Book Review Essay

Book Review Essay

Book review essay are important entities that act as informants for people who want to understand a book without reading the entire book. Generally, they make work easier by giving readers a sneak-peek of what they are to expect from a book. Consequently, readers can decide whether or not they will proceed reading the book by reading a review of a book or a book review essay.

As a student, you might encounter the task of writing a book review essay. Whether you are writing a story book review or a book review essay sample, you must get the right guidelines for your assignment. For this reason, this article targets to provide all critical information on how to write a book review.

What is a Book Review?

Book Review EssayA book review essay is a kind of literary criticism that describes a book based on the summary, merit, content, and style. The review provides the opinion of the reader and can be presented as school homework or in book review websites, newspapers, and magazines. Given this, a book review essay is an academic document that provides the student’s analysis of the book. Consequently, the content in the essay would therefore e dependent on the personal taste of the student. The length of a book review essay varies depending on the requirement of the essays. As a student writing a book review essay, you might decide to write an extended essay that is closely related to the themes of the book.

Importance of a Book Review

A book review essay is an assignment given to students to gauge their understanding of the setting, content, themes, and style of a book. This way, an instructor can find out if the student read the book and understood the contents in the book. Therefore, as a student, you must master the art of writing a book review with all the considerations of a book review essay format. This way, a student can provide their own opinion on the ideas of the author in the book.  The student can also analyse the quality and writing techniques in the book.

Features of a Book Review Essay

Generally, book reviews make arguments that reveal the reviewer’s understanding of the book and point of view. As such, the most essential element of the book review is that it is a commentary and not just the summary of the book. Consequently, there is room to offer your opinion and judgment on the book.

Typically, book reviews essays are brief and concise. The length of the essay depends on the instructions provided by the instructor on the essay prompt. The most common features of a book reviews essay include:

  1. Provides a concise summary of the book: the summary of the book should include a succinct description of the subject matter, the overall perspective, or the argument.
  2. Gives a critical assessment of the book: The book review should always include the writer’s reaction to the work. A review highlights all the noteworthy aspects of a book and their effects of these aspects.
  3. Provides recommendations to different audiences: A book review essay should also provide an opinion on whether a certain audience would like it or not.

How to Write a Book Review

The best way to write a book review essay is to involve some critical thinking. As much as knowing the book review format is equally important, critical thinking forms a huge role in developing book reviews on novels. The following pointers will help you analyse a book before settling to write a book review essay:

  • The main thesis or argument of the book: what is the main idea?
  • The approach on the main subject: analytical, topical, descriptive, or chronological?
  • Presentation of the arguments: what is the supporting evidence to the arguments?
  • Structure of the argument:  are the arguments logical?
  • Understanding of the subject matter: what are your opinions on the book? Would you recommend someone to read the book?

Once you have analysed all the information, you can proceed to write the book reviews essay.

Book Review Outline

The outline is also refers to as the book review essay structure.  With this outline, a student can develop ideas from the book and present them their opinions in form of a review.

A.     The Introduction

Just like any other academic work, a book review should have an introduction that introduces the reader to the contents of the essay. The introduction of the book review essay should provide a general description of the book. For instance, you could choose to describe the main theme/ problem addressed in the book. Ideally, you should ensure that you draw the attention of the readers by providing a hook in the introductory paragraph.

At the introductory stage, you should avoid providing any opinions or revealing your point of view. This introduction is solely meant to capture the reader’s attention and to make them aware of what is to follow. Consequently, the introduction of the book review should bear a thesis statement that reveals the argument of the reviewer i.e., the student. The thesis statement becomes like a reference point of the essay.

B.     Body

The body of the book review essay is the main part of the essay. In this section, you are required to provide all arguments in correspondence to the thesis statement. The body of the book review essay provides the reader with all necessary information on the novel. As such, the body should be as detailed as possible to garner much insight into what the book is like.

The body of the book review should provide the following information:

        i.            Biographical information of the author(s)

As part of the book review essay, it is important to provide information on the authors of the book. Ensure that you provide information on who the author(s) or editor(s) are and what they are mostly known for. Similarly, should bring on board any of their expertise and qualifications that are relevant to the subject matter.

      ii.            Contents of the book

The contents of a book are very important in providing the reviews of the book. Most readers are always on the lookout for the main theme discussed in the book or perhaps the problem(s) addressed. Typically, an author writes a book with a certain message to their audience. Therefore, it is very critical that you include the message of the author in the review.

For a short book review for students, the students should select the prevailing topic in the book as a discussion on the contents of the book. However, you should always ensure that the arguments provided back up the claim made in the thesis statement. This way, you create a connection from the start of the book review essay to the end through the arguments provided.

    iii.            Styles of writing

The styles used in expressing the ideas of the author are equally important in providing the reviews of the book. You should provide the prevailing writing techniques employed by the author in the delivery of the message. Similarly, ensure that you explain how the authors use writing styles and techniques to drive the message.

     iv.            The strengths of the book

As part of the book review essay, it is important to provide the strengths of the book as the informant of what areas the book did so well.  This way, the reader can gauge the outstanding characteristics of the book.

       v.            The weaknesses of the book

Now that you have provided the strengths of the book, you should also provide your analysis of where the book did poorly. In this section, you must include recommendations on where the book would need improvements. The recommendations could be based on what the author added, omitted, or discussed in limited detail.

C.     The Conclusion

At the end of the book review, you must summarise it by providing your opinion of the book. The conclusion of the essay, just like any other essay, should restate the thesis statement. Experts in book reviews also recommend that you identify some audiences that might be interested in reading the book.

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