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Writing a Book ReviewBook reviews are writing tasks meant to evaluate a recently written work. The chief objective of a book review is to provide a brief description of the key points in a text and offer an appraisal of the text’s strengths and weaknesses. It gives the reader an overview of what the book resembles. A significant number of students confuse book reviews with movie reviews. It is important for students to able to distinguish between the two types of writing assignments to avoid scoring poor grades. The key difference between a book review and a book report is that the latter provides a description of the happenings in a text with a focus on recounting the plot, characters and main idea of the text. Book reports are shorter (250-500 words) than book reviews (500-700 words).
Help with Writing a Book ReviewWhen writing a book review, ensure that have the following elements in your paper.
- Author..........Your book review should provide the name of the author, his or her other works and style of writing.
- Genre...........Your book review should describe the type of the book (fiction, romance, poetry or any other type), the intended audience and purpose of the work.
- Title...........Your book review should show where the book title fits, the application of the title in the text, title’s encapsulation of the text’s message and the appeal of the title (interesting or uninteresting).
- Preface/Table of Contents/Introduction..........Your book review should show whether the text’s preface or introduction offers any revealing information about the work. You should analyze the preconceptions provided by the author through the preface/introduction and describe the arrangement of the book (sections or chapters).
- Book Cover/Jacket...........Your book review should evaluate the book jacket in terms of whether it provides any interesting details about the text and the attractiveness of the typescript, pictures and maps/graphs.
- Characters.........Your book review should describe the principle characters in the work and their effect on the story. You should explain how you feel about the characters. For example, do you feel empathy towards a character?
- Themes/Motives..........Your book review should describe the motives evident in the text and their contribution to the work. You should analyze the author’s style and its effectiveness, especially from the reader’s point of view.
- Argument.........Your book review should evaluate the setting of the argument in the text and the kind of support the author provides to the argument. You should explain whether the work fulfills its purpose. For example, does the author provide relevant findings to support the argument?
- Key ideas.........Your book review should describe the key ideas in the text and its significance to the work.
- Quotes.........Your book review should demonstrate how various quotes by the author, if any, fit with the text’s theme and idea.