Non-fiction books fall into a number of different categories such as history, biography and current affairs. Non-fiction authors utilise different writing techniques and methods to present subject matter and content ranging from a first person narrative to a more objective or subjectively neutral approach. A non-fiction book report should summarise and comment on both the subject matter and on the writing style employed by the author. In particular, point out the unique points the author brings, or fails to bring, to the topic.
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Write down notes, details and impressions of the book as you are reading. Take notes for and outline the essential points and themes for each chapter. Writing down your impressions of the book as you read it helps to assimilate and understand the content of the book.
Write an outline for the book report. The outline is a working model for the book report. Read back over your notes and impressions and develop a thesis for the book report. The book report should be both descriptive and analytical.
Write an introduction to the report. The introduction should include a one- to two-sentence thesis statement. The thesis presents your overall judgment about the content and style of the book. Since it is a work of non-fiction, discuss how it adds to a reader's understanding of the subject or topic. Include a summary of the main points included in the report. Treat the introduction as a condensed summary of the book report.
Divide the body of the report into two parts or sections. A non-fiction book report should present a clear description of the substance of the book and a critical analysis of the book. The descriptive and analytic parts can be two different sections of the report, or can be interwoven so that description and analysis are presented together. Divide the main body of the report into paragraphs. Use a different paragraph for discussing each theme or idea.
Write a conclusion. The conclusion should summarise the key points of the book and present your overall evaluation and final thoughts.
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