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Writing a book review seems to be fun: you read a book and then take a couple of notes about what you liked and disliked in it. That is what most young people think, while in fact, the writing process can turn into a chaos if you do not know how to write a book review. Luckily, our article contains the most useful information about writing a book review step by step that you can use as a guide for your paper.
Tips for Writing an Excellent Book Review Essay
- Present the general story
This part of your paper should be concise and not too specific. Do not focus on details, but rather write about the book’s plot, style, and key ideas. This section should not be longer than 5-6 sentences.
- Define the most significant elements of the author’s work
This is an important part of any book review essay structure, as it requires a critical analysis and the ability to focus on the main aspects of writing. What were the tools used by the writer? What is the message conveyed by the book? How is the content structured? By answering these questions, you can define the key characteristics of this particular book and describe them in your paper. Your personal perception and opinion is also appropriate to mention.
- Illustrate your words
Use the quotes from the book to illustrate the ideas and arguments in your essay. Remember to cite them correctly in accordance with the required book review format. In addition, avoid using long quotes, as they take up too much space in your essay, which is not very good for its overall content.
- Formulate a message
Writing a book review assignment requires taking a side, as otherwise your essay may seem uncertain and “empty”. Thus, you need to decide on your own opinion about the book, or the main lesson you have learned from it, and express it in your paper.
- Compare it to other books of this genre
To complete the book analysis with relatable information, you can compare the reviewed book to other books with the same style or theme. Find the similarities and differences between how different writers address the topic and analyze the chosen book in the context of the existing literature of the same theme. Is it valuable and useful for the readers? Does it cover the topic effectively? Why is it special? Discussing all these questions will make your essay more informative.
- Rate it
Naming the number of points or stars you would give to a book makes your review specific and helpful for the audience. Your authority can influence the others’ decision regarding whether a certain book should be bought/read or not, and nothing speaks clearer than a definite rating. Thus, estimate the number of points for the book and mention it in your review.
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How to Write a Book Review: The Format
Any review shall consist of the three classic elements that are present in any sort of essay, which are Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.
- Outlines the general information about the book
- Presents the author briefly
- Reflects on the cover and design
- Contains the thesis statement
- Refers to the book’s structure
- Analyzes the plot
- Defines key ideas
- Provides relevant quotes from the book
- Mentions your own position
- Provides an assessment of the book
- Summarizes the key ideas addressed in the book
- Makes the final statement based on your opinion
- Contains the rating
Writing a Book Review: Things to Avoid
- Do not turn it into a summary. Analysis is the key element here.
- Do not base the review on your subjective feelings. Give a professional and objective assessment of the writer’s tools and techniques.
- Do not go into too many details. It is important to stay focused on the major ideas only.
- Do not use too many quotes. Limit your illustrations to 3-4 short excerpts from the book text.
- Do not over criticize. Even if the review is negative, there is no need to be too radical about the book. Try to keep the balance and notice good aspects too.
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