How to Write a Book Report : Step by Step Guide

By: Angelina Grin

13 min



How to Write a Book Report : Step by Step Guide

This type of assignment can be a little more complicated than it sounds. But it doesn’t have to be. You can buy book report, but in fact, with a little planning and preparation, you can write an excellent report hassle-free.

If you're unsure how to do a book report, this article will help get you started. Let’s look at how to write a report that will impress your teacher and get an “A” grade.

What is a Book Report?

You might ask, “what does a book report look like?” So, it is necessary that we define book report before diving deeply into how you can write it.

A report is an exposition that summarizes a written work's plot, characters, and literary style. It generally centers on a single work but can also focus on a particular subject or theme.

Usually, a report is a secondary-level assignment that seeks to boost students’ communication and analytical skills. Also, it helps students to practice the art of self-expression in any aspect of life.

While a report might look similar to a book review, there are significant discrepancies between the two. Book reviews are critical evaluations of a literary piece. They require the student to analyze the content while expressing their personal opinions on the subject matter.

How to Structure a Book Report

To understand how to write a good book report, you must first know what to put in it. So, what do you need in a book report? Report writing at the secondary and college levels may take these forms:

  • Character analysis
  • Theme analysis
  • Plot summary

So, what are the elements of a book report?

Depending on your course requirements, you may be required to write a summary of any literary work. Regardless of what type of work you are writing about, incorporate some key points that elucidate why the text you read captivated you.

👉 Some key elements to include in book report structure are:

  • Include a timeline of the events described in your story.
  • Write down key details such as the title, publication date, publishing company, and the number of pages.
  • Include a summary of the plot and topic in your report.
  • Include a description of the story's setting.
  • Name and describe the main characters.
  • Use quotes from the text to support your viewpoint.

Structural Elements of a Great Book Report

Knowing how to structure your report correctly can be a fun and engaging way to interact with your favorite books. What does a book report consist of? Generally, a report has a formal format that a student should follow to write a compelling sample of critical analysis. Below are the key structural elements to include in your writing:

✒️ Central Characters and Their Roles

The central characters are the ones who make the story what it is. They're usually the main people who drive the action forward and keep things interesting.

If you're writing a report, you need to discuss those characters in detail—what they look like, how they act, and so on. You should also mention how each of them fits into the story: what role does they play? What does his or her presence contribute to the overall plot?

✒️ Events

The structure of a book report should also include the events that take place in the literary piece. Identify the main events in the story. Remember that an event happens in a story — it can be as simple as "the character gets out of bed," or it can be something incredibly complex like an epic battle between two opposing armies. Also, ensure that each event has a purpose within the story's plot.

✒️ The Setting

The setting is the time and the place where the story takes place. Knowing the setting is important because it can help you understand what happens in the story. If you don't know where the characters are, you won't be able to understand what their lives are like.

The setting of the story foreshadows what will occur. It also helps to give the reader a sense of where everything is taking place so they can imagine themselves being there with the characters.

✒️ Use of Symbolism

Symbolism is a literary writing style that allows an author to convey a message through objects, characters, and places in the story. An example of this would be when an author uses the color green to represent hope or life.

Your report should identify how the author uses symbols throughout the novel. So, read between the lines to contextualize the setting, events, and characters and demystify how the author incorporates symbolism in their literature.

✒️ Plot

The plot is the sequence of events that make up the story. In this part, you describe what happens to your characters as they try to achieve their goals. A great report will explain how the plot moves forward, changes over time, and impacts other aspects of the story (like characters).

✒️ Citations

When writing a report, you want to ensure you support your writing with lots of quotations. It makes your paper more interesting and helps your reader to understand the point you are trying to make.

✒️ Formatting

Formatting is the first thing your teacher will look at when they open your report. You must ensure that your formatting is correct and that every piece of information has been included in the proper section.

👉 Here are some formatting tips:

  • Put quotation marks around direct quotations
  • Boldface keywords in titles and subtitles
  • Underline sayings
  • Organize the text into an introduction, body, and conclusion.

What is the Format of a Book Report?

You've read the book, and now it's time to write a report on it. But what is the format of a book report? The format you adopt depends on your instructor’s book report instructions.

Probably you’re asking, “how do you do a book report?” Well, book reports generally follow this format:

  • ✔️ Include the title, author, and the number of pages.
  • ✔️ Mention the type of book, e.g., fiction, folktale, non-fiction, etc.
  • ✔️ Mention and describe the key characters.
  • ✔️ Write a summary of the plot.
  • ✔️ Describe the theme.
  • ✔️ Write a personal point of view about the book. I.e., what you liked or disliked about it.

Book Report Guidelines

Did you ask: "Write my book report!"? Or you looking for top tips on how to write a book report essay? If so, don’t fret – we got you covered in this book report guide. Writing a report that stands out doesn't have to be daunting as it might seem. All you need to do is know the right guidelines to follow, and you’ll be good to go.

Here are book report steps to follow to write an impeccable overview of a literary text:

✍️ Pre-Writing Steps

Before we get into how to type a book report, let’s look at the preliminary things before you begin crafting your report.

👉 Follow this book report tips:

  • Take notes when reading a fiction piece. Ensure you track the characters, setting, and plot.
  • For non-fiction work, track ideas, themes, and symbols to include them in your overview.
  • Jot down key quotes and cite them throughout your assignment
  • Categorize your notes into headings and subheadings to make the writing process easier.

✍️ Brainstorm Before You Start Writing

Before you start to write your report, it's important to brainstorm some key points you want to make about the story. Think about what you liked or didn't like or what made it special to you. Check your notes and decide the claims you want to make. Also, consider what the teacher said in class about how they want reports written.

✍️ Have an Objective

Your objective will help determine how much work goes into the report and what type of information needs to be included. You'll need to explain why the story is interesting and unique and why it deserves a recommendation.

✍️ Read the Book Well

The first step in writing a book report is reading the entire publication well. This will help you understand it better and give you an idea of what information to include in your report. Take precise notes on important characters, events, and settings.

✍️ Mark Interesting Places

Marking up your text is a great way to keep track of all the important things you want to include in your report. It also makes it easier to find them when you're writing. Mark sentences highlighting events, symbols, patterns, etc. that are important to the plot or theme of the story. Underline key facts that will make your piece appealing.

✍️ Create a Rough Outline

You can start writing your rough outline by outlining all of your book's major events and themes. It will give you an image of how your assignment will look like.

✍️ Develop Ideas

Use your notes to decide which idea to include in what paragraph. Also, ensure there is a proper transition of ideas throughout your writing. Proper coordination of ideas will help the teacher follow the flow of the publication.

How to Write a Book Report Outline

If you want to know how to write an outline for a book report, this section got your back. Below are key elements to include in your outline:

  • Introduction – You need to know how to write a good introduction for a book report. Include the title and bibliographical information. Provide the context of the story.
  • Summary – write an overview of the book, including the plot, events, and character description.
  • Conclusion – provide your thoughts on the book in this section. Did the book succeed in teaching you something new?

How to Title a Book Report

A report title should include the novel title and author. The title needs to reflect the report's content so that when someone sees it, they know exactly what they're going to get if they read it.

👉 Example:

Book Report on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

How to Start a Book Report

We have a tip for you if you are wondering how to start your report. Begin with an introduction that mentions the 1) publication's title, 2) author, and 3) context.

More information here.

How to Write a Book Report Summary

When preparing for your work, you want to know how to write a summary for a book report. This summary is a short overview of the literary work's plot, events, and main characters.

👉 Sample:

Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet is the most famous romantic tragedy. In this play, Verona's Montague and Capulet families' long-running feud kills Romeo and Juliet (a Capulet).

Romeo and Juliet plunge into love in the first part of the play. Conflict, retribution, and secret machinations drive the lovers to suicide in despair.

Shakespeare condenses the play into four days. He condenses time to show how events combine to kill the lovers. The tragedy's main themes—conflict and inevitability—predict its ending: Romeo and Juliet's death ends the deadly struggle between Verona's noble families.

Your book report summary should include the main ideas you have discovered in the publication.

How to Write a Conclusion for Book Report

Summarize the key ideas you included in the report. Also, provide a personal recommendation about how you felt about the book.

How to Write a Book Report for Different Academic Levels

A report on a book is a form of writing that students can do at any academic level. As such, the components of a book report may differ depending on the level of study.

If you want to know how to format a book report, here are tips on writing examples of book reports at different levels.

📗 Elementary School

At this young stage, students can write a basic book report which is easy and straightforward. Below are guidelines on how to write a book report elementary school level:

  • Include the book title and author
  • Mention the various characters
  • Summarize the plot
  • Include a personal opinion

📘 Primary School

If you are wondering what to put in a book report, here are tips on how to write a book report in primary school:

  • Include details such as title, author, genre, and the number of pages.
  • Write the book summary.
  • Describe the main character
  • Your opinion

📙 Middle School

Check the following guidelines on how to write a middle school book report:

  • Add the title and the author
  • Write an introduction with the book title, author, and context.
  • Write the plot summary
  • Add your personal recommendation.

📕 College

If you’re looking for the format of a written book report, don’t worry. The following are tips on how to write a book report college level:

  • Learn your teacher’s requirements
  • Read the book and take notes
  • Follow the college book report format given by your tutor
  • Include an introduction with the book’s bibliographical information
  • Write the summary
  • Write a conclusion with personal thoughts

📓 High School

Follow these tips on how to write a high school book report paper:

  • Read the book keenly and jot down the main ideas
  • Create an outline
  • Include the title and author in the introduction
  • Analyze the key characters
  • Summarize the key events, themes, and symbols
  • Conclude with your thoughts

📚 University

Below are tips on how to write a book report university level:

  • Know the instructions.
  • Read the carefully while taking notes.
  • Write an informative introduction with the book’s bibliographical information.
  • Write the summary while synthesizing ideas.
  • Write a conclusion with personal thoughts.

Get a Book Writing Service

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➡️ What Should a Book Report Include?

The title of the book, the name(s) of the author(s), an introduction, the context, a character description, a narrative summary, and a personal opinion should all be included in a report on a book.

➡️ What Are the 5 Parts of a Book Report?

Keep in mind that a good book report example should always include the five elements: the title, the introduction, the setting, a summary of the tale, and the conclusion.

➡️ How Do You End a Book Report?

A conclusion is the last section of a report on a book, and it should contain a personal judgment about it as well as the key ideas of the storyline.

➡️ What Are the Basics of a Book Report?

A report on a book gives information about the author, the book, and its subject as well as the theme. In contrast to a review, which concentrates on giving an opinion about the book, a book report essay format involves writing a book’s summary.

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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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