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Five Steps On How To Write A Book Report

We all get immersed in reading a good book. However, have you ever been asked to critique or analyze a novel, and then partake in writing a book report on it? The truth is, writing a book review is one of the many school assignments students do but you have to understand that college-level reports aren’t just any other essays – they are demanding and require a completely different approach. Before exploring how to write a book report, let’s have a quick recap of a few things.

What is a book report?

From the above, it gets easier to define a book report than before. However, for a college freshman who has yet to do an assignment of this nature, things may still be foggy. A book report is a composition that gives a critical account of a publication’s content, its value to readers, and most importantly, opinion from the reviewer’s perspective.

With literary analysis writing tips at hand, a student should go ahead and indicate whether the publication is worth reading or not.

The terms, book review and book report are often used interchangeably, but the above definition mostly applies to the former, which is also popular in colleges. Reports, often give a summarized view and focus less on the evaluation of a publication’s value, and are suited to middle and high school students.

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Why Do We Write Book Reports?

At school, writing is a major activity. However, because assignments vary from simple essays to complex reviews/reports means each assignment is intended to help students acquire specific skills in particular areas. In writing a good book report you not only learn the major steps such as the introduction, overall structure, outline, plot, and character analysis, but you will also get the following:

  1. Improved analytical skills.
  2. Enhanced communication skills (through organizing and putting thoughts to paper).
  3. Open-mindedness.

General Structure of a Book Review

With that being said, let’s explore the structure of a winning book review. How to make a book report should be no mystery anymore, just bear in mind the following:

  1. Summary of the plot.
  2. Analysis of the theme.
  3. Character analysis.

At this stage, a student should put together important details about a novel such as a title, publisher, year of publication, author, number of pages, setting, plot, time, names of characters, and direct quotes from the literature under review. However, some assignments may focus on one or two components of the above structure, say thematic and/or character analysis.

Main Steps To Write a Good Book Report

Sometimes students come up with their own approach or steps to write a book review, but the following is the most common sequence of how to succeed:

  1. Reading the book.
  2. Preparation stage for writing.
  3. Writing.
  4. Summarizing the write-up.
  5. Revising.

Reading the book

This first stage determines how deep you will go into your analysis as a reviewer. After understanding the requirements of the instructor, it is always time to immerse yourself into the world created by the author to find out the truth.

Preparation stage for writing

After reading the book, it is time to prepare the write-up, a stage which entails taking notes on issues such as the bibliography of the author’s target audience, background, subject/thesis statement, names of characters, and their roles. It is also important to jot down quotes, themes, and ideas that will be useful for the draft copy. These should be in some form on an outline – helping you figure out how to format a book review correctly.


This is the most critical stage when doing a book report. Start with a powerful hook and proceed to divide your review into relevant sub-sections such as understanding the author, exploring the theme, character, plot, setting, and more. Keep it detailed, while also ensuring your grammar is prolific.

Summary of the write-up

While you can feature a short summary of the, in the beginning, there is nothing wrong with having one at the end of your report. It should sum up all of the above, and give your own verdict of the text. Do you recommend the novel or not? Is it worth reading even if you didn’t like it as a whole? Answer these questions with utmost honesty.

Revising your work

Finally, a student reviewing a book should cross-check their content against the notes they took at the preparation stage. What is left out, and what do experts have to say about these assignments? Also, are your grammar and style good? Make sure the review is logical, cohesive, correctly punctuated, and contains no spelling mistakes.

These Questions Will Help You Write A Book Report

The following questions should help you write, complete, and understand how to write a college book report:

  1. What is the central theme?
  2. Who are the characters, what are they doing, and what is happening to them?
  3. What are the plot and setting?

In a nutshell, following the above tips should help you compose a great report without any problems. Check out our other posts on expert tips to improve your writing skills!

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