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Tips on writing a book report

Tips on writing a book report

At first a book review sounds like a very simple assignment. It is a piece of writing, which contains description and analysis of a certain book. However, many students wonder how to complete it to demonstrate not only knowledge of the plot but also to impress the reader and convey personal outlook on the discussed issue.

Completing a good book report is quite a difficult task, because students usually have no time to read the book itself to be able to analyze it. In addition, you need to process lots of pages, compare different chapters, discuss main topics and characters, answering all the questions.

In this article we will discuss how to complete a report for various academic levels. We will also give you tips on how to organize your assignment properly. Go on reading and find out all the information you may need to write a book report.

Definition of the paper

First thing you need to keep in mind is that there are not only book reports but also reviews. Although they may sound similar, these papers have lots of differences.

A book review is a brief evaluation of the plot and content of a book (a fiction or a non-fiction one). You should also evaluate its importance and give your own opinion whether the reader should recommend it or not. Usually a book review is given to college students, however may be assigned to PhD scholars. Such reviews can be used as magazine, newspaper and journal articles.

On the other hand, book report is mostly a summary of a book and not its evaluation. Usually such reports are given to school students. They may be from 250 to 500 words long and include various sections depending on the grade.

You may wonder why these reports are so important. They help students to improve communication and analytics skills, to express opinions and thoughts on various aspects of the piece of writing.


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Book Report Example
book report examples
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Book Report Examples
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Book Report Format
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Book Report Outline
book report sample
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Book Report Sample
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Book Report Template

Sections of a book report

Book reports can be of the following types:

  • Summary of the plot;
  • Analysis of the topic;
  • Analysis of characters.

It doesn’t matter what type of paper you need to complete: make sure to mention key points, which make the book interesting and useful. Here are only some of them:

  • Main details of the book. They include title, author’s name, publisher, publication year and quantity of pages;
  • Time, when the book is taking place;
  • Setting of the book;
  • Characters you are going to discuss and main facts. For example, their history, origin and physical description;
  • Quotes and examples from the book, which are used to support your vision of the matter.

If you include these elements to your report, it will be much easier to familiarize the reader with the topic and explain your ideas.

Steps of completing a book report

If you are looking for tips on how to write a report effectively, you have come to a right place! Below you will find the most detailed instructions on writing the report effectively.

Pre-writing stage

  1. Start with choosing a right book for the analysis. This step is crucial if you want to succeed, because if you don’t like the book or if it has boring plot, you will hardly spark interest of the reader. You should also find out background information, like author, name and genre;
  2. Read the book and make necessary notes. It doesn’t matter whether it is a fiction book or an encyclopedia: you should write down all the useful information, like characters, their deeds, events and settings. Don’t forget to determine what the main topic and symbols are;
  3. Choose text quotes, which you can use in your paper. They should support your ideas and make the reader accept your point of view;
  4. Always organize notes: categorize them, using headings, lists and bullet points. Make sure you have all the necessary information for every category.

Start using your notes

Now, when the pre-written stage is ready, it is a right time to make your voice heard. Explain the audience why the book is worth attention. To make your report powerful and catchy, find out what the main connections between subjects are and discover all the possible hidden motives. Don’t forget to be creative and show your individuality.

  • Your introduction should contain review of the book, announcement of the author, date of publication and general information. It should also contain a thesis statement, which gives a clear explanation of the subject of the story. You also need to analyze genre of the book and explain its meaning;
  • Body paragraphs are the most important part of your work. They need to contain an extended summary, identifying ideas of the author, additional remarks on writing style and tone of the writer;
  • Final section, i.e. conclusions, should consist of several sentences about impact of the book and why it should be read by the audience. You need to summarize all the ideas and provide your personal opinion. If you are not sure what else to include, you can always read teacher’s guidelines to make sure every paragraph contains necessary elements;
  • Pay attention to revisions. You shouldn’t deliver the paper right after it was finished. After the writing stage is done, pay attention to the lexis and grammar. Change paragraphs, add transition words and interesting elements to make sure the text is readable and smooth.

Writing a book report for college

In some of the cases, college students may also be asked to write a book report. Such tasks help to evaluate lots of various skills: analytical, writing and critical thinking. However, such reports are more complicated than those, assigned to high school students.

The main steps remain the same but in addition you will need to conduct a critical analysis and evaluate the text. You may also have to follow a certain formatting style, depending on requirements of your professor. This may be MLA, Chicago, APA and others, which have different demands on citations and sources.

Your college book report should consist of:

  • Bibliographic section, situated under the title of the report;
  • Audience, you are writing for;
  • Basic information on the circumstances, which led to writing this particular book;
  • Subject of the piece of writing and a thesis statement;
  • Summary of the content;
  • Evaluation of the book, supported with evidence from the text.

When you work on the summary, you need to remember that it needs to follow a particular order. Don’t forget to add key ideas to support your argument. Your summary should also contain analysis of the structure.

Reports and reviews help scholars to summarize, compare and contrast, analyze and provide logical arguments, being attentive to the slightest detail. All these skills will be useful in future, even after you graduate. With the help of our simple but effective tips you will write your book report with ease, with minimum efforts and stress.

However, if you feel tired, have too many assignments to complete or don’t know what to write about, you can always get professional assistance and order a book report from our experienced writers. We will complete the task according to all of your demands, making the report flawless without any grammar or lexical mistakes.