Readers' Corner

Book report writing tips: advice from the best experts

Even in elementary schools, teachers consider to write book report is beneficial for the students. No matter how experienced you are in academic writing, the following process may make you feel worried and stresses-out every time you have to write a new book report. Referring to the first-rate book report writing tips is a great strategy that allows the students to avoid stress and confusion at the high school, college, and university level. It is complicated to work on book reports as the students should collect a lot of information, and then analyze it in a thorough way. They should also use comparatively little volumes of information for expressing serious ideas, discussing key themes, story plots, and book characters objectively.

We would like to ask you not to get discouraged at any stage of your work! You can use our professional writing guide to get detailed description of how you can compose a book report with the help of your expert tips. Proper organization of the process determines successful writing. There are many aspects to learn and you can master how to taken the basic steps for doing projects in the area of book reports at all academic levels.

Take notes while reading

Effective reading always requires taking notes. Decent completion of the tasks based on what you have read demands your careful attention. If you take notes, you may save lots of time as you should not get back and do the research again and again. You can get more and more issues to cover every time you go through the text. A highlighter or a pencil is a great tool as well as sticky notes, which are handy. If you use an e-version of the book, you can take notes on your smartphone, tablet, or PC. You should mark what you are confused or curious about.

Note-taking is important when the author is involved in the discussion of key characters and major issues of the plot. You should identify the evidence and choose the details for your report. Then you can start choosing the quotes and searching for relevant examples to confirm the main ideas. It can be easier to make referencing at the following stages if you highlight the symbols several times. If you are looking for ‘aggression’ and you see it several times, you can highlight it with the letter “b” on the notes. Navigation throughout the book may become much easier if you identify the key theme and try to make them visible.


Guiding Questions for a Book Report

Learning how to write a book report, you can ask a number of questions which can form a basis for your future paper. They can help you gain an insight into important details and ensure understanding of the aspects that need special attention. Your writing requires special context and you should know exactly what to write about.

  • What is your intended audience? Who do you want to address your writing to?
  • What is the opinion of the author?
  • What is the contribution of the book to an overall theme, research field, time period in history, or this particular genre?
  • How can you characterize the writing style of the author? Is it clear?
  • What is the setting of the story?
  • What is the time period of the story?

Your overall analysis in the paper should be based on a solid foundation if you give detailed answers to these questions. Thus, you can understand what the book is about and why your report is important.


Use an Outline for a Book Report

You should compose your book report only after you have developed a smart outline for it. All types of informational writing get excellent with preliminary planning, when it goes about book reports. You should realize that it is easy to skip essential details without a proper plan, and that is not what you are going to do.

How can you choose the suitable type of an outline? Your choice depends on the type of books you are analyzing. Your book report has to make the summary of the plot with all the characters and themes if it goes about the analysis of adventure stories, or fiction novels. If the work is non-fiction, your focus should be on the essential arguments and facts from the main text as well as the approach of the author.


Every new paragraph covers a new idea:


This is the paragraph on the aspects you have found exciting in the book content. You can choose the facts commonly not known and explain the reasons why you have decided to opt for them.


Interpret the book overview, including the aspects related to the time period, setting, plot, and key characters. Is the genre of the book clear: is it a horror novel or thriller? Your readers need specific explanations.

Details of the Character

Give a discussion of both minor and major characters. Give explanations of the reasons why the main conflicts take place and how the characters deal with them.

Plot Analysis

Do not try to cover everything. Focus on the key points only and shape the storyline with the discussion of the main strengths, highlights, and weak points. Interpret the literary devices as well.

Personal Evaluation and Conclusion

The final paragraph is devoted to your own ideas. You give all the grounds for your opinions and explain your attitude to the theme. The readers appreciate honest opinions. So, you should act here as an objective critic and a reader.

The length of the report depends on the nature of the assignment. Some reports are short, while others are long. The focus can be on the setting, the characters, or the plot. The outline should cover all the relevant details. Organize your ideas in a logical order and jot down all of the ideas you plan to cover in your work.

NB: The requirements differ for different grade level. The professors also set different instruction. So, you should be careful not to make mistakes because you have neglected the main guidelines.


Non-Fiction Book Reports

All expert tips to write book report on factual texts and biographies state that the body paragraphs should cover the subject and viewpoints from the literary work. It is easier to give an account of the arguments and ideas of the book if you make use of the chapter headings orderly. In case of a fiction piece, you should not take into consideration all the author’s arguments. Instead, only the most thought-provoking ideas should get into the focus of your attention. In a biographical book, you should note only the most essential events in the life of a famous person.


Proofreading the Book Reports

Take a break after you have completed the first draft, so re-read it after several hours a few times. That approach adds to the objectivity of your writing. So, you may improve your writing considering the following aspects:

  • Typos and spelling mistakes
  • Clarity issues
  • Wordiness
  • Lack of examples and quotes

We recommend you should submit the paper only after you have re-read not only your work but also the set of instructions as you can trace all the issues you could have missed.

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