Writing a Book Report

Professors assign students to write book reports (or book reviews) to see whether they can analyze a particular book. Moreover, teachers want to know whether leaners are able to express their opinion about the given work in written form.

It should be noted that a standard book report can consist of several paragraphs (1-5 or more).  It depends on student’s academic level and assignment specifications. Regardless of the word count, each book report should include the following items:

Title of the Book and Its Author

It is very important to mention the title of the analyzed book and its author. When it goes about an essay, these elements should be mentioned in the first sentence or paragraph.


Fiction stories: Writing a summary can be complicated. In this section, you need to describe briefly all the events that take place in a book.

Do not forget that it is essential to present all elements of the book in the right manner. Thus, you should describe the scene, beginning, culmination point, ending, and main characters. If you do not know how to do it, you can get great examples of book reports online. Bear in mind that it is necessary to gather details about each component of the book and introduce them into the summary which has to be brief and clear.

Here is an example of a fiction summary: “A young man found a nice house in the forest and had a rest. When the dwarfs came back, the man was gone.”

There are various methods of writing summaries. You just need to remember that it is necessary to write about each element of the story in your summary. As a result, you will prepare a superior piece. Therefore, do not forget to describe the characters and their actions.

Non-fiction books: If you are to discuss such type of a book, you need to put together the major details of the story. Note that it is necessary to provide information of primary importance only.

Take a look at this example: “Almost 2,000 of animal species live in the Amazon jungles: eagles, parrots, iguanas, etc.”

The techniques for writing a nonfiction summary are numerous. You need to describe a phenomenon and talk about its consequences. For instance, “The earthquake ruined the whole neighborhood, so people could not live there anymore.”

Keep in mind that it is unnecessary to provide minor details about the discussed issue. There is no need to describe the characters’ clothes or talk about their interests. Only major details are required.

Analysis Section

Remember that your professor wants to know your attitude towards the read book. Therefore, you should clearly explain why like or dislike the examined text. If you need to present an in-depth analysis, you should focus on the topic of your book and highlight its importance.

Down below, there are several questions that should be taken into account when writing an analysis section. Do not forget to support your opinion by providing sound arguments.

  • Did you enjoy reading the book?
  • Does any of the characters resemble you anyone?
  • Is the book useful for readers?
  • Is it hard to read the book?
  • Did anything surprise you when you were reading the chosen book?
  • Did you learn anything new after reading the story?
  • Would you consider reading one more book of the same author?
  • How can you describe the main character?
  • What can you say about the author’s writing style?
  • Does the book use any symbols?
  • Does it teach readers anything?

Give Examples from the Book

In order to make your book report interesting and reasonable, you should provide good examples and citations. You can either reword some parts of the book or give direct quotations.

Note that it is necessary to put direct quotations into quotation marks. Moreover, you need to mention the page where you have found the quotation. Consider the following example: “Where are all my stuff – my books, disks, and clothes?” (510)

High school students are required to write book reports in the APA or MLA styles. In APA, you should indicate author’s last name and publication year. In MLA, the author’s last name is followed by the page number.

Writing book reports as well as other academic papers is an important element of academic life. It is essential for students to read the selected book or story carefully. Thus, they will be able to analyze it appropriately and write an outstanding report.

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