The Book Report
The book report is one of the most common assignments that teachers make, especially high school English teachers. Such assignments are formal academic documents that learners write in order to recap events, themes, and ideas presented in a book. The book report is not intended to be a forum in which students present their own ideas about a book. Instead, novel critiques simply allow students to summarize books so that teachers understand that the students have read and understood assigned books.
There are many subjects about which a student can write a novel critique, including themes, ideas, events, characters, and more. Teachers will usually indicate to students what topics students should use in order to write the novel critiques.
In order for students to write effective projects, students need to understand the novel critique format that is most widely used and effective. Because book reports provide recaps of a book, most book reports will be chronological. For example, if a student is writing a book report about themes in a book, the student should begin the novel critique by introducing the theme in the introduction. The introduction should also provide some background information about the book.
The thesis of a novel review might indicate how the author has used the theme throughout the book and for what purpose the author has used the theme. The thesis should appear in the introductory paragraph and should be a one-sentence statement that provides the purpose for the document.
After the introduction and the thesis, learners should create the body of the document using paragraphs that support the thesis. Therefore, if a student is writing a book report on a theme, each paragraph may provide an example of how the theme was used.
The conclusion of the novel review will tie together all of the paragraphs and the thesis. Students might provide their own insight into the author's use of theme in the conclusion by describing why they think an author used a particular theme or by explaining how effective or ineffective the author's writing has been.
Book reports are different than literature reviews, though the two are often confused. The book report assignment is most often used to allow students to recap a book and describe certain aspects of the book in detail. Teachers often assign novel critiques so that they can be assured that students have read a book and understood the book.
Literature reviews, however, require learners to analyze a literary work and apply critical thinking skills to the work. While book reports allow students to report on facts from a book, such as themes and ideas, a literary report may take into account not only themes and ideas, but also author influences, social cues from the time the book was written, and more. A literature review, therefore, not only requires students to read and understand a book, but it also requires students to think critically about it.
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