What is a reading report?

We explain what a reading report is and the steps to do it. An example of a report on The Little Prince and links to other examples.

  1. What is a reading report?

A reading report or reading report is a type of school composition , consisting of an expository and / or argumentative text , which is written around the reading experience of a specific book . It is one of the most common assignments of the contemporary educational process, usually in the subjects of language, Spanish, English, and other similar subjects.

Broadly speaking, a reading report consists of an explanation – not necessarily a summary – of the content of the book, in which you can also explain which parts of it were the most interesting, which aspects were the most striking, what opinions produced us or even what we didn’t like so much and why.

It is not a task that has a unique answer. Often the specific information on the content of the book (such as its main and secondary characters ) is not as important as the thoughts of the person making the report, since the specific information can be obtained easily, without going through the experience of reading a complete book and formulate your own opinion.

This is due to the fact that a reading report is not only considered to verify that we read the book, but also to test our ability to understand the work , interpret it or simply give an opinion on it.

However, the specific information in the book must also be included. It is important to differentiate between:

  • Narrator : It’s who tells the story.
  • Characters : They are those who act in it, being primary and secondary.
  • Plot : These are the events that occur.

It is also important to manage the editorial data of the work: what is its editorial, in what year it was published, who is its author and where and when he was born (and died, if the case). This is the minimum information that cannot be missing in a reading report.

Reading reports are also the comments that professional readers make for publishing houses , in which they evaluate the content of a manuscript and recommend or not its publication.

  1. Steps to prepare a reading report

The steps to prepare a reading report can be summarized in:

  • Read the book in its entirety, ideally marking or writing down in a notebook the parts that we liked the most or that most caught our attention.
  • Review the booklet, and think about why we liked what we wrote down or what things caught our attention. It is also useful to think about what other books remind us, what thoughts inspired us or if it has some kind of link with what we know about the author’s life.
  • In case we have not already done so, it is always useful to investigate a bit : did the book win prizes? At what time did it appear? How was the life of its author? What is usually said about the work?
  • Finally, we must organize our ideas in a coherent text , going from the most general to the most specific. For this, it is possible to choose a single theme from those that appeared in the previous stages, or we can take a tour of the parts that we liked most of the work, explaining why, or we can even say what we did not find so good , and because. It is essential to argue that kind of opinion.
  • Reading reports do not usually have an introduction or conclusions , or at least not formally, but we can use an initial paragraph to introduce the work (who wrote it, when, in what context) and a final paragraph to offer a conclusion (our opinion of the work, for example).
  1. How to make a reading report of The Little Prince

As an example, we will review how a reading report could be made of the short novel The Little Prince (1943) by the French author and also aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), guiding us through the steps detailed above.

  • The indispensable first step would be to read The Little Prince . It is a short novel , and is usually accompanied by beautiful illustrations by the author, so it is not difficult to take some notes while we read it, even to mark the chapters that we were most excited about , or at least ask what characters we liked the most . Suppose that in this case we choose to talk about the fox.
  • The fox appears in several of the chapters of the final part of The Little Prince, when just the little prince steps on Earth. So we can ask ourselves: What interested us most about that episode? Which of the phrases said by the fox, for example, did we like best? What other episode of the book reminded us of the arrival of the fox, either by similarity or by difference? Do we notice any special features in the way of writing this episode? And the rest of the book?
  • Once the notes and even the textual quotes of the episode of the fox and any other that interest us are taken, we can begin to organize our ideas . A first introductory paragraph is always a good idea, telling about the interesting life of Saint-Exupéry and when he wrote his work, especially if what has been said has any relation to the theme of the fox, which will be our central theme of the report.
  • Once the introductory paragraph is written, we will look for a way to go straight to talk about the fox episode. How to do it? We can list the characters that appear and then say that the fox was the most interesting and why, or we can go straight to the point and explain that, of the whole book, the episodes of the fox seemed the most beautiful, or the most important philosophically, or perhaps the most difficult to understand. The important thing is that, whatever we say, always explain why, and if possible give examples of it (there we will use the textual quotes).
  • Finally, after talking about the book in general and the episode of the fox in particular, we will be able to elaborate the closing paragraph or conclusions, where we will go back to what was said a bit and round off our reading of The Little Prince . Here we will say what the work seemed to us in general, we will say with what other works we relate it or what we learned after reading it, or even after finding out about the author and seeing ourselves in the obligation to think about the connections between his life and the novel. Everything is valid, as long as we can explain our feelings to the reader and proceed one step at a time, in a coherent and cohesive manner.
  1. Other examples of reading report

Below we offer other reading reports to serve as an example, but not before reminding you that plagiarism is always easy to verify and that you miss a lot if you don’t read the work and if you don’t allow yourself to think about what made you feel and think , whatever it is.

  • Reading report of the story “The feather cushion” by Horacio Quiroga.
  • Reading report of the book “The world of Sofia” by Jostein Gaardner.
  • Reading report of the book “The Psychoanalyst” by John Katzenbach.

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