Tips on How to Write a Book Report
A book report is a critical reflection of what you have read. Book report writing is a common assignment in colleges and universities. Thus, knowing how to write a book report will help you overcome the trauma that comes with this kind of homework.
Book reports and book reviews are closely related. For example, a book report focuses on a description of what the book is about while review is a persuasive piece detailing why you should read the book. Book reports come with varying instructions, like other writing assignments. Understand the instructions and seek clarification before you start working on your book report.
Steps on How to Write a Book Report
Writing a book report is a process with steps that allow a logical flow of information. To write a winning book report, there are things you should do before reading the book, as you read the book and after reading the book. Let us focus at each section:
Before Reading: Get the bibliographical information of the book. This includes the title of the book, the author, publisher, year of publication and the city of publication. Ask yourself if you have read other books written by the same author.
State the genre of the book: What type of book do you want to read and write a report? Is it fictional, nonfictional or a biography? Here, try to determine the target audience or the people likely to enjoy reading the book. Tell readers about your experience with these books. Do you like them?
Cover page: Look at the book jacket and any pictures and deduce their interpretation. How does the cover page influence your reading of the book? Did it contribute towards you choosing the title? In case there are pictures, ask yourself if they are interesting to look at. It is also necessary to state the number of pages since books vary widely in size.
Examples of book Reports:
- Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened?
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street
- The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts
Importance of Reading before Writing a Book Report
It is impossible to know how to write a book report if you cannot read the book. Remember a book report is not a summary of other people’s opinions on the book but your own understanding. The bottom-line is that you cannot substitute reading the book for something else. Therefore, pick a title that is interesting and that which you will enjoy reading. If you enjoy reading, you will also enjoy writing the book report.
Read the book with a pen and paper to note down important points together with page numbers of the book where the message is. These notes become useful when writing your book report. Do not write in the book you are reading unless it is a personal copy.
As you read, track the characters throughout the story. How do they develop the storyline? Who are the major characters and their roles? What attitude did you develop on the characters? Bring out both sides of characters, i.e. good and bad.
Identify quotes in the book, which you wish to include in your book report. Note down these statements, including the names of characters behind them and page numbers. These quotes spice a book report and hold the reader’s attention.
Make an Outline before you write a Book Report
Once you have read the book, you can embark on the process of writing the book report. Like in any other writing, the pillar of writing a book report is adhering to the accepted steps of writing. These structural steps are prewriting, writing, revising, editing, and publishing.
At the prewriting stage, you decide on what you want to say in your book report. Develop an outline for your book report. Besides giving you direction, an outline ensures that you do not omit important information that would make your book report enjoyable. Your outline should take the following format:
- Summary of Book
- Evaluation and Conclusion
Why you need a Good Introductory Paragraph for your Book Report
Make your book report appealing to the reader by having a strong and interesting introduction paragraph. This paragraph should spur the interest of the audience to read the rest of the report. Here, tell the reader what the report is all about, including basic information about the book.
The book report on The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts is a good example:
The first line reads,
“In her novel The Bondwoman’s Narrative, Hannah Crafts beautifully describes the experiences and eventual flight to freedom of a slave woman.”
This opening statement gives a brief summary of what the book is all about and identifies the author and title of the book.
Mention some facts about the circumstances under which the author wrote the book, or the author’s credential. These facts could be what the reader wants to know before reading the book.
Since book reports have a personal aspect, do not hesitate to mention why you chose review the book. Is it an academic assignment?
A Systematic Guide on How to Write a Book Report for Fiction
After introducing your book report, the reader has developed the interest to read your report. Delve into the body of the paper and give a concise description of the book. In paragraph 2, 3, and 4, prove to the reader that you understand the content of the book by giving a logical flow of the storyline or capturing the theme of the book. Here are some tips on writing a fictional book report:
Summary: Give a brief overview of the story, capturing the setting, main characters, time and setting. Specify to the audience the perspective of the book by identifying the person telling the story. Is it an adventurous tale or a weird horror encounter?
Character Details: If you are wondering how to write a book report, always remember the role of characters in the fiction world. They give the storyline from the beginning to the end. Sometimes it could be how they relate with one another. In this paragraph, focus on the main characters and bring out any conflict they are solving, if any. Besides, do not hesitate to have another paragraph on the minor characters as they help to develop the theme of the story by playing supporting roles.
Plot: Here, do not reproduce every detail of the story. Instead, focus the main sequence of events, which help to develop the theme.
In this excellent book report, Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened?, the author highlights systematic flow of events. The introduction, gives a summary of what to expect. It reads, “Jesus’ final days included his demise, burial as well as resurrection…” In the second paragraph, the author talks about Jesus’ death, burial in the third paragraph and resurrection in the fourth paragraph.
The book ends with reminding the reader about the issues discussed. “The New Testament books serve as sufficient proof that the demise, burial as well as resurrection of Jesus are real.”
How to Write a Nonfictional Book Report
Here are the secrets of how to write a book report that is not fiction:
- State the subject matter: In case you are writing a book report on factual text like biography or topical issues of an academic field, devote your time describing the subject matter of the book and the writer’s point of view.
- Organize the author’s ideas sequentially by using chapter headings. Just like in fiction writing, do not aim at covering every argument that the writer presents. Go for the main ideas, and those, which win your attention as you read.
- Give the author’s personal experiences: For biographies, readers want to know personal experiences of the writer. Include challenges and achievements of the person. Always bring out important events, which stand out in someone’s life.
Rate the Book As You Conclude Your Report
The final stage on how to write a book report is criticizing or commending the work of the writer. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the book. Did the writer arrest your interest and attention throughout the book? Include lessons, which you may have learnt from the book, especially owing to the interactions of different characters. If the book is fictional, say how it affected you.
Always give fair judgment and support your observations using evidence from the story. Be honest with your opinion, stating why you would recommend or not recommend the book to a friend or any other person to read.
This book report, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, ends with an evaluation of the author’s work.
“The author clearly supports his theme on investment. This depicts the writer’s prowess in backing his claims with evidence to win the readers. The book is an excellent must-have for all ambitious investors. ”
We hope the above guidelines on how to write a book report will equip you with knowledge of how to write one with ease. However if you need assistance in writing ta good book report of your choice, get in touch with us for assistance. Visit our homepage for more information about our academic writing services. You can also continue reading more academic paper writing guidelines and sample papers on this blog.