College students are assigned many writing assignments. These assignments are a part of any sound curriculum to ensure that students are learning the materials presented in class and to ensure that they have well-developed writing skills which will help them in their future endeavors. As part of many literature and reading courses, learners will be called upon to write a book review.
A book review is similar to a novel critique, yet differs in one crucial way. Whereas a book report details the specifics of a book, a book review gives the reader's opinion of the book. Therefore, book reviews are far more subjective in nature than story critiques.
Because of the subjective nature of book reviews, the instructor will not be grading the report on anything approaching the right/wrong scale that other student articles are often graded on. However, the instructor will be able to tell if the writer of the book review has actually read the book. Included in the assignment instructions might be specific guidelines as to what aspects of the book need to be evaluated as part of the book review assignment.Although a book review should include a brief synopsis of the book, this synopsis should not encompass the entire review. The following points might be included as part of a book review:
- The expertise of the writer
- The main point(s) of the writer and whether or not the book supported/proved those points
- How the book compares to similar works by other authors
Just like any report, a book review should include a conclusion. The conclusion summarizes the points made in the report, both by the author of the book and the author of the report, and ties everything together. In general, about half of the document should be devoted to specifics about the book, and another half to the opinions of the reviewer. Of course, if the instructor gives more specific guidelines, the student should follow those first.
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