How to Write A Book Report

Most students and book reviewers find it difficult to write a book report. A book report often gives you insight into the author and book. It is also a critical and descriptive evaluation of a book. A book report provides a summary of the book, analyze its value, and make the student more critical and thoughtful. The elements which a student should discuss in a book report are

  1. Plot summary
  2. Theme analyses
  3. Character analysis

A book report can consist of a single paragraph to a substantial essay. Writing a book report can be a demanding assignment because it needs the reader to explore and write the whole book in comparatively compact space. It will also allow a student to practice his/her literature and language comprehension.

Here are a few more tips for writing an effective and critical book report

Book Report Process

First, you have to select a book and read it thoroughly. Write the category of a book, author and a sentence or two on which you are overviewing. Take the notes and annotation about the selected book so that you will be able to build a solid outline. At any cost, do not approach the online summaries because they do not offer a guaranteed accuracy. Outline each paragraph. Once you are satisfied and ensure that you have covered all the points such as character, element, setting, and plot, etc.

Start a new paragraph and write your views about the book. In the review, you can tell if you would like to recommend this book and why. Some students are instructed to make a glossary as well. To do so, the student has to choose a few words from the text that is specific to the book’s tone. Write the sentences from the book, which includes those words.

In some cases, teachers also ask students to discuss the timeline, turning points, unexpected outcomes, favorite scene, and your feelings while reading it. Focus on wrapping all the stuff neatly and clearly. Remember the book report is supposed to be your voice.

Background Information

Generally, this information is about the author and why he/she wrote this book. The background counts a lot in a book report because it is important to know the authors’ life history, his style of writing, his era, and his thoughts toward literature. Sometimes writers leave behind the footprints of an autobiographical element. The elements like plot, setting, conflicts, character, and dialogues spin around the background information of a writer’s life.

Summary Of The Content

When writing the summary, we recap the primary ideas of the story. It should contain the main idea, the evidence that braces the idea unless it is irrelevant to the essay as a whole. It does not need a conclusion. Recall the entire content of a book along with topics and themes that stood out. To back up your text, you should use some quotes to satisfy your reader. In the end, go through your summary to check your key ideas.

Character analysis

This is the point where you can explore the features (inner and outer) of characters and tell how their traits affect the plot. Discuss what impression character leaves behind. Discuss the gestures, mannerism, and style of talking and dressing of every major character. Spot out whether or not there is a “fatal flaw” that is the reason for conflicts and troubles. Make sure that you have to witness your all arguments and opinions with evidence from the book.


The theme is the core meaning of the story; it can also be called moral. A good story has a well-designed and planned themes that can be applied in real lives. The characters, action motivation, and interconnection reflect the theme.


A plot is the sequence of events which make up the story. These events are related and finely woven together. The plot proceeds and unravels story layer by layer – the beginning, the climax, and then the resolution. The setting in it explains the place and time. Some stories follow a chronological approach, whereas some have a flashback effect of taking the reader back and forth in the story.

Sample 1

Book Name: Snow White and Seven Dwarfs

Author Name Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

The Grimm brothers write this book. It is a German fairy tale which is famous worldwide. It was published in 1812 in the first edition of their collection “Grimm’s Fairy Tale”. The Grimm brothers were philologists, cultural researchers, lexicographers, and authors of many stories. Together they brought forward many classic stories like Cinderella and Rapunzel.


It is the story of a girl named Snow White, who had lost her mother at the time of her birth. She is known as the fairest of all and is as white as snow (named by her mother), with pink blush cheeks and a melodious voice. When Snow White’s father marries again, the stepmother cannot bear the sight of Snow White. She is jealous of Snow White’s beauty. The new queen also has a magical talking mirror. She would ask mirror to show who was the most beautiful woman in that land. One day she asked,

“Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of us all?”
Unlike the other days, that day mirror replied: “Snow White is lovelier than you.”

Queen plots to murder Snow White. She sends a huntsman in the jungle to murder her, but he takes pity and let her go. She takes refuge in the seven dwarves’ house. The queen finds Snow White and disguised as an old woman, and she gives a poisonous apple. When Snow White eats the apple, she falls into a death-like sleep. As the story moves forward, Snow White is woken by the prince.


The plot is beautifully woven in classical times. Every event moves the story smoothly and perfectly. Conflict is between inner and external beauty. The vivid message which the author wants to convey is that beauty is not in your looks, but it lies within you. Snow White was as pure and clear in her thoughts as her name. She won the heart of every character except queen due to her jealousy. The danger of vanity is also a hidden message. Forest is the symbol of protection as nature looks at humans without any distinction. The names of dwarfs Dopey, Grumpy, Happy and Sneezy, etc., are symbolic. The theme of the story is that selfish desires are dangerous.


The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs story is retold in many versions because of its uniqueness. However, the message will remain ever popular. To me, it is a wonderful story because people of every age can enjoy it, and the message fits every era. No doubt the inner beauty and purity of thoughts win the hearts.

Sample 2

Book Name: Animal Farm

Author George Orwell

About the Author

This novel is written by George Orwell and published in 1945. He was a novelist, essayist, and critic. He was the man of his thoughts and opinions who threw light on the political movements of his times.


This book Animal Farm is the masterpiece of anti-Soviet satire.  This fable set on a Manor Farm, the story is narrated by a third person. Old Major calls the meeting and announces that he may die soon. He says that the real enemy of the animals are humans. Therefore they should take revenge. When Old Major dies, Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealers take charge of rebellions and change the name into Animal Farm. They have declared seven rules or seven commandments. They start working and get a share of food. After a few seasons, pigs take control over other animals. The movement of rebellions spread over England; other animals, start lashing out against humans. They sing a song and celebrate their victory. The inner clashes begin, and the animals turn against each other. The weaker animals like horses, chickens are subjected to heavy labor. One by one, they change the commandment according to their needs, becoming corrupt and start fraternizing with humans for their benefits.


This novel is a revolt against human masters. Napoleon and Snowball exploit other animals. The setting is Dystopia. The plot is well knitted, and every event has an underlying message. The dresses of animals, their way of talking and moving around the farm gives a marvelous touch to the novel. The speeches, songs, and commandments are the beauty of this satire. The names are also symbolic and the setting of farm, its day and night with evil thoughts enhance the message of the author.


Leadership, corruption, lies, and deception are the major themes of this novel. Animal Farm is a great satire which covers the author’s age from every dimension. How the leaders played with the emotions of people and cheated them. The effects of revolution and the right direction of movements play a vital role.


I found this book very interesting allegory. The satire is vivid and beautifully exposes the outcome of the revolution. Sometimes I feel the satire goes to its peak, but later it will change in a dramatic relief which makes the novel easy to understand.