How to Write a Nonfiction Book Report
It generally seems easier to write a book report on a fictional book since the plot is often more imaginative with more precise conflicts than that of a nonfiction book. So what if you are assigned a nonfiction book for your book report? There are some simple techniques to keep in mind while writing a report on a nonfiction book, and you may even find the process more enjoyable and edifying than writing a report on fiction.
Carefully read the book you have chosen or been assigned. It is a good idea to mark pieces of information in the book that you may be able to use in your report with a pencil or Post-It notes. It is nearly impossible to write an intelligent essay without reading and understanding the book first.
Structure your essay using an outline. The introduction to your report should include the author's name, year of publication and reason for writing the nonfiction novel, if applicable. Hook the reader in the first sentence with an interesting opening, and summarize in a line or two the main theme of the novel to set up the rest of your report.
Write a couple of body paragraphs describing the importance of the book and the events in the book in a bit more detail. Do not summarize every chapter or simply rehash the entire plot. Instead, try and bring up moments in the book that show the author's overall theme or which emphasize the main events of the book.
Conclude with your own thoughts and feelings about the book you read if you are able to bring your own opinion into the report. Would you recommend this book to others? What is the most interesting thing you learned? Why do you feel this is an important piece of literature?
Things You'll Need
- Post-It Notes (optional)
- Computer (if typing report)
Jordynn McMahon specializes in travel, technology and health articles. She currently works as a marketing specialist in the software industry. McMahon has a B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara, as well as an M.A. in English literature and composition from San Jose State University.