book report template pdf

How to Write a Book Report

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Book Report Fundamentals

Preparing to write, an overview of the book report format, how to write the main body of a book report, how to write a conclusion to a book report, reading comprehension and book reports, book report resources for teachers .

Book reports remain a key educational assessment tool from elementary school through college. Sitting down to close read and critique texts for their content and form is a lifelong skill, one that benefits all of us well beyond our school years. With the help of this guide, you’ll develop your reading comprehension and note-taking skills. You’ll also find resources to guide you through the process of writing a book report, step-by-step, from choosing a book and reading actively to revising your work. Resources for teachers are also included, from creative assignment ideas to sample rubrics.

Book reports follow general rules for composition, yet are distinct from other types of writing assignments. Central to book reports are plot summaries, analyses of characters and themes, and concluding opinions. This format differs from an argumentative essay or critical research paper, in which impartiality and objectivity is encouraged. Differences also exist between book reports and book reviews, who do not share the same intent and audience. Here, you’ll learn the basics of what a book report is and is not.

What Is a Book Report?

"Book Report" ( ThoughtCo )

This article, written by a professor emeritus of rhetoric and English, describes the defining characteristics of book reports and offers observations on how they are composed.

"Writing a Book Report" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab outlines the steps in writing a book report, from keeping track of major characters as you read to providing adequate summary material.

"How to Write a Book Report" ( Your Dictionary )

This article provides another helpful guide to writing a book report, offering suggestions on taking notes and writing an outline before drafting. 

"How to Write a Successful Book Report" ( ThoughtCo )

Another post from ThoughtCo., this article highlights the ten steps for book report success. It was written by an academic advisor and college enrollment counselor.

What’s the Difference Between a Book Report and an Essay?

"Differences Between a Book Report & Essay Writing" ( Classroom)

In this article from the education resource Classroom,  you'll learn the differences and similarities between book reports and essay writing.

"Differences Between a Book Report and Essay Writing" (SeattlePi.com)

In this post from a Seattle newspaper's website, memoirist Christopher Cascio highlights how book report and essay writing differ.

"The Difference Between Essays and Reports" (Solent Online Learning)

This PDF from Southampton Solent University includes a chart demonstrating the differences between essays and reports. Though it is geared toward university students, it will help students of all levels understand the differing purposes of reports and analytical essays.

What’s the Difference Between a Book Report and a Book Review?

"How to Write a Book Review and a Book Report" (Concordia Univ.)

The library at Concordia University offers this helpful guide to writing book report and book reviews. It defines differences between the two, then presents components that both forms share.

"Book Reviews" (Univ. of North Carolina)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s writing guide shows the step-by-step process of writing book reviews, offering a contrast to the composition of book reports.

Active reading and thoughtful preparation before you begin your book report are necessary components of crafting a successful piece of writing. Here, you’ll find tips and resources to help you learn how to select the right book, decide which format is best for your report, and outline your main points.

Selecting and Finding a Book

"30 Best Books for Elementary Readers" (Education.com)

This article from Education.com lists 30 engaging books for students from kindergarten through fifth grade. It was written by Esme Raji Codell, a teacher, author, and children's literature specialist.

"How to Choose a Good Book for a Report (Middle School)" (WikiHow)

This WikiHow article offers suggestions for middle schoolers on how to choose the right book for a report, from getting started early on the search process to making sure you understand the assignment's requirements.

"Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers" (Common Sense Media)

Common Sense Media has compiled this list of 25 of the best books for middle school book reports. For younger students, the article suggests you check out the site's "50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12."

"50 Books to Read in High School" (Lexington Public Library)

The Lexington, Kentucky Public Library has prepared this list to inspire high school students to choose the right book. It includes both classics and more modern favorites.

The Online Computer Library Center's catalogue helps you locate books in libraries near you, having itemized the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries.

Formats of Book Reports

"Format for Writing a Book Report" ( Your Dictionary )

Here, Your Dictionary supplies guidelines for the basic book report format. It describes what you'll want to include in the heading, and what information to include in the introductory paragraph. Be sure to check these guidelines against your teacher's requirements.

"The Good Old Book Report" (Scholastic)

Nancy Barile’s blog post for Scholastic lists the questions students from middle through high school should address in their book reports.

How to Write an Outline

"Writer’s Web: Creating Outlines" (Univ. of Richmond)

The University of Richmond’s Writing Center shows how you can make use of micro and macro outlines to organize your argument.

"Why and How to Create a Useful Outline" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab demonstrates how outlines can help you organize your report, then teaches you how to create outlines.

"Creating an Outline" (EasyBib)

EasyBib, a website that generates bibliographies, offers sample outlines and tips for creating your own. The article encourages you to think about transitions and grouping your notes.

"How to Write an Outline: 4 Ways to Organize Your Thoughts" (Grammarly)

This blog post from a professional writer explains the advantages of using an outline, and presents different ways to gather your thoughts before writing.

In this section, you’ll find resources that offer an overview of how to write a book report, including first steps in preparing the introduction. A good book report's introduction hooks the reader with strong opening sentences and provides a preview of where the report is going.

"Step-by-Step Outline for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This article from Classroom furnishes students with a guide to the stages of writing a book report, from writing the rough draft to revising.

"Your Roadmap to a Better Book Report" ( Time4Writing )

Time4Writing offers tips for outlining your book report, and describes all of the information that the introduction, body, and conclusion should include.

"How to Start a Book Report" ( ThoughtCo)

This ThoughtCo. post, another by academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming, demonstrates how to write a pithy introduction to your book report.

"How to Write an Introduction for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This brief but helpful post from Classroom  details what makes a good book report introduction, down to the level of individual sentences.

The body paragraphs of your book report accomplish several goals: they describe the plot, delve more deeply into the characters and themes that make the book unique, and include quotations and examples from the book. Below are some resources to help you succeed in summarizing and analyzing your chosen text.

Plot Summary and Description

"How Do You Write a Plot Summary?" ( Reference )

This short article presents the goals of writing a plot summary, and suggests a word limit. It emphasizes that you should stick to the main points and avoid including too many specific details, such as what a particular character wears.

"How to Write a Plot for a Book Report" ( The Pen & The Pad )

In this article from a resource website for writers, Patricia Harrelson outlines what information to include in a plot summary for a book report. 

"How to Write a Book Summary" (WikiHow)

Using Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as an example, this WikiHow article demonstrates how to write a plot summary one step at a time.

Analyzing Characters and Themes

"How to Write a Character Analysis Book Report" ( The Pen & The Pad )

Kristine Tucker shows how to write a book report focusing on character. You can take her suggestions as they are, or consider  incorporating them into the more traditional book report format.

"How to Write a Character Analysis" (YouTube)

The SixMinuteScholar Channel utilizes analysis of the film  Finding Nemo to show you how to delve deeply into character, prioritizing inference over judgment.

"How to Define Theme" ( The Editor's Blog )

Fiction editor Beth Hill contributes an extended definition of theme. She also provides examples of common themes, such as "life is fragile."

"How to Find the Theme of a Book or Short Story" ( ThoughtCo )

This blog post from ThoughtCo. clarifies the definition of theme in relation to symbolism, plot, and moral. It also offers examples of themes in literature, such as love, death, and good vs. evil.

Selecting and Integrating Quotations

"How to Choose and Use Quotations" (Santa Barbara City College)

This guide from a college writing center will help you choose which quotations to use in your book report, and how to blend quotations with your own words.

"Guidelines for Incorporating Quotes" (Ashford Univ.)

This PDF from Ashford University's Writing Center introduces the ICE method for incorporating quotations: introduce, cite, explain.

"Quote Integration" (YouTube)

This video from The Write Way YouTube channel illustrates how to integrate quotations into writing, and also explains how to cite those quotations.

"Using Literary Quotations" (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison)

This guide from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writing Center helps you emphasize your analysis of a quotation, and explains how to incorporate quotations into your text.

Conclusions to any type of paper are notoriously tricky to write. Here, you’ll learn some creative ways to tie up loose ends in your report and express your own opinion of the book you read. This open space for sharing opinions that are not grounded in critical research is an element that often distinguishes book reports from other types of writing.

"How to Write a Conclusion for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This brief article from the education resource  Classroom illustrates the essential points you should make in a book report conclusion.

"Conclusions" (Univ. of North Carolina)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Writing Center lays out strategies for writing effective conclusions. Though the article is geared toward analytical essay conclusions, the tips offered here will also help you write a strong book report.

"Ending the Essay: Conclusions" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Pat Bellanca’s article for Harvard University’s Writing Center presents ways to conclude essays, along with tips. Again, these are suggestions for concluding analytical essays that can also be used to tie up a book report's loose ends.

Reading closely and in an engaged manner is the strong foundation upon which all good book reports are built. The resources below will give you a picture of what active reading looks like, and offer strategies to assess and improve your reading comprehension. Further, you’ll learn how to take notes—or “annotate” your text—making it easier to find important information as you write.

How to Be an Active Reader

"Active Reading Strategies: Remember and Analyze What You Read" (Princeton Univ.)

Princeton University’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning recommends ten strategies for active reading, and includes sample diagrams.

"Active Reading" (Open Univ.)

The Open University offers these techniques for reading actively alongside video examples. The author emphasizes that you should read for comprehension—not simply to finish the book as quickly as possible.

"7 Active Reading Strategies for Students" ( ThoughtCo )

In this post, Grace Fleming outlines seven methods for active reading. Her suggestions include identifying unfamiliar words and finding the main idea. 

"5 Active Reading Strategies for Textbook Assignments" (YouTube)

Thomas Frank’s seven-minute video demonstrates how you can retain the most important information from long and dense reading material.

Assessing Your Reading Comprehension

"Macmillan Readers Level Test" (MacMillan)

Take this online, interactive test from a publishing company to find out your reading level. You'll be asked a number of questions related to grammar and vocabulary.

"Reading Comprehension Practice Test" (ACCUPLACER)

ACCUPLACER is a placement test from The College Board. This 20-question practice test will help you see what information you retain after reading short passages.

"Reading Comprehension" ( English Maven )

The English Maven site has aggregated exercises and tests at various reading levels so you can quiz your reading comprehension skills.

How to Improve Your Reading Comprehension

"5 Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension" ( ThoughtCo )

ThoughtCo. recommends five tips to increase your reading comprehension ability, including reading with tools such as highlighters, and developing new vocabulary.

"How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 8 Expert Tips" (PrepScholar)

This blog post from PrepScholar provides ideas for improving your reading comprehension, from expanding your vocabulary to discussing texts with friends.

CrashCourse video: "Reading Assignments" (YouTube)

This CrashCourse video equips you with tools to read more effectively. It will help you determine how much material you need to read, and what strategies you can use to absorb what you read.

"Improving Reading Comprehension" ( Education Corner )

From a pre-reading survey through post-reading review, Education Corner  walks you through steps to improve reading comprehension.

Methods of In-text Annotation

"The Writing Process: Annotating a Text" (Hunter College)

This article from Hunter College’s Rockowitz Writing Center outlines how to take notes on a text and provides samples of annotation.

"How To Annotate Text While Reading" (YouTube)

This video from the SchoolHabits YouTube channel presents eleven annotation techniques you can use for better reading comprehension.

"5 Ways To Annotate Your Books" ( Book Riot )

This article from the Book Riot  blog highlights five efficient annotation methods that will save you time and protect your books from becoming cluttered with unnecessary markings.

"How Do You Annotate Your Books?" ( Epic Reads )

This post from Epic Reads highlights how different annotation methods work for different people, and showcases classic methods from sticky notes to keeping a reading notebook.

Students at every grade level can benefit from writing book reports, which sharpen critical reading skills. Here, we've aggregated sources to help you plan book report assignments and develop rubrics for written and oral book reports. You’ll also find alternative book report assessment ideas that move beyond the traditional formats.

Teaching Elementary School Students How to Write Book Reports

"Book Reports" ( Unique Teaching Resources )

These reading templates courtesy of Unique Teaching Resources make great visual aids for elementary school students writing their first book reports.

"Elementary Level Book Report Template" ( Teach Beside Me )

This   printable book report template from a teacher-turned-homeschooler is simple, classic, and effective. It asks basic questions, such as "who are the main characters?" and "how did you feel about the main characters?"

"Book Reports" ( ABC Teach )

ABC Teach ’s resource directory includes printables for book reports on various subjects at different grade levels, such as a middle school biography book report form and a "retelling a story" elementary book report template.

"Reading Worksheets" ( Busy Teacher's Cafe )

This page from Busy Teachers’ Cafe contains book report templates alongside reading comprehension and other language arts worksheets.

Teaching Middle School and High School Students How to Write Book Reports

"How to Write a Book Report: Middle and High School Level" ( Fact Monster)

Fact Monster ’s Homework Center discusses each section of a book report, and explains how to evaluate and analyze books based on genre for students in middle and high school.

"Middle School Outline Template for Book Report" (Trinity Catholic School)

This PDF outline template breaks the book report down into manageable sections for seventh and eighth graders by asking for specific information in each paragraph.

"Forms for Writing a Book Report for High School" ( Classroom )

In this article for Classroom,  Elizabeth Thomas describes what content high schoolers should focus on when writing their book reports.

"Forms for Writing a Book Report for High School" ( The Pen & The Pad )

Kori Morgan outlines techniques for adapting the book report assignment to the high school level in this post for The Pen & The Pad .

"High School Book Lists and Report Guidelines" (Highland Hall Waldorf School)

These sample report formats, grading paradigms, and tips are collected by Highland Hall Waldorf School. Attached are book lists by high school grade level.

Sample Rubrics

"Book Review Rubric Editable" (Teachers Pay Teachers)

This free resource from Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to edit your book report rubric to the specifications of your assignment and the grade level you teach.

"Book Review Rubric" (Winton Woods)

This PDF rubric from a city school district includes directions to take the assignment long-term, with follow-up exercises through school quarters.

"Multimedia Book Report Rubric" ( Midlink Magazine )

Perfect for oral book reports, this PDF rubric from North Carolina State University's Midlink Magazine  will help you evaluate your students’ spoken presentations.

Creative Book Report Assignments

"25 Book Report Alternatives" (Scholastic)

This article from the Scholastic website lists creative alternatives to the standard book report for pre-kindergarteners through high schoolers.

"Fresh Ideas for Creative Book Reports" ( Education World )

Education World offers nearly 50 alternative book report ideas in this article, from a book report sandwich to a character trait diagram.

"A Dozen Ways to Make Amazingly Creative Book Reports" ( We Are Teachers )

This post from We Are Teachers puts the spotlight on integrating visual arts into literary study through multimedia book report ideas.

"More Ideas Than You’ll Ever Use for Book Reports" (Teachnet.com)

This list from Teachnet.com includes over 300 ideas for book report assignments, from "interviewing" a character to preparing a travel brochure to the location in which the book is set.

"Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report" (National Council of Teachers of English)

In this PDF resource from the NCTE's  English Journal,  Diana Mitchell offers assignment ideas ranging from character astrology signs to a character alphabet.

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How to format a book report.

A woman uses her laptop to format a book report.

Learn how to format a book report correctly and how creating a PDF report template can help you with your assignments.

Wondering how to create a basic book report format but not sure how to get started? Every student eventually has to write a book report, but many find the task daunting. Fortunately, it gets much easier once you know the right book report format. Teachers, too, can help by handing out a pre-formatted report template to their students.

Read on to learn how to format your book report and write it easily on any device.

What is a book report?

A book report is a concise written summary and analysis of a book, typically written by students or readers to demonstrate their understanding of the book’s content, themes, and literary elements. It often includes a brief overview of the plot, character analysis, evaluation of the author’s style, and personal reflections on the book’s impact or relevance. The purpose of a book report is to provide a comprehensive overview of the book and offer insights to potential readers or educators.

How to format a book report outline.

A basic book report has a fairly standardized format. It consists of four parts:

  • Book information. List the title and author of the book, the publisher and publication date, and the book’s genre. (Of course, include your name and the date of the report as well.)
  • Introduction. Lay out your thesis statement or the claim that addresses the topic of your assignment. Provide about five sentences of supporting context by referring to the author and the book’s genre and plot.
  • Body paragraphs. Write a summary of the plot, characters, and setting. Throughout this section, point out the details that support your thesis.
  • Conclusion. In one paragraph, summarize your main arguments. Highlight how the details you’ve quoted support or validate your thesis.

This format also works for non-fiction books. In this case, simply talk about the author’s ideas and arguments instead of plot elements.

Book report format design and layout tips.

A properly formatted report not only enhances readability but also creates a professional impression. By following these design and layout tips, you can ensure that your book report is organized, easy to navigate, and visually pleasing to the reader.

  • Font selection and size. Choose a clear and legible font such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri. Maintain a consistent font style and use an appropriate font size, typically 12 points, to ensure readability.
  • Spacing and paragraph breaks. Proper spacing between lines and paragraphs improves readability. Use double spacing or 1.5-line spacing throughout the report, and include a blank line between paragraphs to provide visual breaks and enhance clarity.
  • Headings and subheadings. Use headings and subheadings to organize your book report effectively. Differentiate them from the main text by using a larger font size or bold formatting, helping readers easily navigate through the report’s sections.
  • Indentation and alignment. Indent the first line of each paragraph to create a neat and professional look. Align the text to the left margin to maintain consistency and make the report visually appealing.
  • Page numbering. Include page numbers at the bottom or top corner of each page. This simple addition helps readers easily locate specific sections or refer to particular information.
  • Consistent formatting. Maintain a consistent formatting style throughout the report, including margins, spacing, font sizes, and styles. Consistency in formatting enhances the overall presentation and readability of the book report.

Best practices for a strong book report format.

By incorporating these best practices, you can create a strong book report format that engages your readers and effectively communicates your insights.

  • Choose the topics you want to highlight. Learn how to organize study notes in a clear and concise manner when deciding what to include in your book report.
  • Clearly state the purpose. Whether it’s providing a summary, analyzing themes, or offering personal insights, a clear statement of purpose sets the context and ensures your report stays focused.
  • Summarize the plot concisely. Provide a brief and concise summary of the book’s plot, focusing on key events and significant turning points. Avoid excessive detail or spoilers — instead, highlight the elements that contribute most to the story’s development.
  • Analyze themes and key ideas. Identify and analyze the central themes, ideas, and messages conveyed in the book. Explore their significance and relate them to the broader context. Use relevant examples and quotes from the text to support your analysis and strengthen your arguments.
  • Evaluate characters and their development. Assess the main characters in the book, discussing their traits, motivations, and growth throughout the story. Analyze their relationships, conflicts, and contributions to the overall narrative. Evaluate the characters’ impact on the plot and consider their development and relatability.

Create a book report PDF template.

Instead of starting from scratch every time you have to do a book report, create a book report template that you can quickly fill out. You can create the template with any word editing software, using the format above as a guideline, but you should convert the document to a PDF to make sure the template displays correctly on any device. You can easily convert the template with Adobe Acrobat online services.

To write your report, simply edit the PDF and add text to the pre-formatted locations. Then you can turn in your report on time, wherever you are.

Explore everything you can do with Acrobat online services today.

book report template pdf

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Free Book Report Templates: Printables for Grades 3-5 for Fiction or Nonfiction Books

Take a new spin on your book report assignment. 📚😍

Book report template worksheets

The Nocturnals are fun-filled animal adventure books with companion nonfiction for elementary school classrooms. Check out The Nocturnals World , a resource hub with free turnkey printable activities and educator guides, and browse The Nocturnals bookstore!

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Building lifelong readers is one of the most important things we can do in our classrooms. The benefits of reading are wide-ranging, from improving vocabulary skills to boosting cognitive development, concentration skills, and curiosity for learning. So, how do we get young learners excited about reading and sharing what they’ve learned? Check out our free book report template printables .

Four different activities are ready to print to help you take a new spin on your next book report assignment for fiction or nonfiction books. Students will love filling in their mini book report one-pagers or making their selections from the choice board to share details about what they read.

Worksheets Included:

My mini book report—fiction and nonfiction.

My mini book report worksheets for fiction and nonfiction

These book report one-pagers are a great way for students to reflect on their readings as they complete different sections of the worksheet. There’s a version for both fiction and nonfiction.

Book Report Choice Board

book report template choice board worksheets

Give students choices on how they want to complete their book report assignment. This choice board offers eight fun options, from designing a comic to creating a playlist or writing interview questions, so students can let their creativity guide them.

Designing Water Bottle Stickers

book report templates designing water bottle stickers worksheet

Students are obsessed with stickers. In this unique activity, students will design water bottle stickers that the main character of the book would love to have, along with a short description of their choices.

Give students fun-filled books to choose from

Animal adventure books from The Nocturnals are the perfect way to get your upper elementary students excited about reading. Paired with nonfiction companion texts that explore nocturnal animal facts, this series is great for hi-lo readers. Visit The Nocturnals World for more free printable activities and educator guides.

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High School Book Report: What Is It?

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How to Write a High School Book Report?

High school book report template.

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All high school students will be familiar with a High School Book Report . Although there may not be many smiles around when this is set as a homework task, there are certainly ways of making this not only less daunting but in fact, making it quite fun.

In order to write the best High School Book Report it is important to understand the purpose of such a report. The purpose is actually very simple; it details a condensed summary of the book with a focus on the main events and ideas that the author has conveyed. This will be particularly useful to any potential individuals interested in reading the book as this information should be enough for them to make a decision on whether or not this book would interest them.

A High School Book Report template can be downloaded by clicking the link below .

If you are considering writing a High School Book Report, before you start writing you need a brief plan in your head even before you begin reading the book itself. It may be worth trying to keep in mind the following ideas when reading any book that you need to report on:

  • Take your time with reading, avoid rushing . This can be tempting, particularly if the book is big but you need to explore the finer details;
  • Annotate anything interesting as you go along . A phrase, a sentence, a character, settings and events - anything that could provide you with ideas on what to write about;
  • Highlight any quotations that can be used to back up your arguments.

Once you have done this and have decided on which areas you want to focus on, we would suggest using the structure below to form your report:

  • Create a title page with the name of your book, your own name, and your class;
  • Write a short introduction about the book . Note, this does not mean the description of the text - it refers to facts about the book, when it was written, along with any useful political or historical context;
  • Analyze the characters and their relationships - do not forget to write their names . Talk about their personal traits and you can find some quotes to back up your point of view;
  • Summarize the plot but only very briefly with a focus on the major incidents;
  • The main bulk of the text will come next - the analysis . Here you need to analyze the main ideas, themes, and relate this to the significance of the book. What was the author trying to say when conveying this? Why did they choose to do this? Link all of your points to the main themes throughout;
  • Finish by concluding . In this section, you can provide a short summary of the themes and plot of the book. You can also outline how the book ended and what mark this left on you as a reader which will tie up the end of your report quite nicely.

Haven't found the template you're looking for? Take a look at the related templates below:

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book report template pdf

Book reports may be a staple of elementary and middle school education, but they are far less frequently assigned in the higher grades. High school ELA teacher Nancy Barile thinks that should change. Students in 6th grade and above can learn a lot when they are challenged to use higher order thinking skills to understand and interpret the literature they read via a good old-fashioned high school book report template. 

To start, Barile recommends that students choose the books they want to write about themselves—with teacher approval, of course. See the book list at the end of this article for engaging young adult titles and book report ideas, including books with thematic elements that are particularly appealing to older readers. 

Writing the Report

To structure the book reports, Barile recommends eight sections of analysis that will “require students to provide evidence of their choices and reasoning, which helps them think more deeply about what they have read.” For each section, students should give examples from the book to back up their analysis. The below book report template can help. 

If your students need to review the elements of fiction before beginning this assignment, Teaching Powerful Writing is a great resource. This collection of personal narratives and writing activities highlights different writing techniques and covers literary elements such as voice, using flashback, and point of view.

Book Report Breakdown

Students should identify the setting of the novel and explain why the setting is important.

  • How are the time and place significant to the events of the story?
  • How does the setting contribute to the overall meaning of the novel? 

2. CHARACTERIZATION

Beginning with the protagonist and then moving on to the supporting characters, students should discuss the characterizations in their novel. 

  • Is the character well-developed, or are they a stock or stereotypical character? 
  • Is the character static (unchanging throughout the story) or dynamic (changes by the end of the novel)? 
  • What personality traits does the character possess, and how does this affect the outcome of the novel? 
  • Do the character's inner thoughts and feelings reflect their outward actions? Explain. 

3. POINT OF VIEW

Students should identify the novel’s point of view and why it is significant.

  • What advantages does telling the story in (first person/second person/third person) have? Why?
  • Why do you think the author chose this point of view? 

4. CONFLICT

What is the primary conflict in the novel? Is it human vs. human, human vs. nature, human vs. society, or human vs. themselves? Your students should delve into conflict much more deeply than they may have in the past. If their story has more than one major conflict, they should detail the additional conflicts as well.

  • Explain the conflict and how the protagonist deals with it. 
  • Does the protagonist overcome the conflict? Or do they succumb to it?

Students should identify the theme of the novel and the specific meaning of the book they chose. They should avoid stock themes such as “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and think more critically on their author’s message.

  • What was the author’s purpose in writing the book?

What are the symbols in the novel and how are they significant?

  • How do the symbols help develop the story and contribute to the overall meaning of the book?

7. FORESHADOWING

Students should identify the foreshadowing in their novel and give examples from the text.

  • Did you know what was going to come? Why? 
  • Were there any hints as to what might occur? 
  • Why do you think the author chose to use or not use foreshadowing? 

Finally, students should evaluate the ending of the book.

  • Was the ending justified? (Was the ending viable and believable?) 
  • Was it a satisfactory ending that fit the rest of the novel? 
  • Was there a catharsis of some kind? Explain.

If your students follow this structure in their book report, it will help them explore each of the elements of fiction in a very specific way. As Barile discovered in her decades of teaching: “Students who explain, interpret, and synthesize what they have read gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of literature.”

Shop great classroom titles for book reports below! You can find all books and activities at The Teacher Store .

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Printable Book Report Outlines and Examples

writing a book report - with examples

Assigning a book report as part of your reading or writing curriculum? Print and share this quick reference for how to write a book report - including all of the necessary elements, plus examples and outlines.

Looking for fiction and nonfiction titles to assign for book study, reader's theater, or literature circles? Visit our Literature Teaching Guides Hub to find thousands of book guides for all grades.

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33 Free Book Report Forms and Templates for Kids

Published: April 11, 2019

Annette Breedlove

Contributor: Annette Breedlove

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

I loved writing book reports growing up. My kids, however, do not share the same sentiment. They love to read books and retell the stories to me, but they have a disconnect when it comes to putting it down on paper. That’s why I love using a free book report template to give them a little extra help. 

free book report templates and forms

Fun Book Report Ideas

There are many different ways children can share about a book they read other than writing about it. Check out all of these fun ideas:

  • Act it out. Young students and even older students may enjoy acting out a story that they read in lieu of writing about it. 
  • Make a 3D diorama . This is a great way for students who like to work with their hands and create visuals.
  • Draw it out on a poster . For young kids who don’t have strong writing skills yet, drawing out what they read is a great option.
  • Make a comic book with a free comic book template we have included below. 
  • Oral narration . Narrating back a brief summary of the book  they read is another alternative to writing a book report. You can see if your children comprehended what they read or at least got the main points of the story by asking them basic questions about the book.

Types of Book Reports

If you prefer using book reports, they come in a variety of types and styles. You can write plain-Jane ones or get a little more creative, like the comic strip option below for a different way to format a book report. Whichever you choose, having the option to use a book report template can be helpful for kids. 

While I enjoy book reports and see their value, I much prefer my kids enjoy reading a lot of books and sharing, over the finer points of proper form. So if we can use a simple book report template to keep them excited about reading and not dread the reports, I call that a win-win.

Mix it up with the different types of book reports that you assign to your children. Keep it fun and engaging and they will want to read more books and tell everyone about what they have read. 

Using Book Report Templates

As with anything we print out for school, I like to find cute printables with book report designs and age-appropriate graphics. This is especially for my middle school-aged daughter, who thinks some of the free worksheets I find are too childish.

Using a book report template for 3rd grade might look a little different than what I’d want to use for 7th grade. A pdf book report template for high school students definitely needs to be less kid-friendly and more informative.

There are simple book report templates for beginning writers and more advanced ones. The options are endless when it comes to choosing a book report template for your homeschool children.

Printable Book Report Forms

Whether you are looking for a short book report template or one for high school, book report templates will help students get their thoughts on paper. They will learn to organize their thoughts so that their finished book report project is a success!

Book report templates can encourage all the readers in your homeschool to crank out an organized, thorough book report that they are proud of! Once you select a free template, you can get started. Let your children choose one of their favorite books for their first report as it will help to keep them engaged.

How to Use a Book Report Template

When you are looking for the perfect book report template, keep in mind the age of your child. Some one-page forms are perfect for young children and beginning readers with boxes to draw, lines to write down main characters, setting, the plot, etc.

When you have a high school student needing to write a paper or a book report, you obviously need something more in-depth. A book report template can help them get their ideas on paper well enough to organize thoughts and personal opinions for an essay, or even a research paper. 

The key point of using worksheets for book reports is to have an easy way to get thoughts on paper. A book report template can help your student stay organized so they are able to draft a well-written paper. These types of graphic organizers make book reports a breeze!

What’s included in a book report?

  • A good book report will consist of the book title, author’s name, main idea, main theme, plot points and important details.
  • It will explain the narrative and setting, and cover the main elements of the story as well as describe important characters of the book.
  • You’ll also want to include details on the time period, major conflicts and the book details, or rather a plot summary of the book.
  • Don’t forget to include unusual facts and key elements that stand out. 

Character Description

Besides adding basic details about the key characters in the book, it’s a good idea to include character details. You will want to include details such as; appearance, interests, and list out some adjectives that describe characters on the book report form . 

Analyze what your character looks like so the reader of the book report gets a vivid description of the character. What color is their hair and skin? What is their clothing style like? Do they have a best friend or an animal that is constantly with them?

Is the character an animal? If so, what type of animal are they and what do they look like?

Character Development

Characters develop on in the story as you read about them. Make sure to make note of positive and negative character traits and how those change throughout the plot. Is there a hidden message or reason why the character is behaving the way that they are?

Make notes of how your character has changed and why you think they changed and the reasons for the actions that they took. You can take it a step further and explain how their actions either harmed or helped the story to move along.

Printable Book Report Templates and Forms

If you want a book report template quickly, simply scroll to the bottom of this post to download ours FREE.

DIY Book Report Kit {works with ANY book} This printable book report template is more like a graphic organizer , in my opinion. You can print several different template pages to organize different aspects of the book so you can create a great book report. 

Free Book Report Template for Elementary Students Get your 1st -4th graders writing book reports with ease with these pdf book report pages.

Book Review Templates This cute pack of 5 different book report template pages would be perfect for early learners who know how to write . 

Printable Book Report Form I like this simple book report template that’s perfect for a new reader. The free printable book report template is organized and will prompt your kids to be creative. 

Elementary Book Reports Made Easy An easy one-page pdf download of a book report worksheet that would be good for elementary students.

Printable Book Report Forms (Non-Fiction, Fiction, Biography, Mystery & Fable) You have lots of different options for book report templates. Whether or not you need a book report form for a biography, non-fiction resource , or even a fable, there are several  different pdf templates to choose from. There are also multiple book report poster forms for those kids who prefer to draw.

7 Different Versions of Book Report – If you are looking for different versions for different age levels or grades then these reports are worth reviewing.

Easy Book Report – This features an easy form for younger students as well as outline form for older students.

Book Report Templates for Younger Students

There are different styles of book report templates that you will want to focus on for younger students. A book report template that you use with your middle school aged child will be too difficult for beginning writers.

You will want to look for a book report format with dashed lines, boxes to draw a picture in, and more. 

My Book Report Worksheets These book report worksheets are suitable for children in kindergarten or first grade. 

Comic Strip Book Reports If you have a reluctant writer , or a comic book lover, these free printable comic strip book report templates will likely make a book report less dreaded!

Reading Logs and Bookmarks

Reading Log and Book Report Templates If you are on the hunt for cute reading log printables, these are perfect for elementary students. There are a few different templates that offer options to rate the book and write a review. Using a creative book report template like this might take the sting out of writing book reports for reluctant writers. 

Free Reading Log and Book Report Forms   My Joy-Filled Life has a 2-page book report template and a printable reading log that you can slip into your homeschool binder . 

Free Reading Logs, Bookmarks and Charts – Encourage your readers with fun and colorful bookmarks and charts that they can use to track their reading time as well as the books they have read. Free Instant Download included!

Book Report Template

Book reports don’t have to be boring or something that your children dread. They may be overwhelmed because it is a new thing that they have never done before and may need just a little guidance to get started.

Our FREE DIY Book Report template pack includes four pages of graphic organizers, question prompts, illustration boxes, and more. It is a great start to guiding your children on how to write a book report in a non-threatening way. 

You can download it for free in our subscriber library . 

free DIY book report

In Conclusion

The body of the book report should include the title, the author of the book, characters, setting, major conflicts, direct quotes, and plot. The conclusion can include a personal opinion. Book reports are a fun way to develop critical thinking skills and teach students how to gather information to format into a writing assignment.

Annette Breedlove

Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating UNIT STUDIES and FREE PRINTABLES for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about homeschooling, homemaking and marriage while trying to maintain her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers where she shares her tips on homeschooling without breaking the bank.

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book report template pdf

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LibAnswers: Reference

What is the proper usmc book report format.

While there is no official book report format for PME in the Marine Corps, there is a concise and easy to understand book report format available via the Manpower and Reserve Affairs website (available for download at https://www.manpower.usmc.mil/wordpress/ ).

For the sake of convenience, the text of that document is included below:

BOOK REPORT FORMAT

Introduction: Here you want to provide basic information about the book, and a sense of what your report will be about. You should include:

  • Title (underlined)/Author
  • A brief (1-2 sentences) introduction to the book and the report/review.

Body: There are two main sections for this part. The first is an explanation of what the book is about. The second is your opinions about the book and how successful it is. There are some differences between reports on fiction or other imaginative writing and reports on non-fiction books. But for both, a good place to start is to explain the author's purpose and/or the main themes of the book. Then you can summarize.

  • For fiction or other creative writing : Provide brief descriptions of the setting, the point of view (who tells the story), the protagonist, and other major characters. If there is a distinct mood or tone, discuss that as well. Give a concise plot summary. Along with the sequence of major events, you may want to discuss the book's climax and resolution, and/or literary devices such as foreshadowing.
  • For non-fiction : Provide a general overview of the author's topic, main points, and argument. What is the thesis? What are the important conclusions? Don't try to summarize each chapter or every angle. Choose the ones that are most significant and interesting to you.

Analysis and Evaluation: In this section you analyze or critique the book. You can write about your own opinions; just be sure that you explain and support them with examples. Some questions you might want to consider:

  • Did the author achieve his or her purpose?
  • Is the writing effective, powerful, difficult, beautiful?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the book?
  • For non-fiction, what are the author's qualifications to write about the subject? Do you agree with the author's arguments and conclusions?
  • What is your overall response to the book? Did you find it interesting, moving, dull?
  • Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not?

Conclusion: Briefly conclude by pulling your thoughts together. You may want to say what impression the book left you with or emphasize what you want your reader to know about it.

  • Book report
  • Last Updated Feb 21, 2024
  • Answered By Chris Ellis

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  1. 22 Free Book Report Templates and Examples

    To write a book report, you need to follow the steps below: Draft an introductory paragraph. This captures the basic information about the book such as its genre, title, author, year published, number of pages, and the publisher. Include some interesting background information about the author of the book. Next, incorporate a plot summary.

  2. 22 Printable Book Report Templates (Worksheets)

    Following are free downloadable book report templates and examples that can be downloaded for free: Book Report Templates 01. Download. Book Report Templates 02. Download. Book Report Templates 03. Download. Book Report Templates 04. Download.

  3. 25+ Free Printable Book Report Templates [Word

    Some book reports also ask critical viewpoints about events and characters to make sure that the students read the book completely. Also, by asking such questions students can understand the book better. Download Template (517 KB) Download Template (217 KB) Download Template (24 KB) Download Template (84 KB)

  4. PDF Middle School Outline Template for Book Report

    the book, fill in the sections for this template. You will receive a grade for this template and for the report (see points next to each item). When you go to write your book report, be sure to include the information completed on the following pages. The final report must be typed and double spaced. Be sure to hand into your Reading teacher ...

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    There is more than one way to complete a book report. Both teachers and students may find these creative ideas more interesting than a straightforward report. Write a review of the book. Create the report in the form of a newspaper or blog review. Summarize the book without giving away the plot or the ending.

  6. Free Book Report Templates

    Mystery/Suspense Book Report Template. This document provides a template for students to write a book report on a mystery or suspense book. It includes sections such as plot summary, characters, and personal reflection. Use this template to easily organize your thoughts and analysis of the book.

  7. Book Report Templates for 2nd

    With this 6-8th grade template, students write a two-sentence summary, important quotes and whether they recommend the book and why. 6th - 8th Grade Book Report Activity #2. Students explain, in two sentences, what the text is about, identify three important events in the text, and choose one quote they think is most important and then analyze ...

  8. How to Write a Book Report

    This printable book report template from a teacher-turned-homeschooler is simple, classic, and effective. It asks basic questions, such as "who are the main characters?" ... This PDF outline template breaks the book report down into manageable sections for seventh and eighth graders by asking for specific information in each paragraph.

  9. How to format a book report

    Create a book report PDF template. Instead of starting from scratch every time you have to do a book report, create a book report template that you can quickly fill out. You can create the template with any word editing software, using the format above as a guideline, but you should convert the document to a PDF to make sure the template ...

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  11. Free Book Report Templates: Printable for Grades 3-5

    Free Book Report Templates: Printables for Grades 3-5 for Fiction or Nonfiction Books. Take a new spin on your book report assignment. 📚😍 . Sponsored By The Nocturnals Brought to you by The Nocturnals The Nocturnals are fun-filled animal adventure books with companion nonfiction for elementary school classrooms. Check out ...

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    Student Report Template Book Review Sheet Book Report Template High School Student Forms Life. Easily create a high-quality book report with our free High School Book Report Template. Fill it online and download as PDF. No registration required.

  13. Book Report Templates

    Book Report Templates for Elementary Students to practice research and writing skills! These blank book reports are FREE and easy to use. Young students can use these printable PDF book report worksheets as graphic organizers to outline and summarize any story or book. Students will read, write, and show off their creativity with these simple ...

  14. Engaging High School Book Report Templates

    To structure the book reports, Barile recommends eight sections of analysis that will "require students to provide evidence of their choices and reasoning, which helps them think more deeply about what they have read.". For each section, students should give examples from the book to back up their analysis. The below book report template ...

  15. Book Report Examples and Outlines for Students

    The TeacherVision editorial team is comprised of teachers, experts, and content professionals dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and relevant information in the teaching space. View TeacherVision's profile. Assigning a book report? Print and share this set of book report elements, outlines, and examples with your students.

  16. FREE Printable Book Report Template pdf 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade

    These free book report tempaltes allow grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, and grade 4 students to write a book report EASILY! Use the 2nd grade book report with guided prompts and ruled lines to make writing a book report easy for kids. Use as many of the pages in the free printable book report template as you think is appropriate for your child.

  17. 11+ Free Book Report Templates For Students

    Because students learn the story elements relatively early in their school life, this book report project template makes a great review activity. Using the template, students will identify the story's author, illustrator, characters, setting, problem, and solution. Download template. 4. Book Report Vocabulary Squares.

  18. 3 Free Printable Book Report Templates

    The second free book report template asks all the same questions as the first printable; however, it offers more space to talk about the symbolism and messaging of the book as well as additional space to list references and sources. That means it may be more suitable as a 5th grade book report template and up; in other words, for junior high through high school students vs. 2nd graders.

  19. FREE Printable Book Report Worksheets and Template Form

    These fun, free printable book report template pages are perfect for older kids in 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. Being no-prep, these book report forms help to ensure readers are understanding what they are reading. Simply print the printable book report template to write down information about the book ...

  20. 33 Free Book Report Forms and Templates for Kids

    Elementary Book Reports Made Easy An easy one-page pdf download of a book report worksheet that would be good for elementary students. Printable Book Report Forms (Non-Fiction, Fiction, Biography, Mystery & Fable) You have lots of different options for book report templates. Whether or not you need a book report form for a biography, non ...

  21. PDF BOOK REPORT FORMAT FOR STUDENTS ENTERING 6 GRADE APPEARANCE

    Avoid statements such as "This book report is about . . ." or "I am writing about . . ." SUMMARY The next one to two paragraphs should be a brief summary of the plot. You should state the book's title, and then describe the setting, main characters, and basic action of the book. DO NOT reveal the book's ending. ANALYSIS

  22. What is the proper USMC book report format?

    For the sake of convenience, the text of that document is included below: BOOK REPORT FORMAT. Introduction: Here you want to provide basic information about the book, and a sense of what your report will be about. You should include: Title (underlined)/Author. A brief (1-2 sentences) introduction to the book and the report/review.