Writing An Academic Book Review

If your assignment asks you to review the book as it relates to issues or themes discussed in the course, or to review two or more books on the same topic, your introduction must also encompass those expectations. If you are reviewing fiction, this may be difficult since novels, plays, and short stories rarely have explicit arguments. But identifying the book’s particular novelty, angle, or originality allows how to write better essay you to show what specific contribution the piece is trying to make. Book reviews are usually 600 to 2,000 words in length. It is best to aim for about 1,000 words, as you can say a fair amount in 1,000 words without getting bogged down. There’s no point in making a book review into a 20-page masterpiece since the time would have been better spent on an academic essay that would count for more on your c.v.

If you do a series of articles, that gives you more space. But the result won’t be a single, integrated whole in the way a book can be.


It is not always easy to discern the main argument but this is the most important part of your book review. As the editor responsible for commissioning book reviews over the last three years, I can say that good https://gandgrooter.com/12-best-online-software-to-create-sales-proposals/ book reviews do have some things in common . Here are a selection of my top tips on writing book reviews, as well as some thoughts on why they can be such valuable additions to your portfolio of publications.

The viewpoint or purpose may be implied rather than stated, but often a good place to look for what the author says about his or her purpose and viewpoint is the introduction or preface. Strengths and weaknesses or flaws in the book are usually discussed next.

What Is The Purpose Of A Book Review?

Try to find at least one strength (i.e., something the book does well) and one weakness (i.e., something that could be stronger) to write about. When you have found the style guide, follow its instructions carefully. It should provide information on everything from writing style and the word count to submitting your review, making the process much simpler.

Relevant details about who the author is and where he/she stands in the genre or field of inquiry. You could also link the title to the subject to show how the title explains the subject matter. One paragraph identifying the thesis, and whether the author achieves the stated purpose of the book. Look up the call number of the favorite book in your field and go to the stacks of your university library.

Before Writing The Review

Don’t have one paragraph that answers one, and then the next paragraph that answers the next, etc. The answers should be part of a carefully constructed essay, complete with topic sentences and transitions. In other books, however, authors may argue for their theory about a particular phenomenon. As a reviewer, you bring together the two strands of accurate, analytical reading and strong, personal response when you indicate what the book is about and what it might mean to a reader . In other words, reviewers answer not only the WHAT but the SO WHAT question about a book. Thus, in writing a review, you combine the skills of describing what is on the page, analyzing how the book tried to achieve its purpose, and expressing your own reactions.

Lay readers—even those with a strong interest in intellectual matters—are even less likely to read academic journal articles how to write a narrative essay step by step than academics are. On the other hand, many do read nonfiction books about law, politics, history, and other such issues.

Writing The Book Review

It may also vary based on what stage you are at in your life and career. For example, the sacrifice of time may be more forbidding writing academic book review if you are at a point in life where you have small children. Many people compare writing a book to raising children.

  • Some publishers will even give reviewers access to new books.
  • Look to see which books journal publishers are seeking reviews for.
  • This is the most common flaw in such papers; always use the “why test.
  • B. Summarize the main idea/theme of the book you are reviewing in one or two sentences.
  • Then double space and type the title of your endeavor.
  • However, before following this format, please consult the specific directions given to you by your instructor.

If you are writing about a non-fiction book, you will need to evaluate how useful, correct, and well-presented the book's information is. This how to write an essay step by step isn’t to say that you can’t offer your own thoughts on the issues discussed, especially if they’re relevant to what the author has argued.

Writing Tutorial Services

Don’t feel obligated to address each of the questions; some will be more relevant than others to the book in question. Someone has asked for your opinion about something writing academic book review that you may feel unqualified to evaluate. Who are you to criticize Toni Morrison’s new book if you’ve never written a novel yourself, much less won a Nobel Prize?

  • If the book review editor says yes, they would like a review of the book from you, make sure to ask if the journal has any book review submission guidelines.
  • You should only agree to write a review because you are qualified to evaluate the book’s critical value and importance, never because you have wanted to but not yet had the chance to read up on a particular subject.
  • It is best to aim for about 1,000 words, as you can say a fair amount in 1,000 words without getting bogged down.
  • You’d be surprised how often people begin by summarizing the book they’re reviewing, but then abandon it in favor of explaining their own ideas about the subject matter.
  • How much publishing a book will help your career varies a lot based on the field you are in.

The content of your book review will vary depending on whether the book is fiction or non-fiction. For example, if you are writing how to write an essay a book review about a work of fiction, you should probably analyze the book’s characters, plot, setting, and theme.