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How to write a book review

Introduction 1. Reviews form the baseline of choice, subject to the interest of an individual, may it be a book reader, and a movie fan or a music lover. In the age of information awareness, individuals analyse first, and then spend the quality time and finances on the subject of interest to accrue maximum benefit. Leadership gravitate to the person who possesses effective verbal and written communication skills. Book review serves as an audiences introduction, and a decision line for subsequent reaction to the book. Definition 2. A book review is a depiction, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a rewriting. Focus remains on books purpose, authority and content. 3. The virtue of personal affects and reflection of opinions demands that, in order to write good book reviews, you must have broad experiences in your chosen field and must have sound criteria with which to judge the work. In spite of the minimal formal directions and guidance we can provide in this note, we will look at the general characteristics of book reviews, and examine the process by which they are written.

The Function of Book Review

4. The book review must do three things:(a) Describe what is on the page/book. (b) Analyze how the book tried to achieve its purpose. (c) Express your own reaction to the book.

5. To develop a good book review certain characteristics are essential, which are enumerated below: It initiates with a frame work for reference, including information about author. Title, what it suggests. Table of content, explaining how the book is organized and developed. Includes material pertinent to the reader. Generates interest, either positive or negative. Explains strengths and weaknesses. Concludes with an evaluation. Uses good style, compatible sentence structure and good writing techniques.

6. A book review can be approached by a number of different ways, but one aspect would remain constant that the book review should be a finished, polished piece of work. The book reviews generally progress through multiple stages as follows:-

Prewriting Selecting the Focus

(a) Selection of ideas for the baseline of book review is the rudimentary element. The axis of ideas rests on the purpose, theme, and the message which the author conveys. The focus also entails the characters, the symbolism, and the personification. And foremost, what is your reaction to the subject? It generally stays on either side, negative and positive.

Planning the Review

(b) Determination of attitude towards review is necessary. Commitment is paramount factor, which indicate to reader that your thinking perspective is stemmed to conviction on the subject, could be positive or negative depending the authors narrative. After dwelling considerably, now you have sharpened focus and can see what author wants to communicate.

Organizing the Plan

(c) Although book reviews are free-form, but it do follow an organizing plan. This plan would be logic based, and aligns from most to least important pattern. However, it may adopt any pattern like cause and effect or comparison and contrast, whichever suits the scenario.


Identify the Book

Mention the essentials of book like title of the book; specify what type of subject it is. It must be annotated in review introduction that it is a sociological analysis, a historical book, a purely academic one or a lighter piece of work. It must also illustrates who the book is for, and must also place the book in its field. The reader must get the following information from review:i The author ii The full title iii The publisher iv The place and date of publication v The edition vi Pages vi Special features (maps etc) vii Price viii ISBN


Identify the Author

Identification of author must be pronounced in a book review. The reputation, qualifications and any other personal information that is relevant to your discussion of the book. The background about the writer is not required but one should not omit it if it is of special relevance, for example a refugee writing on refugees. This helps to put the text in a specific context. If you have read the other work by the same author, try to place the book with reference to his other writings. (c)

Identify the Reviewer

If the reviewer has some experiences on the subject of book, he may share and let the reader know it, because it would add colour to the review supporting with personal examples. It would also help reader to evaluate your opinion of the material. (d) Description/Summary of the book The main requirement of the book review is to write a summary of the book. The summary must clearly states the point of view of writing the book; it must also explain the contents in order to suggest the idea development order of the writer. The summary explains the main theme of book, and clearly shows what the authors conclusions are. Summary is not about critiquing the book but rather faithfully representing its contents. Summary must also include the useful quotes from the book but not extensively. In summary you cannot cover all material, so you have to be selective for the ease of reader. (e) Analysis Analysis is the prime component of the review, throughout the analysis the key word to have in mind is why?. Summary might handle the queries enumerated below:Strengths and weaknesses of the book Are the authors arguments coherent, intelligent and use full? Has he supported his arguments with suitable evidence? Has the author considered evidence that goes against his argument? Does the thesis of the book fit with the material? If not, where does it differ? Is the book is in an accessible and useful format? To a certain extent, it does not matter if you like or dislike the book; the reviewer must look for a logical, rational and biblical assessment. This section must be summarized with a strong and clear conclusion about your views of the book. (f) Evaluation The final part of the review is a section of more personal reflection on how the book has impacted the reviewer. The evaluation might cater all under mentioned aspects:Your Personal Experience You could relate to any of the characters in the book, if you had felt any of the things the character did in the book. Your Opinion Either you have liked the book or otherwise, and if granted could you change any part? Your Recommendation Could you recommend this book to other person, and what type of person would like to read this book. Finally this segment spells an evaluation stating whether this book is worth reading or otherwise.

RevisingImproving the Content

Revision of book review is the rudimentary check of its components. It entails the comparison of all vital sections with the list of characteristics and functions of the review.

A book review, like any other piece of writing, follows the standards of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Finally check spelling and word choice.

Book review writing is an art. Tracing the above narrated procedure and steps for writing a book review; you have to build the habit of reading book reviews. The more you will read book reviews the broader your own ideas will become. These guidelines should set off for a good start.

(35 Marks) (1000 words)