Book Reports

What have you learned about book reports?

Book Reports

This English Language quiz is called 'Book Reports' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at middle school. Playing educational quizzes is a fabulous way to learn if you are in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade - aged 11 to 14.

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A book report is a summary of a larger piece of written work.

Ah yes, the ever looming “book report.” It seems that teachers just love them, doesn’t it? Well, there is a good reason for that.

Writing book reports is one of the best ways a teacher can determine how far you have come in grasping the English language, the familiarization of the relationship of words to each other, how much you are comprehending (understanding) and how well you can communicate your understanding. Because book reports are such a vital instrument to help teachers help you, from the seventh grade onward, the book report will be an almost monthly, if not weekly, part of your education.

A book report will include several things, including the plot, the theme and any symbolisms used.

The plot is the overall story. For example, if a book was called, “My Summer Vacation,” the plot would be about summer vacations. It’s the “bigger” picture of the story.

The theme is the moral, ethical, societal, familial or religious message or view the author is trying to make in the story. For example, in Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” the theme is that the strong survive and the weak perish. Sometimes the theme can be hidden, sometimes it is blatantly obvious and sometimes there are several themes contained in one story. It is up to the reader to see if they can find all of the themes.

Symbolisms in a story are generally objects, numbers, places or colors that repeat throughout the story. For example, if you have ever seen the movies “The Sixth Sense” or “Schindler’s List,” the color red is used to symbolize death not only of people but of ideals. Not all authors use symbolisms but most do. It becomes a fun challenge to see how and what the author has used.

THE WRITING PROCESS:

There are steps that should be followed when writing down a book report. These steps include:

1. The first step is to write a short outline that will contain an introductory paragraph, three to seven middle paragraphs (the meat of your report) and a concluding paragraph.

2. Write a chronological list of the basic plot.

3. Begin to write your report:

a) A book report should include a cover page (much like the cover of a book). The cover page should list the title of the book that the report is on, the author of the book, the genre of the book (i.e., young adult, fiction, non-fiction, biography, historical, etc.) and then list your name as the author of the book report.

b) The first paragraph should set the scene of what the book was about. Include the time period of the story, the location where the story took place and set up what the plot is.

c) The second and perhaps third paragraphs should describe the characters, what their personalities were like, some of the adventures they were caught up in and what obstacles did they have to overcome. The purpose of these paragraphs is to let the readers get to know the characters without having actually read the main book.

d) In paragraphs four through seven (or however many paragraphs you wish to use to write your report) summarize the plot of the entire story using excitement. Identify the theme and highlight any symbolisms that may have been used. Give as much detail as you can to interest the readers, perhaps even inspire them to want to read the book for themselves.

e) Write the last or concluding paragraph. Take your time with this paragraph by wrapping up the central theme and outcome. Also include any lessons you believe the original author was trying to convey in the story, such as being compassionate or giving, or that good things come to those who work hard, and explain why you believe those were the messages the author was emphasizing.

One important note to make here is that a book report is only meant to give a quick accounting of the main book, it is not meant to input your opinion about the book. When giving your opinion, then you are writing a book review and not a book report.

1.
The writer of a book report should not…
give the plotline away
give their opinion about the story
tell how the story ends
make any reference to the main author's views
When writing a book report the writer should never give their opinion about the story itself. When a writer gives their opinion, it ceases to be a book report and turns into a book review. Answer (b) is correct.
2.
This is the overall story of the book.
Scene
Plot
Genre
Main characters
The overall story of a book is the plot. Answer (b) is the correct answer.
3.
This is a summary of a larger piece of work.
Book review
Book report
Outline
Opinion
A book report is when you give a summary of a larger piece of work. It does not contain the book report author’s opinion. Answer (b) is correct.
4.
Writing a book report helps a teacher to determine…
how much a student comprehends and how well they can communicate
what a student thinks about writing
whether the student should be promoted to the next grade
whether the student has a talent for writing
Book reports help a teacher to determine how far a student has come along in grasping the English language, their familiarization of the relationship of words to each other, how much they comprehend and how well they can communicate their understanding. Answer (a) is the correct answer.
5.
The first step in writing a book report is to…
list all of the main characters
list all of the symbolisms used
write out an outline
identify the time and place the story took place in
When getting to the point where you are ready to start writing out a book report, the first step should be to create an outline. Answer (c) is the correct answer.
6.
These are objects, numbers, places or colors that repeat throughout the story.
Highlights
Opinions
Symbolisms
Genres
Symbolisms are objects, numbers, places or colors that are repeated throughout a story. Answer (c) is correct.
7.
The first page of a book report should be…
the description of the plot
the detail of the author's message
the opening or introductory paragraph
the cover page
The first page of a book report should be the cover page listing the title of the book being reported on, the author, the genre and the author of the person writing the book report. Answer (d) is the correct answer.
8.
This paragraph includes any lessons you believe the original author was trying to convey in the story.
Introductory
First
Seventh
Concluding
The concluding paragraph should include any lessons the writer believes the original author was trying to convey in the story. Answer (d) is correct.
9.
This is the moral, ethical, societal, familial or religious message or view the author is trying to make in the story.
Genre
Plot
Symbolism
Theme
The theme is the moral, ethical, societal, familial or religious message or view an author is trying to convey in the story. Answer (d) is the correct answer.
10.
These paragraphs should describe the characters and their personalities.
Second and third
First and second
Fourth and fifth
Sixth and concluding
The second, and if necessary, the third paragraphs should describe the characters, their personalities and trials they faced and adventures they experienced. Answer (a) is the correct answer.
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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