The format for writing a book report allows students to share critical information about the books they read with their teachers and their peers. Although there can be flexibility in how one can design a book report, there are some general formatting guidelines that will show you understood the main ideas and themes of the book. Following a clear, simple format for writing a book report will make the important information stand out.
Students often ask which information should go where? What information is important, and what is not? How should I build my report so that it is easy to read - and I get a great grade?
Here are a few basic formatting guidelines for your book report:
Make sure you clearly write each element in an organized fashion: separate the information into short paragraphs, use active voice and descriptive language, and be sure to use topic sentences and closing sentences for each paragraph so the reader will follow your main points.
One of the main features of a book report is that it requires the student to be brief and make decisions about what information is important and not important. However, once you have covered the basic format you might also want to consider including:
You may have free rein to make your book report a more personalized experience with additional information, but if you're not sure you should ask if your teacher or professor has instructions regarding writing a book report. Some teachers and professors want their students to follow a very specific format when writing a book report, down to how exactly many paragraphs it should be, and which information belongs in which paragraph.
Now you have the elements of your book report organized, you should consider how you are going to style it. The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is the formatting style most commonly used in English courses at the high school or college level, but check your teacher's preference.
Specific points to remember about the MLA format include:
A more detailed explanation of the MLA formatting style can be found at mla.org.
If you are not constrained by regulations set by your teacher or professor, allow yourself to be creative while sharing the important information about the book in your report, making use of elements like headings or quotes. This will encourage you to think more critically about the materials, literature, and novels that you read.
To help you consider what information should go into a book report our How to Write a Book Report article offers five simple steps to boost your confidence in the writing process.