Writing a book report is something that many of us have been tasked with before, particularly as students. A book review works as a succinct summary of the story of a book, and it’s characters, it’s plot, it’s core themes, message and much more, and is a convenient yet effective way in which readers may convey what they took away from a particular piece of literature. Additionally, it allows readers to be critical of the works they read, giving it an added degree of depth and importance. Writing a book report is an important part of academia, and also has a ton of application within the professional world. For these reasons, we’re going to take you through a comprehensive guide with which you can easily write a book report on just about any literary work!
As the name suggests, a book report is pretty much that – a report on the experience a reader had with a particular piece of literature. Most often, a book report contains basic details on the book and author – information on the author’s upbringing, inspiration, education, and professional background are all very relevant to a book report. Generally, a solid and comprehensive book report contains the following elements;
- A succinct and brief summary of the plot or the core philosophies that are outlined in the book.
- A personal, individual analysis of the various themes and topics covered in the book.
- A personal and deep analysis of the numerous characters and/or personalities explored in the book.
- Background information that went into the publication of the book, such as information about the author, historical context, political movements, and the like.
- A final statement on why the writer of the report found the book interesting or uninteresting, complete with critical viewpoints backed up by excerpts from the book.
These elements are necessary for writing a comprehensive book report. In the next section, we’ll guide you through the process of writing the book report.
How do I write a book report?
Before you get started on the book report itself, it is a good idea to compile all your thoughts on the book into a brief set of notes that you can easily refer to. Additionally, you can list any ideas and/or critical viewpoints you may have, allowing you to easily reference different sections of the book in the report.
Once you have your summary and your notes on hand, you can get started with writing the book report. Follow these tips and format in the specified order to write an effective book report;
- Introduction – The introductory paragraph should declare the name of the author, date and year of publication, publisher, country of publication, and any other relevant historical information. Typically, this includes a small background on the author, the historical context of the time it was written, and the situation of the country in which the book was written. Once that’s done, you’re ready to move onto the next section.
- Next, you should present an overarching summary of the book. For fictional works, this means that you should write down an in-depth synopsis of the story, whereas non-fiction works generally merit a break down of the theories, philosophies, accounts, and general themes explored in the book.
- The next section accounts for the report writer’s personal opinions and experience with the book – In this section, you should outline what you thought about the book and why. Then why is particularly important in writing an effective book report – Your opinions, claims, criticism, and praises should all be backed by references taken from the book, such as excerpts or quotations. Tie this into the historical background of the author and the work itself to write an even more effective book report.
- Bibliography – While this may not particularly hold true for all fiction works, it is very common when dealing with non-fiction works. Often, multiple sources are cited in non-fiction works, which may encourage the reader to do some literary exploration and delve into other authors. When this happens, some of these discoveries are bound to tie into the book review. When these sources are used, make sure to cite them categorically and add a bibliography page!
Free Templates & Examples
So, there you go! These are the steps you need to follow to write an effective book review! Once you’ve finished writing it, make sure to do a thorough proofread, while also checking for logical follow from start to finish. Again, we can’t emphasize enough how much backing up your claims with direct excerpts from the book contributes to making a powerful argument, which is why we highly encourage doing so! Thanks for reading, and good luck with your book report!
Frequently Asked Questions
Typically, a book report is formatted academically. This includes an introduction, a summary of the work itself, the author of the report’s opinions, findings, criticisms, and praises, and finally, a review and summary of the author’s arguments. It is typically formatted with a 1 or 2-pt margin, with double-spaced fonts like Times New Roman or Arial.
A book report is a comprehensive summary of both the book itself, as well as the reader’s thoughts, opinions, and experience reading the book. As a result, it should contain information on the book itself, including the background of the author, a summary of the key aspects of the book, and well-reasoned, logically sound arguments made by the writer of the report. Check out our guide to find a step-by-step guide to writing a book report!
Most commonly, a book report falls between 800-1,000 words. If the font is Times New Roman, 1-pt margins and double-spaced, which is the academic standard, this comes up to a page count of 3-4 pages.