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How to Write a Book Report: Short Guide

A book report is a piece of writing that evaluates and summarized a book from an objective point of view. Unlike a book review essay, a report is focused mainly on summarizing the work rater then giving a subjective commentary. Consequently, although writing book reviews is similar to working on reports, the latter has some unique features a student should be familiar with to accomplish the assignment successfully.

To write a report you will need some factual information such as the one about author, date and place of publishing, number of pages and, of course, title.

While you’re reading, make sure youkeep track of main characters, plot lines and major events. Pay attention to key ideas of the book and jot down a few quotes to juice up your writing.

As you’re writing, start with a strong introductory sentence that will seize your reader’ attention. Quotations will do well here.  After that, provide some background information about the book such as the author and the title. Continue with the summary of what happens after what. When you are done summarizing, you can move to the evaluation part. Talk about the main themes and ideas of the literary piece, how well they are described and what you liked/disliked about them. Compare the book with other works of the same author. Does it fit right in? Is it some experimental project of his? Do you know any entertaining facts about the writer? Did the book appeal to you? If yes, on what level and what means were applied to interest the reader? Finally, would you recommend buying and reading such book?

The content of the concluding paragraph may vary. In some cases, it is required to re-state information you provided in the first paragraph. In other cases, you are free to choose the concluding matter on your own. Consult your supervisor to find out for sure.

After the first draft is ready, it’s time to proofread and edit it. Make sure you check the spelling of proper names (the author, the publishing house, etc.) and detect all typos. It is a great idea to ask someone to proofread your paper because at some point you’ll just stop noticing mistakes.

As college book reports are usually limited to 250 to 500 words, don’t try to retell the book in full and focus on its most pressing issues.