How To Write A Book Report: A Detailed Guide For All Scholars

how to write a book report

Are you stuck in the middle of writing your book report? We understand; homework can be challenging at times, especially when it requires you to come up with information you have no idea.

Book reports are similar to reviews but focus more on a personal summary than a general evaluation. Reports describe the happenings in the book, with the primary focus being the plot, characters, and main idea.

Book reports do not need to be tough; they are a great tool to help you practice giving your opinion about different aspects. That’s why your teacher gives you this homework as early as elementary school to help you. Using the helpful guide below, you can progress from having no clue to writing book reports of any type, from non-fiction to fiction.

What Is A Book Report?

A book report is a detailed review summarising a particular book according to the reader’s view. When writing a book report, the reader shares their thoughts and opinions about a story, novel or other literary work.

Book reports can take on many forms like plot summaries, theme analyses, and character analyses which are the most effective types. You will choose what type to write according to the kind of homework your teacher gives.

The easiest way to write a book report is first to read the book. You will have major problems if you don’t take the time to read it. As much as you are tested on your ability to air your view about the characters, plot, or theme, you cannot make up things not included in the book. Let’s face it, book reports can be boring, especially when the book is not interesting, but you will need to get the right help to pass those exams.

You can write book reports of any type, but there are fundamental elements you will need to include to make it more interesting to the reader. Here is what to include in a book report

A book report may include:

  • The title of the book
  • Year of publication
  • Author’s name
  • The genre of the book
  • The plot or theme of the book
  • A summary of the key points
  • The reader’s summary review of the book – both pros and cons with brief quotations from the book

Remember to always format your work by putting quotation marks around direct quotations, bolding the keywords and subtitles, and underlining the sayings. These simple things earn you those extra marks, as the teacher will see your dedication to writing perfect book reports.

What Is the Structure Of A Book Report?

The structure of a book report needs to have a few essential aspects that focus on the exact book without deviating from the topic. You cannot just write a summary of ideas without a guiding plan, as it will not be attractive.

So what does a book report look like? A book report structure needs to have the following aspects:

  1. Introduction: Start your book report with a catchy introduction to keep them reading. A quote or a direct quotation from the book could be a part of the intro. Include vital information about the book, including the title, genre, author, publication year, etc. You can also add a comment on why you chose to read this book; for example, it is written by one of your favorite authors, etc.
  2. Plot and Theme Details: A plot is a sequence of events that create the book’s story. The plot documents the crucial details of the storyline in a series of events. The plot is critical as it breaks down the storyline to the reader before reading the book. Therefore, it has to be exact and follow the sequence of the narrative. You can opt to detail the major plot events of the book or include both major and minor.
  3. Characters: With the plot documented, it’s time to delve into the characters and their details. These constitute a significant feature of the book, making it a great or terrible read. You can write about the main characters of the book describing their roles. You can also write about your most and least favorite characters and key factors in the book. If necessary, you may include their relationship to the plot and what makes it interesting to read about them.
  4. Summary: This is where you summarise some of the significant happenings in the book in a paragraph or two. Make it as detailed as possible so the reader will have a clear book outline once they read this summary. This summary should primarily focus on the important information and ignore the less important details for a more direct approach.
  5. Conclusion: Finally, you can give your final thoughts about the book. Summarise the thoughts you have presented in the above structure and give your opinion of the book. You can write a few sentences or an entire paragraph, depending on how much you want to share. However, don’t repeat what you have shared in the above steps. You would rather have a short conclusion straight to the point than repeat everything you have already discussed.

how to write a book report

Steps To Writing a Book Report

There are steps you should follow when writing a book report to help you incorporate the right elements. These steps include:

  • Read the Book as You Highlight the Important Parts and Take Notes

    The first step to writing a good book report is to read the particular book. Take time to read the book noting the characters, themes, or events you would like to discuss in the report. Highlight anything that stands out or that evokes emotions. Write notes on the major plots of the book and what you think about them. Add sticky notes if need be to help you remember where you came across the major points. Be sure to be as thorough to make it easy when noting down the report.

  • Draft Your Book Report

    Once you finish reading the book, it’s time to make a draft using all the notes and highlights you prepared. If your book report is a class assignment, review the teacher’s or professor’s instructions again before writing. Find out what you are supposed to write about – a plot summary? A character analysis? Remember also to follow any formatting guidelines you may have received.

  • Organize Your Thoughts and Create a Book Report Outline or Structure

    Once your draft is ready, it’s time to be more organized. Start by creating an outline or a structure of your book report to create paragraphs. Organize the notes and highlights into categories according to the structure to help you write the report quickly. As you start writing down your thoughts, be flexible and edit to create a better flow.

  • Write a Catchy Introduction

    The introduction should always stand out as it’s the first part the reader interacts with. Make it informative and catchy with a quote from the book or an unusual observation. Add a sentence or two about the book. Don’t forget to explain how exactly you will be writing the rest of the report.

  • Include quotations, examples, and supporting evidence from the book in the main body.

    The body is where you add all the information you want to share about this book. Include examples, quotations, and other supporting evidence to bring your report together. Add your sentiments in the body on why you agree or disagree with a plot or character. Include specific scenarios that support your view to help the reader see the point.

    Remember to include evidence to support your argument anytime you agree or disagree with the author. It will feed the reader with the argument and compelling evidence backed by points. Always start and end with the strongest points, leaving the weaker ones for the middle section. You can also comment on tone and style in non-fiction and fiction writing.

  • Conclude the Report With a Main Point

    The end of the matter is as important as the beginning! Be sure to conclude your report with a main point that will leave your readers wanting more or rushing over to read the book. Pull all your arguments from the body together and briefly summarize the main idea using a few sentences.

  • Finally, Edit and Proofread Your Work

    With everything drafted, it’s time to proofread as you make any edits required. Move around any paragraphs to improve the flow of your report. Add any evidence you may still need to back up your claims. Recheck your intro to see if it’s captivating. Look for typos, punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes. You can opt to use a language tool like Grammarly Checker to help you with an extra set of eyes. This will help you correct all types of errors at an advanced level.

How To Write A Good Book Report For Different School Levels

The components of a book report differ depending on the level of academics. Here are some tips that students can use when writing book reports at different levels of study.

Elementary or Primary School

Most students will start writing an introductory book report as early as 3rd grade. At this stage, everything should be basic and straightforward. Here is the book report format to follow

  • Add the title of the book and the author
  • Mention the characters
  • Write a summary of the plot
  • Add a personal opinion

For older students who are in fourth grade upwards, they can include

  • Details like author, title, genre, number of pages
  • The book summary
  • Description of the main character
  • Personal opinion

Middle School

Middle school students in 7th grade and above are more knowledgeable than the elementary and can manage to write a more detailed book report. Here is the book report format they can follow

  • Add the book title, the author, and the context
  • Create a catchy introduction
  • Add the plot summary
  • Add your recommendation

High School

For high schoolers who want some tips on how to write a book report according to their level, this format will help you.

  • Read the book and write down the main ideas
  • Create an outline
  • Add the title and author in the book report introduction
  • Write about the key characters
  • Summarize key events and themes
  • Finalize with your thoughts

College Students

If you are looking for a format for college students, this here could help you. Here is a design you could follow

  • Understand the professor’s requirements
  • Read the book and take notes
  • Follow the format given by the professor
  • Add an introduction plus the bibliography information
  • Write a detailed summary
  • Finish with a conclusion of personal thoughts

University Students

These are professionals who can write high-quality, unique book reports. Their book report guide may feature

  • Understand the professor’s instructions
  • Read the book and take notes
  • Write a detailed introduction, including the bibliography information
  • Add the summary while quoting the evidence
  • Add a conclusion with your thoughts

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How do you write a book report?

You write a book report by focusing on the instructions provided and following the outline to ensure you capture all the details required without fail. You can use a casual or professional tone to summarize your review depending on the type of book report example.

How do you start a book report?

You start a book report by writing a perfect introduction to the book that will make the reader want to read more. Remember to add details about the book’s title, author, genre, and other essential information. Don’t forget to add your comment that will create an inspiring opening.

What should a book report have?

A book report (for an English assignment, for example) should include the book’s title, the author’s name, a detailed introduction, the context, a character description, a detailed summary, and your reading report. Remember to back up all your arguments with evidence quoted directly from the book.

How do you complete a book report?

You complete a book report by writing the conclusion part as the last section of a book report. The conclusion should depict your judgment in an interesting and fun way featuring the storyline. Remember to avoid repeating yourself by mentioning what you have already discussed in the report.

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