme is a method of focusing your research on a specific point in a book that you aspire to explore, which is a great way to deal with bigger works of literature. General guidelines when writing about book report themes include:.

Queens University and Australian National University provide great information for getting started when learning how to write a good book report. Once you have done the above preparation work, you are ready to start writing. First, you will need to create a book report outline that follows the standard book report format. That standard college book report outline includes the following steps to writing a book report:.

It is at this point that you hook the reader and draw them in. In a very intriguing manner, the introduction must:. You will portray a summary of the key arguments in your report, which should take into account the thesis of the book, as well as its organization, the main arguments made by the author, and the evidence used to back up those arguments.

Here you provide your full analysis of the book, including detailed supporting evidence for your book report thesis. Here are some general guidelines:. Massey University , Rogers State University , and Purdue Owl all provide excellent itemizations of the book report format and how to write a summary of a book. There are a couple of distinct types of book reports. These include reports on non-fiction books and creative book reviews. Here is some information on each type.

On occasion, you may be able to write a report on a non-fiction book, such as a biography, history book, or a factual book on a subject that interests you. When writing a report on a non-fiction book, include the following:. For more information on writing a report on a non-fiction book check out Butte College.