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How to Write a Good Book Report

March 4, 2020

Depending on your academic level, age and educational institution, working on a book report may be quite simple or very challenging. Writing process greatly depends on whether you need to analyze a character, a theme or a plot.

When students are asked to write a book review, they get lots of additional benefits, like mastering language and literature comprehension, learning to analyze a piece of text and experience presenting your points of view.

Not depending on the type of assignment, there are key features you should include in your paper to achieve outstanding results. Here are the elements your book reviews should consist of:

  • Category of the reported book;
  • Title of the book (depending on the required formatting style);
  • Author’s name;
  • A time when the book was written;
  • Location;
  • A few relevant examples and quotations, which will support your opinion on the text. Don’t forget that quotations must keep their original spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

Good Introduction to Book Report

Once you have read a novel, a biography, a fiction book or any other literary masterpiece it is a right time to think thoroughly about the plot, characters, themes, and proper quotes.

Like any other written assignment, such a paper requires a solid introduction to help the audience understand what you have to say. When you are working on the first section, it is important not to forget to include work’s title, author’s name and several sentences on what you will be discussing in the report. Even if a thesis is not compulsory, we still recommend writing one, because it will help you to remain focused on a certain subject without paying too much time to irrelevant details.

For example, if you are to write about ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, your introduction may look as follows:

In one of the most prominent works of Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, the author confronts readers with a thought that racism was a part of the American court system at the beginning of the 20th century, mainly in the Southern states. She supports this idea with a trial of Tom Robinson, a convicted rapist, who is represented by Atticus Finch.

Finch proves that Robinson is innocent however he is sentenced. Through the eyes of Atticus’ son, the reader gets a chance to learn about all the injustices of the system.

As you see, in this first paragraph we have mentioned the book’s title, its author and also provided information on what we are going to discuss later in the text. This is a great way not only to introduce the reader to the topic but also to keep you organized while working on the assignment.

Remember that you shouldn’t write whether you liked the analyzed book or not. Such information is not relevant for your review, because its main aim is to give an objective picture of the importance of the characters and their motifs, themes, etc. However, liking the book is more than welcome, because you will be encouraged and motivated when working on the task.

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Writing the Body Paragraphs of Your Report

A thesis statement you create must be reflected in the body paragraphs. They cover all of the ideas that you have chosen for your work and decided to present to the reader.

Plot Summary

Almost every report requires a brief summary of the chosen book, even though it is clear that there are no same book reports.

Remember, the summary shouldn’t be long. For example, if the tutor requires a four-page report, you shouldn’t devote two pages to a plot summary. Stick to a golden rule: the summary should occupy around 1/3 of the whole paper.

It will be more than enough to help the reader understand what you are analyzing.


When the summary of the book is ready, paying attention to details becomes of crucial importance. Above in the article, we have already discussed the issue of racism in the American court system on the example of To Kill a Mockingbird. After the summary, we would write about the ways Lee shows the main idea of the novel. A great solution will be inserting the most relevant and brilliant quotes from the book.

In this section, you should also discuss the theme (i.e., what was the purpose of the author) and the main characters. There are no two identical analyses, and that is what makes such high school or college assignment so interesting! Every reader will understand the book through their own experiences and will have a completely different perception of the author’s ideas.

However, you should always keep your tutor’s instructions in mind to remember what and how you need to discuss. Even if you write an outstanding report on the topic of racism in court systems on the example of To Kill a Mockingbird, it won’t mean a thing if you were supposed to describe Atticus and Scout Finch’s relationships. That is what makes following instructions during theme, plot or character analysis so important.

Short Conclusion of Book Report

Concluding paragraph is a section, where you summarize all of the arguments and present them to the reader. This means that you need to put all the information together in a few simple and clear sentences. You can also mention whether they should read the book or not (based on your own opinion).

Many tutors also recommend including the author’s name and book’s title to the last paragraph. Remember, this section is created for a summary and not for introducing new details.

Edit your report

When your paper is ready, don’t rush to your tutor to submit it as early as possible. First, you need to make sure that every paragraph is understandable, your writing style is simple, and the structure makes a perfect sense.

Reread your paper at least two times and pay careful attention to every sentence in order to detect typos, misspellings, and errors. Make sure all of the formatting requirements are met: font size, double spacing and so on. Sometimes we make silly mistakes just because we are in a hurry. Reading the paper aloud is a useful instrument to fight awkward phrases.

Make sure that all of the names and titles are written correctly. It is considered one of the most serious mistakes in these types of assignments. Never rely solely on your computer’s checker of possible errors.

Ask someone to read your report

Try to ask a family member, a friend or a classmate to read the paper and evaluate it. Once they have finished reading, ask to write comments and any corrections if needed. You can also ask to make suggestions.

When working on the assignment days or even weeks in a row, it is very easy to miss important details and make lots of various mistakes. Giving the paper a fresh glance is a great chance to improve your paper.

Polish the final draft

When all of the corrections are made, it is the right time to create a final version of the paper. Carefully read it once again to make sure that no mistakes or typos were missed out. You need to be sure that all of the guidelines were carefully followed.

There are many small mistakes that you may find irrelevant, which may greatly influence your final score. They include a wrong font and size, not a structured list of used sources, misspellings of author’s name, etc.

Remember, planning ahead and devoting enough time helps to follow a clear structure and to avoid mistakes that may cost you an excellent grade.

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Book Report Example

When working on a literary report, especially on a college level, it may be quite difficult to learn how to make your paper brilliant.

You need to detect and understand the main theme the writer is discussing, evaluate the structure, research background information and explore topic relevance. This may be a big challenge even for the most experienced students.

That is why we offer you the examples on a variety of books and publications. With their help, you will learn how to compare and contrast, follow a clear structure and apply different formatting styles!

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