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WRITING A BOOK REPORT
Most book reports follow a similar format, but your teacher will probably outline what he or she expects from you. Follow those instructions first. For additional inspiration and ideas, check out The Lakewood Public Library's helpful student guide to writing book reports. It covers everything from selecting a book to writing your final draft.
The Standard Format of a Book Report
1. The Introduction
This paragraph should include the title of the book and name of the author. It will also describe the setting and quickly summarize what the book is about. Don't get too detailed here. It's just the introduction.
2. Body Paragraphs
This is where the real content enters the picture. By reading this part of your book report (three to four paragraphs), your teacher will be able to determine whether you read the book and understood the story. Start by describing the main characters of the story. Then, describe the conflict.
Common conflicts include man vs. man, man vs. nature and man vs. himself. Your book may present a different kind of conflict. Describe it in detail. The remaining body paragraphs should summarize the plot and describe how it relates to the conflict. Begin with the rising action, the part of the story where events build. Then describe the climax, where the story reaches its most dramatic or interesting point. The third paragraph should describe the falling action when the conflict or problem is resolved.
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3. The Conclusion
This is an appropriate place to state your personal opinion of the book. What did you think of it? Describe its strengths and weaknesses. Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not? Remember, a winning paper will use examples from the book to back up comments.
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