How to Write a Great School Report

How to Write a Great School Report - cover

How to Write a Great School Report
James and Barkin

Submitter: We found this on the shelves at our public library this year, and kept it as an example for staff. The sections on how to find information in a physical card catalog, and how to format a paper – handwritten in cursive; would not be particularly helpful to students writing a report today. The instructions are pre-Internet, so a number of problems if a student today tried to use it for a reference.

Holly: Oh good, just what our high school and college patrons need! Never mind those pesky library databases that we spend thousands on, and don’t bother with word processing software either. Heck, changes in citation styles are probably just “suggestions” too. What could possibly go wrong if a student uses this for report-writing help?


Writing sample

Catalog cards


  1. I still miss card catalogs, though. For one thing, librarians often included hand-written notes on them, or there were little synopses. And they listed an author’s books in publication order! I’ve used three different library systems on a fairly consistent basis since the death of card catalogs, and none of them would allow me to sort results in publication order. (Budget constraints, y’know.)

  2. OPALS (mostly for school libraries) lets you sort author’s works by publication date. Most newer records that are uploaded have a summary included. You may have to click on the item itself to find the summary—the summary doesn’t show in the initial hit list. Ask your librarian about where to find all the search features…each system is different.

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