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How to Write a Book Review for Your College?

Book review

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a book review is a descriptive and critical or evaluative account of a book. By and large, it should focus on the book’s main purpose, content, and authority. Note that the analysis section, including strengths and weaknesses identification, is the most significant part of the reviewed material. Does it sound intimidating already? It is not as terrifying as it seems. Now let us give you some advice on how to write a good book review for your college.

For those people who curious to know how to write a book review, the first and probably the most simple advice to follow is to read the book that you have chosen in the first place. You should read it very carefully, make notes, jot down information that might be helpful later. Also, highlight pertinent quotations while reading, it will surely help to support your arguments as well as to illustrate your views lucidly.

A thorough reading will help you enormously when writing a review. This preparatory phase is an integral part of the whole subsequent process, and it is impossible to skip it. Moreover, as you will see, there is no point in doing so at all.

If you didn’t fully understand a paragraph or a chapter, go through the text one more time. This practice will save your time afterward. A comprehensive and meticulous preparation will facilitate a further step - actual writing, especially the body part that we shall address later.

No wonder this particular task is quite frequent practice in colleges. It improves students’ critical thinking, that is why its training is actively supported in many educational institutions. In addition, a book review exercise showcases the meaning and importance of literature in our lives. So make sure you know how to write it correctly!

Tips on How to Write a Good Book Review

It is crucial to understand the difference between a book report and a book review. These assignments are completely different. The latter has a much higher standard, and its role is much more substantial, too. 

Book reviews generally consist of approximately 1000 words unless specified differently. Write it according to the guidelines provided by your professor. In any case, try to keep it understandable, succinct and convincing!

In the beginning, it could be beneficial to outline the structure of your review. For instance, it may include bibliographical data, introduction, summary, purpose, thesis, analysis, recommendation, and conclusion. Such a plan may vary, but the above-mentioned example is widely used. 

Your ideas should be well-organized. That helps to write a review properly and keeps it well-structured as well. Your text must be clear and coherent.

If you find it difficult to structure your ideas and make your book review look presentable, online review writing service will assist you in solving this matter.

Let us continue to examine how to write a book review essay. There is no need to mention that it is essential to express your viewpoints clearly. Avoid using metaphors or other types of figurative language as it may be misleading and distracting.

We don't recommend to include subjective opinions. It is irrelevant and unprofessional. Always explain and support your statement with unambiguous facts. Once again, it must be 100 percent unbiased.

Research for extra data, particularly if you have the intention to critique a book. Don’t make rash and uncorroborated statements!

By the way, it is helpful to read a lot of high-level reviews before starting to write your first review. By doing so, you will comprehend how they are written and why they are really good. Such a practice helps to set a great example for your future works.

Other valuable tips on how to write a book review are the following. Of course, check grammar errors like punctuation marks or incorrect spelling meticulously. Go over them attentively multiple times. You couldn’t ignore such indispensable steps as editing and proofreading if you want a final result to be impeccable, too.

How to Write a Book Review: Bibliographic Info & Introduction

To begin with, you should introduce a selected book. Write its title, author, publisher, the date of publication, including a number of pages and even its price. Also, you have to indicate a genre and a brief context.

Do some preliminary research on the author! Find interesting facts about his background which might be pertinent to the text. You may mention some of his previous notable works if this will be meaningful.

We also recommend that you keep the introduction concise. As a rule, it is no longer than one paragraph, eight sentences at the most. Keep your message engaging, since the powerful opening sets the tone and shapes peoples’ expectations.

How to Write a Book Review: Summary

You may briefly summarize a book being reviewed. This section is a restatement of the author’s main point, story, intent, and so forth. Consequently, it should be short. Write in your own words what this book is about. Try not to use generic sentences. Write this paragraph creatively. But remember, there is no point to write the summary for each chapter because the principal goal is the evaluation of the entire text.

How to Write a Book Review: Purpose, Thesis & Analysis

The greatest percentage of your review should be given to this section. What is the purpose of the book? What is the main thesis of the book? This part examines the primary issue the author addresses. Analysis part provides a detailed evaluation of the thesis.

Since it is the most important section, your opening statement should capture readers’ attention. Examining the author’s main purpose and thesis would be more effective if you quote a provocative statement from the book. This approach will help to grip the attention of the potential audience.

The other central component is to write about the strengths and weaknesses of the book in question. It could be anything, from a writing style to new challenging ideas. Some examples of weaknesses might include poor argumentation, inadequately used terms, any logical errors, and many others. Your opinion on weaknesses and strengths ought to be objective and fair. Make sure to write about both elements, you can't support only one side.

Of course, it is highly advised to avoid offensive language in this context. On the one hand, it is not helpful. On the other hand, it is unprofessional. A person can still make a strong point without using disparaging remarks or inappropriate terms. The criticism must be constructive.

Although quotes are often very useful, its excessive usage might lead to negative consequences. Their purpose is to prove the statement you are giving. No more, no less. So keep their usage well-balanced. While quoting sentences from the book, don’t forget to include proper page numbers in parentheses.

Certainly, writing this section requires a lot of critical thinking as well as interaction with the text. Central questions students should ask are the following: Who is the target audience? Is it for a mass audience or specific groups? Is the author communicating well to the readers? Was it written for American readers exclusively, or not? Does the author have the necessary knowledge or competence to write about that specific topic? Is a thesis as well as a purpose clear? Does the book introduce brand-new ideas? Is it original?

There are many more potential questions one might use if necessary. Just make sure it will be workable with your book review. Choose the most relative options.

Undeniably, the analysis wouldn’t be utterly profound, but it has to be good enough so that readers can decide whether the book at hand is worthwhile their time and money or not.

How to Write a Book Review: Recommendation

And finally, would you recommend it read or not? The section gives a chance to answer the question: Who is that book might be helpful for? Determine the author’s audience and make a recommendation for or against. Consider concise and unequivocal commentary. Make your decision consciously, and write down the ultimate advice.

How to Write a Book Review: Conclusion

The very last point to determine is the following: why the book and its theme or subject is important? And more globally, what is its value?

You can also include observation on the format, and even print quality, but it is possible to omit those details.

It is not a secret anymore that any review, no matter positive or negative one, may increase books’ sales, or conversely. This kind of promotion is definitely very popular nowadays all over the world. If you are willing to make your personal input, be sure to make it first-rate!

To achieve this objective, you should read actively and critically. Such an approach will not only enhance your writing skills but improve your critical thinking ability as well. We hope the information in this article will clarify all your inquiries regarding how to write a good book review. So practice a lot, write better reviews, and stay curious!

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