How to Write a Book Report For College

Book report due? 

No idea what to write? Don’t worry – here’s your guide on how to write a book report for college. You’ll get a grade A every time (as long as you’ve read the book that is!).

Writing a book report isn’t simple. You might have read the book and feel like there’s so much to talk about you just don’t know where to start. Alternatively, you might have read the book, hated it, and feel like you have nothing to say.

Either way - do not worry!

A book report is like a book review, just with more detail and analytical thinking. It doesn’t matter whether you loved or hated it, as long as you put your views into a logical order and really think about why the author made you feel like the way you feel. If you do all this, you’ll have a great report. 

How to Start

Title – Report on name of book by name of author

Introduction – This should be a paragraph simply running through the genre and a couple of sentences on what the book was about. Keep it brief and neutral – don’t get too detailed and save your opinions for later! 

For example: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling is a modern day, young adult fantasy novel. It tells the story of a boy called Harry Potter as he is chosen to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

What to Put in the Body

About the book – You should write around 6 paragraphs (depending on the word limit), giving an overview of the book. 

Here, you can get a bit more detailed, but remember to keep your writing structured. Points you should talk about are:

  • Plot summary – Outline the key points of the book.
  • Viewpoint and style of writing – Third, second or third person? Is it written as prose/letters/diary entries? Is it written from the points of view of different people?
  • Mood/feelings throughout the book – Does the book start with a particular feeling (e.g. hope) and then build a different mood (e.g. tension/foreboding)? How does the author do this?
  • Common literary devices – What are the main devices used in the book? Alliteration, imagery, symbolism?
  • About the protagonist – What qualities do they have? What does the author do to make us root for them?
  • Other main characters and their purposes – A best friend? A baddie? Why are they in the book?

What you think – the analysis – For every point you make above, add a sentence or two saying what you thought and why. Make sure you’re not just saying “It worked” or “It didn’t work” – really analyze why you felt that way. 

For example: I found the use of third person narrative was very effective, as it enables the reader to delve into the thoughts of every character... or I believe the sense of hope is developed exceptionally well at the beginning of the book as the reader feels elated that Harry is escaping the Dursley’s house. This is achieved by...

Sum it All Up

Your conclusion should be one or two paragraphs pulling together all of your thoughts. Have a think about:

  • Did the author achieve what they wanted?
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the book?
  • Your overall opinion – did you find it interesting or boring? Why?

For example: 

I believe Rowling successfully achieved writing a compelling fantasy novel that appeals to all ages. She characterises exceptionally well through dialogue, which I feel is a strength of the book, though the imagery is occasionally overwritten, meaning readers get bogged down in it...

Good Luck with your writing!

Author BIO: Louise is a mum with a creative writing degree, she blogs about anything connected with children, whether this concerns essay writing or the best kids toys to buy. She writes for Kids Island, a specialist in kids quad bikes.

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to write a book report, writing a book report, how to write a book report for college