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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A book report is an essay discussing the contents of a book, written as part of a class assignment issued to students in schools, particularly at the elementary school level.[1] There is a difference between a book report and a book review. A report includes a larger outline, and a review stays on the topic of the book. Teachers frequently give students a list of books from which they may choose one for the report, although sometimes students may select a work entirely of their own choosing.[1][2] Teachers may set the list of books through such methods as including the works of one particular author, reading multiple works to students aloud and having each student select one of the books for the report, or choosing the books through a class selection process.[2]

The contents of the book report, for a work of fiction, typically include basic bibliographical information about the work, a summary of the narrative and setting, main elements of the stories of key characters, the author's purpose in creating the work, the student's opinion of the book, and a theme statement summing up the main idea drawn from a reading of the book.[1][3]

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  • How to Write a Book Report - Tip #1 - The Basics (Minute Book Report)
  • Writing Ninjas: How To Write A Book Report
  • How to Write a Simple Book Report


When I was in school, I viewed book reports as both blessings and nightmares. On the surface, they seemed so easy. The teacher would say, "Pick a book. Read it. Then write 2-3 pages about it." Simple enough. Except that it wasn't. If you're like me, those two to three pages seemed like a mile. I could maybe write one paragraph, but after that my mind would go blank. Was there really nothing else I could say about the book I had just read? But now that I moved from writing book reports to assigning them to students, here are some basic tips on how to write a better book report. The first thing to do is check with the teacher about the assignment. Now whether that's asking the teacher a question or re-reading the assignment sheet, make sure that you know exactly what to do. Frankly, it's hard to write a book report when you don't know what you're supposed to do. But once you know what you need to include in your book report, the assignment is quite easy. When I assign a book report, I ask for three things. The first is a quick summary of the story. This is a concise and tight narrative of the plot of the story. But try not to ramble on too long. To me, this the least interesting part of the book report as chances are most people already know the plot of the story. The next part is a discussion of what the reader thinks of the story. This is higher level thinking than just presenting the summary. Also, it goes beyond, "It was good. I liked it. I recommend it and give it five stars." It's about what the story made you think as you read it, and more importantly, it's about your reaction to the book as a whole. The last thing that I look for in a book report is relatability to the story for others. In essence, why should other people, who may not share your interests, care about the story? It's one thing to know why you enjoy the story, but it's completely something else to be able to tell others why they might enjoy reading it too. This takes the ability to think beyond oneself, but if you can basically sell why this story is so good to others, you'll increase the interest in you and the story. I hope to go into these three elements of a good book report in the future, but remember, if all your teacher wants is a summary, that's fine. Just do the summary. Of course, it never hurts to at least be thinking about the other two elements of a book report. You never know when you'll need to impress your teacher. Thanks for watching. I hope these tips help you in your reading and writing. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Don't forget to subscribe for more book report tips as well as weekly episodes of Minute Book Reports.

Book report and book review differences

A book review makes an evaluation of a particular book outlining the various pros and cons of the book to help the reader know if it is the right book to acquire. The book review also provides a conclusion giving a recommendation on whether you should purchase the book or not.

A book report, on the other hand, is meant to outline the key aspects of that particular book helping readers understand what the book generally talks about. Basically, a book report is a summary of what a particular book talks about. If you need to write a quality book report, therefore, it is important that you get to know the major attributes that constitute the book report which includes

  • A brief summary of the book
  • Theme and character analysis
  • The tone, time and also the setting of the story
  • The author of the book and when it was published among other key details of the book
  • State out quotes used to support the message being emphasized on the story

To ease the process of writing the narrative and stories of the main characters, students may be advised to write sequence of action summaries,[2][3] story 'pyramids',[1] or story journals.[2]

Book reports may be accompanied by other creative works such as illustrations, "shoe box" dioramas, or report covers.[3]

Individual components of the book report can also be made into separate artistic works, including pop-up cards, newsletters, character diaries, gameboards, word searches, and story maps.[2]

Students are typically advised to produce the report in multiple stages, including prewriting, first draft writing, revision, first evaluation, editing and rewriting, publishing, and post-project evaluation.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kathleen Christopher Null, How to Make a Book Report: Grades 3–6, Teacher Created Resources, TCR 2327, pp. 3–8 [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jennifer Overend Prior, How to Make a Book Report, Grades 1–3, Teacher Created Resourcdes, TCR 2503, 1999, pp. 3–11 p [2]
  3. ^ a b c Writing Books Reports: Grades 3–6, Remedia Publications, p. 1
This page was last edited on 4 March 2021, at 16:58
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