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How to write a book report

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Writing a book report can be hectic. It might explain why many students do not like such assignments. It requires much critical thinking and getting a deeper understanding of what is in the book.

Creative book reports are written differently than traditional ones, and they have a different format as well. In order to complete this type of book report, students will be required to showcase their creativity in many ways rather than just choosing what they read about and then presenting it in an organized manner. This is where you can really see how much effort your child has put into completing the assignment for you, since it requires them looking at things from multiple angles instead of just focusing on one subject. You should let them know that it can be considered important research work if done right and that’s precisely why they need to take their time and give as much detail as possible.

In this article, let us discuss the question of how to write a book report. We will look keenly at every aspect involved. Read on and learn the tips and steps of writing a book report.

What is a book report?

A book report is a written composition or oral presentation that describes, summarizes, and evaluates a work of fiction or nonfiction. Book reports can be a little bit more creative – instead of writing about the characters and plot separately, you could have students illustrate one of the scenes in the book using words! For example, if they were reading The Great Gatsby, they could write about what Jay Gatsby’s mansion looked like to them while reading it.

You could also have students describe themselves while thinking through the mind of the character – so for this example, they’d think from Jay’s perspective and describe how rich his life was compared to their own. This would allow students to learn about the world through his eyes while also practicing creative writing skills.

A book report is almost similar to a book review. The main difference is that; while a book review summarizes the contents, a book report gives a more in-depth analysis of the same book. Writing book reports aims to help the student build on their communication skills and help them express themselves better.

Book report writing tips

  1. Choose a book to analyze unless instructed otherwise; choose a book that you like and enjoy reading. One that will not feel like a task.
  2. Know the audience to whom you will write the report. It helps in the choice of words.
  3. Read the book. Read that again. In doing a book report, there is no way around it. Reading the book from A to Z is a must.
  4. Pre-write. As you read, take note of the necessary information like title, author’s name, date of publication, etc. Also note the more important information like the theme, the main idea, plot, characters, and writing techniques used in the book.
  5. Choose your focus points. From the book, select what you will include in your report. It can be quotations or questions. Note the specific chapters to support the points.
  6. Do an outline of the report.

How to write a book report step by step guide

Writing a book report can be a lot of fun. It gives you a chance to read a new book and then tell your teacher and friends what you thought about it.

Step 1: Read the book

Before you start to write, take some time to read over the book and make some notes about what you’ll want to say in your review. Your reading notes will not be included in the final review, but they help keep track of ideas for things like quotes or topics that other people have discussed in reviews of similar works. Looking at these other reviews might give you some good ideas for how much time or space should be spent on each aspect of the book (characters, plot, setting, etc.).

Step 2: Create an Outline

After reading the book, it is essential that you create a book report outline. This should include basic details such as the title and author of the work; the publisher if you know it; when and where it was published; who will be interested in reading about this work (this is your target audience); and a brief summary of what happens in each chapter. Once you’ve created an outline, fill in some more details for each section or paragraph (this may be discussed later).

Step 3: Writing Your Body Paragraphs

Start with a good introductory sentence to grab your reader’s attention – this can include a quote from the book, or something interesting from the first paragraph. After this, start to address each part of your outline:

  • Introduction: This is the first thing people will read. It should include some background information (author, title, publisher), as well as a brief summary of what happens throughout the book. Here you also want to entice readers so they’ll keep reading.
  • Characters: In this section, talk about the major characters in the book and how significant they are – deciding if they’re developed or flat characters. Don’t reveal too much – don’t give away important plot details that happen later on in the story!
  • Summary: Quickly list all of the main events in order – think in terms of “plot”. Make sure you conclude with what happens as a result of each event.
  • Setting: Where does the action take place? Is it well described? Are there any historical events or time periods that are pertinent to the book? What kind of mood is created by the setting – does it reinforce any ideas from the story? Does learning about this setting make you want to visit (or live in!) this place yourself?
  • Point of View: Whose eyes/minds do we see and think through during the most important scenes – what is their role in these events, beyond relating them to us at some later point?
  • Theme and Symbols: A theme is a very general idea explored throughout a work (for example, greed can be a theme in a book about the Gold Rush). A symbol is something that represents an idea or theme – for example, water may represent life in a story about pirates.

You should also briefly mention if there are any themes not explored (or at least not as deeply as you would have liked) – if there were, what they might have been and why they weren’t included.

Other Aspects: Finally, talk about anything else that stood out to you in this book. Did it make you think of other books? Did it remind you of real events going on right now? How does reading this book compare to your expectations? Don’t forget to include any questions or ideas that arose during your reading – critique the author’s choices and mention what you might have done differently.

Step 4: Concluding Paragraphs

A strong conclusion is key to making your review memorable and exciting! Here are a few things you can do to round it off:

  • Summarize your main points – this will help readers remember the main parts of your review, and provide a basic outline of what they should expect if they decide to read the book. You may want to use some quotes from other reviews at this point since it’s often useful and illustrative for readers.
  • Mention how well written the book was – did it flow easily? Were there any editing mistakes or typos? Did you notice anything about the style that stood out? If you’re not sure how to answer these questions, look for quotes from reviews by people who have read the book.
  • Recommend or don’t recommend the book based on your personal opinions.

Step 5: Editing and Proofreading

This is probably the most important step – it’s easy to overlook things when you’re too close to a work. Be careful that all of your facts are correct – if they aren’t, cite your source and fix any errors. Make sure there are no grammar mistakes or typos. Finally, try reading through what you’ve written out loud – this will help catch missing words and make sure everything sounds clear and interesting!

Book report outline

Since this is an essay, it will fall under the following outline;


As in traditional reports, students need to make sure they include the basic information about the composition. This includes things like the title of the work, author’s name, genre, publication date, and some sort of an introduction which describes what category it falls into (it can be a creative writing project , etc.). Students should also include a thesis statement here stating that they are reviewing “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green .

Body Paragraphs:

Since this is a creative writing assignment you’ll want to avoid taking too much information from the back of the book, though you can certainly use it as a reference guide for ideas. When writing about specific characters or certain events in the plot, make sure your student is reviewing what they liked or disliked about all of these elements. Almost every paragraph should be focusing on a different part of the work – so each one could have a separate element (character, theme, etc.) that it addresses and comments on.

Conclusion Paragraph:

A book report conclusion paragraph should wrap things up by saying what you think overall about the entire composition including its strengths and weaknesses. You could also include an original idea at this point if your child feels like sharing something that he has thought up!

This format may seem intimidating at first, but it’s really not that hard if you dedicate some time to coming up with a good plan before beginning. Creative writing projects are not for everyone, so remember this and try to encourage your child without pushing him/her too much or else it can become too stressful. Think of it as helping them prepare for the real-life professional field they are about to enter – nothing more!

Highlight what points include in each part. Write down the supporting pieces of evidence for each point. Estimate the word count for every part, depending on the overall word count of the whole essay. Overall, the introduction and conclusion both account for 10% of the whole essay. It means to write as many details in the body as possible. Let it fully support the thesis statement.

Write the report. With the help of the outline, start writing the report. Follow the essay structure in your writing.



In the introduction, catch the reader’s attention. Use a rhetorical question or a quote. Then give necessary information about the book like the title, the number of pages, the author’s name, the year of publication, etc. Write your thesis statement the main idea of the essay.

The body of the essay

it is the heart of the book report. It answers on expounds more on the thesis stamen. Here you present a more in-depth overview of the book. It is advisable to split the body into three or more paragraphs; in each paragraph, discuss one of the critical points selected from the book. Still in the body, state the writing techniques, choice of characters, and the plot. Give your views on the book. Remember to have evidence from the book to support your views. In each paragraph, ensure you have a strong opening sentence tells the reader what the paragraph is discussing.


In conclusion, summarize everything state if the book is an excellent recommendation to others. Write your opinions on it. Restate the thesis statement. Remember to follow the directions of the instructor.

  1. Use the write formatting style as required, such as APA, MLA, CHICAGO, HARVARD.
  2. Proofread and edit. Go through the report, and check on grammatical errors, ensure there is a flow. Do a comprehensive revision and edit it. Make the necessary structural changes. All this aims at improving the quality of the paper.
  3. One can also use pictures to write a book report. They help one understand better. However, use the most relevant pictures that align with the essay.

When writing a book report, ensure to give a comprehensive report on the book. One achieves by reading the book thoroughly. Pick the necessary information to use in the body. The body should be fully detailed.


Creative Book Report Format

A good college book report will have 3 sections which include: Introduction, Body of Report, and Conclusion.

  1. The Introduction: The first thing that needs to be written is the introduction. This section should include basic information on the book such as its name, author, publication details, publishing date etc., it could also contain an interesting fact about the author.
  2. Body of Report: This is where you write your summary of what has been written in the book. The summary does not have to be lengthy and it must capture the main idea of what has been written in the book but not too much information.
  3. Conclusion : This is the last section of your report where you draw a final conclusion based on all that has been discussed in the body of report. You write about whether you strongly feel that this book should be recommended to others or not. You could also write on the impact of the book on you or your stand and opinion in light of what has been provided in the book.

How long should a book report be?

The length of your book report paper should depend on the type and complexity of your project and exactly how much work you have put into it. When deciding how long a book report should be, you should first of all determine the requirements set by your teacher.

For instance, your book report might need to be a minimum or maximum number of pages long, written in a particular format and have a different maximum character count for each section. You will usually find these specific instructions on an assignment sheet that is provided to students by their instructor during the first few weeks of school or sometimes even at the beginning of a semester. You should be able to find these instructions on your course syllabus as well which should have been handed out during the first week or two of class and contain all assignments due and their respective dates, times, locations, number of pages that need to be completed by hand, etc.

When you have determined the length requirements for your book report, all you need to do is decide which one of our paper options would best suit your needs. This way, when we get asked “how long should a book report be?”, we can tell you exactly how long it takes us to complete various custom types and just how many of these can you expect to receive.

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