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Feb 21, 2020 · If you are a reader, you should write book reviews. It will help you remember the books you’ve read, and whether they’re worth rereading. Your feedback helps other readers decide whether they should invest time and money to read a particular book. (I confess I read one-star reviews to find out what other readers found objectionable.
Before Jeff Bezos became the richest person on the planet, he used to write entertaining Amazon reviews. Read them here.
Jeff Bezos' old Amazon review profile has been unearthed by Inc. magazine. It contains six reviews from between 2000 and 2006. Over a period of six years, Bezos reviewed non-fiction ...
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3 days ago
- What This Handout Is About
- What Is A Review?
- Becoming An Expert Reviewer: Three Short Examples
- Developing An Assessment: Before You Write
- Writing The Review
- in Review
- Works Consulted
This handout will help you write a book review, a report or essay that offers a critical perspective on a text. It offers a process and suggests some strategies for writing book reviews.
A review is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, or phenomenon. Reviews can consider books, articles, entire genres or fields of literature, architecture, art, fashion, restaurants, policies, exhibitions, performances, and many other forms. This handout will focus on book reviews. For a similar assignment, see our handout on literature reviews. Above all, a review makes an argument. The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a summary. It allows you to enter into dialogue and discussion with the work’s creator and with other audiences. You can offer agreement or disagreement and identify where you find the work exemplary or deficient in its knowledge, judgments, or organization. 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 br...
Reviewing can be a daunting task. Someone has asked for your opinion about something 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? 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. Nobody expects you to be the intellectual equal of the work’s creator, but your careful observations can provide you with the raw material to make reasoned judgments. 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. Consider the following brief book review written for a history course on medieval Europe by a student who is fascinated with beer: The stu...
There is no definitive method to writing a review, although some critical thinking about the work at hand is necessary before you actually begin writing. Thus, writing a review is a two-step process: developing an argument about the work under consideration, and making that argument as you write an organized and well-supported draft. See our handout on argument. What follows is a series of questions to focus your thinking as you dig into the work at hand. While the questions specifically consider book reviews, you can easily transpose them to an analysis of performances, exhibitions, and other review subjects. Don’t feel obligated to address each of the questions; some will be more relevant than others to the book in question. 1. What is the thesis—or main argument—of the book?If the author wanted you to get one idea from the book, what would it be? How does it compare or contrast to the world you know? What has the book accomplished? 2. What exactly is the subject or topic of the b...
Once you have made your observations and assessments of the work under review, carefully survey your notes and attempt to unify your impressions into a statement that will describe the purpose or thesis of your review. Check out our handout on thesis statements. Then, outline the arguments that support your thesis. Your arguments should develop the thesis in a logical manner. That logic, unlike more standard academic writing, may initially emphasize the author’s argument while you develop your own in the course of the review. The relative emphasis depends on the nature of the review: if readers may be more interested in the work itself, you may want to make the work and the author more prominent; if you want the review to be about your perspective and opinions, then you may structure the review to privilege your observations over (but never separate from) those of the work under review. What follows is just one of many ways to organize a review.
Finally, a few general considerations: 1. Review the book in front of you, not the book you wish the author had written. You can and should point out shortcomings or failures, but don’t criticize the book for not being something it was never intended to be. 2. With any luck, the author of the book worked hard to find the right words to express her ideas. You should attempt to do the same. Precise language allows you to control the tone of your review. 3. Never hesitate to challenge an assumption, approach, or argument. Be sure, however, to cite specific examples to back up your assertions carefully. 4. Try to present a balanced argument about the value of the book for its audience. You’re entitled—and sometimes obligated—to voice strong agreement or disagreement. But keep in mind that a bad book takes as long to write as a good one, and every author deserves fair treatment. Harsh judgments are difficult to prove and can give readers the sense that you were unfair in your assessment....
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find the latest publications on this topic. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. Drewry, John. Writing Book Reviews.Boston: The Writer, 1974. Hoge, James O. Literary Reviewing.Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1987. Sova, Dawn B. and Harry Teitelbaum. How to Write Book Reports.4th ed. Lawrenceville, NY: Thomson/ARCO. 2002. Walford, A.J., ed. Reviews and Reviewing: A Guide.Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1986. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License. You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, Univers...
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Sep 28, 2020 · “With every book I review, of every genre, I try to go to the writer's 5-yard line.”
May 18, 2020 · Why Should You Write Book Reviews? Authors appreciate honest reviews. Honest is the key word there. Make your opinion clear without being mean, and you’re done (kind of!) Authors vary on whether they read their reviews, and how they react to them. Regardless, reviews are important not only as feedback to the author.
Aug 25, 2020 · But THAT isn’t why you’re writing the review. The reason you should write reviews for other writers in your industry is to improve your ability to recognize and understand good information. The better the information in their book, the better your review should be.
May 10, 2018 · My #1 Reason To Write Book Reviews Is… To Make You Want To Read It. Yes. Far and away, the single most important reason I write book reviews is to convince YOU to pick up a copy and read it. I only endorse books that I really enjoy. And in my book reviews I try to explain the reasons why.
Jun 13, 2020 · Reviews, reviews, reviews. If you follow my blog, you’ll notice the majority of what I post is book reviews. And I don’t just review books that I'm requested for, I literally review every book I read. So why in the world do I write book reviews?
Apr 13, 2014 · The kinds of books I read already had lots of reviews, because they were already popular by the time I got to them. Why bother writing a review for a book that already has 500 reviews? Then I found out that reviews matter. For the indie author, it’s all we’ve really got. There’s no big name, and it doesn’t ever sit on a book store shelf.
The reason you should write reviews for other writers in your industry is to improve your ability to recognize and understand good information. The better the information in their book, the better your review should be.
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