Book Reports

Douglas Coupland, Generation X

The play Love’s Labours Lost, by William Shakespeare

A Deeper Look into a Book Report Essay

Literature is the moving force of thinking. It makes people analyze various situations, enriches their knowledge about the world and relationships, changes their perception of this or that concept. For those students who take a literature course, reading, analyzing and writing book reports is a routine task. Nonetheless, writing appears to be the hardest as it requires extra attention and time, writing mastery, understanding of the book report structure and its purpose. A book report shows whether a student has read a piece and highlights their analytical skills. For teachers, any book report is a sign of whether a particular student has spent time and effort actually to dig into the plot of the book. It shows dedication. Book reports aim to describe the scenario of text, setting, time, main characters and, sometimes, analyze the actions of the leading characters (and that’s what makes it closer to essay writing).

Major Components of a Winning Book Report Paper

Any book report has to briefly but concisely describe the plot, characters, setting and its influence on the plot, theme (the central conflict) of the piece. It should also include general information about the writing, such as the name of the writer(s) and book’s title. It is essential for a book report to be logically structured, no matter whether the sequence of events in the story is chaotic or consequential. It is the aim of the writer to create a report which covers all main events of the story, describes leading characters as well as the time and place of the action. The thing is, a book report should be written objectively. You do not have to express your opinion towards a particular situation described in the chapter. Your task is to create a summary of the book which consists of 250-500 words and covers major points of the story: setting, development of the story, climax, solution of the problem, conclusion. That’s it. There is no space for personal judgment. Note that evaluation is the element of a book review, not the report. Admittedly, some teachers ask their students to write a book report with the elements of analysis from the point of view of psychology, for instance. If this is your task, make sure you have included such elements in your project:

  • Introduction

Provide general information about the book, including details about the time, place and main characters of the storyline.

  • Supporting data

Here you have to include the factual information, basic data about the author and title. These descriptions should come in a separate paragraph.

  • Summary

It is an evaluation part of your report. Speak about the structure of the piece and the content choice of the author.

  • A compelling thesis

This is the principal point of your project. It can be a question, a statement, a comparison. Make it clear to the reader.

  • Argumentation of facts

You should have a strong argument regarding the main problem. Make it easy-to-understand using adjectives and references to the book you’re working on.

  • Vivid examples

Examples should be taken straight from the book you’re reporting about. Include citations in the body of your text to prove or disprove the thesis statement.

  • A conclusion

Here, you have to state whether you support your thesis or not based on the analysis you’ve had.

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