Book Report Outline and Format with Templates

Book Report Outline and Format with Templates

Writing a book report is easier than a book review, but it also requires your efforts. Suppose you don’t know how to write such an assignment and search for a college book report template. Here you find examples and non-examples on writing this paper. Also, this material is a guide on how to outline such a college piece of work. 

What Does a Book Report Look Like

A book report looks like a summary of literary writing mixed with an analysis of it. So you just should understand the book: its main theme, motivation of heroes’ behavior, as well as know some literature tricks that make a literature work incredible. 

Use a Book Report Outline Template

Outlining helps you set the direction of your thoughts. For example, looking at your plan, you’ll think about the key points of your piece of work; therefore, your brain will focus on tying all points up harmonically. 

So we can say that it’s better to have an outline of your work than try to perform your paper assignment without it. 

The format of a book report is the same for every work because all academic papers have rules that students’ have to follow. 

So let’s move to examples. For instance, we have to write about Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. 

Introduction. Shed light on why Shakespeare wrote this masterpiece and why you’ve chosen it to read.

Body. It should contain:

  • the main theme analysis;
  • a plot resume;
  • character analysis — Romeo, Juliet, and others.

Conclusion. Tell readers about your impressions of this literary work.

How to Write a College Book Report

Such a process consists of four parts. There is also the fifth section — outlining. We’ve told you about it above. 

1. Read a Book

Some students skip this step and limit themselves only to reading summaries. Reading briefs is OK as they are the best college book report examples and if you want to decide if this book is worth paying attention to or not. In other cases, it’s better to read the whole book because you:

  • learn the book’s author writing style;
  • understand a creation fully as you don't skip any detail.

Think about how you can pay attention to details and find a sense of them in your report. The gold rule of literature is that every word, phrase, and sentence is used for a reason. Therefore, you can stand your piece of work out from others by revealing details because most academic papers tell their readers about the main things in the masterpiece. 

2. Introduction

If you’re wondering how to write a book report at the college level, you have to develop an original introduction. Many students start their papers by mentioning the author, publication information, and genre. It’s as easy as ABC just to list such data, but if you want to make your work more original, your task is to add the following things:

  • your impressions;
  • surprising facts about the book or the author. 

But the main thing is to prove them originally. You should avoid expressions such as I’ve chosen this book because… or This author is very interesting as...

3. Body

This section of your academic paper consists of three parts: analysis of the key thought of the literary work, the plot summary, and character analysis. If students search for ways on how to do a college book report, they usually start deep into literary theory. And it’s the best bet for those young people who want to get a high score for their report.

The Main Theme

For understanding the main theme of a masterpiece, answer the following questions:

  1. What did the author want to tell you by writing this book?
  2. Why did he or she write this book?

You can understand the key thought of the book if you know what intertextuality is and can give intertextual relations. For example, which authors have revealed the same theme as Mark Twain in his The Adventures of Tom Sawyer? Compare methods of topic revealing of different writers, and you’ll find the key of the book you write about. It isn’t necessary to mention other authors and their works, but you can do it if you want. Anyway, keep in mind that you should write only about your book, and any mention should be as short as possible. 


The second step to write a good book report is to analyze its plot. First, you should tell your readers the whole plot in a nutshell and then analyze why the author built it in such a way and avoided another way of composition.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What details did the author use for revealing the main topic?
  2. Is this book finished or has an open finish? Why did the author let readers think up an epilog on their own?
  3. Is the composition of such a book inversion? Why is it so?

To analyze a plot better, it’s a good idea to ask your friends what they think about it. Then, if your opinions are different, you can compare them and write about different versions of the purpose of using certain details in a plot. 


And the last thing that you should analyze is characters. Your task is to think about their:

  • behavior;
  • appearance;
  • style of speaking.

Are such heroes positive or negative? Or are some of them neutral? Think about it because it’s also an important thing in every masterpiece. 

4. Conclusion

The main purpose of a conclusion is to drive home all your key thoughts of the report. Also, you can finish your piece of work by asking a rhetorical question about the book. For example:

And who knows, maybe love is really a burden of suffering?

The Bottom Line

A book report outline helps you follow the main theme of your work — the book you’ve read. After outlining, it will be much easier for you to tell readers your thoughts. Use the tips we’ve told you, and your paper assignment will be incredible!