Tips to making quality book reports in college

In your literature class, you are oftentimes required to read a novel, which means a book report is on its way as one of your many requirements to pass the subject. Truly, book reports are another college essay requirement you cannot get away from while still in school. In line with this, you are usually baffled with a lot of questions, such as: “Why do I have to do this?” What’s the importance of book reports” “How do I start?” Thankfully, here are tips to making quality book reports:

1. Read before you write

Initially, books are created so people will read and learn from them. Book reports are no different. You are required to read a novel to actually read and learn from them. After that, the obvious next step is to actually write your report about the novel. While reading, it is advisable to jot down notes as you go along the way. One tip when making book reports is noting which page number and paragraph number in the page made a mark for you – it can either be the climax or other important quotes or events in the book.

2. Before you start writing, make an outline

It is important for every task to always start with a good plan. You follow this plan until you finish your output. Without a plan, you will feel the rush of spontaneity which usually leads to two things: either pass or fail. With book reports, you do not want to take that 505 chance of failing, so it is vital for you, as a college student, to formulate an outline. Here’s how to make a nice outline:

  • Introduction
  • Summary of Book
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Evaluation and Conclusion

Furthermore, book reports are different from movie reviews, as they tend to be more critical about different themes of the book that are not usually part of a book report. Lastly, if you are having trouble making an outline, it is normal to seek college essay help from your peers or to recommendable college essay writing services.

3. The power of your introduction

Every successful essays starts with an equally powerful and cringing introduction. Ensure the first few words on your reports stimulate the mind of the readers, so they will follow through with your book reports you have worked hard for.

In this chapter of your book report, it is worth noting about the three parts that will help you make a great introductions:

Summary of the story

This paragraph must include an overview of the story line including the set, period, protagonists, and story plot. It is also worth-mentioning the story teller of the novel as well as the book theme.


Create a detailed personification of each character that for you, created an importance in the buildup of the story. Discuss their personality, strengths, and weaknesses. Lastly, tell how each character was beneficial to the protagonist and the story itself.

Lastly, it is important to keep your readers interested, and you invested which means it is okay to be a little personal.

In My Mailbox (14/7/11)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren
Here are the books that made their way to our homes this week, either bought, borrowed, gifted or for review.
book posters
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel
Glow by Amy Kathleen RyanBetrayal by Lee Nichols
Velvet by Mary Hooper
Dark Souls by Paula Morris
The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

A couple of duplicates here this week, as well as some titles we’ve been dying to read for ages! 

Happy reading!

Book Review: Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Texas Gothic PosterTexas Gothic is the second YA book from Rosemary Clement-Moore. It was published by Corgi (Random House) on 7th July and the book is 406 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

Sisters Amy and Phin (short for Amaryllis and Delphinium) have been stuck with the task of looking after their Aunt Hyacinth’s ranch for the summer. Even though they are not too impressed with looking after the goats and dogs, the sisters think that their summer could be spent in worse ways. Phin thinks it is the perfect time to mess around with her (paranormal) experiments while Amy doesn’t want anything to do with the paranormal at all. In fact, she wishes she could get as far away from paranormal as possible. Unfortunately for Amy, her whole family are magical in one way or another…apart from Amy.

The summer spent at Aunt Hyacinth’s ranch is going to be one they never forget, especially if a certain ghost has anything to do with it!

What I thought
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rosemary Clement-Moore’s first book, The Splendour Falls, but after hearing about this book, I decided to give this author another shot and I am very, very glad that I did now.

Amy (Amaryllis) was a great female main character and one I enjoyed reading about immensely. She is the more outgoing of the two sisters and the one who seems to be the more responsible, at least that is what everyone else thinks anyway. That is quickly dismissed a little bit though when she is chasing things around outside in her underwear. The beginning of the book showed that Amy is a great many different things and being shown this early on was a wonderful thing for me. Amy was also outspoken, strong and confident for the most part but sensitive and caring when she needed to be. She also let down her guard at times, even when she really didn’t want to, and showed that she wasn’t invincible and that there was a lot that did worry and scare her.

Ben was a seriously HOT cowboy. He had a lovely mix of arrogance and cockiness but it was also clear that there was a lot more to him than meets the eye. I did like both sides of his character though and I think that Clement-Moore did a great job of adding in lots of different traits that many people will find attractive. One of the greatest things about him though was that he was able to give Amy a serious run for her money when it came to come backs and insults. Because of this, the banter between the two characters was funny and entertaining at the same time and I could feel the chemistry between them from the very beginning. Speaking of chemistry, there is one scene in particular that is especially steamy and I LOVED it!

Due to the situation, there are quite a lot of secondary characters. I thought I was going to get so confused as more and more started being introduced but this wasn’t the case. Each secondary character has a very distinct and unique voice that it would have been extremely difficult to mix them all up. The characters that come along with the archaeological dig were really fun and interesting and really reminded me of something out of something like Scooby Doo. Although they all have a job to do, they are more than interested in the paranormal things going on and are very much up for some kind of adventure and I loved this about them.

This book has a fantastic mix of magic, ghosts, legends of a small town and is about the people who either do or don’t believe in any or all of these things. I loved that the author was able to fuse together all of these things and take real aspects of history and slam them right into the middle of the story. I usually love any book that uses history in some form or another and Texas Gothic was no exception. I also really enjoyed the whole deal with the ghosts and finding out what was really going on with that, whether or not it was legend or whether it was an actual ghost doing particular things. Because of this, there was a lot of mystery in this book as well as lots of other great things.

With a name like Texas Gothic, I should have expected it to be creepy. However, I didn’t and when I was reading this at 2am, I was getting a little creeped out. Ok, more than a little. Every single little noise outside was scaring me and as there were no flatmates around either, everything seemed to be amplified. There was no way that I was expecting for this book to scare me as much as it did and I love Ms Clement-Moore for doing that to me! I love any book that is able to shock me and give me the unexpected and that is definitely what she did.

Texas Gothic is a great book that has a lot to offer for everyone! Highly recommended.

Waiting on Wednesday: Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine and allows us to spotlight upcoming books we are eagerly anticipating.
Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Lola And The Boy Next Door Poster

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Published: 29th September – Dutton (US)
After the success that was Anna And The French Kiss, I knew I had to read anything else that Stephanie Perkins released. This is the release that comes after Anna and I can’t wait to see what is in store for us!


Blog Tour: Mary Hoffman – David

Today we’re welcoming Mary Hoffman as part of her UK book tour for David, released July 2011.

Blog Tour for Mary Hoffman's

Two bonfires – Florence and Oxford
Two bonfires – Florence and Oxford

In the Piazza della Signoria there’s a round plaque set into the ground. It says – in Italian – “Here, where with his two fellow friars Fra Domenico Buonvicini and Fra Silvestro Maruffi, 23rd May 1498 by an unfair sentence was hanged and burned Fra Girolamo Savonarola, after 400 years this memorial was placed.”
In St. Giles in Oxford stands The Martyrs’ Memorial, commemorating the deaths of the other men. The inscription reads:
“To the Glory of God, and in grateful commemoration of His servants, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Hugh Latimer, Prelates of the Church of England, who near this spot yielded their bodies to be burned, bearing witness to the sacred truths which they had affirmed and maintained against the errors of the Church of Rome, and rejoicing that to them it was given not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for His sake; this monument was erected by public subscription in the year of our Lord God, MDCCCXLI”.
Both nineteenth century memorials to men who died centuries earlier for their beliefs.
Savonarola was a Dominican friar from Ferrara, who became Prior of the San Marco convent in Florence, where Fra Angelico’s fabulous frescoes and Annunciation can be seen (written about in David). He was a fiery preacher, fiercely opposed to the de’ Medici family and all the luxury they represented.
He gave rousing sermons in the pulpit of the cathedral, to encourage Florentines to change their ways. He wanted them to give up their elaborate finery, their ways of dressing and live a more sober Christian life. He became a great influence in the city, particularly after the death of Lorenzo de’ Medici (the “Magnificent”) and the succession of his ineffectual son Piero.
In 1494, when Piero had been driven out of the city, the friar became the effective leader of Florence; for the next few years no-one else had as much power. His influence on a large part of the population led to the Bonfire of the Vanities, when Florentine citizens brought their clothes and goods like mirrors, fans, books – even works of art – and destroyed them in public in the Piazza della Signoria.
A lot of pressure was put on these citizens by Savonarola’s followers to give up their luxuries and ornaments. But not everyone was happy about this and there was still a strong pro-Medicean faction in the city. Even those who supported the idea of a Republic were not necessarily so keen on the idea of having the fanatical friar as their leader.
David Mary Hoffman

Eventually and mainly because the Pope was so against Savonarola, the friar lost his power and was arrested and tortured. He was put to death by hanging and then burnt on the same spot where the vanities had been destroyed. Even the ashes from the three bodies were collected up and thrown into the river Arno, so that his followers couldn’t secretly venerate them as relics.
But they missed some, since a character in David has a casket of these precious remains. The death of Savonarola has a huge influence on what happens in David.  It’s only three years after the execution when Gabriele walks into the city and gets caught up in all the different political factions.
I saw that memorial plaque in the Piazza della Signoria first when I was twenty and got interested in what had happened and the stern, hook-nosed friar who had died so horribly there. Later when Oxford became an important part of my life (I went to Cambridge but my oldest daughter read English in Oxford) I saw not just the Martyrs’ Memorial but the cobblestone cross in the road that marks the actual spot where the three martyrs were executed in Broad Street.
That reminded me of Savonarola and his companions. We might feel relieved that we no longer burn people whose religious beliefs differ from what the government of the day says they should be. But there are still religious martyrs and we shouldn’t get too complacent about our modern freedoms.