Practice Tips on Writing a Book Report

By: Angelina Grin

14 min



Practice Tips on Writing a Book Report

What Is a Book Report?

It is similar to a review with a few significant discrepancies. For instance, a review involves a critical account of any matter. This account requires a writer to assess the value while summing up the content. In such a review, the writer expresses his personal opinion about the text.

On the other hand, this kind of report often involves a literary work's summary rather than its evaluation. This is mostly assigned to secondary level students. Depending on the grade level, it can range from 250 to 500 words. This is a great writing exercise for students to enhance their communication and analytical skills. Moreover, writing such assignments also helps them practice expressing their opinions on various aspects.

To better comprehend what a report looks like, you may search for a book report template online.

Main Elements of Book Report

Middle-grade level, as well as college-level reports, may be of three forms:

  • Character analysis;
  • Theme analysis;
  • Plot analysis.

As a student, you may be required to write an account of any literary work. No matter what type of work you are writing about, ensure you incorporate some key points to explain why the text you read was engaging. These key points may include:

  • Mentioning the time in which the story took place;
  • Include title, year of publication, publisher, and number of pages;
  • Story plot;
  • The setting of the story;
  • Name of key characters;
  • Particular facts about key characters;
  • Quotes from the text to back up your viewpoint.

Structural Elements of a Great Book Report

They say there is no recipe for success, but there is a recipe for a great report. It has a formal structure; it has a ladder rundown with each step defining different integral components. Students have to follow this structure to write a compelling account of a literary work. This involves a lot of data and information processing.

Central Characters And Their Roles

In this part, you have to go through the characters. Briefly explain different roles and the action behavior patterns of the characters. Put light onto the protagonist. Write down its personality in context to the play, set in the plot a little bit. Detail some facts and shades of the characters.

Remember, you don't have to jot down each peculiar detail of the characters. Just the description is enough. Tell the shades of positive and negative actions by these players. Let your piece have their brief in this part.


Tell the examiner something to look forward to. You are reviewing the text. So, make sure you share some noticeable events from at least each chapter. Tell about a happening which changed the plot of the story. Write about an essential occurrence in any of the chapters.

Remember, the story is based on several events and happenings. The story is changing and revolving all the time. You may include many events, but if you want your assignment to stand out, choose your events wisely.

The Setting

Now it's time to establish the setting of the story. Which era or part of the history the story lives in. Uncover the patterns in the story. Connect different chapters and discuss several times. Try to explain the relevant settings along with the storyline. It could be cities and territories in other chapters.

Elaborate on the circumstances concurrent in the plot. Give your take on the happenings that took place and twisted the storyline. Do not forget the essence you derive from the reading. Do not let your writing kill the interest factor for your teacher or examiner. Students often reveal too much information.. Share data that only gives worthy attention to your assignment and depicts the genre.


This part has the potential to earn good scores. Your understanding of the text you have read will be prevalent if you can spot the author's symbols in the story.

At times, the author will mean something unique and different from a mere symbol or a gesture. It will repeat often during the course. Hence, your assessment of the context of characters, timeline, settings, and events will highlight the relevance of that symbolism. Be very careful in explaining these attributions. A symbol might be in the avatar of a repeated dialogue, a specific event, or might be just a next-door neighbor who has an individual expression throughout. Figure it out and support your analysis with facts you derive from the text.

Lastly, do read between the lines. There is a lot of unsaid meaning and life lessons hidden in the expressions we tend to ignore.


The tricky part is here. How well do you know the text and the story? In this part, share the plot. You do not have to reveal the entire plot though. Be sure to tell the connections between the characters and the story. Remember, the plot tells about the overall relevance of the text you are referring to. It is the arrangement of events concerning the characters. The scheme of things happening throughout the storyline is to be narrated, keeping the interest factor intact.


Support your writing with lots of quotations. Add great lines for the topics that are discussed in the book. Make this part a bouquet of knowledge you gain from the book, the best examples you witness, and explain the relevant food for thought.

Write about the claims made; quote something you figured was great in its meaning. Express ideas worthy of being shared.


Lastly, what you meant to convey is still incomplete without its ornaments. Formatting is the weapon through which your first and everlasting impression of the teacher will establish. Be sure about the language used in the assignment. Pay attention to the grammar, be clear about who said what and meant what.

Orderly arrangements of contents, bold font usage, underlining of sayings, quotation marks all should be looked at in detail. It also includes a table of contents, body, citations, and conclusion.

Steps to Writing a Winning Book Report

Looking for some pro tips on how to write a book report? We have got you covered. Writing an assignment that shines out is not as tough as it sounds. But before we dwell on explaining the steps, here is a brief outline of things to do in the prewriting phase.

Pre-Writing Steps

Before you choose a publication for your assignment - look for things that spark interest in you. This could include genre, title, or reviews of the publication.

  • When reading fiction, keep making notes. Keep track of the key characters - their behaviors, actions, and personalities. Also, keep track of the setting of the story and critical events.
  • When reading non-fiction, try to determine the main ideas, topic, and symbols. Make sure you write about them in your piece.
  • Select some quotes from the selected text to back your claims or arguments. Also, note the page numbers of the text you are going to use as evidence.
  • Categorize items in your notes under headings or subheadings. Make sure you have enough knowledge to write about each heading and subheading.

Brainstorm Before You Start Writing

Here is when you start your brainstorming sessions. You have all your notes, ideas in place, bookmarks sorted, and importantly all your energies in one embodied direction.

To write a great assignment, you have to develop a big idea. Ask yourself questions. Why is this publication worth a report? What should be the claims I make? How to approach perfection in writing an excellent book report? What are the key elements to be kept in focus?

Easier said than done, right? Embrace yourself, stay creative, and begin your journey.

Now that you are all set to write your writing assignment, let's discuss the steps in detail.

Have an Objective

Likewise, to write a report assignment, having a clear objective is essential. Your understanding of the text would probably be different, but how you approach to explain it holds importance. You might have an aim in case your college teacher has assigned you one. If not, develop one while reflecting on the publication.

You may develop it while reading it. You may come up with the issue or claim you want to advocate later while reviewing your findings from the reading.

Go through the collected information; all your questions should be prepared, you should know what you are arguing.

Read the Book Well

‌Preparation means a lot. To write a good book report, your reading should be a rigorous one. Read it well, make notes, flag pages, get involved in the reading process. Note down minor details. Figure out meanings entrenched in the plot. Read as if you are thirsty for the takeaways the book has stored. Look for events worth noting down. Make a list of quotes from the book while reading. In short, do your homework before getting your hands on the book report writing process. Book report writing is not an easy task. Therefore, how to write a book report for college level is a widely available resource on the internet for students looking for help in their assignments.

Mark Interesting Places

Read the selected publication thoroughly and mark interesting places down the storyline. Make pointers about the emotional parts, look for clues, follow patterns, and symbols. Look out for the repeated events or symbols, do mark them. There are always meaningful expressions throughout the plot; make sure to underline those. Mark specific facts the author gives you in establishing the story. Mark the twists and turns in the scheme of events.

Lastly, proper homework has to be done before starting your assignment. Don’t know how to write a nonfiction report? There are many nonfiction book report templates available online for your assistance.

Create a Rough Outline

So, now after finishing the reading journey, you have a lot of information and data to tabulate. You have several themes, patterns, and approaches from the book. Review your findings and make contents arranged to give you a better outlook on the selected publication.

Create imaging of how you want the assignment to look. Jot down good examples, reasons, lessons, and schemes you can play with to build up your book report. Make a rough outlay of what you aspire as your approach to address in your assignment.

Develop Ideas

How to go about it? This kind of writing involves lots of skills. Paragraph ideas are vital when it comes to crafting an excellent piece of writing. It would help if you rehearsed to write quite frequently. Re-write your thoughts for paragraphs. You should know how to connect the thoughts and write in context. It should give a smooth transitional feeling to the teacher who is holding up your scores. Impress the examiner with your words.

Each of the paragraphs should consist of a topic. Refine your thoughts and ideas frequently. You want to make an impression with each passing paragraph.

Do not let the reader lose attention from your book report. Paragraphs should connect with a format. Remember all the tips you need to write a great book report is available online for your convenience. Just write ‘how to write a book report’ on Google, and you will find many samples.

Create a Remarkable First Impression

How to start a book report? The first impression is what your assignment is looking for. You got it right! The introductory paragraph should grab massive attention. Tell about the author, talk about a brief outline of the book. Make sure to add a selective captivating monologue or a quotation. Write a bit about the events and protagonist. Give a slight hint about the plot and storyline.

Build up your argument in the essential body paragraph. Ideas should follow like water. Create imaging of the book. Discuss the author's thesis, analyze the contents, give remarks about the writing style and creative abilities. In short, summarize the whole book subtly for the audience to grasp its different flavors. Talk about the writer's tone and narrations.

Also, include a crisp, to the point conclusion: your recommendations and the result you reached. Talk about the approaches, patterns, emotions, and ideas. Counter them with your argument and support it with concrete facts. This part is a summary of your outlook on the text, your ideas, and its efficacy.

Proofread And Revise

Revise the final draft and check for formatting. Review the contents and improve message orientation.

Do not forget to review all the paragraphs, edit where necessary, and add a sentence connector. In case you missed anything in the formal report template, get assistance from a report writing service.

All in all, you need to be organized and have basic knowledge of how to write a report. The guidelines and information mentioned above are sure to help with that. So, make sure you incorporate all of the preceding tips when you start to write. And, see your assignment earning the grade it deserves.

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Angelina Grin

Creative Writer and Blog Editor

Despite my relatively young age, I am a professional writer with more than 14 years of experience. I studied journalism at the university, worked for media and digital agencies, and organized several events for ed-tech companies. Yet for the last 6 years, I've worked mainly in marketing. Here, at Studybay, my objective is to make sure all our texts are clear, informative, and engaging.

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