Writing a book report is one of the most challenging assignments in college. You have to read a whole book and then write about it summarizing its main idea without revealing too much information that could be considered spoilers. Keep these writing tips in mind when you are tasked with this type of academic written work.
1) Read the Book Beforehand
You should read the book before you start writing your paper, but if you didn’t get to do so yet or are struggling finding spare time, there are several ways for getting around this obstacle. If possible, use audiobooks while driving or jogging – listening to someone else reading will feel similar to actually reading yourself. If you can’t listen while doing other things because of noise-cancelling headphones, try reading while watching TV. Another way to get the book read is to order it online and start reading on paper or e-reader right away. The sooner you get deep into the story before writing a book report, the easier it will be to follow what’s going on and avoid spoilers in your review.
2) Research Outside of the Book
You don’t have to write about everything that happens in the novel but only its main message, so you shouldn’t limit yourself with what you already know. See what other critics think of it and check out professional critiques available online such as full reviews at reputed literary magazines (for example, Harper’s Magazine). Make sure you don’t copy someone else’s argument, though; present your own views with evidence that is only from the book.
3) Make a Flowchart of Your Thoughts
Writing a review may be overwhelming, so you can do it step by step to make sure you’re on the right track and don’t forget anything important. Create a flowchart using simple shapes and lines to connect key points in your paper as they come up during your research. Such an approach makes it easier for you to notice what’s missing or find where you made a mistake if something doesn’t quite match up later.
4) Use Bullet Points
You have limited space when writing a book report, so use bullet points so nothing gets left out. Don’t try to write full sentences; instead, focus on single words and short phrases. Don’t forget to write the name of the writer, title and date in a clear manner at the top of your paper so you can reference them when citing.
5) Edit Thoroughly
Once your review is done, read it over a couple of times to make sure there aren’t any mistakes – both in grammar and spelling. If you have someone else look over your work before submission, try another pair of eyes for the best results. You don’t want to submit something that’s full of errors because it will ruin your good impression on the teacher or professor. Your grades may suffer if they think you’re not smart enough to avoid elementary school mistakes!
Bonus Tip: Keep It Simple!
Your writing should be easy to understand and follow. Don’t try to sound overly fancy because using too many technical terms and other difficult language will make you look like you don’t understand the subject yourself. It’s fine to make a few references or use examples from the book, but don’t go overboard with them – otherwise, your teacher may think it’s all you could remember from reading.
So there are my top five tips for writing a book report! I hope that they help you get started and finish this type of academic paper successfully.