Difference Between Writing a Book Report and a Book Review

When attempting to write either a book report or a book review, a writer should always first consider the point of view and ultimate objective of either assignment. Each of these types of articles has specific guidelines and final objectives specific to the audience, portrayal of the book being analyzed, and reader's response to the text.

In the instance of a book report, the writer of said book report must be sure be wary of taking a subjective stance in his or her analysis of the book. A book report is an objective glance into the content of the book and text's structure. The writer must look not to provide a comparison to another book or text and simply look to help guide interested readers or an audience in an overview of the book as a whole, rather than providing a nuanced argument about the book's themes, motifs, or underlying messages. A book report should only provide a summary for an audience and a short analysis of a text's structure. The ultimate objective is to provide interested listeners or readers with some information as to whether the text would fit their needs or be of any help or use to them.

A book review typically applies a critical lens to a text or provides an evaluation of the text as a whole. Book reviews are far more insightful than book reports because a book review delves deeper into the text rather than providing a basic overview of the book's structure. Book reviews look to extend beyond just a summary of a text. A review of a book should entice a potential reader to read a book or turn them away from the text entirely. A book review also may look to explain some of the literary elements chosen and applied to the text.

While both book reports and book reviews can be found in academic settings, the two types of articles have very different ultimate objectives and purposes. While a book report tends to provide a basic summary or overview of a book, a book review looks to provide greater insight for an audience or a potential group of readers into the content, literary elements, or findings when applying a critical lens. Book reviews may be used to convince an audience that a book is of some greater use to the audience members. A writer should look to identify his or her ultimate purpose for writing the article before choosing, follow either the conventions of a book report or a book review.

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