You may sigh when your teacher assigns a book report project, but writing about
the works of others is one of the best ways to expand your literary
horizons. With the helpful tips that follow and your own creativity, you can keep the A's coming in.
Most book reports follow a similar format, but your teacher will probably
outline what he or she expects from you. Follow those instructions first.
For additional inspiration and ideas, check out the The Lakewood Public Library's helpful student guide to writing book reports. It
covers everything from selecting a book to writing your final draft.
The Standard Format
This paragraph should include the title of the book and name of the
author. It will also describe the setting and quickly summarize what the
book is about. Don't get too detailed here. It's just the introduction.
This is where the real content enters the picture. By reading this part of your book report (three to four paragraphs),
your teacher will be able to determine whether you read the
book and understood the story.
Start by describing the main characters of the story. Then,
describe the conflict. Common conflicts include
man vs. man, man vs. nature and man vs. himself. Your book may present a
different kind of conflict. Describe it in detail.
The remaining body paragraphs should summarize the plot and describe how it relates to
Begin with the rising action, the part of the story where
events build. Then describe the climax, where the story
reaches its most dramatic or interesting point. The third paragraph
should describe the falling action, when the conflict or problem is
This is an appropriate place to state your personal opinion of the
book. What did you think of it? Describe its strengths and weaknesses. Would you
recommend it to others? Why or why not? Remember, a winning paper will use examples from the book to
back up comments.