Writing a Book Report in College: Challenge Accepted

Every student knows what a book report is: it is a piece of writing that characterizes a certain work of literature. This assignment is familiar to students because it is typical for learning programs of all departments and specializations. Writing a book report in college often involves analyzing a book critically and sometimes requires giving one’s opinion on it. This kind of paper reflects one’s analytical skills, knowledge of the subject, and ability to present the key ideas briefly. Such significance of this writing makes it obligatory for everyone to know how to do a book report.

 
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Steps to Writing a Book Report

1. Examine the Rubric

The first thing you need to do before writing a book report for college is read the instructions of your professor and make sure they are clear and contain all the specific parameters of the future paper. In case you need some clarifications, ask your professor to provide more details. Never start writing if you have doubts regarding the requirements: it is better to ask again than lose points because of some misunderstanding.

2. Read the Full Work

One of the most spread mistakes made while writing a book report in college is reading a short version of the book or some review instead of the entire work of literature. While it is understandable that students always lack time for lengthy readings, such approach is unacceptable if you aim at writing a top-notch report. Thus, we suggest reading the book from the beginning till the end with a focused attention.

3. Note Down the Key Points

Write out the main ideas and arguments while reading the book. It is also helpful to summarize every section or chapter with a single sentence: this way, you can easily recall the content later and be able to report on it accordingly. If you are working with an electronic book, you can opt for copying some parts of the text to a separate word document, or highlighting them in a pdf format. Here are the points that you need to pay attention to:

  1. Doubtful or unclear moments of the plot;
  2. Main ideas that reflect the meaning of the book;
  3. Quotes that you can use to illustrate your theses in the report.

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4. Create an Outline

List the sections that will be included in your report and arrange them in a consecutive, logical order. The basic elements to be included are characters, setting, plot, main conflict, and your reflection (in case required by your teacher). Make sure your outline contains all these elements and corresponds to the instructions you received in class.

Once you do all these steps, your report will be half-ready. Now, you will need to compose one-two paragraphs of text for every section of your outline.

5. Developing the Content of the Report

  • As a rule, reports begin with a short bibliographic information about the analyzed book, such as its title, author, year of publication, genre, etc.
  • Then, an opening paragraph is provided, presenting the book to the readers in a few sentences. The aim of the introduction is to show what kind of book is analyzed and why this work of literature has value for the readers. The last sentence of this paragraph should contain a statement that summarizes the book and defines it in terms of its genre and main conflict.
  • Next, the body of the report should be written. Its content will depend on the outline you have created, but the basic information is universal for all book reports. In general, the body part of the report should summarize the plot of the book briefly and analyze its main elements, such as characters, settings, conflict, etc. It is not enough to just list these sections or describe them: you should give a critical overview and support your arguments with examples from the book. In addition, you should analyze the tools used by the writer: focus on the author’s messages hidden between the lines and the deeper meaning of the symbols used in the book. However, giving too many details is not advisory, as book reports are usually concise and informative rather than descriptive or narrative. Keep in mind that your report should fit within a limit of a certain word count. Therefore, it is good to plan the approximate number of words for every section of your writing and follow this limit in the process of work.
  • The last paragraph of your report should summarize the book and sometimes give recommendations to the audience. This section should match the introductory part of your work, reflecting the initial presentation of the book, but with new insights and perspectives that occurred after a deeper analysis. The conclusion should consist of 4-7 sentences that finish the report in a logical manner and give the final verdict to the analyzed work of literature.

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The writing strategy provided in this article will definitely help you to create a report of ultimate quality. However, in case you have no time to do the writing or read the lengthy book because of all the studying and burning deadlines, and you still do not want to fail this assignment, we will be glad to help you with it. BestWritingService.com is an online writing service that deals with all kinds of academic tasks, including book report writing.

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