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Book Report Outline

A book report outline provides the "bones" of the eventual book report. Beginning with an outline better ensures that the student will create a cohesive, well-structured book report. Book report outlines typically include the following information:

1. Time period – When did the book take place? Was it during the nineteenth century, or does it take place in the future? Does the time period of the book give you any special insight into the book's topic or theme? For example, a book about the South that takes place during the Civil War, takes on a different meaning than a book about the South that takes place in modern times.
2. Setting – Where does most of the action of the story take place? Why do you think the author picked this particular location?
3. Characters – Describe the protagonist, or the main character of the story. The main character does not have to be a human being. Who is the main antagonist, the character who has the main conflict with the protagonist? Again, the antagonist can be a situation (for example, a great storm if the protagonist is at sea), or an organization, it does not have to be an individual human being. What did these characters look like? What were their main traits? What were their faults?
4. The Plot – Summarize the book's plot in one sentence. What goal was the main character attempting to accomplish? Did he/she accomplish that goal? What was preventing the main character from accomplishing his/her goal? What was the arch of the story (when it came to a head)?
5. Message of the book – What lesson was the book trying to get across? How did the author attempt to convey this message? Give at least one example of the author attempting to communicate this message to the reader.

Finally, you might also include a personal review of the book to include whether the book held your interest, as the reader. Why or why not? And would you recommend this book to others? Why or why not?

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