How to Write a Book Review

For somebody, writing a book review can be a hobby of sorts. Afterward, after reading a good book, you always want to share your impressions with as many people as possible. Then writing a review is the best way. Students in some departments are required to write a book review as homework. In any case, if this activity is new to you – use the tips from our book review writing service which are very helpful.

The Proper Book Review Format

First, let us answer the question, “What is a book review?”. Some people confuse this text with a retelling of the entire plot. But a proper review should include an opinion about the positive and negative aspects of the book. In addition, the author shares his evaluation of the work and recommends or does not recommend the book to readers.

In simple terms, your review should not be a long narrative. You should write a concise paper that follows the book review format. A review gives the reader an answer to three main questions:

  1. What good things are in this book? 
  2. What are the negatives that stick out?
  3. Why should a person read the book?

It is believed that an excellent review, which will have extensive content, should consist of about 1000 words. Such a review won’t make a person read for long while giving enough relevant information. If you convert this volume into pages, it is approximately 1–2 pages of printed text. When you read a rather large book, 200, 300, or more pages – the task of fitting everything into one page does not look very easy. 

Our book review writing guide will help you write a book review without water and highlight the key points worthy of mention. 

What is a Book Review: Writing Tips

So we have already answered the question, “what is a book review?”. But your first attempt at writing an assessment may be unsuccessful. After reading a work, your head may be full of thoughts, and an inexperienced writer will have a hard time systematizing them. Let us tell you how to review a book and what mistakes you should avoid making your text really useful. 

It will be easier to start writing a book review if you stick to a foolproof plan. What is a review of a book that is properly written?

  1. Introduction. Here you must include the book title, author’s name, and other general information. If the work is part of a series of books, it is necessary to mention that as well. Sometimes fascinating events happen before the book is written, or the plot is based on a true story. Be sure to say a few words about it. Such facts attract the reader’s attention.
    When describing the main storyline of the book, avoid spoilers. Remember the trailer, which shows all the fascinating moments, and the viewer will no longer feel like watching the whole movie. Alike with your review. It should grab attention and leave a lot of intrigues.
  2. Positive aspects of the book. Tell the reader what made the biggest impression on you. For example, you liked some qualities of the main character. What made you read to the end of the book: the intriguing plot or the way of narration? Describe the emotions you experienced while reading. Did the story make you cry or laugh?
  3. Negatives. In this section, it is worth noting the plot flaws or the text quality itself. For example, perhaps the book was hard to read, and you often lost the thought and went back to previous pages to reread. Possibly the story’s ending was illogical, in your opinion. 
  4. Overall Assessment. That is the last step in the process of writing a book review

Share your final thoughts and identify the audience of readers who might benefit from this book. For example, you can mention that the plot reminded you of other famous movies or books. Accordingly, if your reader is familiar with them, they will conclude that they should read the book you wrote the review about. If you are writing a review about a book that is part of a series of books, note how strongly its plot relates to previous installments. This information will be helpful to the reader who has not yet read any of the books in the entire series. He will be able to conclude whether he should start reading again or whether he can start by reading any of the books.

You may still be interested in how to do a book review that gets attention. There may be another optional but extremely valuable point in your book review. Use visual aids to evaluate the book. For example, it could be stars, numbers on a scale of 1 to 10, or something similar.  

Some authors add a table with pros and cons to their review. People love to read reviews, but not everyone is ready to find 5–10 minutes to read the full review.

Another good technique is to use an interesting quote from the book in the review. It should be words that catch your eye, but don’t reveal the book’s mystery. 

This visual design is a tiny element. But this kind of review is more strongly valued by the reader for its clarity.

Reviews come not only for fiction but also for scholarly literature. A question that often worries junior scholars is how to write an academic book review. If you intend to leave your mark on academic writing, you have to follow some essential rules. 

In general, the structure of an academic book review is similar to the form of a fiction or other literature review. Except for a few details:

  • You need to provide information about the writer. What books has the author written previously, what contribution to science has he made earlier, and what are the goals of the paper?
  • Using quotations from the author will help you to make your review of an academic paper more persuasive. In expressing an opinion on the author’s views, you should cite specific quotations. 
  • You must write your academic book review in a specific formatting style, such as Chicago, APA, or MLA. 
  • It is essential not to summarize information but to give an expert opinion.
  • Explain the value of an academic book: the topic’s relevance, the importance of the research, what the appearance of this book means for science, and so on. 
  • The lack of errors is significant for any type of text. People of science will read your piece. What kind of expert opinion can we talk about if your review contains many spelling and punctuation errors? 

You need to make a plan to write a review of a book of any genre. You already know the main sections the review should contain. It is equally important to note the theses of each point. So how to write a book review template

Before you start writing a full-fledged review, sketch an outline that should contain the following information: 

  • Basic information about the author. Is he a new writer, or has he already published several books? How weighty his name is in a particular genre, and so on. 
  • Essential points from the book. It is easier to create such theses when it comes to scientific literature. After all, specific topics are raised there. In fiction, there are no such clear divisions. But you can find some clues for yourself. For example, how non-trivial the plot is compared to other books of the same genre. 
  • Your conclusions. Give an overall assessment of the book, and outline the pros and cons. 

If you don’t know how to start a book review, formulating a thesis statement will help you build a foundation. Later on, it will be much easier for you to develop your thought and write a meaningful review.

And one more tip from us. If you don’t know how to write a book review, an example of book review on our website will help you with this task. You will see how experienced authors write reviews and be inspired to write your first book review.

How to Cite a Book Review

We have mentioned more than once that a book review can include a citation. If you are going to supplement your work with quotations, you should know how to cite a book review. Unfortunately, it is not enough to simply copy and paste the text into your assessment. 

To appropriately format a quote, you need to know what type of formatting you should apply. 

There are three basic types of formatting:

  • MLA. This style requires only the author’s name and the page number.
  • APA. Applying this formatting style requires you to include the author’s name, publication date, and the page number. 
  • Chicago. This style requires that footnotes include the author’s name, the working title, the year of publication, and the page number.

Now that we’ve discussed the fundamental rules for writing book reviews, we want to give you some final tips. These simple but important guidelines will help you write the perfect assessment. 

  • Remember about the book review definition. A major mistake many beginners make is confusing review and retelling. The reader is looking for a book review to decide if it is worth reading. But if you go into too much detail, his interest in the work can quickly fade.
  • Your review is your personal opinion. You don’t have to go to extremes and write something radically positive or negative. Writing a review is good because it has no right answer. Even if your opinion is not unequivocal, your review is still entitled to life.
  • Don’t be too harsh a critic. Remember that the writer puts his soul into his book just as you write your text. If you don’t like the work, express your position honestly but delicately.
  • Too much intrigue is not always a good thing. Yes, a review should be captivating, but don’t make the reader read the text to the last word to understand your opinion of the book. Make your impression clear from the first lines, gradually delving into specific points. 
  • Don’t forget the details.  In addition to evaluating the story, the reader needs to know something about the author himself. For example, it is a novice but a very talented writer. Or he already has some rather well-known books in his collection. Also, such information as the number of chapters, pages, and so on can be very useful to your reader.  
  • Watch the length of the text and the errors. A text that is too long, incoherent, and illiterate will not tell the readers that you are an authoritative author and they can trust your opinion.
  • Observation is our everything. If you are writing or about to write a review, you need to learn more experienced authors do it. Book review format examples can help you do this. Learn the writing rules, take note of interesting tricks, and incorporate them into your reviews. 

Like any other business, it’s necessary to practice writing reviews. It is the only way to perfect your writing skills. Over time you may develop your writing style. Who knows, perhaps sooner or later, future writers will take your reviews as an example!

Book review is easy

if you know where to ask for it

Due date: always on time