How to Write a Book Report
Book reports offer you a chance to learn more about a book, understanding it deeper, and analyzing the author’s intention. Book reports are different from book reviews because they allow you to provide a straightforward summary of a certain text.
To write a good book report, you have to read the book and note all necessary details. Start with an outline — it’s a very useful thing that can simplify the whole writing process significantly.
Researching and Outlining
Clarify all details about your assignment to prepare for a research. Make sure you know the deadline, features of formatting, and a required word count. Pay special attention to citation formats.
Read the whole book, taking notes. We suggest finding a quiet place where you can focus and read without being distracted. Note interesting details about main characters and plot twists. Don’t forget to take short breaks every hour to let your brain organize the new information. You also need enough time for reading because the more time you have, the more details you can note and use in your report. We suggest not using various book summaries available online because they cannot provide you with all necessary information. You also cannot be sure that such summaries are accurate and true.
Mark all details that make you confused or curious about. Highlight useful quotations that can serve as evidence in your report. Pay your particular attention to the main setting of the book.
Once you’ve collected all necessary information, get to the outline. It’s your plan of what the paper will look like. You must define the structure of the report, drawing up paragraphs in a proper order. Each paragraph must represent a certain point or describe a particular detail. Once you’ve finished your first draft, look it over and make sure that your paragraphs are logically connected, providing a natural flow of thoughts. Writing an outline may take some time, but you’ll be rewarded for this job while writing the paper. Remember that the planned structure isn’t strict: you can change it during the writing process if you need.
- While writing the outline, note related quotes and specific details that illustrate each particular point. However, make sure that you don’t overuse quotes. They must serve only as additional information. Make your quotes brief and directly related to the discussed issues.
- Don’t try to write about everything. You may have a huge book that cannot be discussed in details in a brief report. You have to select most vivid and important things. To do so, narrow the topic of your report. You may focus on main characters, minor characters, or on the plot twists.
Write the Body of the Report
Start with the intro paragraph which must include the author’s name and the title of the book. The beginning of your report must grab your readers’ attention with an interesting fact or vivid quote that represents the key idea of the book. We suggest writing a brief summary of the book in the last paragraph of the introduction. Make sure that your introduction isn’t too long: it must take from 2 to 10 sentences.
Begin the main section of the report writing by describing the setting of the book, including most important locations. Then write a summary of the plot, mentioning the most important events. Explain how they impacted characters, and discuss the causes of these events.
Introduce characters and explain what role they play in the book and why they are important for the understanding of the author’s idea. You can write a particular section of the report, considering the appearance of characters, their actions, and intentions.
Think of the underlying “big ideas” of the book and address the main idea of the author. When writing about nonfiction books, some actions of characters may suggest what was the author’s intention.
Consider the tone of the book and focus on the author’s writing style. How the author selects words? Why he or she prefers a particular style when writing about certain events? What are ideas crucial for, and how the author focuses on them? Listen to your feelings when reading, and you’ll get a better understanding of the tone of the book.
Write a Conclusion
You have to summarize the report in the last sentence. Recall important details about the book as a whole, and formulate your opinion. Do you suggest others reading this book? Why?
Make sure that your conclusion doesn’t include any new thoughts. Here you’re allowed to discuss only things that you’ve written in the main part of the report.
Once you’ve finished the conclusion, don’t forget to proofread the paper. Make sure that all ideas are clearly expressed, and that paragraphs are logically connected. Fix all grammar and punctuation mistakes but don’t rely on spell checkers installed in your text editor by default. We suggest ordering professional writing online or asking somebody for help.