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larasfrend
18-04-06, 18:01
Hi all!

I need help with my book report for English. Actually it's just a book review and my teacher wasn't very specific as to what it should contain. All he said was that it should be mainly my opinion on the book. Normally I'm quite good at these, however this time I'm stumped due to the fact that I haven't a clue as to what it should contain. Sure, I can make my opinion stretch a bit, but I kind of need an idea of the contents.

I read the book 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho, which I didn't think much of. Yet I want to for once do a book review on a book I didn't like that much.

Help me! I have no idea where to start! I'm sure you guys have had to review books before!:D

jarhead
18-04-06, 18:03
http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides/alchemist.asp

this is a good site. google is your friend

Janny
18-04-06, 18:05
Start by saying why you chose/like the book, you know, the main ideas, and then say about the characters, and then talk aout your fave of them. You can make a boring pasage about what techneques the book uses to capture the reader's interest. That's about all I can think of ATM.
Hope it helps :wve:

Edit: Nevermind...Jarhead seems to have it covered :o

CerebralAssassin
18-04-06, 18:05
umm...If you read it once and didn't get anything out of it then,would it be unreasonable to read it again and take notes this time?

Thorir
18-04-06, 18:06
I've read it too, and I didn't like it.
It has gotten LOTS of fantastic reviews.
I just found it pretentious and pathetic!

Just be honoust. You don't have to suck up to the book, even if it is a massive succes.

A cynical book by a pretentious writer who wants to make money.

Ampersand
18-04-06, 18:07
Start with a basic summary of the book - what it's about, the plot, the theme, etc. Describe the writing style of the author, what he did right and what you thought was poorly done. Why did you think the book was bad? Did it fail to hold your attention, and if so, why? Was it boring, and if so, why? Things like that. :)

It's a bit tricky to explain, but I've written about a book HERE (http://s10.invisionfree.com/Skribblers/index.php?showtopic=2354) - just a review thing I did. :wve:

Elysia
18-04-06, 18:18
Okay - Elysia, your friendly online English teacher, is here to help! (Ummm, I'm British, so these are the UK guidelines, but I'm sure they'rebasically the same everywhere :tmb: )

First off - to gain a grade C, you must show insight, not just understanding. This is where you give your personal opinion - however, you must back it up with evidence from the text. To gain a grade A, you must show analytical and interpretative skills. You must give not only a personal reponse, but also how the audience *as a whole* might feel about certain situations. If you can, try to link it to a social and historical context (the social climate when it was written and how the audience then may have differed from an audience now). You need to make comments about imagery and language, and try to use higher level linguistic devices such as humour and irony.

So.... a checklist (in no particular order)

Reviews need:
1) Introduction. Give a basic plot outline and explain what you are going to be writing about.
2) A personal response. You say what you like and what you didn't like and why. Remember to back up your opinions with evidence from the text. This includes plot device and characterisation.
3) Link to social and historical context.
4) Link to audience response - what is the author trying to get his/her audience to think? Back up with evidence from the text.
5) Look at the language - alliteration, onomatopoeia, pathetic fallacy, metaphor... discussion of any of these and the effect they have on the imagery (and therefore the audience). Use quotations. Also look at single words and sentence structure - short sentences = tend to have a dramatic impact, whereas longer sentences are used to develop imagery.
6) 'Burger method' or PEE: Point, Evidence, Explain. Make your point, back it up with a quote and then explain how the quote backs up your point. Good 'burgers' = higher marks.
7) AVOID CLICHE! We were moderating out GCSE work today, and boy, did we have a laugh because of the cliches everyone was using...
8) Re read your work to check if it makes sense. You get marks for basic spelling, punctuation and grammar.
9) Try to use varied punctuation - try to use semi colons and colons. Don;t forget capital letters after full stops.
10) PARAGRAPHS!

and again

PARAGRAPHS!

Without paragraphs, you can only get a D.

I hope this helps a bit!

larasfrend
18-04-06, 18:22
Thanks so much guys.

@ Jarhead: thanks but I know the story very well and don't need discussion points. :confused:

@ Thorir: why didn't you like it? I loved the beginning when he was embarking upon this adventure in search of treasure, but as soon as it started going on about destiny and soul of the world I couldn't stand it. I found it quite pretentious too. Like you said there are so many reviews, I quote one which said "a gem of a book". If that's a gem then give me rocks.

larasfrend
18-04-06, 18:25
Okay - Elysia, your friendly online English teacher, is here to help! (Ummm, I'm British, so these are the UK guidelines, but I'm sure they'rebasically the same everywhere :tmb: )

First off - to gain a grade C, you must show insight, not just understanding. This is where you give your personal opinion - however, you must back it up with evidence from the text. To gain a grade A, you must show analytical and interpretative skills. You must give not only a personal reponse, but also how the audience *as a whole* might feel about certain situations. If you can, try to link it to a social and historical context (the social climate when it was written and how the audience then may have differed from an audience now). You need to make comments about imagery and language, and try to use higher level linguistic devices such as humour and irony.

So.... a checklist (in no particular order)

Reviews need:
1) Introduction. Give a basic plot outline and explain what you are going to be writing about.
2) A personal response. You say what you like and what you didn't like and why. Remember to back up your opinions with evidence from the text. This includes plot device and characterisation.
3) Link to social and historical context.
4) Link to audience response - what is the author trying to get his/her audience to think? Back up with evidence from the text.
5) Look at the language - alliteration, onomatopoeia, pathetic fallacy, metaphor... discussion of any of these and the effect they have on the imagery (and therefore the audience). Use quotations. Also look at single words and sentence structure - short sentences = tend to have a dramatic impact, whereas longer sentences are used to develop imagery.
6) 'Burger method' or PEE: Point, Evidence, Explain. Make your point, back it up with a quote and then explain how the quote backs up your point. Good 'burgers' = higher marks.
7) AVOID CLICHE! We were moderating out GCSE work today, and boy, did we have a laugh because of the cliches everyone was using...
8) Re read your work to check if it makes sense. You get marks for basic spelling, punctuation and grammar.
9) Try to use varied punctuation - try to use semi colons and colons. Don;t forget capital letters after full stops.
10) PARAGRAPHS!

and again

PARAGRAPHS!

Without paragraphs, you can only get a D.

I hope this helps a bit!

Holy crap Elysia. :D Thank you so much. Are you really a teacher?:)

Elysia
18-04-06, 18:25
Holy crap Elysia. :D Thank you so much. Are you really a teacher?:)
;) That I am. And you're perfectly welcome. :)