How to Write a Book Report for a College course

Writing a book report is perhaps the most critical skill one can learn to do efficiently. Even though they take time, book reports should always be written honestly and with the intention to inform others about what you think about a particular book, author, character and the challenge he or she faced in the story. Here are some important guidelines for writing notable book reports.

Begin writing your book report with a synopsis, or a very brief retelling of the story. Your objective is prove that you have read the book and have come away with a reasonable understanding of it’s theme, the character’s journey and the conclusion. Create a single, strong descriptive paragraph that informs the reader what the book is about (the subject), and what the author’s point of view is. Summarize the character’s journey, the story’s emotional impact, and the story’s premise.

Next, describe who the main characters are and what makes them unique.   Continue on, describing the circumstances that have lead the characters into an interesting conflict. Focus on what you consider the most important aspects of the story, and if the story is driven by the character or the situation they become caught up in. How would you describe the problems challenging the main character’s ability to survive, and how does he or she overcome the problem? Don’t just retell the story, give as much information as necessary to make your book report interesting and informative.

The third section of your book report is all about the author. Here, you’ll describe what you have learned about the background of the author, describing who the author is and what qualifies the author for writing the book.  Next, explain anything that you believe could have influenced the point of view of the author. Finally, briefly give your opinion of the author’s writing style, how the author weaves the story together in an manner that made the book either interesting or uninteresting to you.

On the technical side of this section, you should provide the full name of the author along with the full title of the book. If the book has an editor, provide his or her name. Finally, include the location, publisher, date of publication, the edition, and the number of pages. Check with your instructor for the preferred way to do this, as there are different approved styles.

Lastly, give your honest opinion about the book. Your opinion matters, so readers want to know if you recommend it, and for whom? Explain why and what you liked or disliked the book and what, if anything, you would have changed in the story in order to make it more interesting. Readers will want to know if the book reminded you of anything you have experienced before and how the book made you feel just after you finished reading it. Finally, if you have read other books by the same author, compare how the current story stacks up against the others.

Writing book reports are an excellent way to extend your writing and critical thinking skills. These are important skills to master early on, as future success depends on negotiating an endless river of stories, characters, conflict, authors and opinions. Work on writing not just another book report, but a book report that proves you have the ability to navigate the river ahead.