Discover top guides, trends, tips and expertise from AIO Writers

How to Write a Book Report That Gets an A+

Julia McCoy
Friday, 19th Apr 2024
how to write a book report

You’ve just finished reading an amazing book, and now your teacher wants you to write a book report on it. Your palms start to sweat, and you feel like you’re back in high school again. Don’t worry; writing a book report doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can write a book report that will impress your teacher and get you that A+ you deserve.

Whether you’re writing about a classic novel or a brand-new bestseller, the key to a great book report is to show that you’ve really understood the book and can analyze it in a thoughtful way.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to write a book report that will make your teacher proud.

Table Of Contents:

What is a Book Report?

Let’s start with some definitions. Generally, a book report is a summary of a written text, often a fiction novel, but can also include other genres such as memoir and creative non-fiction.

Book Report vs. Book Review

A book report is an informative piece that discusses the main themes, characters, plot points, and possibly the author’s intent without giving away spoilers or personal opinions. The goal here is to inform readers about what they can expect from reading the book themselves.

On the other hand, a book review goes beyond mere summarization to include critical evaluation and personal interpretation of the text. It offers an in-depth analysis where you express your viewpoint on whether or not you think the author succeeded in their goals based on evidence drawn from reading. A good review will assess elements like character development and thematic depth as well as the book’s relevance in current times or within its genre.

  • Factual Accuracy: Book reports require strict adherence to factual details about the book such as plot summaries and character descriptions without interjecting personal opinion.
  • Critical Analysis: Book reviews encourage critiquing where you evaluate strengths/weaknesses of text through comparison with similar works or by measuring against literary standards.
  • Purpose: Book reports aim at informing potential readers while book reviews seek to persuade them towards or away from engaging with said literature based on reviewer insight.

What should you include in your book report?

Essential Elements of a Book Report

A good book report should include the following elements:

  • The historical context of the book (when it was written)
  • The time(s) during which the story is set
  • The location(s) where the story takes place
  • A summary of the main characters and actions of the story
  • Quotes from the book that will function as evidence to support your analysis

Compelling Introduction

A typical book report will open with an introduction that briefly summarizes the book and culminates with a thesis statement that advances an opinion or viewpoint about it.

Author’s Purpose and Writing Style

To provide context, ask yourself these questions when writing a book report:

  • What is the author’s point of view?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What contributions does this book make to the specific genre, historical period, theme, or field of research?

Character Analysis

You’ll want to include a character analysis when writing a book report. This means taking a deep dive into the motivations, actions, and development of the main characters throughout the story.

Plot Summary

A good book report should also include a plot summary. This is where you’ll outline the main events of the story, including the rising action, climax, and resolution.

Themes and Symbols

A book report includes an analysis of the different elements and authorial choices that comprise the work, such as tone, theme, perspective, diction, dialogue, etc.

Strong Conclusion

Finally, a book report concludes with a summary of the main points and leaves the reader with an understanding of the book, its aims, and whether or not you feel the book (and its author) was successful in doing what it set out to do.

Ideally, the conclusion will also make a statement about how the book fits into the larger literary world.

How to Write a Book Report Step-by-Step

There are several different types of book reports. Regardless of which type you’re writing, teachers and professors usually assign book reports as a way to ensure that their students have thoroughly understood the book.

Below, we’ll go over how to write a good book report in seven easy steps.

Step 1: Read the Book and Take Notes

The first step of writing a good book report is to read the book, of course. However, it’s important to highlight and take notes while reading it.

Highlight anything that stands out to you or that evokes certain emotions. Write notes on patterns, themes, and characters.

If you’re writing a book review on a nonfiction book, write notes on the major points of the book and what you think about them.

Step 2: Review the Assignment Requirements

Once you’re done reading and taking notes, reread the instructions of the assignment. Find what it is you’re supposed to write about.

Is it a character analysis? A plot summary? An exploration of themes and patterns, or something else?

It’s also essential to follow the formatting guidelines, so make sure to use the correct font and spacing.

If you have any questions, reach out to your teacher or professor.

Step 3: Create an Outline

Create an outline to organize your thoughts and structure your report. Include sections such as Introduction, Summary, Analysis, and Conclusion.

This will help you stay organized and ensure that you cover all the necessary elements.

Step 4: Write the Introduction

A typical book report will open with an introduction that briefly summarizes the book and culminates with a thesis statement that advances an opinion or viewpoint about it.

Begin your report with an engaging introduction that provides essential information about the book, such as the title, author, genre, and publication date. You can also include a brief overview of what the book is about and why you chose to read it.

Step 5: Summarize the Book

In the summary section, provide a concise overview of the book’s plot, focusing on the main events and key developments.

Avoid giving away spoilers or revealing the ending, but make sure to highlight the significant moments that drive the narrative forward.

Step 6: Analyze the Book

In the analysis section, delve deeper into the book’s themes, characters, and literary elements. Discuss the author’s writing style, the effectiveness of the plot structure, and any symbolism or motifs present in the text.

Support your analysis with evidence from the book, such as quotes or specific examples.

Step 7: Reflect and Evaluate

Offer your personal reflections and critical evaluation of the book. Discuss what you liked or disliked about it, and whether you would recommend it to others.

Be honest in your assessment, but also provide constructive feedback that helps readers understand your perspective.

Step 8: Write the Conclusion

Wrap up your book report with a thoughtful conclusion that summarizes your main points and provides closure. You can also offer some final thoughts on the book’s significance and relevance, as well as any broader implications it may have.

Step 9: Revise and Proofread

Before submitting your report, take the time to revise and proofread it carefully. Check for any grammatical errors, typos, or inconsistencies, and make sure your writing flows smoothly from start to finish.

Ask a friend or classmate to review your report as well for additional feedback.

Step 10: Format and Submit

Format your report according to the guidelines provided by your instructor or the standard formatting requirements for academic writing. Make sure to include a title page, page numbers, and any other necessary elements.

Once you’re satisfied with the final draft, submit your report on time and according to the specified submission method.

Following these steps will help you write a comprehensive and well-organized book report that effectively communicates your understanding and analysis of the book.

how to write a book report


FAQs – How to Write a Book Report

What are the 5 parts of a book report?

The five key elements of a book report are introduction, summary, character analysis, themes/symbols discussion, and conclusion.

What is the format of a book report?

A solid format includes an intro with your thesis, summaries, and analyses in the body paragraphs, and wraps up with a conclusive punch.

How do you start writing a book report?

Introduce the book’s title, author, and your main angle or thesis. Hook ’em early.

How do you write a 5 paragraph book report?

Lay down an intro paragraph first. Follow up with three paragraphs on plot points or analyses. Seal it tight with a conclusion.


Writing a book report can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple steps, you can write a book report that showcases your understanding of the book and impresses your teacher.

Remember to start by reading the book carefully and taking notes, then create an outline to organize your thoughts. When you write your report, focus on analyzing the book’s themes, characters, and writing style, rather than just summarizing the plot. And don’t forget to proofread your work before you turn it in!

With these strategies in mind, you’re well on your way to writing a book report that gets you that A+ you deserve.

Written by Julia McCoy

See more from Julia McCoy

Long Headline that highlights Value Proposition of Lead Magnet

Grab a front row seat to our video masterclasses, interviews, case studies, tutorials, and guides.

Experience the power of RankWell®