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Book Report Template

Add a Little Spice to Your Book Reports

Don't turn the study of good literature into a dull assignment with an over-used book report template. Of course, a student can always resort to the "Why I liked this book..." if the book was thoroughly enjoyed.

There are, however, other approaches that can be used to write the report.

Book Reports Illustration

Elements in a Book Report

Your Basic Book Report Template

Obviously, besides reading the book you need to know what to include in the report. A very basic book report format would include one paragraph of each of these elements:
  • Title and Author (Bibliography should include publisher and date of publication. These do not need to be in the report unless the information is relevent)
  • Setting
  • Main Character(s)
  • Main Conflict
  • Summary of Action (Up to 3 paragraphs)
  • Conclusion - Your assessment of the book
A simple book report format is to write a paragraph (or more as needed) for each of the items listed above. The order of the paragraphs can be changed depending on the report. Book Report Templates for Advanced Students More advanced students may also include one or more of the following:
  • Literary Themes
  • Compare and contrast two main characters
  • View of the author
  • Reasons for the books popularity

Using Elements of Literature

An improvement over the basic report listed above is an essay that specifically discusses the elements of literature. This is, of course, what the teacher is often looking for so it makes sense to focus on those elements when writing a book report.

First, consider the elements of literature appropriate for each age. The student can write a paragraph or report of the elements appropriate for his or her age. Check out our guide to the Elements of Literature for each age level.

Creative Book Report Ideas

Been there; done that; and still looking for more creative ways for a student to report the elements of classic literature? Here are a few more ideas:

  • Have the antagonist (that's the adversary to the main character) write the report.

  • Write a letter to the author describing what you liked or would change about the book or the elements of literature. (You don't have to send it.)

  • Alternatively, you can be the publisher of a book company writing to the author.

  • Do a before-and-after character sketch of the main character. Remember that character development is the changing of the main person's attributes or qualities. Focus on how he or she changes. This activity could be accompanied by art work.

  • This idea takes some bravado: write a memo from the main character to the teacher, describing why the student should get a high grade for their ingenius study of this book.

  • More great book report and essay starters can be found in Write On: The Kid Friendly, Mother Pleasing, Gentle Way to Learn to Write. Look particularly for these Write On's:

    Write On #5, 11, 17, 26, 38, 55, 61 and 62, 71, 74, 97 and 98. These are listed from the easiest level for the youngest writer's up to the most advanced.

Best Book Report Template

Take a Bow

Finally, here is a fool-proof thesis for a high school literary essay:

"Author X has mastered many of the elements of literature, making Book ABC a great example of classic literature."

Seriously, if you use this as a thesis statement and write the paragraphs to support your thesis statement, you will have an A on your essay. After all, it is those elements that make classic literature classic literature. Show your instructor you comprehend those elements as they apply to this particular book. Guaranteed success.

An alternative approach can be even more impressive. If the book doesn't quite make the cut, use this as a thesis statement:

"While Book XYZ is popular, it does not have the qualities of classic literature because Author A has not successfully developed certain elements of literature."

This thesis demonstrates a student can discern the difference between classic and popular literature. That would be the cherry on the top of literature studies.


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