The aim of any book review is to analyze, provide description and evaluate the information. Book review provides an opinion and supports it with specific evidences taken from a book.
Regardless of how easy it may sound, a book review is not actually about taking a book and writing a review. It may really seem easy at the first sight, but believe me, this activity can become a reason of a big stress! For those students who think that it will be enough to go online and search for some prompt on how to write a first class book review, I must say that not everything is that easy. My first assumption regarding this task was quite the same but then I realized that it may take much more time than expected.
My first reaction to the problem I faced was panic. However, I got myself together and started my writing from actually looking for information that could help me to write the review. After long hours of research, I have learnt the basic steps that have eventually led me to success. This information I would like to share with you.
First of all:
Before reading the whole book, make a, so-called, preliminary evaluation of the book. Thin about the title and what it suggests. Start reading from preface, as it provides all necessary information regarding the author’s idea, intentions, as well as about the content of the book. The other important part of the book is the table of contents. It will give you a clear understanding on the organization of book, will show you what aspects are outline and will help you determine missing parts and aspects.
Here are some points that should be considered while reading the whole book:
- Does the genre of the book fit to the requirements?
- Whose point of view is represented in the book?
- Do you support the author or not?
- Select and write down the parts you would like to cite in your paper.
- Can you distinguish the author’s thesis and evidences to support it?
- Think about the author’s writing style. Is it appropriate for the chosen audience?
- Is everything clear from the context? Is the writing style understandable? Is the language easy to comprehend? How reliable is the information presented?
- Does the author make conclusions?
- Is the author convincing enough in presenting his point?
- Are there any visual materials in the book: graphs, tables, pictures? How helpful they are?
- Pay attention to the primary and secondary sources used by the author.
- What was the purpose of the book? Was the aim reached? What elaborations should be done to make the information presented in the book more complete?
- Pay attention to footnotes? Are they understandable? Do they provide clear clarifications?
- Compare the book of the given author with the works of other authors aimed at covering the same subject.
After all the above-presented issues are considered, you may start writing your review.
The writing steps include:
Provide general information on the book (title, author’s name, place and date of publication, pages, edition, ISBN);
- Think about some catching opening sentence to attract attention of the readers. Do not forget consider the specific requirements. Some book reviews need you to write right ahead if you recommend this book to other readers or not, while some of them may require plot summary at the first place.
- Provide your evaluation on the book you have read. Do not be afraid to say that the book is boring or just nice.
- To prove the reliability of the book, you should first prove that its author is an authoritative person and his thought is worth respect.
- While writing your review, think about the targeted audience. Use different approaches if you want to attract an attention of, let us say, a librarian or a random reader.
- While writing a conclusion to your review, do not include any new materials. Summarize. That is all that is needed.
- Revise your review.
Fiction story book review mat require a little bit different approach. So, to write a fiction book review you should consider the following:
- What the story tells about?
- Describe the main characters.
- What are their roles in the story?
- Do the characters face some sort of a problem? Are they involved in some affairs?
- What character did you like most? Explain.
Connect a story to your personal experience
- Does any of the characters resemble you?
- Have you ever experienced something similar to what the characters experienced in the story?
Express your opinion
- Think if you liked the book or not. Why?
- Is there any part of the story you like most?
- What part you liked less? If there something in the book you would like to change?
- Can you recommend the book to other readers?
- Who do you think would like the book?
In order to write a good review, there is also a short list of things you should not do:
The fame of the writer does not guarantee your review a success. Do not always try to review books everyone knows about. Sometimes, it is better to write a review of a les famous book.
Avoid writing reviews of book written by someone you know. It will be difficult to remain objective.
Do not postpone, if you want to be a book reviewer. Offer your services to a local newspaper or start a blog. Interesting tips on writing book reports you can find if you follow this link.