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Book Report - Step By Step Guide & Outline

Book Report - Step By Step Guide & Outline

Don't know how to write a book report?

Don’t worry you are not alone and we are here to help you accomplish this mammoth task.

Writing a book report can be quite a challenging task. It can be even more difficult if you are not a fan of book reading. If you are a student of literature, you are going to do a lot of book reading and report writing.

A book report is a great way to understand a piece of writing and its author. A book report is all about giving a clear and straightforward summary of the book. Keep on reading the blog to know how to come up with a strong book report outline and to write an effective one.

1. What is a Book Report?

A book report is an informative piece of writing that summarizes the book and presents some brief analysis of its main elements like plot, setting, characters, tone and background of the story. The choice could be either a nonfiction or fiction book.

Book reports and book reviews look similar. However, a book requires in depth analysis as compared to a book report. To know more about book review, here is a detailed guide on writing a book review.

Some course instructors may ask students to add relevant theme of the book and plot elements, but on a very basic level, book report is an extremely simple form of book review.

Writing book reports help students to improve their analytical and communication skills and practice expressing their thoughts and ideas about the different aspects of the book they read.

2. How to Write a Book Report?

When writing a book report, it is important that you take care of some important things. No matter how great your essay is, if it is not what the instructor has asked for, it is not going to gain you any good grades.

Planning is the key to success. It is the main element of how to start a book report and submit a good report

2.1 Book Report Outline

A book report outline and format includes everything from the introduction to details of different main aspects of the book. Studying the format and working according to it is important if you do not want to waste your time and efforts.

The format and outline is the same as other essays but it may not have a thesis statement.

Follow the steps below to learn the basic book report format and how to draw an outline according to it.

A general book report outline looks like this.

Prepare your First Draft

This part of the process is directly related to the reading part of the story. When you read the book, you should take notes of important themes, events and elements, which would be helpful for you to prepare your report, without missing any important details.

The first draft writing will make sure that you have covered all the key points of the book and do not miss anything important when it comes to writing the final draft.


A strong introduction is important if you do not want to bore your instructor and earn low grades. A good book report opening paragraph includes:

  • The author's introduction
  • The setting
  • Backdrop of the story
  • Type and genre of the book

Other details include the publishing house that published it, date of publication and if it earned any accolades.

The introductory paragraph is the best opportunity for you to grab the reader’s interest by including some unusual facts about the book or the author.

Book Summary

The summary of the book includes a broad overview of the book and its plot. It details the main theme and story, point of narrative, setting and the whole story at large.

If you have read the book carefully, you could work this part of writing the book report process effectively.

Main Body

This is the fleshy part of your report. Being the main body, it should include the main part and important elements of the literary work that you are writing your book report about.

Each paragraph contemplates an idea or main theme and plot, that includes:

  • The main theme, or themes that you will focus on
  • Examples and quotes from the book to emphasize your point
  • Fatal flaws of the main character of the book and its impact on the story and life of other characters
  • Commentary on the writing style of the writer

If you were paying attention while reading the book, you may come across a number of other themes, make notes of them and explain them briefly in your book report.

Assessment and Concluding Paragraph

Once you are done with the report, it is time that you tie all the loose ends and end it strongly. A good closing will give an overview of the entire plot and summarize the book report concisely.

Be careful that you do not introduce any new ideas or themes here because this is where you are binding everything together. However, do add your point of view.

Don’t forget to write the impact of the book and state whether you recommend it. Go through the assignment and check if the conclusion meets the specific requirements.

Editing and Revision

No book report process is complete without final editing and revision. The best way of doing it is to have someone else to read the report for you and point out any flaws in it.

For optimal and point on feedback, work with someone who knows how to write a book report and provides the guidance.

Do not add crucial information about the books that you choose and stick to their plot summaries only.

2.2 Book Report Template

Following are some book report templates that you can use for your school level, high school and higher-level classes.

Book Report Outline Template

Book Report Outline Template

Book Report Format

Book Report Format

 Book Report Template

Book Report Template

2.3 Book Report Examples

Before heading towards the writing process of your own book report, it is a good idea to have a look at some of the book reports or book review examples written by professionals. In this way, it will be easier for you to understand the writing techniques and format to get a better idea for your own book report.

3. Book Report Ideas

Basic ideas include presenting your narrative and analysis in simple written and file form while, more creative ideas include a fun element.

Looking for some creative and artistic book report ideas? Following are some out of the box ideas.

  • Clothes Hanger Book Report
  • Paper Bag Book Report
  • Cereal Boxes Book Report
  • Triorama Book Report
  • File Folding Book Report
  • Watercolor and Rainbow Book Report
  • Character Enactment Book Report
  • Small Tin Boxes Book Report
  • Interview the Characters Type Book Report
  • Theme Enactment

If you are still not sure about how to write a book report that will help you earn an A, then you should consider taking from a professional essay writer.

MyPerfectWords is a professional academic assistance company that specializes in helping students to understand how to write a book report and get top grades without stressing themselves.

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