How to Write a Book Review

By Sandra Williams

A book review is a description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling. It should focus on the book's purpose, content, and authority. A critical book review is not a book report or a summary. It is a reaction paper in which strengths and weaknesses of the material are analyzed. It should include a statement of what the author has tried to do, evaluate how well (in the opinion of the reviewer) the author has succeeded, and presents evidence to support this evaluation.

There is no right way to write a book review. Book reviews are highly personal and reflect the opinions of the reviewer. Such a review often contains evaluations of the book on the basis of personal taste. A review can be as short as 50-100 words, or as long as 1500 words, depending on the purpose of the review. Book reviews require special skills and oblige the reviewer with precise responsibilities.

There is no definitive method to writing a review, although some critical thinking about the work at hand is necessary before you actually begin writing. Thus, writing a review is a two-step process: developing an argument about the work under consideration, and making that argument as you write an organized and well-supported draft.

Explain how the author achieved the effects him or she did. Explain the relationship between form and content. If it is fiction, explain the function of each character in the novel. Explain the characters' relationships to one another. Sum up the book. This is the easy part, and half of what most people think a book review is. Put the book in a nutshell. Keep summarizing it until you've got everything covered clearly. Use that to start your review. Pass judgment. This is the other half of a book review for most people.

The task is even more complicated as the writer could unintentionally imply the idea the reviewer of the book can notice. Then the book reviewer has to decide upon the author's point's validity. The reviewer has to be the judge. The reviewer here makes a judgment on the adequacy of the book topic to the content. The book review also evaluates the expertise of the content's authenticity.

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