It happens to everyone. You wake up one morning, rub the sleep out of your eyes, check the time on the clock, and suddenly realize that you have a book report due at school that day and you haven’t even started it. You rush over and check the book and know there is no way you can read 400 pages on the bus, let alone type out a paper before class. So instead, you go online and read an abstract of the book, which is basically a brief book summary of the text. You cross your fingers and hope you can create some sort of a decent report on the book off of the abstract. The main question is, is actually possibly to do so?

Size of the Book

It really depends on the overall size of the book you are reading and the abstract attached to it. Most abstracts are roughly the same size and are going to take up about a page or so, which means there is more information the abstract is leaving out, which in turn is going to make it much more difficult to create the book report. The abstract covers the main points in the text, and naturally a longer book is going to have more main points the abstract has to gloss over. When comparing a book such as Of Mice and Men, when is about 90 pages, against War and Peace, which is well over 1,000, the one page abstract is going to give you a rather complete understanding of Mice and Men, but not so with War and Peace. While it is the only thing you have to go off of and you’ll have to make it work, just be aware of how much information is going to be left out.

Size of the Report

The next aspect of the book report is the overall size of the report you have to create and what exactly you have to cover. If the report wants you to go into detail about specific actions of an individual inside the book, chances are you are not going to be able to. However, if the report only wants you to discuss the overall book and what happens, you’ll be in better shape, as long as the report isn’t drastically long. It is difficult to turn a single page abstract into a five page report, as you’ll have to expand upon ideas you might not have any other information or insight about.

In short, it is possible to produce a book report around just an abstract, but it ultimately depends on the length of the report and the overall size of the final book.