From Book Notes to Book Reports

Writing papers and book reports has long been the bane of high school and college students' existence. It seems that no matter how hard you work to stay caught up, there is always a paper due tomorrow. Using book notes to help get the ideas flowing can save you time, heartache, and the stress of getting a bad grade.

There are many styles and formats available now, but a book note typically includes a summary of a literary work, commentary on the subject matter and deeper meaning of the passages, and biographical information about the author. The best book notes are written by qualified people (i.e. a college degree in literature, or in the academic area the book note is covering). Most importantly, the book note you choose should be easy for you to use ? after all, if the information is just as difficult to find in the book note as it is in the book, what's the point?

When to use Book Notes

Book notes can help you out with more than just book reports. They provide valuable information you can use to write a paper about an author, philosopher, society, or culture. Let's say you had to write a paper about nineteenth century Russian culture. You gather together a lot of information about what was going on politically, what kind of figures were popular, what the economy was like, etc. Imagine the authenticity you could add to your essay by including even a small part about Leo Tolstoy, a prominent Russian author from the nineteenth century.

Providing information connected to a specific person makes the essay much more enjoyable to read, and showcases your ability to provide breadth and depth of research. Naturally, it is not necessary for you to read all of Tolstoy's works to know enough about him to include a piece in your essay. A book note on one of his masterpieces will usually contain enough information for you to apply what you learn to your more general topic.

How to use a Book Note

The most important thing to remember about using book notes is they are not intended to be substitutes for reading the real book. You will miss out on the opportunity to read some of the greatest works of literature if you only read their book notes. Try reading the book note chapter by chapter after you read that chapter in the book. This helps confirm the ideas you come up with on your own, and will point out new ideas while the reading is still fresh in your mind.

Alternatively, you could also try reading the summary of each chapter before reading the chapter in the book. This will help direct your reading to find the things that are most important in each chapter, and will help you find new ideas that either agree or disagree with the ideas discussed in the book note.

When you sit down to write your paper, having already gone over the reading and the summary, you will have an arsenal of ideas on which you can rely to start writing the paper. Very rarely will you receive an essay assignment that is answered perfectly by the information in the book note, so you'll have to pour some of your own thoughts into your paper.

Where to find Book Notes

The best things in life are not always free, but there are a lot of free resources available now online. The three best places I have found for book notes are SparkNotes.com, CliffNotes.com, and PinkMonkey.com. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so try each one out until you find the one that works best with your style.

Nick Smith is a client account specialist with 10x Marketing - More Visitors. More Buyers. More Revenue. For software that lets you organize and annotate your book notes, check out Agilix GoBinder.

In The News:

Opinion | Why I Write  The New York Times

Rules for Getting the Story Down

1. Write it fast, fix it later.2. Commit to writing... Read More

You Cant Always Believe What You See On Your Computer Screen

You may not remember this, but in the early days... Read More

Every Result is an Asset

Not long ago, I went to an Internet Marketing Seminar.... Read More

Does Your Plot Suit Your Characters And Vice-Versa?

Creative Writing Tips ?When an idea comes to us for... Read More

The Psychology Of Effortless Writing

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of... Read More

A Plan

All writers should use a plan whether written or reflected.... Read More

The Myths of Writing: Have You Bought Into These?

There is an image most people carry of the artist... Read More

A Perfect Day for Writers

In one of the exercises in my "Getting Started as... Read More

Have You Tested Your Theme Against Your Plot?

Creative Writing Tips ?How we usually begin the preparation stage... Read More

Dreading the Writing Assignment? Outlines to the Rescue

Writing technical articles is a challenge. There you sit, surrounded... Read More

A Writers Inner Battle

There is a psychological nuisance so powerful that can deflate... Read More

Top Ten Writing Mistakes Made By New Childrens Writers

Okay. So I'm not David Letterman. But I doubt if... Read More

Idea Mining for Writers 101

Want to write an article or book, but are stuck... Read More

Business Writing: 10 Great Authors

Great business writers combine narrative skills with sound judgment to... Read More

Building a Character Wall

For any great novelist, defining your cast of intriguing characters... Read More

How To Write Your Book Within A Week

Everyone has a book inside them, or so the saying... Read More

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Generate Story Ideas

There are many ways you can generate ideas you can... Read More

Whose Story Is It?

Whenever you sit down to plot a story (or even... Read More

7 Devastating Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Writing engaging articles and energizing ad copy takes... Read More

On Writing and Poetry: Harry Calhoun in Conversation

"This is just brilliant. The whole interview is incredible? I'm?... Read More

New Year Resolutions for Writers - The Best Kind to Make and How to Keep Them

On the first day of a bright and shiny new... Read More

Strategies For Finding Topics To Write About

What possibly could I have to write about? I never... Read More

The Hard Facts About Editing

Whether you're interviewing for a new job, trying to woo... Read More

Write That Down! Compulsively Collecting Content for Your Writing

Have you ever read someone else's writing and thought one... Read More

What is Screenwriting?

Simply put, it is the art of writing scripts for... Read More