What are the steps to writing a book report that will earn you an “A”? Check out these helpful tips from San Diego tutor Natalie S…
Every student will be expected to write a book report at some point or another in his or her scholastic career. This is a great assignment for students who want to hone reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Book reports often seem scary and overwhelming initially, however, if you follow these steps to writing a book report, you can easily and successfully complete your next report!
1) Pick a book that interests you.
Sometimes your teacher will give you an assigned book and other times, you’ll be allowed to choose the book that you want to write about. You’ll spend a lot of time working with this book, so make sure you pick one that you will really enjoy. Consider the type of genre that you like best. If you don’t know, think about the types of movies that you gravitate toward, and choose a book in that category, or ask your friends who their favorite authors are.
2) Read the whole book.
I know it may be tempting to just do a quick Google search for a summary of your book, but there really is no substitute for reading a book in its entirety. The main purpose of writing a book report is to build your reading comprehension skills; these skills will be important for all of your academic endeavors, so take the time to read the whole book. If you only read the summary, you will miss some of the small but important details that take place in the story. Online summaries should only be used if you’re confused about the plot or some other element of the book. They should be a supplement to the reading, not a replacement.
3) Take notes as you read.
Always read with a pencil in hand, especially when you have to write about the book at a later date. When you are reading, take notes in your notebook. Highlight, underline, and make comments in the margins. Did something significant happen in the plot? Did you notice a recurring theme? Write it down! Jot down anything that you find interesting in the book, and make sure to write down the page number as well. If you take notes as you read, you’ll have less work to do when you sit down to actually write your report, because you won’t have to hunt through the book for information.
4) Write your book report in chunks.
The best way to avoid procrastination is to break down the assignment and do it in three sections. Check out this story map graphic organizer, and use it as a guide for writing your book report. Read the first few chapters, and then stop and write about the beginning of the book. In part one of your book report, include a discussion about your main characters, the main conflict, the setting, and the first one or two most important scenes in the beginning of the book. Go back and read the middle chapters of the book, and then stop to write about the most important scenes leading up to the climax. Complete the rest of the book, and then finish writing about the climax and the resolution. Breaking these steps to writing a book report down will help you manage the assignment more easily.
5) Ask an adult to help you proofread.
After you’ve finished writing your report, make sure to ask someone to look over your work for any spelling or grammatical errors. Look for suggestions on writing style as well as issues with word choice and sentence structure.
6) Start writing your book report early.
You have to read an entire book, so don’t wait until the last minute! It’s too stressful to read and write a report in a few days. If you start when the project is originally assigned, you’ll have weeks to read. Instead of spending hours on it in one day, you can do short, 20-minute chunks every day.
Remember, if you need additional help with these steps to writing a book report, you can always find a TakeLessons tutor to help you successfully work through the process!
Natalie S. tutors English, ESL, History, Phonics, Reading, and test prep in San Diego, as well as through online lessons. She received her BA in English Education at the University of Delaware, and her MA in English Literature at San Diego State University. Learn more about Natalie here!
Photo by tonyhall