Speare Blog posted on Apr 20 2017 6:53PM

How to Write a Book Report

by Chris Angelopoulos


Writing a book report can seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be a dreaded activity. It can even be fun to read a story and think about it afterward. A good book report usually includes a few specific details listed here in this guide, but it is always a good idea to double check the assignment. Knowing exactly what has to be done helps writers avoid doing extra work and makes the process more enjoyable.

Let’s Read and Find Out

The first step is to read the book. Reading for understanding is important. It can help to find a quiet location where it is possible to focus on the story. Jotting down notes on paper or using a note-taking application on a smartphone both could work. The second option may offer the possibility of organizing notes on the spot, as long as it does not become too distracting. Speare, the same software used to write of this article, provides a great way to quickly enter notes by voice or text.

Who Did It?

There are two general types of information to write down when reading a book. The first is data about the book, and the second is all about getting to the heart of the story. For data, it might be necessary to record the title, author’s name, number of pages, date published, the type of book, whether fiction or non-fiction, and the style of writing such as historical, biographical, action, or fantasy. This section can also include the reason for the book choice. All of this information can be stated in the first paragraph, and it is usually a good idea to put the book name in the report title.

Paint a Picture

Following the data paragraph, begin a new section about the story. Talk about the overall theme of the book, describe the most important parts of the story along with the characters that stood out, and write down any memorable quotes. A good book report will paint a clear but compact picture of the story so readers understand critical storylines. If a story includes rowdy characters from times past battling through the high seas to find a long lost treasure, it makes sense to mention the time and location details along with any especially catchy pirate names. If the author happens to be a captain named “Phillips”, it might be relevant to the report to explain the author’s background.

What Do You Think?

After the groundwork is laid in the first section of the report, the next part will likely include personal thoughts about the book. The writer should tell whether they liked the book or not and explain why. Depending on the assignment, it might be a good idea to talk about what was especially interesting in the story or where it could be improved. The most important idea to include in this section is how the book affected the writer of the report.

That's All Folks

With a good formula for writing, a book report doesn’t have to be a cause of fear and trembling. Start with understanding the story, then follow with information about the book, a brief summary, and reaction. Above all, make sure to follow the teacher’s instructions carefully. The book report could even be complete with fewer words than there are in this article. Happy reading!