30 Free Book Report Templates – How to Outline (Format)

A book report template is a document that contains a general layout or format that your book report fits into efficiently and it facilitates you in completing it by following the correct pattern that is required for it to be considered of a credible nature.

It is a written essay that summarizes a specific book’s contents and composition, such as the plot, characters, title, tone, and setting of the story.

A template for it may also contain information about the author or an evaluation of the good and bad aspects of the book.

A book report is a typical assignment for students throughout their school years, whether in elementary, middle, or high school. The report serves as a method to show that the students have read the book adequately and in its entirety.

Free Book Report Templates

Book Report Template - Free Printable Example

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Book Report Template - Editable PDF Sample

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Book Report Template - PDF Format Sample

Free Book Report Template - Fillable Form Example

Download Free Book Report Template - Editable Version

Book Report Template - Printable PDF Example

    Book Report vs. Book Review

    A book report is an objective view of a specific book where you will be describing the general plotline without giving extensive details, analysis, or opinions of the student. It usually only states facts about the book’s contents without the need to assess this content.

    On the other hand, a review is a subjective view. It will require evaluating the main ideas contained within the book and analyzing them, giving their ideas and thoughts about the plot. A review serves to give an idea of whether the book would interest prospective readers.

    The book report and review are similar in certain aspects, such as

    1. Background information
    2. Target audience
    3. Subject and thesis statement
    4. Summary of content
    5. Bibliographical information

    Essentials of a Book Report

    Regardless of the type or subject of the book that the report is written about, certain elements are required in each template.

    The elements of a good template are:

    Bibliographical information

    The template will need to contain information about the author’s work to write the book. This information includes the author’s name, the title of publication, the book’s date of publication, the place of publication of the book, the publisher of the book, the volume of the book, and page numbers.

    Background information

    The background information is the main bulk of the book, which gives it its unique aspects and drives the readers to be interested in the book.

    The background information includes:


    An exploration of the characters is required for the report; the significance of the characters and how they affect the plot should also be stated. A brief exploration of their personalities and actions might be required.


    The setting refers to the time and place where the events occur. The setting is an integral part of the plot and is essential in driving the story forward, so the author needs to pick the setting carefully. Therefore, the writer of the report needs to inform the reader about the setting and give an idea of how it improves upon the story.


    The theme is the idea that recurs within the book, and it is the idea that the author focuses on throughout the plot. The theme of the book needs to be broadly explained. Discuss the aim of the book and the prevalent ideas within. It is preferable if you use sections and examples to reinforce it.


    A book report will require a summary of the plot. The summary will retell the story more concisely while explaining the main points of the plot. In addition, the teacher might require an analysis of the events of the plot to show an adequate understanding of the events. The use of examples taken from the book during the analysis will improve its quality.

    Compare and contrast

    Compare the book to other books within the same genre. Show how the settings, characters, and themes might mimic or contrast against each other. Elaborate on how this might enrich the content. Also, mention what your thoughts are regarding both and which combination works best.                                               

    Intended audience

    Each book has an intended audience that the author wants to appeal to, inspire, and talk to. Mention who the intended audience is and how you came to this information. The audience can be directly stated by the author or can be concluded from the manner of writing. It is essential to know who the audience is, as they will affect how the books are received, the themes and setting of the book, and the level of sophistication of the language used.

    Subject and thesis statement

    The overall subject of the book should be mentioned, indicating what it aims to deliver by the end of it. The author’s thesis statement, which is usually a brief paragraph, should be written either in the author’s own words or from your conclusion.

    Summary of the content

    The summary is a brief retelling of the most important events, ideas, and characters within the book. The summary usually doesn’t need to exceed 300 words.

    Free Templates

    Book Report Template - Editable Form Example

    Get a Free Book Report Template - PDF Sample

    Book Report Template - Printable Example

    Download Free Book Report Template - Editable Form

    Book Report Template - PDF Format Example

    Free Book Report Template - Printable PDF Sample

    Get a Free Book Report Template - Editable Sample

    Book Report Template - Printable Form Example

    Book Report Template - Fillable PDF Example

    Book Report Template - PDF Format Example

      Types of Book Reports

      The type depends on the focus of the report and on which aspects of the book you will focus on. You can sometimes choose the type, or it is assigned to you by the teacher.

      There are three main types of book reports, and these are:

      Plot summary

      A plot summary is an analytical method of retelling the story. Analyze the events and give your ideas on how the plot is improved or rendered worse by the different elements of the plot. Always quote parts of the book and give examples to reinforce your points about the plot.

      Character analysis

      This takes a character (or multiple characters) and shines the spotlight. Analyze the character, their personality traits, and how they interact with other characters. The importance of character in the story and how it drives the plot forward. Also, analyze how the character talks and acts and what their goals are. Give criticism of whether this character is relatable, which aspects improve the character, and any other personal opinions you may have.

      Thematic analysis

      Writing an analysis of the book’s theme can be a difficult task. It will require a deep understanding of the overarching narrative and the ability to see what the author is attempting to convey through the book. Write an exact explanation of the theme of the book, explaining it thoroughly. Then, please write your personal opinions regarding the theme, how it adds or subtracts from the book, and whether you found it fitting. Bring in examples from the book and explain them one by one to make your point even clearer.

      How to Outline a Book Report Template

      The outline is the frame of the report you will write down your information in according to the outline.

      It is made up of three parts, and they are

      The introduction

      Start by introducing the title and the author. You can mention‌ a brief history of the author, such as their previous publications. You should also introduce the theme and ideas that the book aims for and give any reasons why you chose this book to write a report about. You can also add information regarding the publication of the book, how it was received by the readers, whether the book is famous or not, and so on.

      The main body

      This is the most critical part, where you’ll need to describe the plot of the book and set it concisely, focusing on the important events and characters while analyzing them. Give your personal opinions to make the report more specialized. You can even give examples and comparisons taken from other books.

      The main body of a template will include:

      • Summary:  a description of the events of the book, the characters, the setting, and the plot of the book. The reader should have a clue of what the story will provide by the end of this summary.
      • Character details: talk about the characters, the relationships between them, and any conflicts.
      • Plot analysis: Explain the main events of the plot without going into extensive details. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of the plot while also mentioning any literary devices.

      Conclusion and personal evaluation

      Write down your final thoughts and ideas regarding the book: how it made you feel, how it can be improved, and what ideas it gave you. Reading a book can leave an impression on a person; talk about the impression you received from the book and your evaluation.

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      Get a Free Book Report Template - Fillable Sample

      Book Report Template - Printable Form Example

      Book Report Template - Editable PDF Sample

      Book Report Template - PDF Format Example

      Download Free Book Report Template - Editable Form

      Free Book Report Template - Printable PDF Sample

      Free Downloadable Book Report Template

      Free Editable Book Report Sample

        How to Write a Book Report

        There are steps to be taken before writing the report to facilitate the process and improve the overall result of the work that you put into the report.

        These steps are:

        Pick the book carefully

        If you choose to pick which book to write the report about, choose one that connects to you and interests you the most. Choosing one you’re passionate about will aid in the process of writing the report. But if you were assigned the book and are unable to change it, then keep an open mind. Maybe you will like it.

        Proper reading of the book

        Read the book thoroughly and with focus; writing the report will require a good understanding of various parts to explain them within the report. Therefore, it is important to give it a proper read, as you will not write a good report without knowing it well. Consider reading complicated sections more than once for a more proper understanding.

        Jot down notes

        While reading, note the important events, characters, and plot points you would want to discuss. This will help make writing faster and easier and encompass the book’s various parts.

        Organize your notes

        Choose which of your most important notes you will be talking about first. The book report is usually of a limited length, so you will probably need to cut back on some notes. Give priority to the most important notes that you think will help you stand out, such as the ones that talk about significant events or the ending as an example.

        Create an outline 

        The outline is similar to the frame of a painting. It will help you stay focused on the essential parts. Therefore, you must create an outline before you start working. You can write down the outline on paper or within the document itself before working. This will give you a clear idea of what you’re going to write about and facilitate the process of writing.

        Begin reiterating the story

        One of the most critical aspects is how you retell and summarize the story. First, decide how you will approach the story, its length, and which events are discussed. Secondly, decide on your approach to these events and how you’ll describe them, whether in detail, from the point of view of a particular character, or as an observer.

        Be creative with the way you reiterate the story and add your personal touch whenever possible to help the report stand out.

        Write your book report

        Finally, you can start writing your report. Focus on your notes and follow the outline. Finish writing the main body, then give your analysis.

        Tips for Writing a Book Report

        There are a few aspects of writing a book report that are only learned with practice and experience. Unfortunately, new writers make common mistakes.

        Follow these tips to avoid such common mistakes:

        Avoid cramming

        Writing is a time-consuming process that is better done slowly. Cramming and forcing yourself to write the report on short notice will negatively affect the report and be noticeable. Instead, plan your time and work while you are relaxed and have plenty of time.

        Get a dictionary

        Reading with a dictionary by your side will help you with those pesky words that you don’t know the meaning of. It is important to have a better understanding of the story and the author’s method of writing, which in turn helps improve your report.

        Read existing reports on the book

        Sometimes, if the book is incredibly daunting to tackle for writing about, you should check other reports regarding it; doing this type of research will give you an idea of what points you should discuss and might even give you some insight that you have missed during your reading.

        Get professional writing assistance

        Using a writing service that will follow your notes and write a report made just for you can help you when you cannot write it yourself.

        Use a template

        Using a template like the one we offer will help you make the process faster. You will avoid the need to outline yourself and save time to focus on the other parts of the report.

        Format of the Book Report

        A specific format should be followed to ensure that the report covers all the necessary aspects. Learn this format and make your notes to improve it and reduce the need for a secondary reading of the book.

        This format includes

        • The title, the author’s name, and the number of pages.
        • The genre and the general theme
        • The characters with a brief description of each.
        • The setting of the book
        • The plotline, the critical events, and a summary.
        • Theme and message.
        • Your evaluation and opinions.

        Frequently Asked Questions

        How do I write a book report for high school?

        To write one for high school, you need to give a brief introduction of the author, explain the plot and the major characters and events, and give a brief evaluation of the book.

        How do I write a book report for college?

        When writing one for the college level, a deeper understanding of the literature is often required. So, first, write down the introduction, including the bibliographic information. Then explain the narrative of the plot, events, twists, and conclusion. Finally, give a summary while also mentioning the strong points or the parts that didn’t work so well.

        About This Article

        Alexander Ruiz
        Authored by:
        Educational Consulting, Test Prep Tutoring, College Application Consulting
        Alexander Ruiz stands as the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute in Claremont, California, a distinguished establishment offering tailored educational plans, specialized subject and test prep tutoring, and comprehensive college application consulting. With a rich experience spanning over a decade and a half in the education sector, Alexander's approach transcends traditional teaching. He empowers students not just academically, but also fosters self-awareness and emotional intelligence, essential tools for holistic development. Alexander's academic credentials, a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University, further enhance his ability to guide students towards their academic and personal aspirations.

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