BOOK REPORT FORMATS BIOGRAPHY of a famous person Paragraph #1 Name the subject of the biography and the title and author of the book. Make a general statement about the accomplishments of the person. ex. As an inventor, Thomas Edison was responsible for many of the inventions which are considered indispensable to modern life. You may also make a value statement. ex. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt is one of the most respected and admired women of the twentieth century. You may add a statement regarding the public’s natural curiosity about the person. ex. There has always been an interest in the lives of royalty, and Queen Elizabeth II has always generated a great deal of interest. Make a transition statement that leads naturally to the next paragraph. ex. Although he led a life in the spotlight, Joe Namath’s childhood in Beaver Falls, Ohio was ordinary and uneventful. Paragraph #2 Give the subject’s date and place of birth. Name his parents. Give one or two details of his childhood, particularly if they were important in his progress toward his accomplishment. Briefly discuss his education, and any personal milestones (early awards, marriage, children, early jobs, etc.) Discuss any events which led the person to his area of accomplishment including events or people who may have influenced him. Make a transition statement. ex. With so prominent a family, and having met and spoken with so many distinguished figures, it seemed only natural that Cokie Roberts became a news correspondent. Paragraph #3 Discuss the career and/or accomplishments of the person. Mention any character traits which make him well suited for this line of work. List (and perhaps explain) and awards or honors which have been accorded this person as a result of his work. If there are any negative aspects of this person’s life which are important to his story mention them and impart their significance. Make a transition statement. Paragraph #4 Explain how this person is important or has made a contribution to society or some field. Discuss the person’s impact upon others. (Does he serve as a role model? Has he given hope to the ill or homeless? etc.) Paragraph #5 Compliment the author on having written the book in such a ___(adjective)___ style. How has the author treated the subject? Has the author revealed any interesting information which is not generally known about the person? If so, how might opinions regarding this person be altered? Use several adjectives to describe this person’s story. To or for whom might you recommend this book? Why? BIOGRAPHY of an interesting or courageous person who is not well known Paragraph #1 Name the subject of the biography as well as the author and title of the book. In general terms, tell why a biography has been written about this person. ex. Brian Piccolo’s courage, grace, and determination in the face of overwhelming adversity was an inspiration to all who knew him. Give a one or two sentence summary of the event(s) which exemplify this person. Make a transition statement. Paragraph #2 Give the subject’s date and place of birth. Name his parents. Give important details of his early life, perhaps including education, activities, etc. If some important character traits developed at this time, mention them. Tell about any important or influential people or events from this period. Make a transition statement. ex. Jay’s early camping trips with his father, and his summers in Boy Scout camp would prove invaluable as he faced the greatest challenge of his life. Paragraph #3 Discuss the events or accomplishments which make this person’s life uniquely interesting. If it is a lengthy story, you may wish to write two paragraphs at this point. Make a transition statement. Paragraph #4 Tell what lessons might be learned from this person’s story. Discuss how some particular character trait or some especially well honed skill enabled this person to do something interesting or courageous. Paragraph #5 Compliment the author on having written the story. How has the author treated the subject? Use several adjectives to describe the story. To or for whom might you recommend this book? Why? GENERAL RULES FOR BOOK REPORTS 1. Keep yourself out of the report. Do not use the word “I” until the last paragraph, if at all. 2. Write about a book you liked. It is difficult to write about a book which you found tedious. 3. Do not begin three sentences in a row with the same word. 4. Do not begin any sentences with and or then. 5. Make sure sentences flow logically. Use transitions. 6. Mix sentence structures to add interest and variety. 7. Do not use the indefinite you. Use one. 8. Refer to the author in several ways (Edgar Allen Poe, Poe, Mr. Poe, the author, the writer, etc.) 9. Indent all new paragraphs including the first paragraph. 10. Capitalize the title of the book. Do not capitalize a, an, or the unless it is the first word in the title. 11. Always check spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Write in complete sentences, making sure you have answered all questions or provided all of the information which is required by your teacher. Reread instructions to make sure you have not left anything out. 12. Be neat. Write neatly in ink or type your report. Keep the paper from becoming rumpled, folded, or stained.
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