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Writing a Book Report

A book report is a manuscript essay written by students to discuss the contents of a book. Book reports are given as part of class assignments especially in elementary school level. Book reports help students practice on giving their opinions on different aspects of books. There are three types of book reports namely: plot summaries, theme analyses and character analyses.

The following are steps one is expected to follow when writing a book report.

The following are the steps to Writing a Book Report

STEP 1: Reading the entire book

This is the first and most important step when writing a book report. Make sure you set aside time and find a quiet place where you can read the ensure that your attention is sharp, ensure that you read the whole book in long stretches with breaks in between so you can assess whether you have understood the particular text. Remember that online book summaries are not reliable since some of them may contain false information, and are of different opinion from what you may comprehend on your own.

STEP 2: Taking notes while reading

This step is important since it helps you trace the major arguments and evidence that you could use in your book report. Therefore, while reading, ensure that you have a pen or highlighter and sticky notes to make your reference easier. These help you locate certain examples you would use in the book.

It is also at this point that you draft an outline listing how your work will be organized. List down what each paragraph will contain and if your paragraphs make sense. Outlining helps you save time during proof reading and it doesn’t have to be perfect since it is only a sketch.

STEP 3: Writing the Introduction

Your first paragraph should include the name of the author, and the book title. Begin your introduction with an interesting quote from the book. If possible, identify the thesis of the book and include it at the end of the introduction. It is also at this point that you highlight your main point. Ensure that your introduction s as catchy as possible so that it captures the reader’s attention.

Below is the introductory paragraph for a Book Report of the book Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander.

 Dr. Eben Alexander was a neurosurgeon who did not believe in heaven or any spiritual afterlife. Dr. Eben however listened to his patients who claimed to have had spiritual experiences but he always had rational explanations for everything the patients had seen or even felt. According to him, near death experience were nothing more than the parts of the brain working overtime in a traumatic event to help ease the pain of a patient.  Not until he himself experienced the near death experience did he realize and understand what his patients talked about. He therefore explains his spiritual journey in his book, Prof of Heaven. 

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STEP 4: Examining the main Themes or Arguments

This is the heart of the book report. Therefore as you read through the book, identify the main ideas brought out in the text. If it is a fiction piece, pay keen to actions by the character and find out if they follow a particular pattern. If it is a non-fiction piece, find the author’s thesis since it is at this point that the main argument is brought out.

Below is how to examine the main theme in a Book report of the book Proof of Heaven.

 Being a healthy family man, Dr. Alexander was always more concerned about those around him than he was about himself. He once woke up with an excruciating headache but assumed it so that he would not worry his family. The pain increased when he got to the shower and then he decided to go back to bed. Even at this time, he told his wife not to worry and get on wither business. Normally, he would have a short nap and then wake up feeling okay. But this time the wife decided to wake him up since he had slept for long. She was surprised to find him lying unconscious on the bed.

STEP 5: Discussing the Setting

Try the best you can to explain the locations mentioned in the book. If the setting of the book is imaginary or of the future, explain it. Vivid explanation enables you to have plenty of details. Discussion of the setting of the book enables the teacher understand what you are referring to in your book report.

Below is the setting discussion in a Book Report of the book Proof of Heaven.

 Dr. Alexander explains that he found himself in a dark scary place where he had no idea exactly where it was, and that it was a place no one would consider staying for a long time. He then saw light and travelled towards it, where he went through a variety of spiritual layers until he got to one that was quite peaceful than the rest. He explains that the colors there were vibrant and that he was greeted by a beautiful guardian who picked him on her butterfly wing and showed him where he was. At this place, he could feel the warmth and compassion that surrounded him and he never wanted to leave that place.


STEP 6: Commenting on the writing style and tone used in the book

At this point, pay keen to the writing elements for example the author’s choice of words and whether or not the language used is formal or informal. To get the tone used by the author, think about how you feel while reading through the book.

Below is how to comment on the style and tone in a Book Report of the book Proof of Heaven.

His wife was in panic and decided to call for emergency services after which Dr. Alexander was rushed to hospital. Even after several tests and scans, he was still not doing any better and was getting deeper into his coma. He had less than 10% of his brain still functioning and everyone feared they might lose him. However, on his side, he was experiencing something completely different and peacefulfor the next four hours after which he regained his consciousness.

Below is how body paragraphs are structured in a research paper.

STEP 7: Writing the Conclusion

It is at this point that you pull everything you have discussed to the reader. You could also restate your thesis statement. Briefly highlight through the major points of your book report and state whether or not you would recommend the book to someone else. Remember not to introduce new ideas that you had not talked about in either the introduction or the body paragraphs of the book report.

Below is the conclusion in a Book Report for the book Proof of Heaven.

From this event, Dr. Alexander allowed his life to be completely transformed. His lifestyle, work and beliefs were also transformed. He began comparing other peoples near death experiences to his and stopped excluding people with spiritual beliefs.He tried explaining to his colleagues of his spiritual near death experience which motivated him to writing the book Proof of Heaven. Dr. Alexander hopes that as many people as possible come across his book and make the same transformations in their own lives.

STEP 8: Proofreading your paper

This step is important before submitting your book report as it is the last chance you have to modify your already written draft. You could add points or views that you had forgotten to include, or you could also adjust by doing away with views that were not so well developed. It is also at this point that you pass your paper through grammar check so as to correct misspelt words or other grammatical errors.

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The moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now. When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage.


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