Writing a Good Book Review: Tips and Secrets

Writing a Book Review

Reading any book, you make a review anyway. No matter you are doing this in your mind: you are analyzing, making a conclusion, making up your opinion, thinking of plot, author’s language, prehistory of the book. If the book grabs your full attention and intrigues you, perhaps you make some research about its author and circumstances of its creating.

Table of Contents

p>What is a book review? It is a structured, in-depth work including analysis and description, but what distinguishes it from other kinds of academic papers, is a significant portion of personal ideas, attitude, thoughts, and suggestions. This is only encouraged because otherwise there is no chance to make a review unless you are the author’s close friend, or have a talent of reading others’ thoughts. No one knows for sure what were the author’s intentions, what he meant by telling this or that, what events impacted him while writing this book or earlier. So the only thing a reviewer can do is to make assumptions, impose his perception on what has been read and put himself in the author’s shoes.

The most complicated thing ever is to decide what to start with, so the structure is the thing you should clear up first.


Steps to writing a book review

it is not a surprise but a book review should consist of the parts that are quite ordinary for any other piece of writing: introduction, body and conclusion. But hides behind these words? Let’s clear up.

How to w

How to write a book review essay: first steps

y, that first you need to read a book. By the way, it is really necessary, regardless what some people think about it. Not a short summary, not other’s reviews – just a book. You can start off working on the review on the stage of reading, and it will be pretty useful. All you need is a notebook and a pen, and a list of questions to ask yourself while reading. It will be like a map leading you to your perfect book review; otherwise your notes will be too intricate and not suitable to base on. Jot down anything you consider to be important, later it will help writing book review. What are these questions? It would be easier to divide them into 3 main sections: the author, the book, and the content.

The author:

  • What is the author’s background? Perhaps, you cannot get this info in the book but maybe you already know something about him, or sometimes there is an editor’s or a biographer’s foreword.
  • What do you think of writing style? Do you think it fits the content, or vice versa, goes in contrast? Why? Was it done purposely, or indicates the lack of experience and mastery? What can the chosen manner of writing tell about the author’s personality?
  • What is a core author’s idea (or you think it is)? What are his main points? What is the purpose of the book, or, in other words, what has he written this book for?

The book. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to consider these questions apart from the author, but they are more related to the book by itself.

  • What are the genre, field, subject of the book? Is this book a typical representative of the genre?
  • What concepts are deployed, are they covered well, or superficially?
  • Is there anything special you can say about the book’s appearance – binding, cover design and material, paper? These things can be quite crucial for making a proper impression. For instance, if you imagine the series about Harry Potter printed on cheap paper of low quality, and covered with a soft cover of poor design – and the same books but with solid cover of enchanting, elaborate design, with heavy and pleasant to touch paper, will you have the same feeling concerning the book?

The content:

  • What kind of content presentation has the author chosen? Is it chronological, or are there the parts related to each character, or to each location? What is the logic of dividing into chapters or sections?
  • Are there any footnotes, and if yes, are they appropriate?
  • How is the table of contents organized?
  • Are there images, graphs, tables and so on? What can you say about them?

A book review structure


A book review structure

writing a book review are analogical to any other piece of writing. Writing a book review implies creating an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

The introduction is important as usual: it defines whether the reader will read anything except the first lines. It is a good idea to start the introduction with something really catchy like a funny story from the author’s biography, or an interesting fact related to the book. Generally, the introduction should introduce the author to the reader, disclose a context of writing the book (for instance, historical period or outstanding events, author’s life circumstances etc.), and reveal the core subject and thesis of the book, regardless its genre. This part is mostly based on the facts but you can dilute it with your own opinion concerning the information you provide, and it will help writing a book review. The purpose of the introduction is to demonstrate your personal interest and to motivate the readers to go ahead.

The body can vary depending on the book and your own view. You can include a short summary of the plot, and express your ideas in regard to the questions you have replied while reading: what do you personally think about the whole voice of the book, the accordance between the content and the form, what feeling the book causes and what atmosphere creates. The body is a right place to compare this book with other ones written in this field, or with other works of this certain author, if this comparison will reveal any valuable insights about the book. Bear in mind that it is a bad idea to shed the light on the ending of the book or on any details crucial for understanding the denouement.

The conclusion is for summing up what was told previously. You can briefly repeat what you think about the value of this book, its pros and cons; whom you would recommend reading it to, what place the book sets among other literary pieces of art.

Book review format


Book review format

PA format in case of writing a book review. Format is rather important here since you have to use many quotations, and all the citations must be formatted correctly. However, there are plenty of manuals of how to format the essay according to the APA format.

How to write a book review if you

How to write a book review if you are a newbie?

h experience, trustful sources of information, a good instructor and enough time. Or all these things simultaneously. But what to do if it is your first essay of such type, and you lack time for sorting everything out and creating a worthy piece of academic writing? What if you are not sure of the right format of writing of book review, its size or any other details?

There are many services providing assistance in writing. You can get any help you need: from providing necessary instructions to writing a review from scratch if you are not able to cope with it independently. But be careful and select the service you can rely on: professional, reliable, punctual.