Book report

This article is about the assignment issued to students to report on the content of a book. For the use of the term in literary criticism, see book review.

A book report is an essay discussing the contents of a book, written as part of a class assignment issued to students in schools, particularly in the United States at the elementary school level.[1]

Teachers frequently give students a list of books from which they may choose one for the report, although sometimes students may select a work entirely of their own choosing.[1][2] Teachers may set the list of books through such methods as including the works of one particular author, reading multiple works to students aloud and having each student select one of the books for the report, or choosing the books through a class selection process.[2]

The contents of the book report, for a work of fiction, typically include basic bibliographical information about the work, a summary of the narrative and setting, main elements of the stories of key characters, the author's purpose in creating the work, the student's opinion of the book, and a theme statement summing up the main idea drawn from a reading of the book.[1][3]

To ease the process of writing the narrative and stories of the main characters, students may be advised to write sequence of action summaries,[2][3] story 'pyramids',[1] or story journals.[2]

Book reports may be accompanied by other creative works such as illustrations, "shoe box" dioramas, or report covers.[3]

Individual components of the book report can also be made into separate artistic works, including pop-up cards, newsletters, character diaries, gameboards, word searches, and story maps.[2]

Students are typically advised to produce the report in multiple stages, including prewriting, first draft writing, revision, first evaluation, editing and rewriting, publishing, and post-project evaluation.[1][2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Kathleen Christopher Null, How to Make a Book Report: Grades 3–6, Teacher Created Resources, TCR 2327, pp. 3–8
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Jennifer Overend Prior, How to Make a Book Report, Grades 1–3, Teacher Created Resourcdes, TCR 2503, 1999, pp. 3–11 p
  3. 1 2 3 Writing Books Reports: Grades 3–6, Remedia Publications, p. 1
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