You should clearly state your opinion of the work in question, and that statement will probably resemble other types of academic writing, with a thesis statement, supporting body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
See our handout on argument. Typically, reviews are brief. In newspapers and academic journals, they rarely exceed words, although you may encounter lengthier assignments and extended commentaries.
In either case, reviews need to be succinct. While they vary in tone, subject, and style, they share some common features: First, a review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose. Second, and more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.
Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it. Becoming an expert reviewer: three short examples Reviewing can be a daunting task. Someone has asked for your opinion about something that you may feel unqualified to evaluate. The point is that someone—a professor, a journal editor, peers in a study group—wants to know what you think about a particular work. You may not be or feel like an expert, but you need to pretend to be one for your particular audience.
Tactfully voicing agreement and disagreement, praise and criticism, is a valuable, challenging skill, and like many forms of writing, reviews require you to provide concrete evidence for your assertions. Historically, ale and beer not milk, wine, or water were important elements of the English diet. The student describes the subject of the book and provides an accurate summary of its contents.
As a critical assessment, a book review should focus on opinions, not facts and details. Summary should be kept to a minimum, and specific details should serve to illustrate arguments. I wanted to know about the rituals surrounding drinking in medieval England: the songs, the games, the parties.
Were there any questions left unanswered? Were limitations to the study effectively addressed? How has each book helped you understand the subject? Would you recommend the books to others? Beyond the content of the book, you may also consider some information about the author and the circumstances of the text's production: Who is the author? Nationality, political persuasion, education, intellectual interests, personal history, and historical context may provide crucial details about how a work takes shape.
Does it matter, for example, that the author is affiliated with a particular organization? What difference would it make if the author participated in the events he or she writes about? What other topics has the author written about? Does this work build on prior research or does it seem to represent a new area of research? What is each book's genre? Out of what discipline do they emerge? Do they conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre?
These questions can provide a historical or other contextual standard upon which to base your evaluations. If you are reviewing a book described as the first book ever written on the subject, it will be important for your readers to know this.
Bazerman, Charles. Comparing and Synthesizing Sources. Writing CSU. Colorado State University; Comparing and Contrasting. At the start, put the complete bibliographic information: Title in full, author, place of publication, publisher, date of publication edition, number of pages.
A published review will usually include price and ISBN number and your lecturer may require you to do this too. Your introduction will usually include: your overall impression of the book a statement about the author a statement on the purpose of the book a statement of the significance of the work a comment about the relationship between this work and others by the same author, the same subject and the same genre The body of your review develops the points you want to make: greater detail on the author's thesis and a summary of the main points evaluation of strengths, weaknesses, contribution or bias the evidence that is the basis of your critique The conclusion last paragraph includes: your final assessment re statement of your recommendation No new information should be included in the conclusion.
Reference list: this is put at the end as usual, using the referencing style requested by the lecturer. Sample book review This book review is included here with the permission of both the author, Heather Kavan, senior lecturer in Business Communication, and the editor of Stimulus, the journal in which the book review was published.
As an opinion, you have to present an argument and prove it with relevant information. Besides, support your findings with efficient thoughts on the topic based on well-handled research. Step 2. Choose the work to write an essay about unless provided by the prof.
Avoid books that you are not interested in or strongly disagree with. Step 3 the most important one. Such templates and examples can be of a great help, as they not only give an idea of how a proper book or movie review should look like but what elements should be included to the text. Make sure you find a credible book review example, which has a clear structure and an appropriate formatting style.
In such a way, you will save lots of time and will be able to avoid the most common mistakes. Genre: What type of book is this: fiction, nonfiction, romance, poetry, youth fiction, etc.? Who is the intended audience for this work? What is the purpose of the work? Title: Where does the title fit in? How is it applied in the work? Does it adequately encapsulate the message of the text? Is it interesting? How is the book arranged: sections, chapters? Does the book jacket provide any interesting details or spark your interest in some way?
Are there pictures, maps, or graphs?
Is the author's use of evidence adequate and convincing? Try to make the title interesting so the reader will want to read your review. Did you nod in agreement or off to sleep? In such a way, you will save lots of time and will be able to avoid the most common mistakes. See our handout on summary for more tips. How broad are the sources used?
Are all parts of the book equally well reasoned and developed?