Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Writing a Book Report
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.
Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.
This resource discusses book reports and how to write them.
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:
- Publisher location, name of publisher, year published
- Number of Pages
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:
- Author: Who is the author? Have you read any other works by this author?
- Genre: What type of book is this: fiction, nonfiction, biography, etc.? What types of people would like to read this kind of book? Do you typically read these kinds of books? Do you like them?
- Title: What does the title do for you? Does it spark your interest? Does it fit well with the text of the book?
- Pictures/Book Jacket/Cover/Printing: What does the book jacket or book cover say? Is it accurate? Were you excited to read this book because of it? Are there pictures? What kinds are there? Are they interesting?
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.
- Characters: Who are the main characters? What happens to them? Did you like them? Were there good and bad characters?
- Main Ideas: What is the main idea of the book? What happens? What did you learn that you did not know before?
- Quotes: What parts did you like best? Are there parts that you could quote to make your report more enjoyable?
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:
- Principles/characters: What elements did you like best? Which characters did you like best and why? How does the author unfold the story or the main idea of the book?
- Organize: Make sure that most of your paper summarizes the work. Then you may analyze the characters or themes of the work.
- Your Evaluation: Choose one or a few points to discuss about the book. What worked well for you? How does this work compare with others by the same author or other books in the same genre? What major themes, motifs, or terms does the book introduce, and how effective are they? Did the book appeal to you on an emotional or logical way?
- Recommend: Would you recommend this book to others? Why? What would you tell them before they read it? What would you talk about after you read it?
Do a quick double check of your paper:
- Double-check the spelling of the author name(s), character names, special terms, and publisher.
- Check the punctuation and grammar slowly.
- Make sure you provide enough summary so that your reader or instructor can tell you read the book.
- Consider adding some interesting quotes from the reading.
How to Write a Book Report
Use the links below to jump directly to any section of this guide:
Book Report Fundamentals
Preparing to write, an overview of the book report format, how to write the main body of a book report, how to write a conclusion to a book report, reading comprehension and book reports, book report resources for teachers .
Book reports remain a key educational assessment tool from elementary school through college. Sitting down to close read and critique texts for their content and form is a lifelong skill, one that benefits all of us well beyond our school years. With the help of this guide, you’ll develop your reading comprehension and note-taking skills. You’ll also find resources to guide you through the process of writing a book report, step-by-step, from choosing a book and reading actively to revising your work. Resources for teachers are also included, from creative assignment ideas to sample rubrics.
Book reports follow general rules for composition, yet are distinct from other types of writing assignments. Central to book reports are plot summaries, analyses of characters and themes, and concluding opinions. This format differs from an argumentative essay or critical research paper, in which impartiality and objectivity is encouraged. Differences also exist between book reports and book reviews, who do not share the same intent and audience. Here, you’ll learn the basics of what a book report is and is not.
What Is a Book Report?
"Book Report" ( ThoughtCo )
This article, written by a professor emeritus of rhetoric and English, describes the defining characteristics of book reports and offers observations on how they are composed.
"Writing a Book Report" (Purdue OWL)
Purdue’s Online Writing Lab outlines the steps in writing a book report, from keeping track of major characters as you read to providing adequate summary material.
"How to Write a Book Report" ( Your Dictionary )
This article provides another helpful guide to writing a book report, offering suggestions on taking notes and writing an outline before drafting.
"How to Write a Successful Book Report" ( ThoughtCo )
Another post from ThoughtCo., this article highlights the ten steps for book report success. It was written by an academic advisor and college enrollment counselor.
What’s the Difference Between a Book Report and an Essay?
"Differences Between a Book Report & Essay Writing" ( Classroom)
In this article from the education resource Classroom, you'll learn the differences and similarities between book reports and essay writing.
"Differences Between a Book Report and Essay Writing" (SeattlePi.com)
In this post from a Seattle newspaper's website, memoirist Christopher Cascio highlights how book report and essay writing differ.
"The Difference Between Essays and Reports" (Solent Online Learning)
This PDF from Southampton Solent University includes a chart demonstrating the differences between essays and reports. Though it is geared toward university students, it will help students of all levels understand the differing purposes of reports and analytical essays.
What’s the Difference Between a Book Report and a Book Review?
"How to Write a Book Review and a Book Report" (Concordia Univ.)
The library at Concordia University offers this helpful guide to writing book report and book reviews. It defines differences between the two, then presents components that both forms share.
"Book Reviews" (Univ. of North Carolina)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s writing guide shows the step-by-step process of writing book reviews, offering a contrast to the composition of book reports.
Active reading and thoughtful preparation before you begin your book report are necessary components of crafting a successful piece of writing. Here, you’ll find tips and resources to help you learn how to select the right book, decide which format is best for your report, and outline your main points.
Selecting and Finding a Book
"30 Best Books for Elementary Readers" (Education.com)
This article from Education.com lists 30 engaging books for students from kindergarten through fifth grade. It was written by Esme Raji Codell, a teacher, author, and children's literature specialist.
"How to Choose a Good Book for a Report (Middle School)" (WikiHow)
This WikiHow article offers suggestions for middle schoolers on how to choose the right book for a report, from getting started early on the search process to making sure you understand the assignment's requirements.
"Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers" (Common Sense Media)
Common Sense Media has compiled this list of 25 of the best books for middle school book reports. For younger students, the article suggests you check out the site's "50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12."
"50 Books to Read in High School" (Lexington Public Library)
The Lexington, Kentucky Public Library has prepared this list to inspire high school students to choose the right book. It includes both classics and more modern favorites.
The Online Computer Library Center's catalogue helps you locate books in libraries near you, having itemized the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries.
Formats of Book Reports
"Format for Writing a Book Report" ( Your Dictionary )
Here, Your Dictionary supplies guidelines for the basic book report format. It describes what you'll want to include in the heading, and what information to include in the introductory paragraph. Be sure to check these guidelines against your teacher's requirements.
"The Good Old Book Report" (Scholastic)
Nancy Barile’s blog post for Scholastic lists the questions students from middle through high school should address in their book reports.
How to Write an Outline
"Writer’s Web: Creating Outlines" (Univ. of Richmond)
The University of Richmond’s Writing Center shows how you can make use of micro and macro outlines to organize your argument.
"Why and How to Create a Useful Outline" (Purdue OWL)
Purdue’s Online Writing Lab demonstrates how outlines can help you organize your report, then teaches you how to create outlines.
"Creating an Outline" (EasyBib)
EasyBib, a website that generates bibliographies, offers sample outlines and tips for creating your own. The article encourages you to think about transitions and grouping your notes.
"How to Write an Outline: 4 Ways to Organize Your Thoughts" (Grammarly)
This blog post from a professional writer explains the advantages of using an outline, and presents different ways to gather your thoughts before writing.
In this section, you’ll find resources that offer an overview of how to write a book report, including first steps in preparing the introduction. A good book report's introduction hooks the reader with strong opening sentences and provides a preview of where the report is going.
"Step-by-Step Outline for a Book Report" ( Classroom )
This article from Classroom furnishes students with a guide to the stages of writing a book report, from writing the rough draft to revising.
"Your Roadmap to a Better Book Report" ( Time4Writing )
Time4Writing offers tips for outlining your book report, and describes all of the information that the introduction, body, and conclusion should include.
"How to Start a Book Report" ( ThoughtCo)
This ThoughtCo. post, another by academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming, demonstrates how to write a pithy introduction to your book report.
"How to Write an Introduction for a Book Report" ( Classroom )
This brief but helpful post from Classroom details what makes a good book report introduction, down to the level of individual sentences.
The body paragraphs of your book report accomplish several goals: they describe the plot, delve more deeply into the characters and themes that make the book unique, and include quotations and examples from the book. Below are some resources to help you succeed in summarizing and analyzing your chosen text.
Plot Summary and Description
"How Do You Write a Plot Summary?" ( Reference )
This short article presents the goals of writing a plot summary, and suggests a word limit. It emphasizes that you should stick to the main points and avoid including too many specific details, such as what a particular character wears.
"How to Write a Plot for a Book Report" ( The Pen & The Pad )
In this article from a resource website for writers, Patricia Harrelson outlines what information to include in a plot summary for a book report.
"How to Write a Book Summary" (WikiHow)
Using Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as an example, this WikiHow article demonstrates how to write a plot summary one step at a time.
Analyzing Characters and Themes
"How to Write a Character Analysis Book Report" ( The Pen & The Pad )
Kristine Tucker shows how to write a book report focusing on character. You can take her suggestions as they are, or consider incorporating them into the more traditional book report format.
"How to Write a Character Analysis" (YouTube)
The SixMinuteScholar Channel utilizes analysis of the film Finding Nemo to show you how to delve deeply into character, prioritizing inference over judgment.
"How to Define Theme" ( The Editor's Blog )
Fiction editor Beth Hill contributes an extended definition of theme. She also provides examples of common themes, such as "life is fragile."
"How to Find the Theme of a Book or Short Story" ( ThoughtCo )
This blog post from ThoughtCo. clarifies the definition of theme in relation to symbolism, plot, and moral. It also offers examples of themes in literature, such as love, death, and good vs. evil.
Selecting and Integrating Quotations
"How to Choose and Use Quotations" (Santa Barbara City College)
This guide from a college writing center will help you choose which quotations to use in your book report, and how to blend quotations with your own words.
"Guidelines for Incorporating Quotes" (Ashford Univ.)
This PDF from Ashford University's Writing Center introduces the ICE method for incorporating quotations: introduce, cite, explain.
"Quote Integration" (YouTube)
This video from The Write Way YouTube channel illustrates how to integrate quotations into writing, and also explains how to cite those quotations.
"Using Literary Quotations" (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison)
This guide from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writing Center helps you emphasize your analysis of a quotation, and explains how to incorporate quotations into your text.
Conclusions to any type of paper are notoriously tricky to write. Here, you’ll learn some creative ways to tie up loose ends in your report and express your own opinion of the book you read. This open space for sharing opinions that are not grounded in critical research is an element that often distinguishes book reports from other types of writing.
"How to Write a Conclusion for a Book Report" ( Classroom )
This brief article from the education resource Classroom illustrates the essential points you should make in a book report conclusion.
"Conclusions" (Univ. of North Carolina)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Writing Center lays out strategies for writing effective conclusions. Though the article is geared toward analytical essay conclusions, the tips offered here will also help you write a strong book report.
"Ending the Essay: Conclusions" (Harvard College Writing Center)
Pat Bellanca’s article for Harvard University’s Writing Center presents ways to conclude essays, along with tips. Again, these are suggestions for concluding analytical essays that can also be used to tie up a book report's loose ends.
Reading closely and in an engaged manner is the strong foundation upon which all good book reports are built. The resources below will give you a picture of what active reading looks like, and offer strategies to assess and improve your reading comprehension. Further, you’ll learn how to take notes—or “annotate” your text—making it easier to find important information as you write.
How to Be an Active Reader
"Active Reading Strategies: Remember and Analyze What You Read" (Princeton Univ.)
Princeton University’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning recommends ten strategies for active reading, and includes sample diagrams.
"Active Reading" (Open Univ.)
The Open University offers these techniques for reading actively alongside video examples. The author emphasizes that you should read for comprehension—not simply to finish the book as quickly as possible.
"7 Active Reading Strategies for Students" ( ThoughtCo )
In this post, Grace Fleming outlines seven methods for active reading. Her suggestions include identifying unfamiliar words and finding the main idea.
"5 Active Reading Strategies for Textbook Assignments" (YouTube)
Thomas Frank’s seven-minute video demonstrates how you can retain the most important information from long and dense reading material.
Assessing Your Reading Comprehension
"Macmillan Readers Level Test" (MacMillan)
Take this online, interactive test from a publishing company to find out your reading level. You'll be asked a number of questions related to grammar and vocabulary.
"Reading Comprehension Practice Test" (ACCUPLACER)
ACCUPLACER is a placement test from The College Board. This 20-question practice test will help you see what information you retain after reading short passages.
"Reading Comprehension" ( English Maven )
The English Maven site has aggregated exercises and tests at various reading levels so you can quiz your reading comprehension skills.
How to Improve Your Reading Comprehension
"5 Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension" ( ThoughtCo )
ThoughtCo. recommends five tips to increase your reading comprehension ability, including reading with tools such as highlighters, and developing new vocabulary.
"How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 8 Expert Tips" (PrepScholar)
This blog post from PrepScholar provides ideas for improving your reading comprehension, from expanding your vocabulary to discussing texts with friends.
CrashCourse video: "Reading Assignments" (YouTube)
This CrashCourse video equips you with tools to read more effectively. It will help you determine how much material you need to read, and what strategies you can use to absorb what you read.
"Improving Reading Comprehension" ( Education Corner )
From a pre-reading survey through post-reading review, Education Corner walks you through steps to improve reading comprehension.
Methods of In-text Annotation
"The Writing Process: Annotating a Text" (Hunter College)
This article from Hunter College’s Rockowitz Writing Center outlines how to take notes on a text and provides samples of annotation.
"How To Annotate Text While Reading" (YouTube)
This video from the SchoolHabits YouTube channel presents eleven annotation techniques you can use for better reading comprehension.
"5 Ways To Annotate Your Books" ( Book Riot )
This article from the Book Riot blog highlights five efficient annotation methods that will save you time and protect your books from becoming cluttered with unnecessary markings.
"How Do You Annotate Your Books?" ( Epic Reads )
This post from Epic Reads highlights how different annotation methods work for different people, and showcases classic methods from sticky notes to keeping a reading notebook.
Students at every grade level can benefit from writing book reports, which sharpen critical reading skills. Here, we've aggregated sources to help you plan book report assignments and develop rubrics for written and oral book reports. You’ll also find alternative book report assessment ideas that move beyond the traditional formats.
Teaching Elementary School Students How to Write Book Reports
"Book Reports" ( Unique Teaching Resources )
These reading templates courtesy of Unique Teaching Resources make great visual aids for elementary school students writing their first book reports.
"Elementary Level Book Report Template" ( Teach Beside Me )
This printable book report template from a teacher-turned-homeschooler is simple, classic, and effective. It asks basic questions, such as "who are the main characters?" and "how did you feel about the main characters?"
"Book Reports" ( ABC Teach )
ABC Teach ’s resource directory includes printables for book reports on various subjects at different grade levels, such as a middle school biography book report form and a "retelling a story" elementary book report template.
"Reading Worksheets" ( Busy Teacher's Cafe )
This page from Busy Teachers’ Cafe contains book report templates alongside reading comprehension and other language arts worksheets.
Teaching Middle School and High School Students How to Write Book Reports
"How to Write a Book Report: Middle and High School Level" ( Fact Monster)
Fact Monster ’s Homework Center discusses each section of a book report, and explains how to evaluate and analyze books based on genre for students in middle and high school.
"Middle School Outline Template for Book Report" (Trinity Catholic School)
This PDF outline template breaks the book report down into manageable sections for seventh and eighth graders by asking for specific information in each paragraph.
"Forms for Writing a Book Report for High School" ( Classroom )
In this article for Classroom, Elizabeth Thomas describes what content high schoolers should focus on when writing their book reports.
"Forms for Writing a Book Report for High School" ( The Pen & The Pad )
Kori Morgan outlines techniques for adapting the book report assignment to the high school level in this post for The Pen & The Pad .
"High School Book Lists and Report Guidelines" (Highland Hall Waldorf School)
These sample report formats, grading paradigms, and tips are collected by Highland Hall Waldorf School. Attached are book lists by high school grade level.
"Book Review Rubric Editable" (Teachers Pay Teachers)
This free resource from Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to edit your book report rubric to the specifications of your assignment and the grade level you teach.
"Book Review Rubric" (Winton Woods)
This PDF rubric from a city school district includes directions to take the assignment long-term, with follow-up exercises through school quarters.
"Multimedia Book Report Rubric" ( Midlink Magazine )
Perfect for oral book reports, this PDF rubric from North Carolina State University's Midlink Magazine will help you evaluate your students’ spoken presentations.
Creative Book Report Assignments
"25 Book Report Alternatives" (Scholastic)
This article from the Scholastic website lists creative alternatives to the standard book report for pre-kindergarteners through high schoolers.
"Fresh Ideas for Creative Book Reports" ( Education World )
Education World offers nearly 50 alternative book report ideas in this article, from a book report sandwich to a character trait diagram.
"A Dozen Ways to Make Amazingly Creative Book Reports" ( We Are Teachers )
This post from We Are Teachers puts the spotlight on integrating visual arts into literary study through multimedia book report ideas.
"More Ideas Than You’ll Ever Use for Book Reports" (Teachnet.com)
This list from Teachnet.com includes over 300 ideas for book report assignments, from "interviewing" a character to preparing a travel brochure to the location in which the book is set.
"Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report" (National Council of Teachers of English)
In this PDF resource from the NCTE's English Journal, Diana Mitchell offers assignment ideas ranging from character astrology signs to a character alphabet.
- PDFs for all 136 Lit Terms we cover
- Downloads of 1787 LitCharts Lit Guides
- Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
- Explanations and citation info for 37,464 quotes across 1787 books
- Downloadable (PDF) line-by-line translations of every Shakespeare play
Need something? Request a new guide .
How can we improve? Share feedback .
LitCharts is hiring!
- Try for free
How to Write the Best Book Report - With Examples
Specific tips for writing effective book reports.
Write better book reports using the tips, examples, and outlines presented here. This resource covers three types of effective book reports: plot summaries, character analyses, and theme analyses. It also features many specific examples of how to structure each type of report.
Writing a Book Report
Book reviews can take on many different forms. Three types of effective book reports are plot summaries, character analyses, and theme analyses . Writing a book review helps you practice giving your opinion about different aspects of a book, such as an author's use of description or dialogue. You can write book reports of any type, from fiction to non-fiction research papers, or essay writing; however, there are a few basic elements you need to include in order to convey why the book you read was interesting when writing a good book report.
Looking for printable book report outlines?
Our printable guide to writing a book report includes outlines, examples, tips, and all the elements your students need to write great book reports.
Always include the following elements in any book report:
The type of book report you are writing
The book's title
The author of the book
The time when the story takes place
The location where the story takes place
The names and a brief description of each of the characters you will be discussing
Many quotations and examples from the book to support your opinions
A thesis statement
The point of view of the narrator
Summary of the book
The main points or themes discussed in the work of fiction or non-fiction
The first paragraph (introductory paragraph), body paragraphs, and final paragraph
The writing styles of the author
A critical analysis of the fiction or non-fiction book
Three Types of Book Report Formats
A plot summary.
When you are writing a plot summary for your book report you don't want to simply summarize the story. You need to explain what your opinion is of the story and why you feel the plot is so compelling, unrealistic, or sappy. It is the way you analyze the plot that will make this a good report. Make sure that you use plenty of examples from the book to support your opinions. Try starting the report with a sentence similar to the following:
Try starting the report with a sentence similar to the following:
- The plot of I Married a Sea Captain , by Monica Hubbard, is interesting because it gives the reader a realistic sense of what it was like to be the wife of a whaling captain and live on Nantucket during the 19th century.
A Character Analysis
If you choose to write a character analysis, you can explore the physical and personality traits of different characters and the way their actions affect the plot of the book.
- Explore the way a character dresses and what impression that leaves with the reader.
- What positive characteristics does the character possess?
- Does the character have a "fatal flaw" that gets him/her into trouble frequently?
- Try taking examples of dialogue and analyzing the way a character speaks. Discuss the words he/she chooses and the way his/her words affect other characters.
- Finally, tie all of your observations together by explaining the way the characters make the plot move forward.
EXAMPLE Try starting the report with a sentence similar to the following:
- In the novel Charlotte's Web , by E. B. White, Templeton the rat may seem like an unnecessary character but his constant quest for food moves the plot forward in many ways.
Exploring the themes (or big ideas that run throughout the story) in a book can be a great way to write a book report because picking a theme that you care about can make the report easier to write. Try bringing some of your thoughts and feelings as a reader into the report as a way to show the power of a theme. Before you discuss your own thoughts, however, be sure to establish what the theme is and how it appears in the story.
- Explain exactly what theme you will be exploring in your book report.
- Use as many examples and quotations from the book as possible to prove that the theme is important to the story.
- Make sure that you talk about each example or quotation you've included. Make a direct connection between the theme and the example from the book.
- After you have established the theme and thoroughly examined the way it affects the book, include a few sentences about the impact the theme had upon you and why it made the book more or less enjoyable to read.
- In the novel Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry , by Mildred Taylor, the theme of racial prejudice is a major catalyst in the story.
No matter what type of book report you decide to write, ensure it includes basic information about the main characters, and make sure that your writing is clear and expressive so that it’s easy for audiences in middle school, high school, college-level, or any grade level to understand. Also, include examples from the book to support your opinions. Afterward, conduct thorough proofreading to complete the writing process. Book reports may seem disconnected from your other schoolwork, but they help you learn to summarize, compare and contrast, make predictions and connections, and consider different perspectives & skills you'll need throughout your life.
Looking for more writing resources? You can find them in our creative writing center .
Featured Middle School Resources
About the author
TeacherVision Editorial Staff
The TeacherVision editorial team is comprised of teachers, experts, and content professionals dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and relevant information in the teaching space.
- EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
- EDIT Edit this Article
- PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
- Browse Articles
- Learn Something New
- Quizzes New
- This Or That Game New
- Train Your Brain
- Explore More
- Support wikiHow
- About wikiHow
- Log in / Sign up
- Arts and Entertainment
How to Write a Book Report
Last Updated: August 13, 2023 References
This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 1,394,569 times.
Writing a book report may not seem fun at first, but it gives you a great chance to really understand a work and its author. Unlike a book review, a book report requires that you give a straightforward summary of the text. Your first step is to pick up the book and start reading. Take detailed notes and annotations as you go along. These will help you to build a solid outline, which will make the writing process much easier.  X Research source
Researching and Outlining Your Report
- For example, you’ll need to find out if your teacher wants you to include citations, such as page numbers from the book, in your paper.
- It’s also a good idea to ask your teacher how much of your paper you should devote to summary versus analysis. Most book reports are direct summaries with only a few opinions mixed in. In contrast, a book review or commentary is more opinion-driven.
- Read in stretches with breaks in between to keep your attention sharp. Try to find a pace that is comfortable for you. If you get distracted after 15 minutes, read in 15-minute intervals. If you can go an hour, read for an hour at a time.
- Make sure to give yourself enough time to get through the entire book. It’s very difficult to write a book report if you’ve just skimmed over everything.
- Don’t trust online book summaries. You can’t guarantee that they are accurate or true to the text.
- For example, look for a sentence that clearly describes a main setting in the book, such as, “the castle was gloomy and made out of large black stones.”
- When you are finished with your outline, go back through it to see if it makes sense. If the paragraphs don’t flow into one another, move them around or add/delete new ones until they do. Also, check to see if your outline covers all of the major elements of the book, such as the plot, characters, and setting.
- Outlining does take a bit of time, but it will save you time in the editing stage.
- Some people prefer to outline with pen and paper, while others just type up a list on the computer. Choose the method that works the best for you.
- Be careful not to overuse quotes. If it seems like every other line is a quote, try to dial back. Aim to include a maximum of one quotation per paragraph. Quotes and examples should still take a backseat your summary.
- For example, you’ll likely need to focus primarily on discussing the most important characters or the characters that appear most frequently in the text.
Writing the Body of Your Report
- For example, a sentence summary might state, “This book is about the main character’s journey to Africa and what she learned on her travels.”
- Don’t take up too much space with your introduction. In general, an introduction should be 3-6 sentences long, though in rare cases they may be shorter or longer.
- Use vivid language when you can and plenty of details. For example, you might write, “The farm was surrounded by rolling hills.”
- For instance, if the main character moves to Africa, you might describe what happens before the move, how the move goes, and how they settle in once they arrive.
- For example, you might write that the main character of the book is, “a middle-aged woman who enjoys the finer things in life, such as designer clothes.” Then, you could connect this to your plot summary by describing how her views change after her travels, if they do.
- Character introduction will likely happen in the same sentences and paragraphs as plot introduction.
- For example, you might write, “The author argues that travel gives you a new perspective. That is why her main characters all seem happier and more grounded after visiting new places.”
- For a fiction work, watch to see if the author is using the story to pass along a certain moral or lesson. For example, a book about a fictional underdog athlete could be used to encourage readers to take chances to pursue their dreams.
- For example, an author who uses lots of slang terms is probably going for a more hip, approachable style.
Finishing Up Your Report
- Some teachers require, or strongly suggest, that you include the author’s name and title in your concluding paragraph.
- Don’t introduce any new thoughts in this final paragraph. Save the space for your recap.
- Before you submit your paper, make sure that you’ve spelled the author’s name and any character names correctly.
- Don’t trust your computer’s spell check to catch any errors for you.
- For example, you might say, “It would be great if you could go over my report and make sure that it reads smoothly.”  X Research source
- For example, double-check that you are using the correct font, font size, and margins.
Sample Book Report and Summaries
- Even though your book report is your own work, avoid using “I” too much. It can make your writing feel choppy. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- It might be tempting to watch the movie or read the online notes, instead of reading the book. Resist this urge! Your teacher will be able to tell the difference. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Stealing or using another person’s work is considered plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Make sure that the your that you submit is all your own. Thanks Helpful 27 Not Helpful 4
- Give yourself plenty of time to write your report. Don’t wait until the last minute or you may feel rushed.  X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/703/1/
- ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 24 July 2020.
- ↑ https://www.time4writing.com/writing-resources/writing-a-book-report/
- ↑ https://takelessons.com/blog/steps-to-writing-a-book-report
- ↑ https://www.teachervision.com/writing/writing-book-report
- ↑ https://www.infoplease.com/homework-help/homework-center-writing-book-report
- ↑ https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-write-a-great-book-report-1857643
- ↑ http://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/book_reports.html
About This Article
To write a book report, start by introducing the author and the name of the book and then briefly summarizing the story. Next, discuss the main themes and point out what you think the author is trying to suggest to the reader. Finally, write about the author’s style of writing, paying particular attention to word choice and the overall tone of the book. For tips on editing and polishing your paper before turning it in, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
- Send fan mail to authors
Reader Success Stories
May 17, 2016
Did this article help you?
Nov 13, 2017
Aug 20, 2016
Nov 16, 2017
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
Don’t miss out! Sign up for
Book Report Writing
Book Report Writing Guide - Outline, Format, & Topics
16 min read
Published on: Jul 16, 2019
Last updated on: Dec 19, 2022
On This Page On This Page
A book report is a specific kind of report that the student writes after reading a book. It is different from a book review and is less detailed than it. It is a short explanation or summary of the content of a book and informs the readers about the main theme and central storyline of the chosen book.
Unlike a book review that is longer and more detailed, the purpose of writing a book report is to summarize what happened in the story. It should contain an overview of why you chose this specific novel, along with your thoughts about how it might have been improved or changed if given different circumstances.
However, no matter how simple it may seem, students often find it difficult when it comes to writing a report. Keep on reading the blog to know how to come up with a strong and effective report.
A book report is an informative piece of writing that summarizes the book and presents some brief analysis of its main elements like plot, setting, characters, tone, and background of the story.
This could be either fiction books or nonfiction, so there are many ways of presenting this information depending on your personal preferences.
Some course instructors may ask students to add relevant themes of the book and plot elements into their reports. But on a very basic level, a book report is an extremely simple form of a book review.
How does book report writing benefit you? Writing reports help students to improve their analytical and communication skills. Besides, they also practice expressing their thoughts and ideas about the different aspects of the book they read.
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job
Book Report vs. Book Review - How do they Differ from Each Other?
‘How is a book report different from a book review?’
Book reports and book reviews look similar. However, a book review requires in-depth analysis as compared to a report.
Both of them share some common traits, but we will discuss them later. We will discuss the differences before moving to the similarities. Since many students are confused between these two, it is important to discuss the differences first.
Here are some key factors that make them different from each other.
A book report is similar to a summary and can be used interchangeably. In contrast, a review requires you to analyze the contents of the material in order for your readership to know about it better.
You will need to examine its contents, understand what's going on with the plotline or main message of this piece--whether or not if the author has managed to communicate his thoughts well enough.
You will analyze both strong and weak points before giving an opinionated conclusion.
What are the SImilarities between Book Report and Book Review?
Here are the things that are added in both a book report and a book review.
- Bibliographic details
- Background of the author
- The recommended audience for the book
- The main subject of the book or work
- Summary of the work and the only difference is that in the review, a critical analysis is also added
Due to the similarities, many students think that both of these are the same. It is wrong and could cost you your grade.
How to Write a Book Report?
You should take care of some important things when writing a book report. If the essay is not what your instructor wanted, then it will get you no good grades. It will be no more than a waste of time.
Planning ahead from the beginning can help ensure success. Therefore, make sure that you plan your report before you start writing it.
Here are the pre-writing steps that are essential for a successful report.
How to Start a Book Report?
Starting a writing or other project is more important than completing it. After all, how will you be able to complete and submit a good book report without starting one? The steps involved at the beginning of your paper are different from those needed for formatting the essay later on.
The preliminary steps help keep you focused so that even if your motivation starts waning near the end, you will know what's left undone.
Below are the steps involved in starting your book report:
1. Pick the Book Carefully
Picking the right book is a crucial part of your writing process. Some teachers assign you books, and there's nothing you can do about it. However, if given a choice to pick out any type of novel for yourself, choose the one that suits your interests the best.
Everyone has different preferences regarding what types of novels they like reading, so make sure you choose the one that interests you.
2. Read the Book Properly
You cannot write a good and A-grade worthy report without reading it. Many students think that reading the summary, notes, and details online is enough, but this is not the right way of doing it.
Reading is important because otherwise, you will not be able to get to the depth of the story, which is necessary for writing the report.
3. Note Down Important Points
When reading the book, note down all the important points and incidences in your notebook. No other method is as useful as the good old paper and pen method. Make notes and keep them with you for quick reference.
4. Gather the Important and Relevant Quotes
Relevant and strong quotations from the book will add weightage to your book report and help you give your point of view in a better manner. Gather the quotes that are relevant to your report’s theme and idea.
These will also help you when you write your personal evaluation, as you could add them to prove your point and analysis.
5. Create the Outline for your Book Report
An outline is important for a good and strong book report. When making the outline, make sure that you add all the important points to it. An outline helps the writer stay organized and focused on the points and content that he is working on.
6. Write your Book Report
After you have completed all the steps above, start writing your book report. Stay focused on the points and quotes that you have gathered and follow the outline closely. Usually, it includes both basic information of the book and its complete analysis.
How to write a report for college and high school levels? Follow the same steps because the outline and format stay the same; only the book and the added details will be different.
Book Report Format
A book report format is different from a book review, and when writing one, as a writer, you should make sure that you follow the right format.
Studying the format and working according to it is important if you do not want to waste your time and effort.
Follow the steps below to learn the basic book report format and how to draw an outline according to it.
A general book report format looks like this.
- Add the title of the book, the author of the book, and the number of pages.
- Identify and mention the type of book. For example, modern realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, folktale, fantasy, etc.
- 2-3 sentences about each.
- Both of their physical and personality traits.
- Discuss the book's setting and mood.
- Goals of the character.
- Conflict or conflicts in the story?
- Type of conflicts and their results.
- Theme and message of the book.
- What did you like and disliked about the book? Explain everything here.
Following this format will make sure that you write a great report every time and earn an ‘A’ grade easily.
How to Write a Book Report Outline?
A book report outline includes everything from the introduction to details of different main aspects and opinions of the book. An outline is an important part of the writing process. It shapes your work and helps you stay focused.
Here are the things you must consider and take care of when making the outline for your book report.
‘How to write a book report introduction?’
The introductory paragraph should be about what you found interesting about the book. It could be facts that are not common knowledge, which is why you chose to read it.
Here are some examples that you can use to make your book report’s introduction interesting.
- Was the book a bestseller?
- Did someone well-known write the book?
- Are there unusual facts or circumstances that might interest people in your writing?
Since book reports could be personal also, it is okay to state any personal reasons you have for choosing the book.
- The Main Body
In the body of your report, tell what the book is about. This shows that you have read and understood it perfectly. Here are the things that you should add in the body paragraphs.
- Summary - Begin by explaining the overview of the book. This includes the setting, the time period, main characters, and plot of the story. Is it a thriller or a horror story? Tell your reader about it.
- Character Details - Discuss the major and minor characters here and explain the major conflicts they are dealing with.
- Plot Analysis - Instead of telling everything, focus on the main points that helped to shape the storyline. Discuss the main highlights, strengths, and weaknesses of the plot and explain the literary devices also.
- Conclusion & Personal Evaluation
Your final paragraph is the perfect opportunity to express your thoughts about the book. It's time for you, as an avid reader and critic of literature, to give your honest opinion of this work.
In what ways does it succeed? What are its weaknesses? Does it provoke any thoughts or emotions in you - did reading this make you laugh or cry while also teaching something new that expands your understanding?
Your readers want to know if they should read this book or not, give them the right reasons.
- Revision and Editing
Always revise your report before handing it in. You have a chance to fix the things such as getting the quotes right or making sure that the statements are clear. After formatting as per your instructor's guidelines, make any necessary changes before handing in your work.
Creating a book report outline before writing the report is necessary and important. It helps you in staying organized and completing your report on time.
How to Write a Book Report for High School?
Follow these steps to write a book report for high school:
- Read the book thoroughly and with purpose.
- Make an outline before writing the report as a pre-writing step.
- Follow the guidelines and the given format to create the title page for your report.
- Add basic details in the introduction of your book report.
- Analyze the major and minor characters of the story and the role they play in the progress of the story.
- Analyze the major and significant plot, events, and themes. Describe the story and arguments and focus on important details.
- Conclude by adding a summary of the main elements, characters, symbols, and themes.
How to Write a Book Report for College Level?
Here is a college book report template that will help you format and write your report.
- Know the assignment and book details and make sure that you follow them properly.
- Read the book properly and note down important details about the plot, characters, and theme.
Example: “The book “The Big Sleep” written by Raymond Chandler and published in 1988 (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) is a detective book. It talks about the deteriorating morals of the society, as a side effect of capitalism or consumer culture.”
Example: The narrative is set in the 1930s, when LA was a dark and treacherous city full of rain-soaked crime. Detective Philip Marlowe becomes connected to a wealthy family who has been keeping some pretty big secrets from him. He meets the Sternwood sisters and uncovers the dark secrets of the family.
Example: Marlowe's adventures with the Sternwood family start when he is invited to solve Vivian and Carmen’s case. Marlowe realizes that it was actually Carmen who killed her missing relative, while Vivian covered up her crime. Her attempt on his life fails miserably due to an expertly anticipated move by Marlowe.
- The concluding part is the final part of the report. Here, you will summarize the story and mention the weak and strong points. Unlike a review, a book report is simple and includes a summary only.
Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!
How to Write a Nonfiction Book Report?
Writing a book report on a work of fiction is easier than writing one on a nonfiction book. But what if you have to write a report on a nonfiction book? You can do some simple things that will help you write the report and maybe even make it fun.
Here are the important steps to write an engaging nonfiction book report.
- Carefully read the book you have chosen or been assigned. It is a good idea to mark pieces of information that you can use in your report. This will help you write a better report.
- The introduction should have the author's name, year of publication, and reason for writing the report. The first sentence should be interesting and the main theme of the novel should be summarized in a few sentences.
- Ideally, the body section includes 3 paragraphs. Instead of adding all the details, it is better to stick to important details and include those in the report.
- Conclude the book with your personal opinion, if you have managed to come up with any. Would you recommend it? Mention the reasons here.
Writing a nonfiction book report could be challenging. You will have to stick to factual details and will have less freedom to express your views. Following these steps will help you do it easily.
How to Write a Book Report without Reading the Book?
No time to read the book? Here are the steps to write a book report without reading the entire book.
1. Consult a Summary Website - A number of websites do the reading for you. You can check and consult some of those websites and read the summaries and text analyses given by them.
2. Stick to Significant Details Only - Instead of trying to add everything in your report, stick to important details only. Choose 2 to 3 important details and talk about them.
3. Work with a Writing Service - Working with a writing service is a smart and effective way of submitting your report on time. Choose a professional writing service and work with it.
4. Try to Discuss a Different Angle - Try to find out what your peers are working on and discuss a different angle. How will you stand out if you have discussed the same things as your classmates? Be unique and add an extraordinary angle to your report.
Though writing a book report without reading the book is hard, you can do it by following the above steps.
Book Report Templates for Different Grades
Students studying at different levels have different skills and ability levels. Here is how they can write book reports for their respective academic levels.
How to Write a Book Report for an Elementary School?
The following are some book report templates that you can use for your primary or elementary school.
How to Write a Book Report for Middle School
Here are the templates that you can use to write your middle school book report.
Book Report Examples
Before heading towards the writing process of your book report, it is a good idea to have a look at some of the book report examples.
Book Report of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Book Report of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Book Report Ideas
Basic ideas include presenting your narrative and analysis in simple written and file form, while more creative ideas include a fun element.
Here are some creative and artistic book report ideas you can choose from.
- Clothes Hanger Book Report
- Paper Bag Book Report
- Cereal Boxes
- Triorama Book Report
- File Folding Book Report
- Watercolor and Rainbow Book Report
- Character Enactment Book Report
- Small Tin Boxes Book Report
- Interview the Characters Type Book Report
- Pumpkin Book Report
Some notable books to choose from for your book report writing assignment are mentioned below:
- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
- James and the Giant Peach
- The Silent Patient
- Sons and Lovers
- Cry Silent Tears
- The Hunger Games
- The White Tiger
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist
- The Mueller Report
- The Minority Report
Good and well-written book reports introduce the book and explain its main themes and points briefly. There is a fine line between giving just enough details and giving away the entire book, and a good report maintains this distinction.
Working with a top essay writer service will help you understand this difference and compose a great report easily. If you are still not sure about how to write a book report that will help you earn an A, then you should consider taking help from a professional essay writer.
Order now from the top essay writing service and get your book report before the deadline.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the parts of a book report.
A book report often contains different sections that describe the setting, main characters, and key themes of the story. A common type is an expository one which details what happened in detail or discusses how people feel about it.
Is a report a summary?
No, a summary is more detailed than a book report. A book report is usually based on a short summary of the book, while a standalone summary is more detailed and could have headings, subheadings, and supporting quotes.
How many paragraphs should be included in a book report?
The book report is a typical assignment in middle and high school, usually with one introduction, three body, and one conclusion paragraph.
The number of paragraphs could vary depending on the academic level, with an expert or professional book report having more than three body paragraphs.
How long is a book report?
It should not exceed two double-spaced pages, be between 600 and 800 words in length. Your book report is a written reflection on the content of a novel or work of nonfiction.
How do you end a book report?
Sum up your thesis statement and remind the readers of the important points, one final time. Do not add any new ideas or themes here and try to leave a lasting impression on the reader.
Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
People also read
Guide to Create a Book Report Outline
Creative and Excellent Book Report Ideas for Students
Share this article
We value your privacy
Website Data Collection
Are you sure you want to cancel?
Your preferences have not been saved.
How to Write a Great Book Report
Hero Images / Getty Images
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
One assignment has lasted the test of time, uniting generations of students in a common learning exercise: book reports. While many students dread these assignments, book reports can help students learn how to interpret texts and gain a broader understanding of the world around them. Well-written books can open your eyes to new experiences, people, places, and life situations that you may have never thought about before. In turn, a book report is a tool that allows you, the reader, to demonstrate that you have understood all the nuances of the text you just read.
What's a Book Report?
In the broadest terms, a book report describes and summarizes a work of fiction or nonfiction . It sometimes — but not always — includes a personal evaluation of the text. In general, regardless of grade level, a book report will include an introductory paragraph that shares the title of the book and its author. Students will often develop their own opinions about the underlying meaning of the texts through developing thesis statements , typically presented in the opening of a book report, and then using examples from the text and interpretations to support those statements.
Before You Start Writing
A good book report will address a specific question or point of view and back up this topic with specific examples, in the form of symbols and themes. These steps will help you identify and incorporate those important elements. It shouldn't be too hard to do, provided you're prepared, and you can expect to spend, on average, 3-4 days working on the assignment. Check out these tips to ensure you're successful:
- Have an objective in mind. This is the main point you want to present or the question you plan to answer in your report.
- Keep supplies on hand when you read. This is very important. Keep sticky-note flags, pen, and paper nearby as you read. If you're reading an eBook , make sure you know how to use the annotation function of your app/program.
- Read the book. It seems obvious, but too many students try to take a shortcut and simply read summaries or watch movies, but you often miss important details that can make or break your book report.
- Pay attention to detail. Keep an eye out for clues that the author has provided in the form of symbolism . These will indicate some important point that supports the overall theme. For instance, a spot of blood on the floor, a quick glance, a nervous habit, an impulsive action, a repetitive action... These are worth noting.
- Use your sticky flags to mark pages. When you run into clues or interesting passages, mark the page by placing the sticky note at the beginning of the relevant line.
- Look for themes. As you read, you should begin to see an emerging theme. On a notepad, write down some notes on how you came to determine the theme.
- Develop a rough outline. By the time you finish reading the book , you will have recorded several possible themes or approaches to your objective. Review your notes and find points that you can back up with good examples (symbols).
Your Book Report Introduction
The start of your book report provides an opportunity to make a solid introduction to the material and your own personal assessment of the work. You should try to write a strong introductory paragraph that grabs your reader's attention. Somewhere in your first paragraph , you should also state the book's title and the author's name.
High school-level papers should include publication information as well as brief statements about the book's angle, the genre, the theme , and a hint about the writer's feelings in the introduction.
First Paragraph Example: Middle School Level
" The Red Badge of Courage ", by Stephen Crane, is a book about a young man growing up during the Civil War. Henry Fleming is the main character of the book. As Henry watches and experiences the tragic events of the war, he grows up and changes his attitudes about life.
First Paragraph Example: High School Level
Can you identify one experience that changed your entire view of the world around you? Henry Fleming, the main character in "The Red Badge of Courage", begins his life-changing adventure as a naive young man, eager to experience the glory of war. He soon faces the truth about life, war, and his own self-identity on the battlefield, however. "The Red Badge of Courage", by Stephen Crane, is a coming of age novel published by D. Appleton and Company in 1895, about thirty years after the Civil War ended. In this book, the author reveals the ugliness of war and examines its relationship to the pain of growing up.
The Body of the Book Report
Before you get started on the body of the report, take a few minutes to jot down some helpful information by considering the following points.
- Did you enjoy the book?
- Was it well written?
- What was the genre?
- (fiction) Which characters play important roles that relate to the overall theme?
- Did you notice reoccurring symbols?
- Is this book a part of a series?
- (nonfiction) Can you identify the writer's thesis?
- What is the writing style?
- Did you notice a tone?
- Was there an obvious slant or bias?
In the body of your book report, you will use your notes to guide you through an extended summary of the book. You will weave your own thoughts and impressions into the plot summary . As you review the text, you'll want to focus on key moments in the storyline and relate them to the perceived theme of the book, and how the characters and setting all bring the details together. You'll want to be sure that you discuss the plot, any examples of conflict that you encounter, and how the story resolves itself. It can be helpful to use strong quotes from the book to enhance your writing.
As you lead to your final paragraph, consider some additional impressions and opinions:
- Was the ending satisfactory (for fiction)?
- Was the thesis supported by strong evidence (for nonfiction)?
- What interesting or notable facts do you know about the author?
- Would you recommend this book?
Conclude your report with a paragraph or two that covers these additional points. Some teachers prefer that you re-state the name and author of the book in the concluding paragraph. As always, consult your specific assignment guide or ask your teacher if you have questions about what is expected of you.
- 10 Steps to Writing a Successful Book Report
- Book Report: Definition, Guidelines, and Advice
- How to Find the Theme of a Book or Short Story
- How to Design a Book Cover
- How to Write and Format an MBA Essay
- How to Write a Response Paper
- How to Write a Critical Essay
- Top Conservative Novels
- 7 Active Reading Strategies for Students
- How to Understand a Difficult Reading Passage
- What Is an Autobiography?
- Writing a History Book Review
- How to Keep a Reading Log or Book Journal
- 50 General Book Club Questions for Study and Discussion
- 20 Book Activities to Try With Grades 3-5
- How to Remember What You Read
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Be more productive in school
- Citation Styles
How to write a book report
A book report is one of the first types of essays you probably learned to write in elementary school. But no matter how many book reports you turn in over the course of your student life, they can still inspire some anxiety and some confusion about the best way to write a book report, especially as you reach the high school and college level.
The good news is that the basics you learned in the early grades will serve you in good stead, since the book report format remains mostly the same. The very same structure and tools you used to dissect Charlotte’s Web and Superfudge will work just as well for Animal Farm and The Handmaid’s Tale . What changes is the depth and breadth of your analysis as a high school and college student.
So, If you are wondering how to start a book report for a college class assignment, here are some of the key pieces of information you need to know.
What is a book report?
Let’s start off with some definitions. In the most general terms, a book report is a summary of a written text, often a fiction novel, but can also include other genres such as memoir and creative non-fiction. It includes an analysis of the different elements and authorial choices that comprise the work, such as tone, theme, perspective, diction, dialogue, etc.
While the analysis should be reasoned and objective, it should also include your opinion and assessment of the impact and overall success of the author’s choices on the final work.
Book reports usually fall into one of the following types:
This type of book report isn’t just a re-telling of the story, it’s a comment on your overall impression of the plot — whether you thought it was engaging or maudlin or vapid, for example — backed up by direct quotes from the text to support your opinion.
Example of a plot summary thesis statement: The plot of Herman Melville’s short story, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” offers a poignant portrait of how depression robs a person of all motivation and momentum in life.
A character analysis zeroes in on a particular character (their characterization and actions) and their impact on the unfolding of the plot and its eventual outcome.
Example of a character analysis thesis statement: In J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye , the character of Phoebe, Holden’s bright and precocious younger sister, is a catalyst for rekindling his hope in humanity and reconsidering the choices he’s made in his life.
A theme analysis looks at the overarching concepts, or themes, that run through a book and that give the text meaning and direction. Themes tend to be broad in nature, such as love, the importance of family, the impact of childhood, etc.
Example of a theme analysis thesis statement: Banana Yoshimoto’s novella, Kitchen , explores the theme of death and how everyone sooner or later has to come to terms with the mortality of the people they love as well as their own.
How to start a book report
The very first step in writing a stellar book report that earns a top grade is actually reading the book. This may seem obvious, but many students make the assignment much harder on themselves by not putting in the time up front to do a thorough and complete reading of the book they’re going to be writing their report on. So resist the urge to skim the text or to rely on the Cliff’s notes version. A nuanced analysis requires a deep grasp of the text, and there is no substitute for focused, firsthand reading.
It’s a lot easier to stick with a book that you enjoy reading! If you have the chance to choose the book you’ll be writing a report on, take some time to select a book that appeals to you, considering the genre, time period, writing style, and plot.
It can be helpful to start thinking about your book report while you are still making your way through your initial reading of the text. Mark down passages that provide key turning points in the action, descriptive passages that establish time and place, and any other passages that stand out to you in terms of their word choice and use of language. This makes it much easier to go back later and start collecting the evidence you’ll need to support your argument and analysis.
Once you finish reading the book from cover to cover, you’ll likely find that your mind is swirling with thoughts, impressions, and burgeoning analyses. At this stage, trying to distill all of these half-formed thoughts into one cohesive report may seem like a daunting task. One way to make this task more approachable is to start by collecting and listing the objective facts about the book. The following list covers the basic elements that should be included in every book report you write, no matter what topic or specific type of book report you’re writing:
- The book’s title and author
- The historical context of the book (when it was written)
- The time(s) during which the story is set
- The location(s) where the story takes place
- A summary of the main characters and action of the story
- Quotes from the book that will function as evidence to support your analysis
With all of the basics in hand, you can start to write your book report in earnest. Just like most other essay types, a well-written book report follows a basic structure that makes it easy for your reader to follow your thoughts and make sense of your argument.
A typical book report will open with an introduction that briefly summarizes the book and culminates with a thesis statement that advances an opinion or viewpoint about it. This is followed by body paragraphs that provide detailed points to flesh out and support that opinion in greater detail, including direct quotes from the text as supporting evidence. The report finishes with a conclusion that summarizes the main points and leaves the reader with an understanding of the book, its aims, and whether or not you feel the book (and its author) was successful in doing what it set out to do. Ideally, the conclusion will also make a statement about how the book fits into the larger literary world.
A book report template you can use for any book report
If you find yourself stuck on how to start a book report, here’s a handy book report template you can use to get things off the ground. Simply use this structure and start filling it in with the specifics of the book you are writing your report on. Feel free to expand upon this book report template, adding more sections as appropriate.
Write three to five sentences introducing the book and author as well as important contextual information about the book, such as the publication year and the overall critical reception at the time. Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement.
Include at least three body paragraphs that offer detailed information and analysis to support your thesis statement. Each paragraph should contain one idea, backed up with direct quotes from the text alongside your critical analysis.
Write three to five sentences that restate your thesis and summarize the evidence you’ve presented in support of it. Relate your findings to a larger context about the book’s place within both the literary world and the world at large.
Frequently Asked Questions about book reports
A book report follows the format of most papers you write - it will have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Depending on the type of book report, you will fill these parts with the required information.
These are the basic parts that should be included in every book report you write, no matter what topic or specific type of book report you’re writing:
- The historical context of the book and time(s) during which the story is set
The book report is, among other things, also a summary of the plot, main characters, and ideas and arguments of the author. Your book report should help readers decide whether they want to read the book or not.
How many pages a book report should have depends on your assignment. It can be a half page, but it can also have many pages. Make sure to carefully read through your assignment and ask your professor if you are unsure .
A book report is a summary of a written text. A good book report includes an analysis of the different elements and authorial choices that comprise the work, such as tone, theme, perspective, diction, dialogue, etc. A good book report helps the reader decide whether they want to read the book or not.
Make your life easier with our productivity and writing resources.
For students and teachers.
🎉 Our next novel writing master class starts in – ! Claim your spot →
Looking to publish? Meet your dream editor on Reedsy.
Find the perfect editor for your next book
1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy, come meet them.
Posted on Dec 29, 2020
The Ultimate List of Book Genres: 35 Popular Genres, Explained
Authors need to have a firm grasp on all the different genres of books in order to find the perfect home for their own. The tropes and expectations of a book’s genre will inform its content and style during the writing process, as well as fundamentals such as word count . But it’s also central to the marketing of a book , determining its target audience, and those all-important Amazon categories . Get your genre wrong, and you could be waving goodbye to book sales and hello to unsatisfied reader reviews!
How many book genres are there?
Though we’re only covering 35 of the most popular in this post, there are around 50 genres in total — the exact number depends on who you ask. If you take subgenres into account, over on Reedsy Discovery we have 107 different categories, while Amazon has over 16,000!
That can be a lot to take in. So if you'd like some personalized guidance, we recommend taking this 1-minute quiz that will point you towards your genre (and subgenre).
Which genre (or subgenre) am I writing?
Find out which genre your book belongs to. It only takes a minute!
For an overview of all of the genres, that's what the rest of this post is for. There’s bound to be a genre that’s the perfect fit for your book — all you have to do is find it!
“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.” — Khaled Hosseini
This book genre is characterized by elements of magic or the supernatural and is often inspired by mythology or folklore. In high fantasy — one that’s set in an entirely fictional world — these magical elements are at the forefront of the plot, as in Trudi Canavan’s Black Magician trilogy. In low fantasy or magical realism, however, magic is subtly woven into an otherwise familiar, real-world setting. You can delve into fantasy’s many subgenres to get to know your Arcanepunk from your Flintlock, and find your book’s home!
Pro tip for writing fantasy : To make your world feel real and functional, make sure it’s grounded in rules — an internal rationale, so to speak, encompassing everything from the workings of your society to your magic system.
A popular genre of science fiction, dystopian novels offer a bleak and frightening vision of the future. Authors writing dystopias imagine a grim society, often in the aftermath of a disaster, facing things like oppressive governments, Black Mirror -esque technology, and environmental ruin. From widely popular series like The Hunger Games to critically-acclaimed classics like Nineteen Eighty-four , the enduring appeal of dystopian fiction lies in our burning desire to know where mankind is headed — and our perverse enjoyment of dark stories, so long as they aren’t actually happening to us.
If you struggle to write consistently, sign up for our How to Write a Novel course to finish a novel in just 3 months.
NEW REEDSY COURSE
How to Write a Novel
Enroll in our course and become an author in three months.
Action & Adventure
If you’re writing adventure, then chances are your book follows the structure of the Hero’s Journey . Your protagonist has a very important goal to achieve, but they’re really going to have to go through the wringer first! You throw up obstacle after obstacle, putting your hero in downright dangerous situations but eventually, they triumph and return home transformed. The action and adventure genre also complements a huge range of others, which means it has its fingers in everything from fantasy novels like The Hobbit to classic romance like J ane Eyre .
Also called detective fiction, this book genre is characterized by a gripping plot that revolves around a mystery — but hopefully, you’ve cracked that clue! The setting, characters, and tone of your book will determine precisely which category it falls under: cozy mystery , hardboiled, or something in between. But at the core of any mystery is a crime that must be solved by the protagonist. To get a sense of the clever trail of clues that’s so vital to this genre, check out Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie — the grande dame of mystery fiction.
Pro tip for writing a mystery : When planning your novel, consult the Fichtean curve , a narrative structure that emphasizes mini-crises, ratcheting up the tension to keep readers anxious to reach the climax.
What unites the books in this genre is not theme, plot, or setting, but the feeling they inspire in the reader: your pulse quickens, and your skin prickles as you turn the page with bated breath. Of course, this feeling of dread only comes about if the author creates the right atmosphere — an essential feature dependent on the subgenre. Gothic horror, for example, sends a shiver down your spine with spooky settings and paranormal elements, while gross-out horror shocks the reader with hacked-up flesh and buckets of blood. The master of horror fiction in all its guises? Stephen King , of course.
Pro tip for writing horror : Make the stakes plain and straightforward — survival, the death of a loved one, etc. — and clearly establish them for the reader, so they are in no doubt about the character’s motivation.
Thriller & Suspense
A horror story can also be called a thriller, if it employs psychological fear to build suspense . But not all thrillers are horror stories . So what are they? While this book genre encompasses many of the same elements as mystery, in a thriller the protagonist is usually acting to save their own life, rather than to solve the crime. Thrillers typically include cliffhangers, deception, high emotional stakes, and plenty of action — keeping the reader on the edge of their seat until the book’s climax. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is a masterclass in the dark, mysterious thriller.
Pro tip for writing a thriller : Avoid anything that bogs down the pacing. If you notice that a scene is getting tied up in everyday details, or doesn’t add enough excitement to the plot, rewrite it or cut it altogether!
This book genre encompasses fictional stories in a historical setting , carefully balancing creativity and facts. In most cases, the characters and events are imagined by the author and enriched with historically accurate details from a specific time period. Take The Help by Kathryn Stockett, for example — a fictional story set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. But occasionally, as is the case with Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell trilogy, the author builds the main story around real historical figures and events.
Like almost all of these genres, it's crucial that historical fiction works in exposition and historical detail subtly. Want to learn more about how to do this? Check out our free course on the golden writing rule, Show, Don't Tell.
Show, Don't Tell
Master the golden rule of writing in 10 five-minute lessons.
Romance is so frequently used as a subplot that it can sometimes be tricky to know whether or not you’re writing in this genre . The key thing to remember is that the romantic relationship must be the center point of the plot. (Other giveaways include a “happily ever after” ending and the warm fuzzies.) If your novel has a romantic relationship at its heart and is perfectly at home in another genre, it probably falls into one of romance’s many subgenres , including but not limited to: young adult romance, paranormal romance, and historical romance.
Women’s fiction is an umbrella term for books written to target a female audience, generally reflecting on the shared experience of being a woman or the growth of a female protagonist. Because of this rather broad definition, authors will quite often write a romance novel or mystery, for example, that could also be labeled women’s fiction. Despite the connotations of one alternative name for this genre (“chick-lit”), many critically acclaimed bestsellers, including Jaqueline Woodson’s Red at The Bone, fall under its purview.
Like contemporary fiction, books considered literary fiction can’t be neatly filed under any other genre. What distinguishes this genre from contemporary fiction is that works of literary fiction are thought to have considerable artistic value. If your prose is meant to engage the reader in thought, if your narrative is character-driven and introspective, and if you provide personal or social commentary on a “serious” theme, then chances are you’re writing lit-fic. Modern classics by the likes of Virginia Woolf or Ali Smith would be labeled literary fiction.
Like we mentioned, lit-fic is heavy on character, and lighter on plot. If you're interested in writing a character-driven story, try out our profile template for developing well-rounded, fully realized ones.
Reedsy’s Character Profile Template
A story is only as strong as its characters. Fill this out to develop yours.
You may remember us mentioning magical realism under the umbrella of fantasy — but considering its highbrow style and literary prestige, magical realism is often considered a genre in its own right. Its hallmarks include a real-world setting, a cast of run-of-the-mill characters (no vampires, fairies, or sorcerers), a fluid and non-linear timeline, and supernatural happenings — a baby born with feathered wings, or an egg hatching a ruby — left unexplained. Authors like Isabel Allende and Toni Morrison have used this literary style to grapple with serious social ills, from colonialism to fascism and slavery.
Though they can belong to any of the other book genres on this list, short stories are frequently grouped together in their own genre because they’re, well, so much shorter than novels. Often the author will compile a collection linked together by a narrative thread or, more commonly, a shared theme. The stories in A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, for example, follow a series of women in different occupations — from cleaning women to ER nurses — all struggling to survive.
Young adult fiction , or YA, targets readers aged 12-18 and reflects its readership by following teenage characters as they grapple with the unique challenges of adolescence. Most works of YA fiction can be labeled “ coming-of-age novels ”, in which the characters exit childhood and enter adulthood — a transition that results in a loss of innocence and a shifting sense of identity. Some of the biggest bestsellers in recent years have belonged to this genre, including The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and anything by John Green.
Pro tip for writing young adult fiction : Though your teen character’s voice should be true to her life experience, you should never “dumb down” the language, story, or style choices in a YA novel.
The shiny new penny on this book genres list, new adult is like young adult aged-up: coming-of-age stories after the messiness of adolescence. Its college-age protagonists are walked through the gauntlet of becoming fully-fledged grownups, ditching the stress of the SATs and senior prom for college exams, career transitions, and more mature first times. Big names in New Adult , like Cora Carmack, tend to write steamy romances set in dorm rooms. But this genre isn’t all about collegiate love stories — your gritty urban fantasy or immersive historical fiction could find its home here, too.
Books in this genre are written with readers under the age of twelve in mind. Of course, kids will do a lot of growing between the ages of zero and twelve, which is why children’s books range from baby board books all the way up to middle grade ‘epics’ of 50,000 words. Hopefully, if you’re writing children’s literature , you already know you are. But it’s crucial that you also know which age group you’re trying to target, as this will impact the themes, characters, and complexity of your book.
This is a broad category encompassing a number of nonfiction subgenres . From memoirs and biographies to books to self-help and true crime books, there's a type of nonfiction for every kind of reader.
Memoir & Autobiography
Both memoirs and autobiographies provide a true account of the author’s life. They differ in that an autobiography provides a chronological account of your life’s events and accomplishments, whereas a memoir puts the emphasis on only the most defining, emotional moments. Generally, these moments are drawn together by a single theme — or a significant time, place, or relationship — to communicate a message you wish to share with readers. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson is a popular example of a memoir .
Pro tip for writing a memoir : Treat yourself as an interview subject and ask yourself questions that will trigger those life-defining stories — the ups and downs, the events that shaped you, what you sacrificed, what you learned.
Like autobiographies, biographies provide readers with a person’s life story; but they’re written in the third person by someone other than the subject. Generally, the subject of a biography is (or was) well-known — somebody whose life can teach readers an interesting lesson worth learning. Biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies differ from the rest of the nonfiction on this list, in that they weave a narrative in almost the same way a novel does. A great biography , like Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton , isn’t a laundry list of events, but a life-giving tribute.
Food & Drink
Food and drink is one of nonfiction’s hottest book genres, making it a crowded and highly competitive market. As a result, today’s cookbooks tend to cater to specific cuisines, dietary, and/or lifestyle needs. If you’re writing a cookbook , you might consider pairing recipes with nutritional information, short autobiographical narratives, or even workouts. Jo Wicks’s 30 Day Kickstart Plan and Less Fuss No Waste Kitchen by Lindsay Miles are excellent examples of modern cookbooks.
Art & Photography
Some of the bestselling books in nonfiction, self-help books encourage personal improvement and confidence. Whether the focus is on relationships, emotional well-being, or finances, if you’re writing a book that aims to uplift and empower the reader, then you’re probably writing self-help .
The books in this genre lay down the known facts about a historical era, event, or figure. And since this is nonfiction, all the facts have to be accurate (though that doesn’t mean there’s no room for inference or opinion). The goal of these books is to educate and inform the reader, so this genre does include all those textbooks you used in school. But many history books ditch the play-by-play format to chronicle the past in a way more akin to storytelling. One of our favorite history books is Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
Travel memoirs and travelogues, like Jonathan Glancey’s The Journey Matters , take us all over the world, giving even the most devoted homebodies a tantalizing taste of adventure, wildlife, and the great outdoors. These pocket-sized books — featuring destination reviews, lists of where to eat and what to see, and tips for traveling on a budget — are without a doubt some of the most useful titles on the shelves.
Laugh-out-loud memoirs by the funniest celebs, satirical essays from the likes of David Sedaris, or gag gifts like How to Adult — all the books in this rib-tickling genre are written with one thing in mind: making readers laugh! So if you’ve compiled a collection of all your favorite dad jokes or penned a cathartic brain-dump of your most cringe-worthy memories, then your book may also belong in the humor genre.
An essay may sound like a boring assignment from your school years, but the books in this genre are among some of the most moving and inspirational works of literature there are. Many powerful voices — like James Baldwin and Roxane Gay — have used these short works to reflect on their own personal experiences and views, combining them into a collection that serves as an eye-opening social commentary on a particular theme or subject.
Guide / How-to
Religion & Spirituality
From histories of the Catholic Church to spiritual guidebooks and memoirs of the Eat, Pray, Love variety, this genre has a place for anything and everything related to the topics of religion and spirituality.
Humanities & Social Sciences
Got something wise to say? Then your book might just belong among the books of this eclectic genre — as long as it discusses a topic related to (deep breath): philosophy, history, literature, language, art, religion, music, or the human condition. This might seem like a pretty wide net to fall into, but keep in mind that books in this genre are typically quite academic; if you’ve written more of a free-flowing spiritual guide, it probably belongs in the previous genre.
Parenting & Families
Parents and families struggling with discipline, education, bonding, the care of a newborn baby, or a child with special needs, can turn to this well-stocked genre of books when they need to bring in the reinforcements. If you’ve written a memoir that’ll have families whole-heartedly nodding in agreement, or a guide brimming with advice for frazzled parents, then you can find a place for your book in the parenting and families section.
Science & Technology
The job of science nonfiction is not to predict the future, but to make sense of the world we’re currently living in — which, quite honestly, can feel like science fiction to some of us! Readers of this genre range from complete beginners trying to understand the things around them to technophiles whose brains are whirring to keep up with the pace of change, so there’s bound to be a niche for your book, however advanced it is.
As much as kids love fairytales and talking animals, they’re often just as happy to pick up a nonfiction book at storytime. Whether it’s an activity book to keep them busy, a powerful true story like Malala’s Magic Pencil , or a children’s encyclopedia to feed their brains, children’s nonfiction is all about making learning fun. And the wildly popular Horrible Histories series has proven that this genre can compete with wizards and superheroes at every age!
There you have it: 35 of the most popular genres of books. Hopefully, this list will help you get your foot in the right door. But if your book doesn’t slot neatly into any of these categories (though there are quite some more types of nonfiction to consider), don’t be afraid to declare it a hybrid, or to dig a little deeper into the subcategories that you’ll find in the shade of these umbrella genres.
And no matter what kind of book you're writing, check out our book development template to get started.
Get our Book Development Template
Use this template to go from a vague idea to a solid plan for a first draft.
Recommended posts from the Reedsy Blog
5 Ways to Save on Your Self-Publishing Budget
If you want to self-publish a book without breaking the bank, here are 5 tips to ensure you still get the best result possible.
30 Great Book Dedication Examples to Inspire Your Own
A list of 30 of the best book dedications in the business, that'll have you crying, laughing, and crying laughing.
Expository Writing: The Craft of Sharing Information
Expository writing is a fundamental part of how we learn and make sense of the world. Learn all about it in this post.
How to Make Money by Writing Books: 8 Tips for Success
If you want to be an author who makes a living from books, here are eight tips to help you make money as a writer.
What is an Imprint? A Division of a Larger Publisher
We’ve asked three Reedsy editors with experience working for ‘Big 5’ publishers, and compiled everything you need to know about imprints in this post.
How to Research Your Market: An Author's Guide [Checklist]
Ensure your book finds its readership even before you write a single word of it. Download our market research checklist for authors
Join a community of over 1 million authors
Reedsy is more than just a blog. Become a member today to discover how we can help you publish a beautiful book.
1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy, come meet them.
Enter your email or get started with a social account:
We made a writing app for you
Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.
Summer Deal! Top-rated Essay Writers Online! Get 50% OFF On Your First Essay Order!
Your 50% Off + Real Help Await!
Skip the Bots, Talk to Us
Have us text you Estimated wait time: about 2 minutes
Have us call you Estimated wait time: about 5 minutes
Chat with support Estimated wait time: about 3 minutes
Email us The current response time is 6 hours
Have us text you
Estimated wait time: about 2 minutes
We will contact you shortly!
Have us call you
Estimated wait time: about 5 minutes
The current response time is 6 hours
Please reach out to us at:
What is a Book Report & How to Write a Perfect One
Published on: Jan 26, 2022
Last updated on: Sep 1, 2023
On This Page On This Page
Writing a book report is a terrifying experience for many students. The terror begins with reading and understanding what you're reading but then continues as your thoughts become paper in front of you.
Have you ever been assigned a book report and thought, ‘Ugh! This is going to be terrible?’ Well, we're here to help.
Below you can find a helpful guide to understand how to write a perfect report. Here we have also provided some sample book reports and a free book report template for your help.
What is a Book Report?
A book report is an informative piece of writing that summarizes the novel and presents some brief analysis on its main elements like plot, setting, characters.
This could either be a work of fiction or nonfiction with a tone covering everything from serious to humorous.
A book review is not the same as a book report.
Although they may look similar, one requires in-depth analysis and an objective point of view while the other is more descriptive and subjective.
Some course instructors may ask students to add relevant themes of the book and plot elements into their book reports. But, on a very basic level, a book report is an extremely simple form of review for any given text - no matter what its genre or author.
How does a book report writing benefit you?
Writing a good report will help students to improve their analytical and communication skills. They also get the opportunity to practice expressing themselves through creative or critical thought about the different aspects of books they read.
Assessing the Book Before Writing the Review
Before delving into the content of a book, it's essential to gather some key information. Begin by noting the following details:
- Author: Who authored the book? Are you familiar with any other works by this author?
- Genre: What category does the book fall intoâfiction, nonfiction, biography, etc.?
- Which audience would find this type of book appealing? Is this your typical genre preference? Do you enjoy reading books within this genre?
- Title: How does the title impact you? Does it pique your interest? Does it align well with the book's content?
- Pictures/Book Jacket/Cover/Printing: Analyze the book jacket or cover. What does it convey? Is it an accurate representation of the book? Did it generate excitement for you to read it? Are there any illustrations or images within the book? If so, what type are they, and do they captivate your interest?
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!
Book Report Outline
Writing a book report becomes more manageable when you follow a structured outline. Here's an outline you can use as a guideline for your book report:
How to Write a Book Report? - H2
Writing a book report involves several key steps that can help you effectively communicate your understanding and analysis of a book. Here's a guide on how to write a book report:
- Begin with an engaging introductory paragraph that includes the book's title, author, and publication information.
- Provide a brief overview of the book's genre and main theme.
- Include any initial reactions or expectations you had before reading the book.
- Summarize the main plot or central idea of the book without giving away major spoilers.
- Highlight key events, conflicts, and characters that drive the narrative.
- Focus on the most significant aspects of the story and avoid excessive details.
Analysis and Evaluation
- Analyze the author's writing style, storytelling techniques, and use of literary devices.
- Discuss the book's strengths and weaknesses, supporting your statements with examples from the text.
- Evaluate how effectively the author conveys their message and engages the reader.
- Consider the book's impact on you personally and its relevance to broader themes or issues.
Themes and Messages
- Identify the main themes or messages explored in the book.
- Discuss how these themes are developed throughout the narrative.
- Provide specific examples or quotes to support your analysis.
- Analyze the main characters in the book, their development, and their relationships.
- Discuss their motivations, personalities, and how they contribute to the story.
- Use examples and quotes to illustrate your points.
- Summarize your main points and overall assessment of the book.
- Offer your personal opinion on the book, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses.
- Reflect on the impact the book had on you and who you would recommend it to.
Formatting and Proofreading
- Structure your book report into paragraphs with clear topic sentences.
- Check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
- Ensure your report is well-organized and follows a logical flow.
- Citations may be required if you quote or reference specific passages from the book.
Remember, a book report is not just a summary; it also involves critical analysis and interpretation.
By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive and insightful book report that effectively conveys your understanding.
Book Report Examples
Before you head into the writing process of your book report, it's a great idea to take some time and look at examples of other people's book reports.
In this way, you'll see how others have written their own work in an engaging manner that will inspire creativity on your part as well.
Book Report Sample
Book Report on Harry Potter
Book Report on Matilda
Book Report on Pride and Prejudice
Book Report for Kids
Book Report MLA Format
Book Report Worksheet
High School Book Report Template
Non-Fiction Book Report Template
Book Report Template 4th Grade
3rd Grade Book Report Template
Book Report Ideas
Picking a book for your report can be an intimidating task. You don't have any idea which books to read or what the professor will prefer, but there are some ideas of different subjects you could write about:
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Fault in Our Stars book report
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Hunger Games book report
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Charlotte's webbook report
If you are still not sure about how to write a book report that will help you earn an A, then our essay writer AI is the perfect solution for you. Consider taking professional essay writing assistance from one of our experienced writers who specialize in this area.
No matter if you need help with your college essay, book review, book report, or full-length research paper, we can help. Contact our expert essay writing service today to get the best assistance with all your academic tasks!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main parts of a book report.
The main parts of a book report are the bibliography, characters, setting, themes, and plot. These four elements form a descriptive book report. However, most reports that you will read in high school or college are expository-based, meaning they explore an idea rather than discuss it.
Are book reports essays?
A book report is, quite simply, an essay about a book. A book report is a type of essay that students are asked to write by their teachers. Different formats for this writing assignment may be used, but the most common one is expository style (i.e., telling about something).
How long should a book report be?
Your book report should not exceed two double-spaced pages, and it should be somewhere between 600 and 800 words in length.
What is a thesis in a book report?
After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic. This sentence is the thesis statement and serves as an overview of what will be discussed in this paper.
Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)
Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.
Share this article
Join our mailing list for discount & offers
- Cookies Policy
- Refunds & Cancellations
- Our Guarantees
- Affiliate Program
- Referral Program
- AI Essay Writer
Disclaimer: Our website content is sometimes created using AI but is reviewed and verified by our experienced team of editors. All client orders are completed by our team of highly qualified human writers. The essays and papers provided by us are not to be used for submission but rather as learning models only.
Email Address Already Exists!
Please Enter Valid Email!
Minds in Bloom
By Rachel Lynette
Genre Book Reports – 7 Book Genres & Project Ideas (Fiction & Non-Fiction) | Print & Digital
- Reviews (0)
Whether your students are reading historical fiction, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction, informational, or biography, this resource is amazing!
- A pre-reading worksheet.
- A 2-page guided book report specific to the genre.
- A choice board of 4 different creative book projects for students to choose from.
- A Book Report and Project Tracking Sheet.
- A Book Project Organizer.
- An optional report page 3, which can be added to any of the reports.
- Half-page project grading rubrics (1 rubric for all the projects).
- Digital or Print
Great for 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade!
CHECK OUT THE PREVIEW TO SEE A LOT MORE!
This resource is part of a money-saving bundle !
This bundle includes these resources:
- Genre Posters
- Genre Task Cards
NOTE: This resource uses American English and is not editable.
Suggestions for Use:
- Most teachers use this resource throughout the year, assigning one genre every month or so.
- You may want to dedicate a folder or notebook section to these projects, since there are several papers to track over a span of time.
- For younger students, consider filling in the due dates on the Tracking Sheet before printing. Writing the dates in themselves will help to reinforce them for older students.
- Differentiate by requiring struggling students to only complete the report or the project. Add the third report page for students who need an extra challenge. You could also require a more detailed and thorough project.
- Allowing time for students to share their projects with the class is a great way to reinforce their hard work. However, if time does not allow, you could split your class into small groups and have your students share with their groups. Invite parents to watch presentations so that there will be several adults.
- Download our FREE Task Card Handbook to learn 31 different ways you can use this resource!
Here’s what teachers are saying:
✏️ “This was a very in-depth set of book reports. My students each read a book about the American Revolution. They were able to choose historical fiction or nonfiction. Most were historical fiction or biography, so that was what I printed. However, as we were deciding which copy everyone needed, one student said, “Wait, my book isn’t biography or historical fiction. What report do I get?” She had chosen What Was the Boston Tea Party?, and I was quickly able to pull out a report that fit her book (Informational Book). It was perfect! It also showed where a few weaknesses were in my teaching, so I plan to use these more often to help students get used to writing more details about their books. Thank you for the resource!” -Amy H.
✏️ “I used this in the resource room setting with my 8th grade students. The school librarian setup a variety of low readability, high-interest books for my students in the genres of historical fiction and biography. Students were able to peruse the different books before selecting one. Once they chose their books, I provided each student with a packet for their book projects. The students enjoyed being able to choose something they were interested in. For my ELL student, I allowed him to choose a book of interest to him outside of the other genres because he became fascinated by a book about dinosaurs that he saw on a shelf. He completed an informational book report with guided support. Overall, the students learned a lot and I was very pleased with the reports and projects they completed. I even went one step further and had them present either in-person or via flipgrid.” -Shana H.
✏️ “I always appreciate your products, Rachel, and this was no exception! Thank you for the variety of genre report options here. This was easy to use and engaging for my students. Many students paired up to read books they had chosen in common, and they liked the independence of these reports.” -Kim B.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE…
- Close Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions
- Reading Skills Task Cards Bundle
- Close Reading Toolkits
- Reading Response Worksheets
Common Core Standards:
- CCSSRL.3.1 – Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
- CCSSRL.3.3 – Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
- CCSSRL.3.6 – Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
- CCSSRL.3.10 – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
- CCSSRL.4.1 – Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
- CCSSRL.4.2 – Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
- CCSSRL.4.3 – Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
- CCSSRL.4.10 – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4–5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
- CCSSRL.5.1 – Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
- CCSSRL.5.10 – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
- CCSSRL.6.10 – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Be the first to know about discounts, freebies and new resources!
- Follow us on TpT .
- Join our Teachers Club .
- Check out our Blog www.Minds-in-Bloom.com
- Follow us on Social Media – Facebook or Instagram
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ WE STRIVE FOR 5 STARS! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
About the Author
Rachel Lynette is a published author of over 120 nonfiction books for children on a variety of subjects, as well as several teacher resource books. She has written for publishers such as Harcourt, Thompson-Gale, Rosen, Children’s Press, Evan-Moor, Kagan, and several others. This resource reflects more than a decade of professional writing experience.
This resource was created by Rachel Lynette and Cassi Noack for Minds in Bloom INC., all rights reserved. It may be used by the original purchaser for single class use only. Teachers may distribute this product in email, through google classroom or over the Internet to their students (and parents) as long as the site is password protected. In other words, you may distribute it to your own students, but may not put it on the Internet where it could be publicly found and downloaded.
This product is happily brought to you by Rachel Lynette and Cassi Noack of Minds in Bloom
SKU: W 131691
There are no reviews yet.
Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.
Theme Freebie! Graphic Organizer, Anchor Chart, & Worksheet – No Prep Activities
Reading Fluency Task Cards – for Winter – Fun Read Aloud Passages for the Class!
Book Report Project FREEBIE- Print and Digital Resource
Adjectives & Adverbs Task Cards | Comparative and Superlative | Print & Digital with Google Slides
List of Book Genres: 30 Fiction And Nonfiction Genres You Should Know
What’s so important about knowing the genres of books ?
Well, if you’re an author with a work in progress, you’ll want to know its genre to ensure your ideal readers find and read it.
List a science fiction novel as a paranormal romance, for example, and you’ll likely end up with a flurry of negative reviews. No one wants that.
Readers of specific book genres have expectations you’ll want to meet if you want them to enjoy your book and recommend it to others.
You also want readers to see your book’s cover and know it’s the genre they want.
So, knowing your book’s genre not only helps with marketing. It can make all the difference in your writing career.
What does your book genre tell you?
30 book genres explained, fiction genres, nonfiction genres, most popular book genres.
Once you know your book’s genre, you can write it knowing the following expectations your book should meet:
For example, if you’re writing YA fantasy, you’ll run afoul of your readers (and their parents) if your story includes a sex scene or graphic violence. If you’re writing a cozy mystery , you don’t want your book’s cover to look like it belongs on a horror novel.
And if you’re writing fantasy , you’ll want to find a designer who specializes in that genre and knows how to create covers worthy of a Rick Riordan novel.
Unless you’re an experienced cover designer (like Derek Murphy of CreativIndie ), DIY covers using stock photos will put your fantasy novel at a serious disadvantage.
With that in mind, enjoy this list of 30 types of book genres with descriptions and an example (or two) for each. It’s not an exhaustive list; there are upwards of 40 genres — more if you count sub-genres and mixed genres.
But it’s enough to help you identify your book’s genre.
Whether you write fiction or nonfiction , you’ll be prepared to meet genre expectations and market your book appropriately to reach your target audience and maximize sales.
Your readers will also appreciate your taking the time to learn what this post will teach you. And so will your book’s editor and cover designer.
List of Book Genres
- Fantasy — The fantasy genre involves world-building and characters who are supernatural, mythological, magical, or a combination of these. Examples: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and Circe by Madeline Miller
- Science Fiction — Similar to fantasy, this genre explores futuristic or technological themes and ideas to address scientific “what if” questions. Examples: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle
- Dystopian — Sometimes considered a subgenre of fantasy or of science fiction, this genre is usually set in a bleak future (near or distant) to explore cultural or social issues. Examples include Wool by Hugh Howey and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Adventure — Any novel that focuses on an adventure undertaken by the main character (with or without help) falls under the adventure genre. This genre can easily be combined with others. Example: White Fang by Jack London
- Romance — Any novel where the main storyline centers on a romantic relationship falls into this category, which has several subgenres. Examples include The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
- Detective & Mystery — One of the toughest genres to write, this one centers on a mystery and involves either a professional or amateur sleuth. Examples: Murder on the the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.
- Horror — The goal of this genre is to scare your readers and keep them that way until the hero vanquishes the threat. Example: The Shining by Stephen King
- Thriller — This genre also has scary elements, but its main objective is to keep your reader in a state of suspense until the story’s resolution. Example: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
- LGBTQ+ — Fiction with authentic LGBTQ+ representation falls into this category, which is sometimes considered a subgenre of contemporary fiction but can also be mixed with romance, fantasy, and other genres. Example: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- Historical Fiction — This genre covers fiction set in a specific time period and providing historically accurate detail relevant to the period and its characters. Examples: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Young Adult (YA) (13-17 yrs) — This is fiction for readers aged 13 to 17 years. Example: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
- Children’s Fiction — Fiction in this genre is written for kids aged up to 13 and is further divided into smaller subgenres. Example: Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty.
- Memoir & Autobiography — Each of the books in this genre is a true account of the author’s own life. Memoirs are typically related to a specific time in the author’s life or to a specific theme of the author’s choosing. Example: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- Biography — Biographies are books written on someone other than the author — generally someone well known or someone whose life and or death can teach the world something worth learning. Example: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
- Cooking — In this genre, you’ll find books on every kind of cooking someone in the world took the time to write about, as well as cooking for different diets and nutritional needs. Example: Indian Instant Pot Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre
- Art & Photography — This genre includes books on artists of all kinds, as well as on each type of art and its history. Example: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography by Tony Northrup
- Self-Help / Personal Development — This genre is all about helping your reader realize their potential, develop their gifts, and live fulfilling lives. Example: Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
- Motivational / Inspirational — This genre’s main purpose is to get you to do something, to inspire you, or to challenge your perspective. Example: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
- Health & Fitness — Here you’ll find books on both mental and physical health concerns as well as diets and weight loss. Example: Lies My Doctor Told Me by Ken D. Berry
- History — This genre focuses on a specific time period or covers a broad span of time, often describing specific historical characters. Example: Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Harari
- Crafts, Hobbies & Home — Look to this genre for topics related to creating a home and developing specific hobbies or crafts. Examples: The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life by Joshua Becker
- Families & Relationships — If it deals with family life, marriage, or any kind of interpersonal relationship, your book belongs in this genre. Example: The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
- Humor & Entertainment — Books in this genre are supposed to make you laugh or at least keep you entertained. Many also belong to the memoir genre. Example: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
- Business & Money — If you’re writing a nonfiction book on business topics, wealth building, or managing your money, it probably belongs to this genre. Example: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- Law & Criminology — Books on the legal system, on laws, criminal justice, and related topics belong in this genre. Example: The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Politics & Social Sciences — Books in this genre discuss politics or issues related to one or more of the social sciences (psychology, sociology, social work, etc.). Example: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
- Religion & Spirituality — From personal guides to spiritual memoirs to histories, this genre covers religions of all kinds along with spiritual practices. Example: Runes for Beginners by Lisa Chamberlain
- Education & Teaching — Any book that proposes to teach the reader how to do something — or how to do it better — belongs to this genre. Example: Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution by Zak George and Dina Roth Port
- Travel — This genre includes travel guides and travel-heavy memoirs. Example: The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World by Lonely Planet
- True Crime — These often read like well-crafted crime fiction but are true stories that chronicle real crimes, typically with exacting detail. Examples: If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood by Gregg Olsen
More Related Articles:
17 Things to Write About For Your Next Nonfiction Book
How To Write Flash Fiction
How Long Should A Short Story Be?
According to QueryTracker , of all the genres listed above, the top ten most popular fiction genres are the following:
- Young Adult (YA)
- Fantasy (including YA and Children’s)
- Literary Fiction
- Science Fiction
- Thrillers /Suspense
- Middle Grade
- Romance/ Erotica
- Picture Book
And these are the top ten most popular nonfiction genres:
- Narrative/Creative Nonfiction)
- Cultural/Social Issues
- General Nonfiction
- Health & Fitness
If your book doesn’t belong in one of these top ten lists, don’t worry. Plenty of books that fit into other genres get published every year — traditionally or independently.
These lists indicate the genres most often submitted to literary agents as well as the genres most often requested by them.
If you know your book’s target audience is plenty big enough to justify your investment of time, energy, and other resources, it makes no difference whether your chosen genre is on the most popular list.
Use what you learn with us at AuthorityPub to write, launch, and market your book to bestseller status.
Now that you know how to identify your book’s genre (or genres), how will that influence your decisions regarding cover design, editing, and marketing tactics?
Where will you find more of the kind of readers who will love your book, so you can send them word when it launches?
Maybe you’ve already found some Facebook groups for your genre. Or maybe your reader following on Twitter is steadily growing, thanks to your use of targeted hashtags.
What could you do today to begin marketing your book, so you can whet the appetites of your genre’s biggest fans among your social media connections and email subscribers?
We keep abreast of indie publishing trends and tactics to help writers like you make a good living with their books.
Because it can be done. And if that’s your goal, I’ll do everything I can to help you get there.
- Education & Teaching
- Schools & Teaching
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you grow your business. Learn more about the program.
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required .
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
- To view this video download Flash Player
24 Ready-To-Go Genre Book Reports Paperback – Teacher's Edition, January 1, 2002
- Paperback $6.00 27 Used from $1.25 2 New from $30.00
- Reading age 9 years and up
- Print length 96 pages
- Language English
- Grade level 4 - 6
- Dimensions 8.25 x 0.25 x 10.5 inches
- Publisher Scholastic Teaching Resources
- Publication date January 1, 2002
- ISBN-10 0439234697
- ISBN-13 978-0439234696
- See all details
About the author, product details.
- Publisher : Scholastic Teaching Resources; Teachers Guide edition (January 1, 2002)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 96 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0439234697
- ISBN-13 : 978-0439234696
- Reading age : 9 years and up
- Grade level : 4 - 6
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.25 x 0.25 x 10.5 inches
- #22,578 in Instruction Methods
To report an issue with this product, click here .
Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.
To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.
- Sort reviews by Top reviews Most recent Top reviews
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. please try again later..
- Amazon Newsletter
- About Amazon
- Press Center
- Investor Relations
- Amazon Devices
- Amazon Science
- Start Selling with Amazon
- Sell apps on Amazon
- Supply to Amazon
- Protect & Build Your Brand
- Become an Affiliate
- Become a Delivery Driver
- Start a Package Delivery Business
- Advertise Your Products
- Self-Publish with Us
- Host an Amazon Hub
- › See More Ways to Make Money
- Amazon Visa
- Amazon Store Card
- Amazon Secured Card
- Amazon Business Card
- Shop with Points
- Credit Card Marketplace
- Reload Your Balance
- Amazon Currency Converter
- Your Account
- Your Orders
- Shipping Rates & Policies
- Amazon Prime
- Returns & Replacements
- Manage Your Content and Devices
- Your Recalls and Product Safety Alerts
- Conditions of Use
- Privacy Notice
- Your Ads Privacy Choices
The Book Report Network
Sign up for our newsletters!
Author spotlights, "bookreporter talks to" videos & podcasts, "bookaccino live: a lively talk about books", favorite monthly lists & picks, seasonal features, book festivals, sports features, bookshelves.
- Coming Soon
- Weekly Update
- On Sale This Week
- Fall Preview
- Summer Reading
- Spring Preview
- Winter Reading
- Holiday Cheer
Word of Mouth
Submitting a book for review, write the editor, you are here:, list by genre.
Find a Book
View all » | By Author » | By Genre » | By Date »
- bookreporter.com on Facebook
- bookreporter.com on Twitter
- thebookreportnetwork on Instagram
Copyright © 2023 The Book Report, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- Become a Reviewer
- Meet the Reviewers
What Are Book Genres? A Detailed Guide
What Are Book Genres? Every work of literature can be divided into a genre with its own elements, tone, style, and storytelling devices.
Every reader has preferences for books, and all of them fall into genres or sub-genres. Whether you are interested in dystopian, young adult, sci-fi, self-help, or historical fiction books, you probably prefer certain genres.
A genre refers to the types of books that fall into that category. They are categorized by their style, tone, time period, target audience, and numerous other factors. These are the factors that differentiate fiction from nonfiction.
If you are interested in different genres of literature, what are a few factors you should keep in mind? Learn more about what defines certain book genres below.
What Factors Determine Book Genres?
11 different book genres, what are book genres the final word, faqs about what are book genres.
There are several important factors that play a role in book genres. All of these factors are considered when deciding what genre a book falls into. As with many types of writing , some of the most important factors include:
1. The Medium or Format of the Book
The first factor that plays a role is the medium or format of the book. For example, does the book have pictures? If so, it might be a children’s book or a graphic novel. How long is the book? Short stories have a very different narrative format than longer novels. Does the book have an audio component to it? Could it be adopted into a play? The format of the work has to be considered.
2. Where the Book Takes Place
There are certain books that have a very distinct experience. Often, they are dictated by a particular setting. For example, does the book take place in the wild west? Does the book have a science-fiction element to it? Does it take place in an environment with magical powers, such as the Harry Potter series? Even though setting alone is not enough to categorize a book, it is one of the most important factors that must be considered.
3. The Target Audience
The demographics of the reader base will also play a role in and categorizing a book into a certain genre. Who is the target audience? Some of the most important factors in determining this piece of the puzzle include:
- Is the book intended for men, women, or both?
- Does the book target a specific culture such as African-Americans, indigenous populations, or the LGBT community?
- Is the book targeted to a certain age? Examples include young adult books, picture books, middle school readers, or elderly individuals.
- Does the book target a certain geography? Some people prefer books that are written about their own location.
These demographics could also play a role in the genre of a certain book.
4. The Emotional Experience of the Reader
One of the biggest factors that will play a role in how the book is categorized is the reader’s emotional experience. Even though all works will take readers on an emotional journey, that journey will differ depending on how the book is structured.
For example, a nonfiction book will take the reader on a slightly different journey than a fantasy novel. A historical fiction work will take the reader on a different journey than a romance novel. Therefore, it is critical to think carefully about the reader’s emotional experience as the book unfolds. This should play a significant role in how the book is categorized.
5. Possible Cross Genres
Of course, all genres have a bit of overlap, so it’s helpful to consider possible cross genres or sub-genres. For example, a work of historical fiction will probably have some elements of nonfiction because both works focus on history.
The romantic genre could be broken up into multiple categories. Some people might be interested in romance from the 18th and 19th centuries, while others might be interested in romance in the current environment. Romance that takes place in the 18th and 19th centuries will probably have some elements of historical fiction or nonfiction in them. Therefore, before categorizing a book, it will also be important to think about possible sub-genres.
6. When The Book Was Written
Authors approach their subject matter and a book’s story based on their experiences and outer world. For example, consider the 19th century novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. It contains long-streams of prose and older English. It’s unlikely to find either in a more contemporary novel, like a James Patterson thriller or other crime thriller authors .
All of these factors played a critical role in determining how a book will be categorized. Now, it is time to take a closer look at a few examples of book genres.
There is no set number of book genres, but it is helpful to take a closer look at several common examples. Some of the most popular book genres include:
1. Mystery Books
Mystery books are among the most popular types of books. They usually have a relatively quick pace, and they solve some sort of interesting case throughout its many pages. Usually, mystery novels will give the reader some clues, encouraging him or her to try to solve the case along with it.
For example, there might be a character who is murdered at the beginning of the book. Then, the rest of the book is spent trying to figure out who did it. Usually, there is a satisfying conclusion that answers any questions the reader might have.
2. Action Adventure Books
Action-adventure books, also called thrillers, are driven by a suspenseful plot that unfolds as the pages go on. The goal is to keep readers on their toes by using a variety of literary elements set against an interesting backdrop. Thriller books commonly have red herrings and have numerous plot twists along the way. The goal is to keep the reader guessing until the end, but the book can also be enhanced by an interesting setting, comedic elements, and elements of mystery works.
3. Nonfiction Books
Non-fiction books are usually meant to inform as well as entertain. There are numerous types of nonfiction works, including autobiographies, biographies written about a specific individual and even textbooks that focus on a specific period in history. Even though these books are meant to focus on things that happened in the past, they could also focus on events that are currently unfolding around us.
4. Historical Fiction
Historical fiction novels take place exclusively in the past. They usually have to incorporate research and creativity to move readers to events that have already taken place while placing nonfiction events in made-up settings.
For example, a historical fiction novel may follow a soldier through a battle during World War II, but the soldier did not exist. Or, a historical fiction book may take a key figure from history and place them in a different environment. A work of historical fiction must have creative fiction and nonfiction history elements.
5. Horror Novels
Horror books are designed to scare and shock readers along the way. Usually, they include numerous themes, such as demons, the afterlife, ghosts, and monsters. There are multiple types of horror novels. Some of them are filled with many jump-scares along the way, while others are designed to be more believable. All of them are meant to bring out a sense of dread from the reader while keeping them entertained enough not to put the book down along the way.
A western novel usually takes place in the wild west of the United States during the 19th century. It usually unfolds on the frontier and explores a period of lawlessness in American history. There are numerous characters involved in a western book, including Native Americans, settlers, cowboys, and sheriffs. It usually centers around fearless individuals trying to “tame” the Wild West.
7. Romance Novels
Romance novels usually focus on love and intrigue. Some romance novels focus on two individuals who fall in love with each other but cannot be together. There are other romance novels that focus on someone who has multiple suitors who cannot decide who he or she wants to spend his or her life with.
Many romance novels have elements of betrayal as well, where one person feels like the other person cheated on him or her. There are numerous ways romance novels can fold, and they can be dictated by the time period in history in which they are set.
8. Fantasy Novels
Fantasy works are works that take place in another universe where there are magical powers. In some cases, there are humans who can use magic. In other cases, the work might entirely involve magical creatures. There are virtually no limits in a fantasy novel, and these works can go in entirely different directions. For example, one of the most popular fantasy series is Alice in Wonderland.
9. Science Fiction Novels
Works of science fiction have a lot of overlap with works of fantasy, as both of them require tremendous amounts of imagination. The difference is that science fiction novels are usually inspired by progressions that have taken place in the field of “hard” science, meaning most of them take place in the distant future.
There are plenty of examples of fantastic science fiction works, but one of the most popular is the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. Other common themes shared among science fiction works include space exploration and time travel.
10. Children’s Books
Children’s books are meant for young readers. Usually, these books are meant for children just learning how to read or for parents to read to their kids themselves. Children’s books frequently incorporate large font, making it easier for kids to read the books. Children’s books also have a lot of pictures that hold their attention during the story. Many children’s books also have an important life lesson that they try to teach over the course of their pages.
11. Graphic Novels
Remember that it is okay to branch out into other books, including self-help books, cookbooks, romance novels, and even books that focus on the social sciences. You might be someone who enjoys true crime, or maybe you like cliffhangers. Even dictionaries can be interesting from time to time. Take a look at a few of these popular book genres, and see what types of books you like the best.
These are a few of the many examples of popular book genres. There are plenty of different genres out there. All of them have their defining factors, and it is important to understand the different genres of books so you can decide which ones you like the best.
Learn more about the types of genres for books .
Are fantasy and science fiction books the same?
No, fantasy and science fiction books are not the same, but they have a lot of similarities. Fantasy books usually have lots of elements of magic or magical realism. In contrast, science fiction books usually incorporate futuristic technology that people could envision in the real world at some point. At the same time, there is some crossover between the two genres. For example, some people categorize The Hunger Games as falling into both categories.
What are the different types of romance novels?
Even though all romance novels focus on a romantic relationship, there are plenty of sub-genres. Some people might be interested in erotica, while others are more interested in paranormal romance. There are lots of people who enjoy historical romance novels as well. There are plenty of romantic sub-genres out there, and readers should explore multiple options to figure out what they like best.
Are fantasy and science fiction books the same?
No, fantasy and science fiction books are not the same, but they have a lot of similarities. Fantasy books usually have lots of elements of magic or magical realism. In contrast, science fiction books usually incorporate futuristic technology that people could envision in the real world at some point. At the same time, there is some crossover between the two genres. For example, some people categorize The Hunger Games as falling into both categories.
What are the different types of romance novels?
Even though all romance novels focus on a romantic relationship, there are plenty of sub-genres. Some people might be interested in erotica, while others are more interested in paranormal romance. There are lots of people who enjoy historical romance novels as well. There are plenty of romantic sub-genres out there, and readers should explore multiple options to figure out what they like best.
Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.
View all posts
- Arts & Music
- English Language Arts
- World Language
- Social Studies - History
- Special Education
- Holidays / Seasonal
- Independent Work Packet
- Easel by TPT
- Google Apps
Interactive resources you can assign in your digital classroom from TPT.
book reports for genres
Resource types, all resource types, book reports for genres.
- Rating Count
- Price (Ascending)
- Price (Descending)
- Most Recent
Book Reports for 7 Book Genres + Project Ideas for Fiction and Nonfiction Texts
- Easel Activity
Historical Fiction Book Report and Genre Study CCSS Grades 3-6 Print and Easel
Mystery Genre Book Report "Case File" Project, Rubric, Student Pages+
12 Genre Book Reports
Nonfiction and Fiction Genre Book Report BUNDLE - 9 Different Projects
Biography & Autobiography Genre Fiction Book Report Project & Rubric
Realistic Fiction Genre Book Report Suitcase Project & Rubric
Historical Fiction Genre Minibook Book Report Project & Rubric
A Hidden Book Report (Mystery Genre )
Differentiated Book Reports for Every Book Genre
Monthly Genre Book Report Bundle
Book Reports for Different Genres
15 Genre Book Reports | Genre Activities
Book Report Choice Board Template Genre Books
Science Fiction Genre Book Report News Article Project & Rubric
Nonfiction Genre Book Report Layered Flap Book Project & Rubric
Digital Book Report Flipbook for Fantasy Genre
Mobile Book Report Project- Non-Fiction Several Genres /Skills to Choose!
Fantasy Genre Fiction Book Report Scrapbook Project & Rubric
Adventure Genre Fiction Book Report Brochure Project & Rubric
Mystery Book Report and Genre Study CCSS Grades 3-6 Print and Easel
Mystery Genre Digital Book Report "Case File" Project
Fractured Fairy Tales Genre Study Book Report CCSS Grades 3-6 Print and Teach
Fairy Tales Genre Study and Book Report CCSS Grades 3-6 Print and Teach
- We're Hiring
- Help & FAQ
- Student Privacy
- Terms of Service