You have probably read a reasonably good share of books, both good and bad. However, there is so much more than just reading. You are also expected to offer other potential readers with insight into its worth. Now the question is “Are you confident in writing an excellent book review?”
More students find themselves in the same situation you are in now. However, this should not be a hindrance to ace that book review assignment. For most students, a book review may seem to be a simple matter of just reading and summarizing a book. However, you will find that it is not that cut and dry.
Reviews are written for some reasons; however, they all have a common objective, i.e., to provide other readers with meaningful and truthful insight about whether or not a book is worth reading. Therefore, if you enjoyed a book or wish to help people to avoid it like the plague, a book review is the best way to go about it.
What Is Book Review? – Definition and Instructions
A review can be considered as an evaluation or analysis of phenomena, activities, events, or text and can be conducted on a wide variety of different sources of information: it is a form of criticism whereby a book is scrutinized.
An example of a book review is whereby you are expected to provide commentary on the overall quality of the book’s content not just a summary of the central theme. However, before reading any book with the intention to review it, you should consider:
- The title – This is your first insight into what the book is about
- The introduction or preface provides useful information about the author and the book’s scope.
- Contents (if any) – Shows the organization and flow of the book’s ideas
Elements to Consider When Learning How to Write a Good Book Review
Typically, reviews are not lengthy pieces of writing, but they still need to be succinct. While different studies may have varied tones, styles, and subjects, they even share some similar features:
- Provides the reader with an accurate recollection of the book’s content.
- Offers a critical evaluation of the content based on your reaction and whether or not it was enjoyable to read.
- The quality of the review is determined by how potential readers receive it.
- The review should account for the fact that every person has his/ her preferences on likes and dislikes.
- An excellent book review should focus on the content of the book and not on the author.
- The book review should not give away the book’s plot
Guide on How to Start a Book Review
As previously discussed, a book review should be more than just a book summary and, you should have complete control over the entire process. Also, regardless of the type of writing you may be tasked with, it is always better to capture the reader’s attention right from the first paragraph. To start your review, you should ensure you can hook the reader’s attention and maintain their level of interest throughout the review.
Also, when starting your review, you should begin by asking the reader a question to provoke their contribution on the subject matter or select a title that has a dash of drama. Next, you have to provide a brief outline of the theme of your book review. This section draws a guideline from the hook, whereby it expounds on it by providing just the right amount of information to keep the reader intrigued. The final step, when starting your book review is formulating your thesis statement if need be.
How to Structure a Book Review Like a Professional
Do not despair when your first attempt at writing your book review does not go well. Writing is a process that requires patience and practice to achieve the desired level of skill to write a book review without professional help. But since you are here to learn how to write a review; the most crucial element is its structure.
Excellent book review structure could be the deciding factor between your success or failure. A flawlessly structured review should have clearly defined organization of ideas. They include:
- An introduction
- A body
- A conclusion
Writing an Attractive Book Review Introduction
Owing to the fact, most reviews are brief and to the point and the introduction is characterized by a charming anecdote or a memorable quip that succinctly puts across your arguments. However, it is not set in stone, each review has its unique introduction, and you can follow the guide below for best results:
- Write an introductory statement
- Provide a brief introduction to the topic of the review
- Introduce the main argument
- Develop a thesis statement for the review
What a Book Review Body Should Encompass
The body of your review is the section that you are required to explain the main ideas and arguments of your paper, which is usually the longest part of the evaluation. To write the body, you need to write down your main ideas starting with the most significant ones. Under each point, provide information supported by references from the book you are reviewing as well as other external sources of information. The basic outline of a body paragraph should be:
- Main idea/ argument
- Elaboration of the argument
- Supporting information
- Summary statement
Finalize with a Good Book Review Conclusion
When writing your review conclusion, you should restate your thesis statement and sum-up your main points. Also, you should remember not to introduce new information at this point in the writing process. You should end your book reviews with a closing statement that summarized your take on the book’s theme and recommend it to potential readers who are likely to appreciate the book.
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