If you have been given a literature critique, there are some essential sections to include. That is why we have put together a handy guide on writing book reviews, so you don’t fall down any problematic pitfalls. Included are some book review examples to see how the experts do it. Get some inspiration using our book review examples or order custom solutions to academic problems from the professional essay writing team.
We sometimes reveal how ignorant or bored we were when we read a book by giving it 5-stars.
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
What is a Book Review?
Defining a book review would sound this way: an in-depth insight into a piece of literature by way of analysis and evaluation. Describe, give opinions, and back it up with evidence from the book.
Let’s move onto how to outline your work!
How to Get Started with the Writing
Here is an infographic to illustrate how to structure a book review:
Book Review Structure
Starting with the title, it can be something interesting and possibly a joke about the book but be careful with humor. Not everybody finds the same things funny. If in need of some help, have a look at a free blog.
Try to open with something inspiring like a fact or a catchy quote that intrigues the reader to continue. Check out this free blog on writing hook sentences to find more info. Introduce the work with all the important details:
- Author’s name
- Date published
Depending on the audience of the review, it can include price, ISBN, number of pages, and any special features. Provide some interesting background. There could be some details about the author that is not common knowledge or some trivia in the making of the literature shared by the curious paparazzi.
If suitable, write a tentative thesis of the review in intro. Include a thesis statement of the entire book (1-2 sentences long) if it is appropriate and can add to the introduction of the critique. Before moving onto the body, it can be beneficial to include a table of contents. This illustrates the different sections of the literature to visually represent how the storyline develops chronologically or by different parts.
Organize every idea to prove into paragraphs and focus on just one argument at one time. How you structure the different points is entirely up to you. Structure this type of academic paper into different themes, chronologically, or some other way that represents the literature. You decide what is vital: use evidence to support every argument. Try not to use many quotations within the text but provide the specific page number in parenthesis when used. Compared to other pieces of literature keep this as brief as possible, this will maintain the book being reviewed in the spotlight without losing attention.
It is important to hold back on any conclusions at this point.
You can start by restating your thesis (if stated earlier) or a thought that reflects upon the literature. Do not introduce any new evidence here. Suggesting ideas related to the thesis and going beyond the book itself are acceptable. Check the balance between the strengths and weaknesses of the work that come together to prove the thesis and the general evaluation. Here you can put down any recommendations and suggestions. Try to finish with some interesting statement or even a question to keep on challenging the reader, so the audience will take this away with them and will be their last thought on the review. If you need any more help on writing a conclusion, check out this free blog.
Top Tips for a Book Review
Here we have put together some helpful ideas when writing book reviews:
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Which Format Shall I Use?
It depends on what your college professor or director advises you as a suggestion, but it is important to adhere to your chosen format. The most popular and what we suggest is APA format as not only beneficial for a book review but other works like research paper writing. Here is a comprehensive free guide for more detailed info on APA format.
Some key features of APA writing style:
- Use standard A4 paper.
- Have 1-inch margins all the way around for the top, bottom, and sides.
- The opening word of every paragraph should be indented.
- APA recommends Times New Roman font in size 12 pt.
- The whole piece of work should be double-spaced.
- Include a “running head” which is basically a header with the title at the top of every page. On the rest of the pages, it is a Head.
- The main sections of an APA formatted paper are in this order; Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.
Book Review Examples
So here are some extracts of professionally acclaimed and well-known critiques to get some ideas:
The author is Michael Pollan, the book is titled “How to change your mind – What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.”
The critique is written by Tom Bissell and is a New York Times book review, here is the thought-provoking concluding paragraph:
“Human consciousness is one of the greatest puzzles of existence, and will remain this way, no matter what psychedelic enthusiasts might promise. In that sense, it doesn’t matter whether the doorway to heaven is in the dirt, among the fungi, or whether psychedelic visions are merely the churn of a poisoned brain. That’s the problem with psychedelics. They’re hard to talk about without sounding like an aspiring guru or credulous dolt. Michael Pollan, somehow predictably, does the impossible. He makes losing your mind sound like the sanest thing a person could do.”
It’s great to get some inspiration from famous critiques on book review sites, but it is far better to write something original rather than copy or re-word their reviews. Plagiarism is a serious rule break – don’t play with the fire! Order a custom-made book review from the professional academic writing service, and rest assured that it will be 100% unique!
One More Book Review
Here we have another New York Times book review for the classic “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. The article is written by Mary Jo Murphy. It talks about the staying power of the classic from 1894.
Here is an abstract from the Jungle book review introduction:
“You don’t have to agree with George Orwell to wonder about Hollywood’s long love affair with Rudyard Kipling. “A jingo imperialist,” “morally insensitive,” “aesthetically disgusting” and possessing “a definite strain of sadism” were among Orwell’s descriptions of him. “The Jungle Book,” whose stars are mostly animals, is at least somewhat inoculated against not only Kipling’s harshest critics but the range of views about him that have emerged over the last century.”
Tired of Reading Boring Books?
Here at Timely Essays, we know how frustrating it is to be given a book review assignment on a piece of literature you do not care about. That’s why we have plenty of free guides and blogs to help you. You can order a complete paper from us on any topic or hire a personal tutor from our experienced professional team from various academic backgrounds. Don’t put off that essay – come to our custom writing service today!