Writing a Book Review
When writing a book review, you should provide a brief description and then engage in a critical analysis of the book, which may include evaluating the book's quality, significance, impact, and/or meaning. A book review differs from an assignment in that a book report is meant to summarize and describe the story, while a book review is not a "retelling."
In order to properly write a book review, you will need to thoroughly read the book and take notes as you read. The notes that you write, however, will not be used to help summarize the book. Rather, your notes should be about your opinion, reaction, and interpretation of the book. In other words, you should be looking for the strengths and weaknesses of the book as you read it so you can write about your opinion when creating your book review.
When writing your book review, you should discuss the statement you believe the author is trying to make with the story. In addition, your book review should discuss how well you believe the author has communicated this message. In order support your opinion, however, you will need to present evidence from the story to support your opinion.
When writing book reviews, you will generally start off with providing basic information about each book, such as the copyright date, the title of the book, the author or the book, the type of book you are reviewing, the general subject of the book, and any special features included in the book, such as maps.
After summarizing the basic information in the book, your book review should state the author's purpose of the book. In the case of non-fiction books, the author may have written the purpose in the first chapter or in the preface. If the purpose is not stated in the first chapter, you can determine the purpose by asking yourself why you think the author chose to write on this subject. In addition, consider the point-of-view of the book and the type of information the author was trying to provide.
When developing your opinion of the book, you must ask yourself the following questions:
• Who do I believe is the intended audience of the book?
• What is the style of the author's writing (i.e., informal or formal)?
• How well organized is the book?
• How did the book affect me on a personal level (i.e. did it change my point-of-view on a certain issue?)
While writing a book review, you should also state the theme of the book, as well as its thesis. The theme is the general topic or subject, while the thesis is the generalization of the theme. Then, go on to explain how the author supports the thesis and provide your personal evaluation. Your evaluation should include your opinion about the book's accuracy, level of interest, thoroughness, and importance.
All book reviews should also include additional information about the author. This might include information about the author's qualifications, reputation, influences, impact on society, etc.
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