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Writing a Book Report

Summary:

This resource discusses book reports and how to write them.

Contributors:Purdue OWL
Last Edited: 2011-11-09 09:09:39

Book reports are informative reports that discuss a book from an objective stance. They are similar to book reviews but focus more on a summary of the work than an evaluation of it. Book reports commonly describe what happens in a work; their focus is primarily on giving an account of the major plot, characters, thesis, and/or main idea of the work. Most often, book reports are a K-12 assignment and range from 250 to 500 words.

Book reviews are most often a college assignment, but they also appear in many professional works: magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. If you are looking to write a book review instead of a book report, please see the OWL resource, Writing a Book Review.

Before You Read

Before you begin to read, consider what types of things you will need to write your book report. First, you will need to get some basic information from the book:

You can either begin your report with some sort of citation, or you can incorporate some of these items into the report itself.

Next, try to answer the following questions to get you started thinking about the book:

As You Read

While reading a work of fiction, keep track of the major characters. You can also do the same with biographies. When reading nonfiction works, however, look for the main ideas and be ready to talk about them.

When You Are Ready to Write

Announce the book and author. Then, summarize what you have learned from the book. Explain what happens in the book, and discuss the elements you liked, did not like, would have changed, or if you would recommend this book to others and why. Consider the following items as well:

Revising/Final Copy

Do a quick double check of your paper:

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