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HomeworkSpot > Features > Book Reports

Book Reports

You may sigh when your teacher assigns a book report project, but writing aboutthe works of others is one of the best ways to expand your literaryhorizons. With the helpful tips that follow and your own creativity, you can keep the A's coming in.

Most book reports follow a similar format, but your teacher will probablyoutline what he or she expects from you. Follow those instructions first.

For additional inspiration and ideas, check out the The Lakewood Public Library's helpful student guide to writing book reports. Itcovers everything from selecting a book to writing your final draft.

The Standard Format

  • Introductory Paragraph
    This paragraph should include the title of the book and name of theauthor. It will also describe the setting and quickly summarize what thebook is about. Don't get too detailed here. It's just the introduction.

  • Body Paragraphs
    This is where the real content enters the picture. By reading this part of your book report (three to four paragraphs), your teacher will be able to determine whether you read thebook and understood the story.




    Start by describing the main characters of the story. Then,describe the conflict. Common conflicts includeman vs. man, man vs. nature and man vs. himself. Your book may present adifferent kind of conflict. Describe it in detail.

    The remaining body paragraphs should summarize the plot and describe how it relates tothe conflict.Begin with the rising action, the part of the story whereevents build. Then describe the climax, where the storyreaches its most dramatic or interesting point. The third paragraphshould describe the falling action, when the conflict or problem isresolved.

  • The Conclusion
    This is an appropriate place to state your personal opinion of thebook. What did you think of it? Describe its strengths and weaknesses. Would yourecommend it to others? Why or why not? Remember, a winning paper will use examples from the book toback up comments.

Additional Resources

You can read additional guides to writing book reports at Information Please, which offers help for both elementary and middle and high school levels.Older students may want to include a more critical analysis of the work. TheUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Centeroffers tips on reviewingliterature. Students will also find PurdueUniversity's Online Writing Lab helpful. You'll find a goldmine of online handouts covering the important apsects of format, grammar and writing.




   --- M. Scarborough

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