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How to write a book report
How to write a book report


5 Top Steps on How to Write a Book Report

If you need to write a book report but you are unsure how to do it, check the guide on how to write a book report below. The steps mentioned above will help you complete the assignment without stress and unnecessary effort. Such tasks are a part of education in high school, college, and even university. Professors prefer giving such assignments as a book report is a good opportunity to check students have read a work and understood key findings.

The assignment may be complicated for the majority of students. Imagine that you have to write a book report. The first thing you should do is to read a specific book. You need to make notes returning to the parts when you start writing. Then, you have to be critical and analyze each idea you have read. As a result, reading may appear not an enjoyable journey you usually have but a hard work you need to do.

If you want to make the process of writing less stressful and more pleasant, you should check the steps to writing a book report below. Our experts have gathered all their knowledge and experience into this article. Check the steps attentively and follow them while working on your book report. We guarantee that you will remain satisfied with the process and the outcome.

Defining a Book Report

A book report is a written assignment that summarizes the plot of the work and provides the reader’s critical considerations regarding the content. If you write a synopsis, you should ensure that the readers will understand the content and grasp your conclusions on the facts and events in the piece. You need to ensure that you include many details of the plot into your paper. You have to focus more on your conclusions rather than simply summarize the content of the work under analysis.

Step 1: Read

When you have to complete a book report, you cannot avoid reading the piece. No matter how lengthy the work is or how boring you consider it, you will have to read it fully. Summaries and shortened versions are useless because you should know the smallest detail and be able to address any aspect discussed there.

Make notes while writing. It is important to indicate the major events and the most interesting conclusions you draw. There are several ways of making notes. You may choose only one of them or combine them for higher efficacy. Here are some major ways of taking notes:

  • circling parts in the text you consider interesting
  • underline the major events
  • draw something near an important idea (a star or an exclamation mark will do)
  • highlight each new character

If writing in a book is not an option for you, you may use ticks and make notes on them.

Step 2: Cover the book details

You should always start writing a critique making emphasis on the major details. You have to indicate the title, the author or authors, the major characters, if any, and the setting where the events take place. If this is not a piece of fiction, and the book does not have characters, you still need to indicate the major theme.

You should always pay attention to the reasons why you have chosen to write a critique of this piece. Take into consideration that you should justify your choice. Even if the work was provided by a professor, you need to indicate why he or she regarded this work as a good choice for writing a report. Just a quick checklist to cover at the beginning of your writing:

  • title
  • author(s)
  • report type
  • setting
  • time period
  • major characters or events (if applicable)
  • a summary of the book content
  • justification for writing an analysis

Step 3: Develop a plan

You need to have a clear plan of your actions before you get down to writing a book report. If you have a plan of your writing actions, you will be able to work effectively. The plan requires that you should analyze your time and schedule your work. When will you be able to read a book? How much time do you need to finish reading? How fast will you get down to writing? Will you spend an hour or two on writing a book report within a week or do you plan to devote 2-3 days to writing without interruptions? All these questions may help you understand how you may plan your work.

You should develop a schedule and follow it step by step. You have to understand that if you fail to follow your plan, there are high chances that you will fail your paper. The more detailed plan you develop, the easier it will be for you to keep to it. Don’t just write “read every day”, be more specific. You should write something like “read a book within 2 hours with 5 minutes interruption every day” or “read 3 chapters a day”. You should decide how to plan your time the most suitable way.

Step 4: Develop an outline

Devote some time to writing an outline. Your outline should keep to the standard book report writing scheme. Check the standard structure you need to follow and include the sections offered below.


Introduce the piece, the content, and focus on the reasons why you chose the book for report writing. Consider that you have to include a thesis statement that defines the major theme of the book.

Body paragraphs

You may have a different number of body paragraphs depending on the length of your report. Use the space wisely and ensure that each new paragraph discusses a new viewpoint or idea from the book. The structure of the paragraphs in a report is the same as in any essay. You should make sure you have a topic sentence, justify it with evidence, and conclude it with a summarizing statement.

Mind that in the main body, you have to cover the plot, the main characters, and the main idea of the book.


Summarize what you have written in your report within 3-4 sentences. You may have a longer conclusion if your report is 10-15 pages. Just ensure that you cover the major issues in your final section. You should try to include the following aspects in your conclusion:

  • Summary of the whole report.
  • Lessons learned
  • Recommendations for reading, if you recommend it
  • Personal opinion regarding book content

Step 5: Write

You may already have some written parts by this stage. You should edit and rewrite your draft to ensure that you have completed your report as requested. Ensure that your ideas are well organized, that there are no errors, and that there is logic in your writing. Check the following tips:

  • Organize ideas in a logical way
  • Focus on content, not word count
  • Use sub-headings
  • Write in a clear and concise language

Top Tips for Writing

Check these tips on how to ensure that your book report is ideal:

Include an objective. You need to understand why you are writing this report.

Cover major aspects only. You should avoid discussing each important event. Choose the ideas you want to consider and write them down.

Revise the introduction. You have to check your introduction one more time after you have completed your report to ensure that your paper is consistent.

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