Like the terms it gives us, the pyramid is simply a tool for understanding how stories work. Unless you have been specifically assigned this task, you should not diagram the book you have read according to Freytag's pyramid. You can help your reader understand how the story develops, though, by identifying its components. Expository : Break down the book's argument for your reader. How does its author establish his or her authority on the subject matter? How does the book advance its thesis? What particular claims make up its argument?
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What do you need to know in order to make sense of the material, and what do you learn that you didn't already know? Analysis (Reporter's question: How?) This section is where you can display your insight into, and expertise in, the book and its topic. Narrative: give a more detailed account of the plot. You'll need to introduce some minor characters, and you may want to give a chapter-by-chapter account of what happens and how essay it unfolds. It may help, in this section of your book report, to know the following terms, which belong to a diagram called Freytag's Pyramid (see below named for the 19th century german scholar and playwright good Gustav freytag: Exposition : gives the reader the basic information needed. Climax : the dramatic, often exciting, point at which things begin to change for the story and the characters. Falling action : the resolution of the climax's conflict. Denouement (pronounced day-knew-Mwah) : illustrates the state of affairs after the climax, or the consequences of whatever decisions the rising action and climax forced the characters to make. Usually, in a comedy, the denouement shows how things have gotten better for the protagonist; in a tragedy, it shows how they have gotten worse. Freytag's pyramid is not a mathematical formula.
You'll demonstrate that you've made yourself familiar with the book and its contents, and you'll introduce your reader to them. You should go into enough detail to make this clear, and to make clear that you've gone beyond reading someone else's summary (more on this in the plagiarism section) or watching the movie. You still need to be economical with your language and with your reader's time—get to the point as quickly as you can. Narrative : Introduce the setting and major characters. Give an overview of the plot. Note that it is customary, especially when discussing works of fiction, not to give away the ending. Expository : Introduce the author and his or her background. Identify the main idea, friend or what the book proposes to teach or explain to its reader. Explain the historical or academic context of the book's most important claims.
For the purpose of easy classification, we will divide the books you may be assigned into two major categories. You may already think of these as fiction and father's nonfiction, but the more useful distinction is between narrative and expository prose. Narrative texts can be fiction or nonfiction. They tell stories, fictional (as in a novel or a short story) or not (as in a biography or history). Expository texts, which are usually nonfiction, inform and explain, as in a critical or theoretical work. The content of a book reports will vary according to whether the book is narrative or expository, real but the form should be largely the same. Summary (Reporter's questions: Who? When?) This is where you make it clear to your instructor and reader that you've completed your assigned reading.
Title : The Great Gatsby, the Great Gatsby, a novel. Scott Fitzgerald, was published in New York city by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1925. The first column here is more like what appears in a bibliography, which we'll cover later. Notes to keep While reading Now, you're ready to open the book, begin reading, and prepare to write your book report. You organize your report according to the questions a reporter asks: Who? Keep in mind the following usual components of a book report, so that you can take notes and know what to read for. Is your book narrative or Expository Writing?
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Title : The title is one of the best ways to start answering the last question, since it is what the author him/herself decided to use to introduce words the book to its reader. What does it do for you? What does it accomplish for the book itself? What does it tell you about the book? What does it tell you to expect? What, if anything, does it assume you already know?
Cover Art, book jacket, Et Cetera : This can be a little more complicated, because often the author of a book has no control over how the work is packaged. That's obvious in the case of, say, recent editions of Shakespeare plays or Dickens novels, but it's usually also true of contemporary works by living authors. Still, the way that its publishing company chooses system to package and sell a book can help you to identify its target audience and decide whether it will be useful to your research. You may not decide to include this information in your finished report, but it will be helpful to you in preparing to read and write. Not: But : Author :. Scott Fitzgerald, publication Information : New York: Scribner, 1925.
If not, keep a notebook with you while you read so that you can consult your notes later. Once you get into the habit of this, it will make your reporting much easier. You already know the basic structure of your report, and what you'll need to pay attention to while you read in order to explain, analyze, and evaluate a work. Here are some vital questions you can usually answer before you even open the book: Author : Who wrote it? What, if anything, do you know about the author? This is one of the most important things to know about any book, since it is perhaps the primary category most readers use to organize their knowledge of texts.
Publication Information : When and where was it published, and by whom? What do you know about that time and place, or about that publisher? No matter what kind of book you're reporting on, these are important questions to keep in mind as you read. Genre : Are you reporting on a novel? A critical or theoretical argument? Is your book fiction or nonfiction? Who is its intended audience, and how does it expect them to approach it?
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How useful will it be to someone undertaking further research? Evaluating a text is not the same as saying whether or revelation not you enjoyed reading. Your reader needs to know about the book—not about you. Where to begin, start taking notes as soon as you start reading. Some students make the mistake of waiting until they have finished reading to begin writing. You should always be writing! If you own the book you're reporting on, take notes in the margins.
Here is where you'll need to identify the setting and the characters. If, instead of a narrative, your book is expository prose, what is the main idea or argument? What is it claiming, or trying to convince its reader to think, believe, or do? Analyze : How does the book tell its story or make its argument? What tools does it use? Here, you may want to discuss themes, motifs, symbols, and other rhetorical devices the book uses. Evaluate : How effectively does the book accomplish its purpose, communicate its ideas, or argue its point? How convincing is it? Where does it fit into the course for which you've been assigned this report, and how do you imagine discussing it in class?
college should still prove that you have done the reading, of course, since this is crucial to your ability to establish authority, but at the university level your writing is more than a test. Now, like all your writing, your book report should be useful to its reader in his or her scholarly work—and to you, in your own. Think of your book report as a step in the research process: it should add the book to its reader's knowledge base. The next time you and your reader approach this topic, instead of reaching for the book itself to decide whether it's a useful resource, you should reach for this book report. In order to fulfill this function, your report should explain, analyze, and evaluate the book you've read, with respect to the literature surrounding it, the other assignments you've been given for the class, and the discussions you've had leading up to this particular reading assignment. Explain : What happens in the book? What does your reader need to know about it? If it tells a story (fictional or otherwise what is the plot?
A book report, unlike any of these, is written by a reporter: someone whose responsibility is to tell his or her reader what's going. This means you need to answer a reporter's questions: Who? The way to answer those questions will vary depending on the type of book you've been assigned: whether it's fiction or nonfiction, narrative or expository, and. A few things hold true over all these plan categories, though, and understanding them will help you prepare to write your book report. You'll need to identify the major plot, characters, thesis, and/or main idea, and trace for your reader how the book you've chose or been assigned develops those things. In order to most effectively address the basic questions a reporter needs to ask, let's examine the reason for writing-and assigning-a book report. Why Write a book report? Of course, you are writing a book report because you have been given an assignment. The purpose of the assignment, though, is somewhat different from that of book reports you may have written before this point in your education.
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What Is a book report? A book report is usually a 500-word writing assignment. You should be sure to check with your instructor about the required length. The report itself is just what its name implies: after reading a book, you report back on what you have read. You will provide your reader with basic information about the book, so that he or she may better understand the book and its topic before reading. You should inform your reader, as objectively as possible, about the book. A book report is different from a book review, which will go beyond the basics to evaluate and make more subjective claims about the text's quality. A book report is also different from an essays argumentative essay, which advances an original thesis. Finally, although it may be part of a sequence of assignments leading up to a research paper, which investigates a topic through a variety of sources and takes a position within a set of claims about that topic, a book report is not a research.