Book review writing, in one way or another, has played quite a role in our lives. Whether it’s for a school requirement or just an online book review website, I have compiled tips that you can follow to for a great review writing experience. Before you begin your book review writing, you must first understand that there is a difference between writing book reviews and reports. These two things are not interchangeable, there are many differences between these two so don’t be confused.
Book Review Writing versus Book Report Writing
- Book Report Writing
When it comes to writing book reports, focusing on facts is the key. A report is the factual account of a book, which means that you have to be descriptive based on what is said on the book rather than persuasive and analytical. You don’t have to emphasize your thoughts and feelings regarding the book. Book report writing means being as objective as possible; present the facts and the content. Present the summary, and not the symbolism behind the plot.
A report is simply a summary of the book you’ve just read. Express your thoughts regarding the book but focus on facts and structure.
- Book Review Writing
Book review writing is making a critical evaluation. This is an in-depth and critical analysis of the contents. Evaluate the book’s main idea and its purpose. Think of this as a reaction paper where you present and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the book in terms of factual and historical accuracy plus literary standards. Evaluate it based on the presented facts. It is very different from book report writing because it evaluates the quality, meaning, and impact of the material.
It is a highly personal form of writing because your opinions as a reader are reflected. It has a personal touch to it. Book review writing requires the writer to express his position and thoughts on the book’s content.
Book Review Writing: Knowing the Structure
Like any typical academic paper, a book review comprises of a thesis statement, a body paragraph which supports your thesis statement, and a conclusion to tie it all together. Normally, reviews should be direct and concise. They should not exceed more than a thousand words. Book reviews should focus on two things: evaluative and descriptive elements.
The descriptive element of book review writing will give readers information about the book’s title, author, type, and general subject matters. The evaluative element however is more important. This is your assessment of the book, your ideas and perceptions regarding the purpose and significance of the book. This is the part where you can insert noteworthy quotes from the book.
In order to create a good review, you should know how to organize your thoughts. Present your critical assessment and analysis in a well-organized manner but be sure to experiment with tone, style, and subject. Book reviews typically have a common structure but are not strictly technical when it comes to structure.
Steps for great book review writing
- Begin your Book Review with an Introduction
In your introduction, talk about the factual aspects of the book. Here is where you include the title, the author’s name and some important details about him and his works, and the main theme of the book. Your introduction’s second part should now include your thesis statement. Revealing the thesis statement is revealing your main argument. This is where all your arguments and points will focus on, and this will be the basis of all your discussions and evaluations.
The introduction should be descriptive, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Your writing style should be able to catch the attention of the readers. It should keep them interested. Present your thoughts and ideas in a manner that will make them want to explore more and know more about your thoughts and arguments.
Tip! Start your review with an anecdote to state your argument.
- Keep on Summarizing
The second step to book review writing is writing a page-turning summary. Present here the author’s purpose in writing the book, include the book’s main point, maybe even compare and contrast main characters of the literary work.
In your summary, the goal is to give the readers a look into the book’s atmosphere. You have to keep them interested in the ideas and points presented. You have to show them your understanding of the book’s symbolisms and themes. Organize your thoughts and present them clearly and articulately, be logical, and be as persuasive as you can.
In presenting your critical analysis, you have to justify your arguments by citing concrete evidence. To analyze the piece is not enough; you have to show your readers why the book has made an impact on you. You have to determine if the book if the book was effective and persuasive enough to excite you. Your discussion must also show whether the book has given you additional understanding on the presented theme and topic of the book under review.
Although you don’t really have to write in a chronological order, your analysis should be presented in separate paragraphs, which each one dealing with specific aspects of the arguments. Make your summary logical, comprehensive and easy to read.
- Draw a logical conclusion
Book review writing requires a logical conclusion that will sum all your arguments. Restate your thesis statement, and present your final judgment regarding the book. Do not introduce new ideas; focus on arguments and evidences you have already presented in your summary.
These simple strategies are sure to hit a home run when it comes to book review writing!