When you master how to write a book review, you expand your analytical and reading skills. Writing a book review is an exercise that needs careful attention to ensure you give your analysis without being biased. When the professor assigns you this task, you are expected to provide a logical opinion regarding the book.
But don’t panic if you have no hint of how to write a book review. Your task is to give readers a synopsis of the book, whether you enjoyed reading it or not. Here is a complete guide to help you write an intellectually appealing book review.
What is a Book Review?
The common definition of a book review is the thorough evaluation of the meaning and quality of a book. A review can range between 500-2000 words, but it can be shorter or longer depending on the complexity of the content being reviewed. As a book review writer, you can use a descriptive or critical review approach.
What to include in a Book Review?
Reviewing books allows you to enter into discussion and dialogue with audiences and the author’s work. You should state your stand with a thesis statement and support your argument in the body while wrapping your opinion in a concluding paragraph. While reviews vary in style, tone, and subject, they share a standard structure.
Hook or Brief Summary
Start your book review with a brief summary or a hook. A hook is a captivating line that catches the audience’s attention and intrigues their thoughts. The introduction establishes the context and scope of the subject and gives a brief overview of your evaluation and reaction. Importantly, ensure it is precise and compelling.
“As she crisscrossed from country to country, the ambiance of different horizons made her appreciate the beauty of life.”
Using preferred writing styles (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.), supply your reader with crucial information about the book. In general, the book information forms the heading of your paper. Be sure to list the place of publication, date of publication, and the total number of pages.
“Professor Y. Y (2015, June 20). The Traveler (Review of the book The World of Adventure, by Y.Y Professor). 43, 300- 305. Retrieved from URL.”
The plot summary gives a general overview of the theme, main characters, genre, and primary conflict. Your sneak peeks should give readers the desire to read the book without revealing spoilers. The trick is to offer a high-level synopsis that leaves readers yearning for more.
Critique and Praise
Apparently, praise and critique are a vital segment of the book review format as it recaps the plot. Writing a compelling book review requires you to note why you critique or praise it. Share your opinion to help readers know if it is worth reading the book. For example, “Despite some uninteresting characters, the book uses vivid language to make the story flow flawlessly.”
What You Recommend
After giving your “why” in the praise and critique section, now you can offer a recommendation. Do you think the Z generation will enjoy reading the book? Again, try to balance your sentiments and give an honest opinion on whether you would recommend the book to others or not. On some occasions, you can be required to give a rating.
Writing Your Review- How to write a book review guide
Writing a review of a book can apply to any novel, no matter the genre. The crucial step is to create an outline that consists of your main points. Then, ensure you understand the plot of the book to craft an effective review. Your paper should follow this format:
Once you choose the book to review, what follows is to develop an introduction. To begin, you must mention the title of the book as well as the author’s name. Then, give a brief synopsis about the cover and write a catchy thesis statement. Again, keep the introduction short and precise.
You will tabulate your main points in the body. It can be one, two, or several paragraphs, with each section elaborating a point. Use paraphrases or quotes from the book you are reviewing to emphasize your point. Presumably, the body is divided into two segments: summary and analysis.
Provide a summary of your points in clear short sentences. Explain the author’s aim of writing the book and give a logical opinion on whether they achieved their purposes. Finally, you can praise or critique the book.
The analysis helps you explain to the reader about your thought about the book. For example, was the book boring entertaining? Does it have realistic or unrealistic characters? Make use of quotes to prove your points. Furthermore, use the MLA writing styles.
Wrap up your book review by summarizing the explanations and quotations in the body paragraphs. Ideally, this is where you review the main points and remind the audience of your thesis. And just like the introduction, your conclusion should be brief but recap the thesis statement.
Tips for Writing a Book Review
Undoubtedly, crafting an outline is an essential part of reviewing a book. However, there are other vital aspects that will make you know how to do a book review pretty fast and with ease. These tips will take your book reviews to a higher level.
- Avoid spoilers– This is the number one enemy of any book review. Spoilers can be tempting to share, but they can dwindle readers’ reading morale.
- Keep your opinion clear – Make your thoughts clear throughout the review. Precisely tell the audience why they should or shouldn’t read the book.
- Proofread your work – A typo-laden book review makes you lose credibility with your readers. Proofreading helps you eliminate grammar and spelling errors.
Developing an Assessment
Writing a book review follows two steps: developing an argument and crafting a well-supported paper. You may ask yourself questions like, is the evidence convincing? Does the book cover the subject exhaustively?
How to Become an Expert Book Reviewer-With Examples
No one expects you to match the intellectual capacity of the author, but you need to provide your opinion. That is why you must tactfully voice disagreement and agreement, as well as criticism and praise. Moreover, ensure you back up your argument with evidence.
Review examples are excellent sources that will help you sharpen your skills. You can check our examples template to get a clue of what is required of you. Some of the reviews include:
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