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Making Your Book Report Outstanding

07 Dec 2016

Some people think that there is nothing easier during your school years than writing a book report. All you need to complete this assignment is to read a book, give some general information about it and express what you think. I can’t argue with that but that is only half right. Book report is a very popular task both in schools and colleges because teachers want to make you think about what you read, analyze it, make a research so you will be able to see beyond the surface. Of course, the guidelines for book reports for middle schoolers and college student would be different, so let us start the journey through the structure of the book report.

Book Report Helper

I would like to start with some general tips for writing.

  1. Carefully read the college paper requirements, because teachers might change them.
  2. Read a book and take as many notes as you can because you will need every bit of information later. Write down the main characters, your attitudes, main ideas and themes and, of course, the quotes to prove your words and to back up your ideas.
  3. Make a plan to make your writing easier and to save time by avoiding mistakes in the structure of your essay.

About the structure, by the way. It is the same as in any other essay. You have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. But what is a good book report and what included in this exact type of work?

Introduction Paragraph

Introduction paragraph in very important and you need to really work on it because this it the first thing readers will see and this will set the level of their attention to what you wrote and maybe even set a mood. You need to come up with a strong introductory sentence, write a book title in italic and the author’s name.

High school students and college students should also add some information about publication, the theme, the genre and a very brief information about the plot of the book.

Let us take Hatchet by Gary Paulsen book report as an example.

Middle school:

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, is a book about young boy, who survives a plane crash. Brian Robeson is the main character. He experiences way too much tragic events in his thirteen years and when he ends up being the only survivor in the Canadian forests, we want him grow both physically and spiritually.


You never know when you will have a point in your life which will everything upside down. Brian Robertson, the main character of the Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, a thirteen-year-old boy who had lived through the series of horrible events, which started with his parents’ divorce. Being left all alone in the woods of Canada after a crash of the airplane, we see that nothing can break this little boys’ will to live. He was challenged by nature forces and animals but he did not give up. We watch him becoming a real man, learning from his mistakes, becoming ready to face literally anything. “What does not kill you make you stronger” - this is definitely the most suitable saying for this happening of all.

Main Body

Even though I just said that introduction paragraph is almost the most important thing in the essay, that is not what I meant. Every part, literally EVERY part is extremely important and you cannot work on any of them without an honest attempt. So, let us move forward to the body of the essay. Before writing it, ask yourself some questions like:

For both fiction and nonfiction:

  • Did I like the book?
  • How was it written?
  • What is the genre?

For fiction:

  • Who are the main characters?
  • Are there any symbols?

For nonfiction:

  • What is the writer’s thesis statement?
  • What is the tone of writing?
  • What is the style of writing?

This part gives you an opportunity to surf through the pages, finding interesting–∑ thoughts and ideas and this is a good place to express your own perception of the text.


And the last, but definitely not least - conclusion.

Before writing it consider some questions like:

  • Did I like the ending? (for fiction)
  • Was the thesis statement strong and supported by evidence? (for nonfiction)
  • What can I say about the author of the book?
  • Would I want my friends to read it?

As it was already said, different teachers might have different tasks for this type of essay, so in your conclusion you can cover some additional fact, repeat the book’s title and the author’s name once again. Read the assignment carefully.

If you are choosing a story for book report, I would definitely recommend making mystery book report or maybe something connected with fantasy, anti-utopia, like Divergent, Harry Potter or Hobbit because these books are quite new in comparison to Kill the Mockingbird or Great Gatsby, for example. And there are so much to research and express your new fresh thoughts. Although, this is just my humble opinion, you can choose whatever you want to.

And a little advice as a conclusion, it is always obvious if you buy book reports or you write them yourself, so do not waste anybody’s time and just give it a chance. Write it on your own. 

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