Skip Nav

How to Write a Book Review Essay

How Many Types of Reviews Exist?

❶Authors of these articles go further and discuss the issues covered in the book and the methodology.

The art of writing a book review

Quality papers at the best prices
Testimonials
What are book reviews? What types of book reviews exist? How does one write them?

The theme can also be the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a book. Authors may present multiple themes in their writing, especially works of fiction. A simple way to determine one of the major themes of a book is to sum up the book in one word.

Once you have your one word summary, stretch the single word into a message or lesson, such as "sin can lead to knowledge but it can also lead to suffering. Consider the author's writing style. Ask yourself if the style suits the book's intended audience. Remember that genre is a category of writing and style is the manner in which a subject is expressed or performed [2]. So, depending on the style used, the author can present different viewpoints to the intended audience.

For example, in The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne attempts to combine the writing style of the Romantic Period with the common, every day language of the American Puritans of the s. Hawthorne does this with long, descriptive sentences that are strung together with commas and semi-colons, and he also uses antiquated word choices and descriptors that are rooted in the Romantic period and in Puritan terms inspired by the Bible.

Think about how well the author develops the major areas or points in the book. Locating gaps in the timeframe or character development of the book can help you think critically. As well, noticing any well developed elements of the book will help you create good points for your review.

Make note of the book's format, if relevant. Elements like the book's layout, binding, typography, etc. If the author provides secondary material like maps, charts, and drawings, always consider how they support or contribute to the book's themes. In the Scarlet Letter, for example, Hawthorne begins the book with an introduction to the text, narrated by an individual who has many autobiographical details in common with the author.

In the introduction, the nameless narrator tells the story of finding the manuscript bundled in a scarlet letter "A". Hawthorne uses this narrative framing to create a story within a story, an important detail when discussing the book as a whole. Consider any literary devices in the book. If the book is a work of fiction, think about how plot structure is developed in the story.

Take notes on the book's character, plot, setting, symbols, mood or tone and how they relate to the overall theme of the book. If we were to use the Scarlett Letter again, it would be important to note that Hawthorne chose the adulterer and sinner Hester Prynne as his protagonist, and placed the religious, anti sin Reverend Wilson in the role of antagonist.

In writing a review of The Scarlet Letter, it would be useful to consider why Hawthorne did this, and how it relates back to the book's overall theme of sin. Think about how unique the book is. Does it add new information to a genre? The author may be trying to challenge or expand the existing rules and norms of a genre.

Consider how the book does this, and how this may affect the intended audience's reception of the book. Assess how successful the book is. Was the author successful in carrying out the overall purposes of the book and did you feel satisfied with the book's ending? Would you recommend this book to others?

Begin with a heading. Most reviews start off with a heading that includes all the bibliographic information about the book. If you haven't been directed on heading format from an editor or professor, use the standard heading of: A good introduction will grab the reader's attention so they are interested in reading the rest of the review, and will inform the reader what the review is going to be about.

Several possible openings include: If you're unsure on how to begin the review, try writing your introduction last.

It may be easier to organize all of your supporting points and your critical position, and then write the introduction last—that way you can be sure that the introduction will match the body of the review. Write a summary of the book. Once you have established your heading and your introduction, you can then move into a summary of the book's themes and main points. Keep the summary short, to the point, and informative.

Use quotes or paraphrasing from the book to support your summary. Avoid simply regurgitating the book's premise. Don't give away important details or reveal the ending of the book in your summary, and don't go into detail about what happens from the middle of the book onwards.

Evaluate and critique the book. Once you have summarized the book and discussed the main themes and aspects, shift into your critical analysis. This the heart of your review, so be as direct and clear as you can. Use the answers you brainstormed during your preparation for the review to formulate your critique.

Address how well the book has achieved its goal, how the book compares to other books on the subject, specific points that were not convincing or lacked development, and what personal experiences, if any, you've had related to the subject of the book.

This not only reinforces your viewpoint with a trustworthy source, it also gives the reader a sense of the writing style and narrative voice of the book. Wrap up the review. Write a concluding paragraph or several sentences that sum up your critical analysis of the book. If your critical position has been well argued, the conclusion should follow naturally.

Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the book, and discuss whether or not you would recommend the book to others. If so, who do you think is the ideal audience for the book? Re read and revise your review.

Your first stab at a book review may not be as perfect as you'd like, so feel free to revise and adjust your draft. To gain perspective, put the review aside for a few days and then come back to it with fresh eyes.

Always use spell check and adjust any grammar or spelling. Nothing undermines a quality review more than bad spelling and grammar. Double check that all quotes and references are properly cited in your review. If possible, get someone else to read the review before you submit it to an editor or turn it in to a professor. It is difficult to edit and critique your own work, so ask a friend to read your review and then tell you if they felt the introduction grabbed their attention and if your critical discussion was consistent and developed throughout your review.

Always submit your best work. Make sure you incorporate your revisions and any feedback you have received to create the best final draft. In the second section you should provide a brief outline of the key moment of each chapter or several chapters. If necessary, you can use short quotes. In the final part of the writing you need to express your opinion about the reading.

Was it a good and interesting book or it was confusing and did not make sense at all? Be creative and use all your writing skills to make this section as effective and successful as possible. A review should be persuasive. When you are reading the book, you can use a worksheet where you will write down your ideas and questions. Prepare a checklist that will help you focus on the important issues and follow the plan:. These are rather simple basic strategies, but you might need them to better organize your writing.

The more insightful you are, the better grade you can get for your essay. You should cover as much relevant information as possible. Is it a beautiful graphic book for kids? Do you think they will love it? A few pertinent quotes will not be excessive. Generally, that is all that has to be included in the report.

Knowing the basics of preparing a report a student will not have troubles understanding how to write a review of a book. When writing a book review a student has to keep in mind that, in a contrary to the report, the review is not a content summary and there is no point in retelling the story.

Although all the elements of a simple report can be included in the review in a brief form, the main part of the work must be dedicated to the analysis of the book: The core of any review is a personal opinion, new ideas and angles of perception: This simple algorithm not only facilitates writing book reviews but also gives students a hint on how to write a book critique.

However, they differ in their ultimate aim: The critique is similar to the review in terms of structure; hence, the one who knows how to write a review on a book knows how to prepare a critique.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

A review is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, or phenomenon. Reviews can consider books, articles, entire genres or fields of literature, architecture, art, fashion, restaurants, policies, exhibitions, performances, and many other forms. This handout will focus on book reviews.

Privacy FAQs

Remember, that book review essay writing is not a summary of what the book is about. The aim is to state your personal opinion as to what the author is trying to get across, how well (or not) they have done it and your evidence to support this.

About Our Ads

At some point a lot of college students have to write a book review as a homework assignment. Book reviews are writings which give a description of a book of any genre, its analysis, and critical evaluation. You could analyze an autobiography, biography, fiction or nonfiction book, a business, scientific, or academic article or a writing which is dedicated to some medical, financial, technical, psychological, . All good pieces of academic writing should have an introduction, and book reviews are no exception. Open with a general description of the topic and/or problem addressed by the work in question. Think, if possible, of a hook to draw your readers in. Summary of argument. Your review should, as concisely as possible, summarize the book’s argument.

Cookie Info

When writing a book review a student has to keep in mind that, in a contrary to the report, the review is not a content summary and there is no point in retelling the story. How to write a book review essay. Students with high spiritual understanding naturally practices good ethics in his report on the classroom is a social mixed berlin district.