A book report should contain the basic elements, it's true. But a good book report will address a specific question or point of view and back up this topic with specific examples, in the form of symbols and themes. These steps will help you identify and incorporate those important elements.
1.Have an objective in mind, if possible. Your objective is the main point you want to argue, or the question you plan to answer. Sometimes your teacher will offer a question for you to answer as part of your assignment, which makes this step easy. If you have to come up with your own focal point for your paper, you may have to wait and develop the objective while reading and reflecting on the book. 2.Keep supplies on hand when you read. This is very important. Keep sticky-note flags, pen, and paper nearby as you read. Don't try to take "mental notes." It just doesn't work. 3.Read the book. As you read, keep an eye out for clues that the author has provided in the form of symbolism. These will indicate some important point that supports the overall theme. For instance, a spot of blood on the floor, a quick glance, a nervous habit, an impulsive action--these are worth noting. 4.Use your sticky flags to mark pages. When you run into any clues, mark the page by placing the sticky note at the beginning of the relevant line. Mark everything that piques your interest, even if you don't understand their relevance. 5.Note possible themes or patterns that emerge. As you read and record emotional flags or signs, you will begin to see a point or a pattern. On a note pad, write down possible themes or issues. If your assignment is to answer a question, you will record how symbols address that question. 6.Label your sticky flags. If you see a symbol repeated several times, you should indicate this somehow on the sticky flags, for easy reference later. For instance, if blood shows up in several scenes, write a "b" on the relevant flags for blood. This may become your...
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