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How to Write a College Book Report Outline

Writing a book report

❶LP Louise Pena May 17, Read through the assignment sheet carefully and make note of any questions that you have.

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How to Write the Perfect College Book Report Outline
8 Easy Steps to a Great Book Report

These will help you to build a solid outline, which will make the writing process much easier. To write a book report, start by introducing the author and the name of the book and then briefly summarizing the story.

Next, discuss the main themes and point out what you think the author is trying to suggest to the reader. Follow the requirements of your assignment. Read through the assignment sheet carefully and make note of any questions that you have. Raise your hand during class or talk with your teacher afterward to go over any concerns.

Make sure that you know the required paper length, due date, and any formatting requirements, like double-spacing. Most book reports are direct summaries with only a few opinions mixed in. In contrast, a book review or commentary is more opinion-driven. Read the entire book. This is the most important step. Before you even think about writing, sit down and read the text. Find a quiet place where you can concentrate on the book and nothing else. It helps to keep your paper in mind as you read, paying particular attention to any important plot points or characters.

Try to find a pace that is comfortable for you. If you get distracted after 15 minutes, read in minute intervals. If you can go an hour, read for an hour at a time. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get through the entire book. Take careful notes when reading. Keep a pencil, highlighter, or sticky notes handy as you read. If you prefer to work with your phone or a computer, open up a work document and take all your notes there. If you find something that you are curious or confused about, mark it.

When the author discusses a major plot point or character, do the same thing. Start identifying evidence and details that you can use in your report by bracketing or placing a note by quotations or good examples. This should be a paragraph-by-paragraph listing of how your paper will be organized. Expect that this outline might change a bit when you start writing. Writing often leads to its own realizations, so have a plan but be flexible.

Also, check to see if your outline covers all of the major elements of the book, such as the plot, characters, and setting. Outlining does take a bit of time, but it will save you time in the editing stage. Some people prefer to outline with pen and paper, while others just type up a list on the computer. Choose the method that works the best for you. Intermix examples and quotations from the text. As you construct your outline, try to pair any general points of summary with specific details from the book.

This will show your teacher that not only have you read the book, you understand it. Vary your examples and keep your quotations brief.

If it seems like every other line is a quote, try to dial back. Aim to include a maximum of one quotation per paragraph. Quotes and examples should still take a backseat your summary. Instead, make sure that your report includes the most important ideas and gives your reader a real feel for the book.

Open with an informative intro paragraph. In general, an introduction should be sentences long, though in rare cases they may be shorter or longer. Try to describe the locations mentioned in the book so that your teacher will know exactly what you are referring to. If the story takes place on a farm, go ahead and say so. If the setting is imaginary or futuristic, make that clear as well. Include a general plot summary. This is where you describe exactly what happens when in the book.

Your plot summary should mention any major events that take place in the book and how they impact the characters. This portion of your report should appear akin to a detailed outline of the book itself. For instance, if the main character moves to Africa, you might describe what happens before the move, how the move goes, and how they settle in once they arrive. Introduce any main characters.

As you mention each character in your report, make sure to introduce who they are and why they are important in the book. You can also devote an entire section of your report to describing the primary characters focusing on everything from what they look like to their most important actions. Character introduction will likely happen in the same sentences and paragraphs as plot introduction.

Examine any main themes or arguments in your body paragraphs. What are they trying to prove or suggest? That is why her main characters all seem happier and more grounded after visiting new places.

For example, a book about a fictional underdog athlete could be used to encourage readers to take chances to pursue their dreams. Comment on the writing style and tone. Look over sections of the work once more and pay particular attention to writing elements, such as word choice. Ask yourself whether or not the book was written in a formal way or more informally.

See if the author seems to favor certain ideas and arguments over others. To get a feel for tone, think about how you feel when you read parts of the book. Write a concise conclusion. Your concluding paragraph is where you pull everything together for your reader. Include a few quick sentences summarizing the entire book. Save the space for your recap. Re-read your paper two times, at least. The first time concentrate on making sure that the structure makes sense and that each paragraph is clear.

The second time proofread it to look for small errors and typos, such as missing commas or quotation marks. It can also help to read your paper aloud to check for awkward phrasing. Ask someone else to read it. You could also talk with them afterwards to get any suggestions. Polish your final report. Read through it slowly and carefully.

Look for any typos or minor errors. For example, double-check that you are using the correct font, font size, and margins. Sample Summary Plot of Macbeth. Despite all of this, I still do not know how to begin. Is there a simpler step to get me into the work zone?

I would start with speaking with your teacher once you've picked out your book and read it. Specifically, ask them what they would like you to accomplish with the book report so you have an idea of what they are looking for when they grade you. Try to come into the discussion with at least one major theme of the book picked out.

Not Helpful 1 Helpful 4. You want to restate your thesis and summarize the bodies in different wording. End it with some kick. Not Helpful 4 Helpful In a creative work, they might be parts of your plot point.

For example, a novel may have many subpoints. Similarly, a study guide will likely have several subpoints, as well. Add at least 2 supporting details for each subpoint. They might include direct quotes, statistics, facts, or examples. For a creative work, you might include essential details you must include in that scene, such as an internal conflict in your main character. Similar to subpoints, you may have more supporting details, depending on your purpose.

A novel or study guide will likely have more supporting details. Include more layers of your outline, if necessary. Most basic outlines will include 3 layers, but you may need more. If this is the case, you can continue creating sublevels using the formatting structure you chose, either alphanumeric or decimal.

For example, you might need more layers to provide more details. In the Frankenstein example above, you might include a 4th layer to write out your commentary about the quotes you used to support your point.

Your subpoints might include the following: Write a concluding statement. Your outline should relate back to your thesis or main idea, address the purpose you set out to achieve and reflect your audience.

Revise your outline if ideas are missing or not fleshed out. In some cases, you may need to add more information, such as additional supporting details. The revision process allows you to do that. You might also want to rewrite sentences or phrases to make your ideas clearer. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and formatting flaws. This will ensure you get full credit for your work.

While you edit your outline, refer back to your assignment sheet or rubric to make sure you've completely fulfilled the assignment. If not, go back and correct the areas that are lacking. Add layers if necessary. If you need to add additional sub-layers, use lowercase Roman numerals i, ii, iii, iv, etc. In most cases, three or four layers will be enough.

Try to combine points first before you add a fifth. You might also include additional layers for a long creative work or a detailed study guide. It's best to start with a strong thesis statement that includes your reasons.

Then, dedicate each body paragraph to one of your claims, as well as the evidence that supports it. Make sure you break down your evidence in your body paragraphs. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Yes, having an outline will help you familiarize yourself with the process of something. It is your guide for your experiment, whatever kind is it. Having an outline is like planning. Not Helpful 17 Helpful How do I write an outline quickly when I am under time pressure during exams?

Begin with reading the exam question quickly but thoroughly. As you read, jot down the major points that occur to you immediately. Then address the outline, setting a time limit of 2 to 5 minutes to prepare it, filling in additional elements that didn't occur to you initially.

Don't allow anything you can't think of to hold you up, it can be added as you go - the outline is just a quick, rough skeleton of one when it's created within an exam. Not Helpful 23 Helpful You could plan out your characters and plot as well as different parts, like setting. If you have a theme or moral add that too. It may be hard to write a lot, but take it slow and practice. Not Helpful 15 Helpful The outline is meant to be done as the first step of your paper, outline, etc.

It gets your ideas down on paper, gets your mind-wheels turning, without having to deal with all of the fancy and tedious details that come with putting your ideas into complete sentences. It helps to pour out your mind, organize your research, and structure your final vision before you do the actual writing. It also helps to "road-map" your writing when you get to that step.

Not Helpful 11 Helpful Think about whatever you want to write about that happened in your life, and then make an outline in either chronological order or in order of what you think is important, based on your own writing ability. Not Helpful 16 Helpful Make sure you follow the instructions exactly. Have a thesis statement, and make sure the body supports the thesis. Not Helpful 9 Helpful Not Helpful 3 Helpful 7. When writing an outline, is it okay to use sub key points to justify the reader's or person's perspective?

Not Helpful 1 Helpful 4. You should have 5 sections: At least 3reasons 5. Not Helpful 18 Helpful What are things to look for when writing an essay outline? Answer this question Flag as What should the length of the piece be? How do I write an outline on the topic "why don't Americans understand new immigrants to this country?

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary The easiest way to write an outline is to gather all of your supporting materials, like quotes, statistics, or ideas, before getting started.

Did this summary help you? Tips Be concise and straightforward in your outline. This doesn't have to be perfectly polished writing; it just has to get your point across. Don't be afraid to eliminate irrelevant information as you conduct more research about your topic and narrow your focus.

You can use outlines as a memorization tool. Choose concise words to trigger a concept. You can use specialized software or a text editor template to structure an outline automatically. For example, Microsoft Word lets you create an outline document, or format it your own way. Indent each level of your outline 0. Keep in mind that this might not work well if you write full sentences. If you find evidence that contradicts your argument, don't ignore it. Include it in your outline, and use sub-steps to summarize your counter-argument.

Warnings Your outline should not be your essay in a different form. Only write down the major assertions, not every single detail. Generally, you should avoid only having one point or sub-point on any outline level. If there is an A, either come up with a B or fold A's idea into the next level up. Article Info Featured Article Categories: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 3,, times.

Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. ZA Zoe Astra Apr I am doing my dissertation next year and I have to submit my outline plan now; however, my university only gave us a list of all the elements they want us to submit with no explanation or guidelines of how we are actually supposed to do them.

I have been stressing out so much, as I had no idea what I was doing and I am also supposed to be revising for my exams. This basically saved me from a stress-induced breakdown! KM Kember Miller Jan Therefore, a quick refresher on how to do an outline was in order. Senpai Oct 25, I was given this book in English class and I really enjoyed it. Now I am having to write an outline and I found this article and it really helped me out! A Anonymous Sep 26, I have not been in school for many years; however, the article gave me a better understanding of what is expected from me.

Thank you much for the insight! Eden Nov 15,


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Beside the number 2, write the name of the book publisher, the year the book was published and the number of pages. Beside the number 3, write the book's genre (science fiction, mystery, romance, etc.).

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Use a Book Report Outline After reading the book, you are ready to start the writing process. When writing a book report, or when answering any writing prompt, you’ll find writing easier if you follow the proven steps of the writing process: prewriting, writing, revising, editing, and publishing.

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2. What are the relationships like between characters in the story/book: _____ _____ 3. Sep 02,  · How to Write a Book Report. Writing a book report may not seem fun at first, but it gives you a great chance to really understand a work and its author. This portion of your report should appear akin to a detailed outline of the book itself. For instance, if the main character moves to Africa, you might describe what happens before the move 80%(97).

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College book report outline is not that different from the usual book report outline formats but still has some peculiarities to keep in mind. Writing a Book Report Book reports can take on many different forms. Three types of effective book reports are plot summaries, character analyses, and theme analyses. Writing a book report helps you practice giving your opinion about different aspects of a book, such as the author's use of .