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  2. Book Reviews – The Writing Center • University of North ...

    writingcenter.unc.edu › tips-and-tools › book-reviews
    • 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...

  3. The Essential Tips on How To Write an Engaging Book Review ...

    www.grammarly.com › blog › how-to-write-book-review

    Mar 02, 2020 · General Tips for Writing a Book Review Keep it Streamlined: Pay attention to length and make every word count. Lengthy, rambling reviews are confusing and time-consuming to read. Keep your readers with you by getting to the point.

  4. How To Write A Book Review: 6 Steps To Take | Book Riot

    bookriot.com › how-to-write-a-book-review

    Feb 14, 2019 · Write a conclusion that summarises everything Like your introduction, keep your conclusion short and sweet! It should bring up the main points of your review, along with your overall opinion of the book. 5.

  5. May 01, 2019 · How to Write a Book Review A book review allows students to illustrate the author's intentions of writing the piece, as well as create a criticism of the book — as a whole. In other words, form an opinion of the author's presented ideas.

  6. How to Write a Book Review - Guide, Format & Examples

    www.myperfectwords.com › blog › book-review-writing
    • What Is A Book Review?
    • How to Write A Book Review?
    • Book Review Example
    • New York Times Book Review

    To learn how to write a book review, you first need to understand what a book review really is. A book review is literary criticism and it mainly consists of three things; a summary, analysis and evaluation of the book. They are key to construct a perfect book evaluation and review. A book review can vary from person to person, as everyone has a different take on what they read. You might have a positive opinion of a book but your friend can have a negative take on it. However, both of you can be right in your own way, depending on how you criticize and draw an opinion of the book and defend them. Keep on reading and learn how you can present and defend your point of view.

    Regardless of liking or disliking a book, a detailed and honest review will help people know about different kinds of books and find those that interest them. For some, book reviews and book report are the same. However, writing a book report is different from a book review. Follow the link to know more about writing a book report. Below is a step by step guide on how to write a book review.

    Below are fictional and non-fiction book review: 1) Fictional Book Review Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man: “An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem. His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an "invisible man". People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled. The incidents of the story are wholly absorbing. The boy's dismissal from college because of an innocent mistake, his shocked reaction to the anonymity of the North and to Harlem, his nightmare experiences on a one-day job in a paint factory and in the hospital, his lightning success as the Harlem leader of a communistic organization kno...

    The New York Times Book Reviews is a great resource to help you understand how to write a book review that is impressive and moving. They will help you get a clear idea of how to write a book review. If you have not read one, now is the time to do so. Reading book reviews of authors like Margaret Atwood and Jacqueline Woodson is a good way to get started with your own assignment. The New York Times book reviews have pretty much an overview of every other book out there. Go through some of them for better clarity. Conclusion Never write a review of a book based on what you wanted it to be. Present facts and your opinion based on them. Further, there are going to be times when you will be given the task to review a book from a genre that you do not like. This will be your test, as the book review will help you learn to appreciate readings from all genres. Still think you cannot do it? MyPerfectWords is a professional essay writing service that has qualified essay expertsto help you wi...

  7. How To Write A Good Book Review, with Samples

    blog.essaybasics.com › how-to-write-a-book-review
    • Preparation for writing a book review. Most people do not know how to write a book review. The following are the guidelines to writing. First, know some information about the author, like some of his other books and some basic knowledge as it opens up your mind on what to expect as you begin reading.
    • Structure of a review. There are different book review structures. The key review tips to consider are as follows. Whichever the format used, these should be inclusive.
    • Tips for good writing. The key book review tips to consider in book review writing are: Character development. Tell who your favorite character was and why.
    • How to conclude a book review. In a book review conclusion, the writer can state whether or not they have any books they have written. Give a possible link to other book reviews done.
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