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10 mistakes that can make you fail your book report

Throughout your academia there will be a time in which you will have to do a book report. A book report is a paper that is used to not only describe, but to analyze, critique, or to praise a book that you have been assigned, or chosen to read. It is a way for the professor to insure that not only have you read the assignment, but that you understand the material and have invested in it. A book report is a specific type of paper that has a construct and a outline that must be adhered to.
There is an appropriate way to complete your book report, and one which will insure that you receive a less than stellar grade. There are many things that you can do to enhance the creativity and proficiency of your book report, and 10 things that you can do to completely tank the assignment all together. Knowing what to do sometimes is not as important as knowing what not to do. If you want to pass the requirements for a good grade on your book report, it is important to stray away from doing these 10 sabotaging things.

1. Not reading the book

In this age of media it is possible to find a condensed version of any book. There used to be one version of condensed books called cliff notes, thanks to the internet there are now hundreds of versions of any major book where they will give you a synopsis of the material that you are supposed to read. Although sometimes it is possible to get by not reading the book to Book Review, if you don't read the book there is no way to really write an "A" deserved book report that gives not only the details of the book, but your invested opinion. If you don't read the book it is near impossible to give an honest assessment of it.

2. Not forming an opinion about the book

The key to any book report is having an opinion about it. If you don't have an opinion about the book then you really don't have anything to write about. A book report is not a summary of the book as much as it is an opinion of what you thought of it. It is a critical analysis of the work, not just a synopsis of it. Making sure to either be for, or against, it's usefulness in reading it is important to engage the reader.

3. Not proofreading it

There is nothing that tells a professor that you don't care more than not proof reading your work. If you hand in a paper that has grammatical or spelling errors, it basically says you just don't care about the assignment and is a sure fire way to receive a failing grade.

4. Waiting until the last minute

If you wait until the last minute to start your book report you run the risk of not getting it done on time. There are always things that come up in your life that can be unexpected. If you wait until the last minute, should something happen, you will not be able to finish it in time. If you don't hand your assignment in on time you run the risk of not having it accepted at all, and even if it is, you will lose points for being late.

5. Copying it from somewhere else

Sure in this age of media it is simple to find another individual's previous work, but it is a big mistake. Professors are smart about plagiarism and copying, more so than you think. Don't ever copy someone else's work, even parts of it. If you are found out, which is highly possible, not only do you risk a failing grade, you can be expelled from the institution all together.

6. Not following the directions for the assignment

Although a book report assignment seems straight forward, some instructors will have specific rules and guidelines that must be adhered to. Not properly reading over the assignment, or rereading it to make sure that you have all the components necessary can severely negatively affect your grade. Keep the assignment available on hand and use it as a guide at all times.

7. Not being creative

When writing a book report it is important to put your own style into it. Your instructor wants to know what you thought of the book, but they don't want to be bored to death. Make sure to make your book report enjoyable to read and engaging if you want to get a good grade. Being creative and putting yourself into the paper is important.

8. Not making a valid argument

If you are going to chose a side in a book report which is part of the structure of it, make sure that the argument you form is a valid one. If you just throw out hyperbolic language and make assertions that you don't provide proof for, your argument will be invalid and not substantiated. After writing your book report make sure that any argument formed has the proper proof to solidify and prove it.

9. Not having the proper components

All book reports should have four components to it the introduction which includes the thesis statement, the body, and the conclusion. Failing to have any of these four components will solidify a poor grade. Any book report in an academic setting must include these four components to have the proper structure adhered to.

10. Speaking in the right tone or manner

A book report is defined as a subjective type of of paper which means that it should be written with a specific tone. Unlike other forms of papers, a book report is supposed to reflect your feelings about the book. When writing a book report it is important to write it professionally, but to let your personality and opinion shine through. A book report is an extension of your thoughts and feelings, using a tone that is real and honest, is important to making it something that demonstrates your understanding of not only the material, but that you understand what a book report is as well.


By avoiding these 10 pitfalls to writing a good book report you will earn the grade that you desire. A book report is something that you should really put some thought into and also to put your personality and style into.

Kevin Demlon


Kevin writes helpful articles to share his knowledge with students in need. He enjoys writing articles on new subjects and does his best to create each post showing writing tips in a clear way. writer

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Customer #5245

I'm not a Freud to be good at psychology! I'm literally majoring in physical education, idk why I need to spend time on something so complex. you always save me from having to rack the books, so thanks

Customer #5058

I don't really get the difference between a book report and a book review, and my professor is really stuck-up about that. It's like he thinks we all have time to go through hundreds of books, wasting our youth away by studying, lol. Anyway, y'all saved me, I got an A-. Good enough for me.

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