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How to Write a Book Report - Its Ins and Outs

May 15, 2018

A book report is a type of academic writing which showcases your analysis of a piece of literature you were assigned to read. It demonstrates your understanding of the text, including small details and intricacies that are important to the plot. By writing a book report, you will learn how to interpret a text according to its genre, literature methods and strategies used by the author. It can be a rather complex assignment, so some students don't have a clue about how to write a book report. Instead, they submit just a short story summary. There are a lot of book report guidelines on the Internet written by both professionals and amateurs. However, not all of them give real practical advice. That is why we came up with this article which explains all the essential steps to writing a book report. We are sure that our tips will be helpful, and you will succeed in doing this task! We are here to give you some guidelines, but should you decide that writing a book report is too challenging for you, you can always order it from our service! One of our professional writers will gladly do it for you. The tips you're about to read were composed by our writing team, so be sure that this info is really up to date!

Some hints on how to start a book report

How to start a book report? Just like any type of academic writing, it needs an introduction. There, you attract the attention of your readers by giving a short preview of the book and its author and briefly comment on the significance of the text. But, how to write an introduction for a book report that motivates your readers? You can start with a question which will familiarize them with the book, but at the same time, evoke feelings that relate to their own experience. Another way to make your book report introduction interesting is to share some unknown facts about the author, their time period, or some significant events which influenced the creation or the plot of the book, etc.

Book report introduction example

You are welcome to use the provided idea to try to write your own introduction. As you see, we started with a personal question which involves the imagination and applies to your personal experience and the plot of the book.

"Have you ever wanted to wake up as somebody else? Your mind probably went straight to a celebrity or a historical figure. But what if one day you woke up as a huge insect with your human mind? What if this new 'reality' changed only for you, and others continued to live their life and couldn't accept your transformation? Read Kafka's Metamorphosis, and you'll probably get the answers... or perhaps, even more questions".

Book report: The body

When you're writing a book report, bear in mind that you are not supposed to retell all the events. You are to give a summary and your own evaluation of the book. In any case, follow the instructions of your teacher. It will help you understand whether you should include more of your own thoughts and give your interpretation or focus on something else. These requirements will influence the content of your book report.

These are the general recommendations for the book report body:

  • Include the description of the theme.
  • Mention the time period, setting, and all the necessary information important to the plot and characters.
  • Specify the tone and point of view of the story. Is the narrator a part of the plot?
  • Next step would be describing the characters and evaluating the main conflicts and/or problems of the story.
  • Discuss the sequence of events, main plot points, highlights, the culmination and how heroes solve their problems.
  • Mention literary devices used by the author and try to identify their purpose.
  • Don't forget to use quotations, but don't abuse them!

How to end a book report - A few helpful ideas

An awesome book report must have an equally awesome conclusion! As a rule, a good book report conclusion requires you to make a personal evaluation of the book. So, ask yourself these questions before writing it:

  • Are there any drawbacks?
  • Was it interesting from the very beginning until the end?
  • What lessons can we learn from the book? (What does it teach us?)
  • Would you recommend this book to others? Why?
  • If you were reading nonfiction, add these questions:

  • Does the book have strong arguments (evidence)?
  • Are you satisfied with the general results/author's conclusion?

To make it clear, read this book report conclusion example. Just like at the beginning where we gave you an example of introduction for Kafka's Metamorphosis book report, we'll also suggest our conclusion example for the same text.

"Despite the title of the story, it is not about the Metamorphosis in its literal sense. The book raises more questions than it gives answers. This is a story of a young man who was the only breadwinner of his family, and whose sudden transformation into a huge insect makes him unable to work and earn money. At first, the members of his family look rather powerless and unable to make a living, but his transformation disturbs their usual order of things, and at the end of the story, the reader finds out they are not as powerless as it seemed to be. While reading it, you experience the whole set of emotions of its heroes. You understand the tragedy of Gregor, but the plot really makes you ask one and the same question: "Does it even matter whether Gregor exists or not?". After you read the reaction of his family to his transformation, which is shock, disgust, fear, and, after his death, eventual relief, you are left with a feeling that the human life has little to no meaning. The author conveys a powerful message. He questions and makes his readers question, all the moral and social values we take for granted. People love you only until you become a burden, and you must strive to fulfill someone else's expectations in order to earn love and respect. So, your identity is not really yours, and it is shaped by the people around you".

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