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Writing a Book Report

-- in the Harry Potter Saga --

Making Your Report Easy

There are six completed SCARPnotes (Spark Notes, Cliff Notes or Book Summaries) for the Harry Potter Books; namely: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Philosopher's Stone), the Goblet of Fire, the Order of the Phoenix and the Half-Blood prince, and Deathly Hallows Others are in production.

You will notice that they are the most complete and extensive of any on the web and have meticulously been authored to include all of the major plots and sub-plots. Some phrases have been highlighted which mean they are a "key component" of the saga. Also, some phrases have been marked with quotes, to indicate they came directly from the books, and can be used to add "color" to the report that you write. There are also many "definition" links on selected words.

As with all summaries like these, they must be read very carefully; because, most sentences contain at least 3 -5 thoughts! Think of SCARPnotes like someone having read the book thoroughly, underlining all the key parts, then printing a list of only the underlined parts.

We know that a book report usually requires a fair amount of time to complete. There are ways to shorten the difficulties, however. If you follow the steps below, along with your teachers instructions for style, you should be able to complete your report with a minimum amount of difficulty.

[When you're finished, Email me a copy (and the grade you received) and I will acknowledge your effort on this site and, if you desire, try and post access to it for others to see.]

Steps to a great book report or theme.

Here are the steps in using this site to write your report:

  • Read the book-- It must be said that there is no substitute for actually reading the book. Do not, under any circumstances, write a report from only viewing the MOVIE. All of the movies have been so severely condensed and altered that it is not difficult at all for a teacher to spot a "movie report" from a book report.
  • Follow your teachers instructions for style-- Highlight his/her instructions into a "find list" of items which you should look for while you are reading. Or you could write them on a sticky note to remind yourself as you read.
  • Then... Read the SCARPnotes-- Each sentence is so full of information that you will probably read it more slowly; but, each 30 page book chapter, is summarized in about 3 paragraphs! A great time savings. If you have read the SCARPnotes carefully, you should understand the book and all the important subplots.
  • Use 3 by 5 cards, or paper-- to write down the items you are looking for - or the exact location of where to find them. Also, while you are at it, record any interesting character names, word definitions or quotes which would add more "color" to your report.
  • Use the "Harry Potter's Pensieve" companion web site for additional reference. For example use the "Description" page -- to find character names in much more colorful detail. The descriptions come from ALL of the books, so be careful to look at the book source listing and only quote from the correct book number. For example looking up "Harry Potter" will reveal all the descriptions given about Harry, in all the books. You can also find more information about him in his listing on the "Persons" page.
  • Give credit where it is due-- Be sure and correctly give the reference to this web site in your "list of references." The correct citation, in the MLA format, is given below:

Using the above approach will improve your grade -- in addition to helping you understand the book a lot better.