How to write a book report college level

How to Write a Book Report College Level – Guide & Template 

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Back in high school, book reports probably consisted of writing a book summary and then giving your opinion. As a college student, you’re expected to do more than that. Professors want to see that you’ve engaged with the material, analyzed it critically, and thought about it deeply. So, how do you write a book report that meets those expectations? This post will give you a complete guide on how to write a book report college level. But if you still feel inadequate writing a college-level book report after reading this guide, we would be delighted to offer our expert writing services at affordable prices.

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What is a Book Report?

A book report is a summary of a book that you have read. It includes your thoughts and analysis of the story and presents your reaction to the reader. 

When you are assigned a book report in college, your professor will usually give you specific guidelines on what they are looking for and expecting. It is essential to make sure that you understand the assignment before beginning. 

Types of Book Reports 

Three book reports are commonly assigned in college: plot summary, character analysis, and theme analysis. Below is a clear definition of each.

Plot Summary

A plot is a summary of the story. In summary, you’ll need to explain your opinion of the story. What is so compelling about the story? Analyzing the story makes a good plot summary, and a good plot summary makes an excellent book report. It should include the story’s leading events, the conflict, and the resolution. 

Character Analysis

A character analysis is an in-depth look at a particular character. Take your time to explore and analyze the character’s physical appearance, personality traits, and the roles of each character in the story. Describe their motivations, actions, and thoughts. Compile all your observations together and explain the correlation of each character with the story. 

Theme Analysis

Books/stories provide different themes. A book report features the examination of underlying themes in a book. Give observation as a reader into your report to show the power of a theme. Throughout the character’s journey, they will experience different motifs. It could be anything from love to loss to betrayal. 

What is the Difference Between a Book Report and Book Review? 

 Below are clear descriptions and differences between the two;

Book ReportBook Review
DefinitionA book report summarises the story.A book review is a critical analysis of the book. 
PurposeIt is where you can share your reaction to the book. 
It is a guidebook for potential readers a book.
StructureIt is an objective summary of the main ideas and arguments in the book.It is a descriptive and critical evaluation of the book.
Content- lengthIt ranges from 200 to 250 words.Ranges from 200 to 1000 words.

Simple Book Report Format 

Before you begin your journey of how to write a book report college level, you must identify and understand the format you need to follow.

A simple book report format that you can use is; 


Lay out all the necessary information about the book.

Introduce the following;

Character Evaluation.

Giving a vivid description of the book’s character to create an imagery illusion is critical.

Highlight the following;

  • Physical appearance- When writing about a character’s physical appearance in your book report, it’s essential to pay attention to their overall look and the specific details of their clothing, hair, etc. How does the character dress? Do they have any distinguishing features? How do they carry themselves? All of these details can give you clues about them.
  • Personality traits- One of the most important aspects of a character’s personality trait is their motivation, actions, behaviours, and attitude. Furthermore, another aspect of the book report is their relationship with other characters. By taking the time to consider these aspects of a character’s personality, you can write a well-rounded and engaging book report.
  • Significance of each character in the story- describe the character’s role and how they correlate throughout the story.

Plot Summary (Briefly Describe the Story)

Here is where you focus on the main sequence of events within the book. You mention any use of literary devices the authors may have used. You can discuss these key events; 

  • Goals of the character- In a story, the characters carry a specific goal they desire to achieve. In your book report, take your reader through the character’s journey.
  • Type of conflict and their results- A critical aspect of writing a summary book report is understanding the different types of conflict present in a text. There are four main types of conflict: man vs self, man vs man, man vs society, and man vs nature. Each type of conflict can offer different insights into the message of a book. 

For example, if the book you are reading is about a character struggling with addiction, the conflict would likely be classified as man vs self. This conflict can provide insight into the character’s internal struggle and motivations.

Alternatively, if the book is about two characters competing against each other, the conflict would likely be classified as man vs man. This type of conflict can offer insight into the characters’ relationships with each other and their individual goals. Understanding the different types of conflict present in a book can help you write a more engaging and insightful book report.

Theme Analysis (Examine One or More Themes)

The story’s theme is one of the biggest highlights that many students ignore. It provides the reader with significant contexts of place, time, and mood of the story. The theme plays a huge role in the story, allowing a connection between the reader and the book’s characters.

Personal Evaluation 

Personal evaluation is where you chyme in your take on the book and give your honest opinions of the book. What did you learn from the book? Balance out your thoughts and support your statement.

Likes and Dislikes Of the Story.

You are allowed to emphasize your likes and dislikes of the book.

Personal Interpretation 

Take time and give your understanding of the book to support your thesis.

How to Start a Book Report 

If you desire to get your professor’s attention, give them something to look forward to when reading your report.

The following will you a great way to create excitement and write an excellent book report:

Understand the Assignment Requirements

When you are assigned a book report, you must make sure that you understand the assignment requirements. Look into and research; What type of book report are you supposed to write? How long should it be? What format should you use? These are all important questions that you need to ask yourself before you begin how to write a book report college level. 

If you are unsure about anything, ask your professor for clarification. 

Read the Book

Once you understand the assignment’s requirements, you can start reading the book. Take note of any significant events or characters that stand out to you as you read. These will be important to include in your book report. 

Write an Outline + an Outline Sample.

Once you have finished reading the book, it is time to start writing your report. Begin by creating an outline of what you are going to write. It will help you organize your thoughts and ensure you include all the vital information. 

Here is a simple outline that you can follow: 

  • Introduction.
  • Plot Summary (Briefly describe the story).
  • Character Analysis (Analyze one or more of the characters).
  • Theme Analysis (Examine one or more of the themes).
  • Conclusion (Briefly summarize your thoughts on the book).

Book Report Template

Book report college level template

Write a Strong Introduction

There are a couple of things to consider. First, you must ensure that you introduce the book in a way that will grab the reader’s attention. i.e. giving a summary of the plot. 

It would help if you also tried to incorporate fascinating facts about the book or the author. Secondly, you need to make sure that your introduction is well-organized. You should clearly state the purpose of your paper and what points you will be discussing. Lastly, you want to ensure that your introduction is concise, as you should not include any unnecessary information. 

Write Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are where you will include your analysis of the story. These include a plot summary, character analysis, and theme analysis.

When writing a body paragraph, start by introducing the paragraph’s main idea in a topic sentence. Several sentences of evidence or examples then follow it to support the main idea. Be sure to choose evidence that is relevant and persuasive. Finally, conclude the paragraph with a sentence that ties back to the overall thesis of the book report.

Remember, each body paragraph should focus on a different aspect of the book, such as the characters, plot, or theme.

Write a Conclusion

The conclusion is where you will sum up your thoughts on the book. It can include; What did you think of it? Would you recommend it to others? It is also an excellent place to mention any unanswered questions or issues. 

The next section of your book report should be the plot summary. Here, you will briefly summarise the story, including the main events, conflict, and resolution.

Edit and Proofread

How you edit and proofread your book report can make the difference between a good and bad grade. Here are some helpful tips: 

  • Use active voice when possible; it is more concise and easier to read. 
  • Check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Use a spell-checker if necessary or when feeling doubtful. 
  • Make sure all information in the report is accurate. 
  • Check for clarity and conciseness. Make sure the book report flows well and is easy to read. 
  • Ask someone else to read the book report before you turn it in to check for errors and get opinions from a third person’s point of view.

How to Write a Book Report Without Reading the Book

When presented with an assignment on how to write a book report college level and you have no time to read the entire book, here are some dependable ways to write one without reading it; 

Read the Book Summary.

One of the best ways to write a book report without reading the book itself is to read its summary instead. It provides you with all the critical information you need about the story. 

You can find summaries online or in the back of many books. But take note to be sure that you are getting your information from a reliable source. 

Focus on Significant Details Only.

You don’t need to include every detail from the story. Instead, focus on the essential information that will help to support your claims. 

For example, if you are doing character analysis, you might want to focus on their actions and thoughts rather than every little detail about them. 

Get Help From a Professional.

If you have trouble understanding the book, try looking up a summary online or ask a friend for help. You can also hire a professional book report writer to help you with your assignment. 

Try to Discuss Different Angle

Another way to write a book report without reading it is to discuss it from a different angle. For example, focus on their motivations or actions when discussing the characters. If you examine the plot, focus on the conflict or resolution as this will help you better understand the story without reading it yourself. 


We hope this blog post has helped you know what is expected of you on how to write a book report college level. Reading a novel and writing a comprehensive report on it can be daunting, but if you follow our outline and example, we believe you will produce an A+ paper. If you need help along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help students achieve their academic goals!

What are the parts of a book report?

A book report includes the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. In the introduction, you should provide basic information about the book, including the title, author, and type of book. The body paragraphs are where you will include your analysis of the story.

While at the conclusion, you will summarize your thoughts on the book. 

Is a report a summary?

No, a report is not a summary. It is a brief story overview, including the main events, characters, and themes. A report is a more in-depth book analysis that includes your thoughts and opinions. 

How many paragraphs should be included in a book report?

You should include no set number of paragraphs in a book report. However, it is recommended to have at least three body paragraphs. It gives you enough space to discuss the different aspects of the story in detail. 

How long is a book report?

A book report can be as long or as short as you want it to be. However, most college-level book reports are at least five pages in length. It gives you enough space to provide a thorough analysis of the story. 

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