What is a Book Review?
Every college student is assigned with book review writing but not all of them know how to write a book review for college.
If you are a student, you have probably been required to write a college book review. But do you know what is a book review in fact? The main objective of this paper is to develop and improve student’s critical and analytical thinking skills.
Writing a book review paper may be difficult for some students. Usually they do not understand the task and have no time to write it properly. If such situation is familiar to you, our article will definitely help you. So, how to write a book review? First of all, it is necessary to define this type of assignment. We will also help you to find differences between report and review.
Usually you need to provide a summary in a report by emphasizing on major points of the work you chose. Your report should help the readers understand whether they want to read the book or not.
A college review book should contain evaluation and description. The major task is to provide readers with book summary and content evaluation. Finally, you will have to either recommend this book for reading or advise not to even start reading it.
Writing a Book Review: Basic Steps
Prior to choosing the book and writing a book review, it is vital to understand the meaning of reviewing the book. You will need to provide a description, analysis, and evaluation of the chosen book. The following should be presented in a professionally written review: author’s style, characters description, plot, main message, etc. You need to pay attention to college book review format.
Evaluation and analysis are the most significant parts of your review. Evaluation should be critical, which means that you should create a certain opinion about the book and back up your opinion with facts and evidence, like writing technique, direct quotes, dialogue between the characters, etc.
In order to make sure that you are on the right track and your evaluation is critical, you need to avoid simple characters and plot description. State your opinion clearly regardless of it being negative or positive. Below you may find a sample of description which lacks evaluation and analysis:
“The narrator has no name and lives in Paris. It is a woman. Her husband works in museum. The narrator has an affair with a man whose name is Peter, who lives not far from the couple and has two sons.”
A critical book review varies in style and tone. It depends on the author who writes the review. Despite this fact, every review should have certain elements in order to be perceived as professional review. These elements include:
- book summary
- critical evaluation
- logical conclusion with recommendation regarding book reading
How to Create a Book Review Outline
A strong book review outline plays crucial role in review success. Many students fail to write this assignment because they have no idea how to organize the review and what book review format should be used. In addition, they are not aware of the elements that should be included in the paper.
If you continue reading, you will find a book review structure example. We will provide you with detailed description of every structure:
- Review Title – Provide the paper name and include full bibliographic information of the reviewed book;
- Introduction should not be too long. One paragraph is enough. Provide important facts and background information. Strong thesis statement should appear in the end of introduction;
- Summary or body should have a few paragraphs. Their number depends on the review volume, which is usually defined by the instructor. Usually one or two paragraphs are enough. Here you need to provide a summary of the book, describe weak and strong points of the content;
- Evaluation and Analysis is usually a critical comment, which defines whether the author reached the set goals effectively. You need to answer the below questions in this section:
- Is it easy to perceive author’s writing style; is it too complex for understanding?
- Has the author achieved the set objectives?
- How can you assess the general impression about the book? Is it boring, engaging, funny or neutral?
- Are there strong and weak points in writing style?
- Is the book worth reading?
Boor report and book review have similar structure. The major difference is the second case where your task is not only to give analysis but you need to provide the evaluation and recommendation. That is why it is ok to use similar paper template. Just make the necessary adjustments and write your paper with ease.
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Mistakes to Avoid when Writing a Book Review
It is better to avoid certain types of mistakes when you are tasked to write.
- Simple book summary is not enough. You need to analyze the piece of writing and provide objective evaluation. You are free to even make a judgment.
- The judgment should be related to author’s objectives. It should not be personal. Criticizing the text just because you imagine that it should have been different is not good. Comprehend the objectives set by the author and state whether he/she met them.
- Your review should be based on the major ideas presented by the author. There is no need to cover each and every detail.
- Do not overuse direct quotes because it will resemble a collection of author’s quotes, which is not the task of yours.
- Highlight only the most visible gaps. However, you should try to balance by focusing on both string and weak points of the book.
You can also find some book review example online in order to get inspired to write your own paper. For instance, you can type into your search engine “book review of Harry Potter” and check it out. We hope that reviewing books will become easier for you when you use our tips.