How to Write a Book Report

How to Write a Book Report

In academic institutions, the assignments tend to vary depending on the subject and skills a student is expected to acquire. For example, in chemistry, you'll be tasked with balancing chemical equations and doing lab experiments just so to learn more about chemical reactions while in history you'll read more on the various happenings that occurred in the past to find some possible connections to the present happenings. Coming up with book reports are among some of the assignments you'll be tasked with in school. Have you ever been tasked with writing a book report? Stay with us as we delve into how to write one.

What are Book Reports?

A book report is a text, presentation or written piece that usually functions to discuss, summarize or evaluate the contents in a text. They are mostly assigned to students to assess their skills in content analysis. Most schools use this exercise as a principle to tell if the student has best understood the assigned book.

Before we go ahead to look at some of the excelling tips on how to write a book report, it would be best if we first look at the comparison between book report and review for you to tell the difference.

When tasked with an assignment to write a book report, what the instructor requires you to do is write an essay that captures the critical information on the book's plot and author. The submitted essay should contain information about the author's biography; here you'll look at their level of education, where they live and many more. This will help the reader with comprehending the perspective of the writer. After which, you'll now go ahead and write on the book's summary while keeping in mind the following details; the plot, climax, setting, not forgetting the crucial characters in the book.

However, if the instruction requires you to come up with a book review, then here you're just needed to do a detailed analysis of the whole book. The primary challenge students' face when it comes to this is that they end up narrating the whole story again and by this, you'll have strayed from the topic. Just be smart enough and give a brief overview of some of the key aspects in the book that one could get if they brush through the book.

The goal of a book review is for you to bring out the author's intent and some of the key aspects that contribute significantly to the book's purpose and overall understanding. Not forgetting, you go ahead and touch on some of the book's shortcomings and it's relation to the society. Having said this, we bet you're now aware that a book review is more comprehensive and deep whereas a book report is a brief overview on the author's plot, characters, biography, and perspective. Look out for this, and to best cope with this, you can read a guideline on how to write a book report college level - that's where we come in!

Structure of a Book Report

This can help ease the work for you and even better save time that can be spent on sharpening other vital components of the book report. You are about to begin writing, what should you consider first? Are you in a position to tell what to note and what not to? We have with us a working sample on how to write a book report college level format structure to keep you informed about what's expected;

The following has been arranged in order of occurrence, be cautious of that;

  • To begin with, write the title and publication dates
  • Author's information or at times you could as well write the instructor's details
  • The book's genre; here you could tell your audience whether it's a fiction, fantasy, memoir and so on
  • Other vital details on the book that you feel to mention
  • Give a brief overview of the book's summary and essential themes that arise. Make it short, at most six sentences
  • Important ideas the author has mentioned in the book
  • Subsequently, go on to mention the characters and expound on the major themes but don't go too deep
  • Make book quotations to back the conclusions you settled for

This is not all if you're in a position to add more information about the book, feel free to do so as long as you stay relevant to avoid excess. Be logical and sensible always. An excelling book report should possess the following components;

  • Word count above 100 words, not exceeding 1500 words
  • Background information on the author and other critical details
  • The highs and lows of the book
  • Expound on the role of the main characters in the book and their role
  • Plot summary

Tips for Writing a Book Report

With the above knowledge we've given you on some of the critical comparisons between a book review and report, you're now in an excellent position to tell the difference. Let's now shift our focus on how to write a book report high school.

This experience can at times be quite challenging to many students, but this shouldn't scare you a bit for with the tips we're going to give you will set you in perfect motion to get the work done. Let's make it easier for you. We've taken our time to make it as simple as possible to ease understanding:

1) Before Writing

The first step to answering the question of how to write a book report high school entails figuring out what the assignment asks of you. For you to do so, you should go through the instructions to confirm whether the instructor is asking you to write a book report or a book review. Trust us; you wouldn't want to lose marks over some petty mistakes like writing a book review instead of a report, we both don't want that. As you read the instructions, take note of crucial requirements of the assignment; the expected format to use, the expected word count, citation styles and so on. While at this, keep in mind the overall purpose of the exercise.

Have your tools nearby; this cannot and shouldn't be taken for granted or else you'll end up regretting no good reason. What you require is a pen and piece of paper to help you note down some of the critical points when analyzing the book.

Read the book; the essay summary you'll be writing will be based on the book you just read. Hence, you're expected to ensure this is appropriately done. An excellent way to do this is to create a good environment for your reading; libraries work best, or maybe your room. Take your time, nobody is rushing you as long as you stay on schedule, plus instructors typically give enough time to the students. Best comprehending the book is the gateway to your book report's success.

Make a note of crucial information; some information can be very import while others can be very challenging requiring you to note it down for further referencing;

  • What significant event took place in the book?
  • What is the frequency of the major themes that come up in the book?
  • What's so interesting that you can't resist the urge to highlight?
  • How were the characters introduced?
  • What's the author's perspective?

While taking note of such, note down the page number to ease with referencing. If, for instance, you're the book's author, highlight significant passages that might help with spicing your report. A quick hack is to use sticky notes - they've proven effective over time. The book's setting is also crucial; the background of events, where they took place -village, inside the house, in parliament. Is the scene in a closed space or outdoors?

Draft an outline; when it comes to how to write a book report university level, outlines should indeed be considered. This is just a guided arrangement on how the final report ought to be organized. This shouldn't be fixed. Instead, a good outline should be open to necessary changes and arising ideas that might contribute significantly to your book report excelling. The whole essence of a book report outline is to help with time management as the structure will have made the work easier. Before you move on, revisit your book report outline and ensure the flow is systematic and is as required. Make the necessary deletions should there need be. Stay logical and be sensible.

How to write a book report university level outline should have the author's information, key characters, setting, and the book's plot. Necessary quotations can help with sending the right message of "I read the book, and this caught my eye" Number of quotations should be limited, at most one per paragraph. Don't capture everything in the book, for that will mean retelling the whole story. A summary not exceeding 1500 words should be enough to get your message home. Not all characters and events are to mention, look out for the major ones which the book can't do without and leave the rest for the author.

2) The Writing Process

Shall we now get started with how to write a book report university level?

Begin with an introduction

The starting paragraph should be as interesting as it can be. It is a magnet to attract your instructor into reading and concentrating on your paper. The instructor will have lots of papers to mark and any sign of a boring essay will the end of the marking. The introduction on how to write a book report on a textbook should mention the author's information and at the end give a summary sentence of the whole book. This should be at most six sentences.

Expound on the book set

How to write a book report on a textbook setting should be included in the body part. This is where the book report outline you previously drafted comes in. Whenever you begin your body text by describing the book's setting, you create a mood for all that is to go in the essay. Mention the locations with detail, for instance, if it's in a mental asylum, mention the name of the facility and its environs -land markings, scenery.

A general summary of the book's plot; the book events should be captured in a summarized form. The notes and outlines you came up with should be of help in such instances. Stay on the essential parts and events that play significant roles in the book's outcome. What impact did the events have on some of the critical characters in the book? How did they manage the situations? For instance, the events that took place in the mental asylum and how the patients handled the situation. Quotations wherever necessary!

Make known the key players

The principal characters should be highlighted with names and the roles they played towards the general outcome of the book. Any arising conflicts and solutions to them should be mentioned.

Important themes

How to write a book report analysis requires you to come up with themes that will help gain a better understanding of the author's perspective. Be brief and if possible highlight set paragraphs that bring them out clearly. How to write a book report analysis with themes on a fiction book, you can gather them from the thesis statement based on specific patterns they follow and their overall impact.

Comment on the author's styles

The author can settle for how to write a book report APA style; for this you can choose to make comments on how the author has effectively used the APA style. You can add to the author's tone and the effect it had on you while you were reading the book.

Conclude your work

Here, you're required to come up with additional information based on your view of the book. This can be recommendations and some of the arising aspects of the author that you were keen to note. While at this, revisit the instructions and see how the instructor expects you to conclude your work.


Coming up with an excelling book report can be challenging, but with the above guides, the process could as well be a walk in the park. Are you ready to get started? Hands-on and get to work. Be sure to thank us later. Do you know how to write a book report APA style? Share with us what you know.