Book reports and reviews are generally considered a source of confusion among college students, primarily because of their interchangeable use in any given context. Students find it difficult to differentiate between the two and thus end up considering the two as having similar content.
This is where they make a mistake – one that can lead to a grade deduction if they submitted a report while asked specifically to hand in a book review. It is therefore, essential to not only understand how the two differ but also to identify elements of similarity between the two.
A book report is one where personal evaluation is very limited. An in-depth analysis of the content matter is not of priority, rather the summary of the main plot is of primary importance. A report may as well be considered a brief summary of the entire plot. The main elements that must be included in a book report include the Title, Author, Name and Place of Publisher and Number of Pages. These four are usually a must have in every report. Other more concrete elements include the genre, main character(s), main idea(s), climax and any other parts worth mentioning.
Your book report will usually end with a recommendation for other potential readers out there. In addition to the varied content matter, reports are unique in a sense that book report will consist of 200-250 words and is considered a K-12 level assignment.
A book review is that portion of your writing that incorporates meticulous evaluation of the subject matter and can either be in form of acknowledgement or critique. This is where the reader needs to assess the plot elements with scrutiny and decide whether it was a justifiable read or not. Here the aforementioned four elements are not only to be stated but also probed.
For instance, the reader may have to ask himself – “Is the title appropriate as per the content of the book”, or “What genre is this novel depicting, is it what the author intended?” These are a few questions that enable the reader to analyze the various aspects of the book.
Moreover, the evaluation must be clearly laid out and the reader is required to take up an assertive stance. Neutral reviews are common, but these tend to depict diplomacy on part of the reader. A book review comprises of at least 250 words, with no maximum limit. A book review is considered a college level assignment.
Conclusively, despite the structural similarities, a clear distinction exists between book report and book review that must be considered while getting down to drafting either one.