Difference Between Book Review And Book Report?

By: | Updated: May-9, 2022
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Imagine you try to pull off a great book report. So you expect a perfect A+ grade. But you couldn’t even get ‘B’ or ‘C.’  It’s no wonder that some students get help with assignments to ease this overwhelming shock. 

There are good numbers of students who find themselves in a similar situation. It’s not because they don’t understand the subject matter. It’s a question of structure. They cannot differentiate a book report from a book review.

Tutors must have provided some requirements tailored to book reviews or reports on the instruction board. Hence, most students get bad grades because they don’t pay attention to these details. In any case, the first step in getting an assignment right is by following simple instructions. 

This article will walk you through how you can tell the difference between a book report and a book review. 

What is a Book Review?

Difference Between Book Review And Book Report?

A book review is an illustrative, subjective, evaluative, and critical account of a book. It typically describes a book based on style and content. 

Book reviews typically range from 600 to 2,000 words. However, it could be more depending on the assignment requirements.

Elements of a Book Review

You may think that a book review is all about a brief opinion of a book. No more, no less. That’s not true. This is not only the piece of information that your tutor wants from you. 

A resourceful book review comprises four elements. They are as follows:

  • Short Summary

It’d best to assume that your audience does not know what the book is about. This way, you can summarize the book better. A good summary requires you to map out the main ideas and why they are essential. 

  • Background

Another information to include in a book review is the book’s background. A solid background requires comparing the author’s argument to related historical information. This applies to both fiction and non-fiction works. 

  • Author’s Information

It’s also essential to incorporate the author’s information into the review. For instance, what is the author’s educational background? Does it influence his beliefs? This way, your reader can understand why the author has raised a specific argument. 

  • Evaluation

Evaluation is the conclusive part of the review. It’s an appraisal of the strengths and pain points of the book. An evaluative account also shows how the book has achieved its purpose. 

Note that book reviews may also include your opinions. However, you should reread your assignment instructions to determine whether it’s part of its requirements. 

Now that you know what a book review is let’s get to a book report. 

What is a Book Report?

Unlike a book review, a book report discusses a book from an objective and informative perspective. People often interchange with book reviews. But it tilts toward a book summary than a critical account of it. 

Book reports give a concise account of what happened in a book. They navigate through the thesis and characters of a work.

Most book reports stretch from 250 to 500 words. 

Parts of a Book Report

  • Introduction

The first part of a book report should include the title of the work and the author’s name. After that, you may open with an exciting extract from the creation to grab the reader’s attention. 

  • Setting

If it is a story, you should introduce the specific place where it takes place. For non-stories, we recommend that you include the integral setting. Integral setting means the societal elements in work, such as language. 

  • Plot

Introduce the main ideas

  • Characters

It’d be best to mention every character in your report. 

  • Evaluation/Recommendation

Key Differences  between a Book Review and Book Report 

Now that we’ve walked you through the basics let’s get to business. 

  • Scope/Purpose

A book review analyses the work. It encompasses the main ideas in a piece of work critically. Hence, a book review aims to shed new light on the readers.

On the other hand, a book report rehashes the work. The purpose of a book report is to give information about the work. In any case, a book review takes a diagnostic approach that tests the significance of the text. 

  • Word Count

A book review typically ranges from 600 to 2,000 words. It’s because teachers expect students to write as much as possible in book reviews. However, it would help if you stuck to the word count in your assignment instructions. 

On the other hand, a book report typically stretches from 250 to 500 words. It’s because your teachers don’t expect you to write beyond what happened in a book. However, you may highlight your recommendations. 

  • Perspective

A book report requires you to write from an objective perspective. 

On the other hand, a book review requires you to write from a subjective perspective. That is to say, your opinions matter.


It can be challenging to strike a balance between opinion and facts. However, mastering them will go a long way in helping you to differentiate a book review from a  book report. 


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