A written composition or oral presentation that describes and evaluates a work of fiction or nonfiction. See also:
Characteristics of a Book Report
Book reports generally follow a basic format that includes the following information:
- the title of the book and its year of publication
- the name of the author
- the genre (type or category) of the book (for example, biography, autobiography, or fiction)
- the main subject, plot, or theme of the book
- a brief summary of the key points or ideas treated in the book
- the reader's response to the book, identifying its apparent strengths and weaknesses
- brief quotations from the book to support general observations
- "Your instructor may occasionally assign a book report. A book report is to be sharply distinguished from a research paper, for it deals with one book in its entirety--not with certain aspects of several books and documents . . .. The book report is also to be clearly distinguished from a book review or a critical essay, for it merely reports on a book without undertaking to compare it with other books or to pass judgment on its value."
(Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, Modern Rhetoric. Harcourt, 1972)
- "I'll give you some tips on how to write a good book report right now.
"Tell the name of the book. Tell the name of the author. The Wizard of Oz was written by L. Frank Baum.
"Tell if you think he's a good writer. Tell the names of all the characters in the book. Tell what they did. Tell where they went. Tell who they were looking for. Tell what they finally found. Tell how they treated each other. Tell about their feelings.
"Tell that you read some to your sister. Tell that she liked it.
"Read some to a friend. Then you can even tell that your friend liked it."
(Mindy Warshaw Skolsky, Love from Your Friend, Hannah. HarperCollins, 1999)