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Writing a Book Report

Students can write book reports in a variety of ways. However, there are three main categories of book reports. These are character analyses, plot summaries, and analyses of major themes. Book reports are quite popular among students, as they help them to review the plot of the story they have read and summarize its key points. Whatever category of book report you are required to write for your grade, you will have to follow a whole set of academic standards. Follow our recommendations and you will not have any difficulties writing a book report.


To begin with, your book report must always contain the following components:

  1. Category of the book report you are going to write
  2. Book title
  3. Book author
  4. Where and when the story occurred
  5. Names and characters of the main participants
  6. Examples and citations from the book

You will have to include rich evidence to support your book report.

Summarizing the Plot

If your task is to summarize the plot of the book, you will have to revisit the key points of the story. However, do not simply retell the book. You will also need to include your opinion about the book and explain the rationale behind it. That is, tell your readers why you think the story is interesting and well-written, or why it is not, if that is the case. You must analyze rather than simply reiterate the plot. See the example below:           

The plot of The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is fascinating, since it provides the reader with a better understanding of the role most women played in family relationships. 

A Character Analysis

In case you decide to analyze some character, you will need to analyze both the physical appearance and personal character traits of the protagonist or secondary participants. Make sure that you also explore how their activities and decisions change the plot of the story.

  • How are your characters dressed?
  • Are they positive or negative?
  • Is there anything irreparable or irreversible about the character that changes the plot?
  • Refer to their activities and words. Use dialogues to prove your point.
  • Now you can bring your observations together to develop a coherent narrative and tell your readers why the book you have chosen is worth reading.

You may wish to start your paper with the following sentence:

In Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour, the figure of the husband enjoys just a momentary presence, but it changes the plot of the story and makes the author's message meaningful.


If you need to explore the main themes of the book, you will have a great opportunity to choose the most important messages and describe them in your paper. Here you can also incorporate your opinions and thoughts. Try to tell your reader why you are feeling this way. Which themes seem more interesting to you? However, before you articulate your thoughts you will need to inform the reader about the themes you are going to discuss.

  • Begin with a thorough description of the theme you have chosen for your report.
  • Use rich evidence from the book of your choice to support your claims and opinions. Justify the importance of the theme in your story.
  • Introduce each quotation, citation, and example. Include a thorough explanation of its meaning and significance in the context of your story.
  • Once you are done with the analysis of your selected theme, you can also describe the way it affects the book plot. Also, try to predict how the theme you have chosen can impact the emotional reactions of your readers.

Here you can use the following sentence to begin your book report:

In Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour, the theme of gender discrimination is the most important aspect of the story.

Whatever type of book report you are asked to produce, you will have to be sure that you are clear and unambiguous in your writing. You will need to do everything you can to produce an excellent book report. One of the main factors of your writing success is using enough evidence from the book to support your claims. As soon as you are done with your book report, you will see how your writing and analytical skills have improved. You will be able to use them in your future academic work.

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