Write a Book Report

Is It Possible to Write a Book Report Without Reading a Book?

Nov 21, 2012
Reading the book is a vital aspect of book report writing; there is no two ways about it. However, it is also a fact that many of us often face situations where we do not have enough time or patience to read the book in its entirety, and hence have to resort to methods or ways that can help us come up with a fairly good book report without having to read the book.
Given below are few tips and suggestions that are sure to help you write a book report without reading the book in question:

Attend the Classes

Irrespective of the genre of the book you have to write a book report on, you must attend the classes if you want to write an impressive book report without reading the book. Attending the classes will help you with an insight into the contents of the book, including significant aspects such as story, characters and plot, which inadvertently would help you in writing of the book report.

Make Diligent Notes

Attending the classes alone is not of any help, as you need to remember what is being taught in the class, and hence it is imperative that you make notes that will be of help in the writing stage.


If you have already missed classes, and do not have any notes to rely on, and not interested in reading the book, then you should be prepared to indulge in thorough research. Going through the 'table of contents' and 'index' of the book, will also help you get a brief insight into the contents of the book. The 'foreword' of the book can be of special help, as more often than not, most authors stress on the significant aspects of their book in the foreword. If a movie is made on the book, then it is a good idea to watch the movie to get an insight into the story, characters and the plot. You can also visit a library to find books or authors that critically analyze the book in question. The easiest, but not so recommended method is to find a good summary of the same book and then rewrite it. The key here is to avoid any direct duplication from the source, otherwise you will be charged with plagiarism.

Check the Author's Official Website

If research does not appeal to you, then the best way for you would be to visit the author's official website. More often than not, such websites have extensive discussions or notes on the author's work/works that is sure to help you with your book writing endeavors. If the author does not have an official website or page, then you must try and find websites that are dedicated to the author's writings. You can find quality facts, information and notes in such websites that will facilitate you to come up with a decent book report without reading the book.

Ask a Friend Who Read the Book to Tell You the Story

If you are one of those who do not like the idea of hard work in the first place, and are looking for a serious short cut to a book report, then it is best to ask a friend who you know has read the book to narrate you the story and important points. It is not necessary that you tell the friend or acquaintance that you have not read the book; you can simply say that you were thinking about the book, and want to know that person's perspective on the book.
If you are a group of friends who are all reluctant to read the book, then it is a good idea to split the book into chapters to be read by each friend in the group. Once all of you have completed reading the assigned chapters, each one can narrate the story to the whole group. This method is quite popular among students, as each one in the group benefits from it without spending days reading the entire book.

Irrespective of the Resource You Determine On, Go Back to the Original Book for Quotes and Citations

Quoting directly from the textbook gives an impression that you have read the entire book; moreover quoting directly from the book in question is a sure shot way of earning brownie points from your instructor. To be able to successfully use this method, it is highly recommended that you read the initial chapters and the foreword to get a fair idea of the important chapters and also to know where to find citations.

Analyze and Conceptualize the Gathered Information to Bestow Your Book Report With an Edge

Once you think that you have all the necessary notes and information that is required to start with the writing process, the next step is to spend some time analyzing and conceptualizing. This is especially important if you are committed to write a book report that is inspiring and compelling. Any one can write an average book report, but it takes outstanding analysis and conceptualization skills to come up with a book report that will pleasantly surprise your professor/ instructor/ reader.
Having said the above, it must me mentioned here that there is no substitute for reading the entire book for coming up with a quality book report. Reading the book will help you with an opportunity to come across and absorb notes/points that others fail to do, thus facilitating you to come up with an incredibly unique and impressive book report. Reading the book will help you include personal analysis of the characters and plot, thus bestowing your book report with the required vibrancy and freshness.
Students should attempt writing a book report without reading a book only when they are in a serious fix, and have no other alternative. This is especially important, as alternative resources and methods can surely help you write an average/ decent book report, but can never help you come up with an outstanding piece of writing that can take your readers by surprise. Anyways, if you are in a pinch and have no other go but to write a book report without reading the book, then the above tips are sure to help you.
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