How To Write An Excellent Book Review: 5 Effective Steps To Get A+ Grades

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Book reviews, as many enthusiastic readers know, can be excellent. They allow you to share your opinions with your readers and keep track of your own musings on the books on your shelf. However, many people discover that writing a review isn’t as simple as it appears.

This is specifically true if you are reviewing a book for the first time. Whether you are analyzing a book as part of your curriculum or doing it for a site such as Goodreads, learning to write a review is the first step to go.

In this article, you’ll discover how to compose a book review in easy steps with some excellent tips. However, let us cover the basics first, like what a book review is and what it entails.

Definition Of Book Review

A book review is basically a type of literary criticism in which the author’s writing style, ideas, and quality of writing are examined. The analysis of a book is purely subjective. This kind of assignment allows students to express their own thoughts on the author’s ideas included in the book or excerpt.

Furthermore, it is good preparation for individuals who want to be editors since editing requires a lot of criticism. 

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What Does A Book Review Entail?

A good book review contains – a student’s opinion on a book or excerpt. This assignment provides an avenue for students to express their thoughts and opinions professionally.

Here’s what you must include in your book report to make it successful:

  • A hook phrase
  • Essential information about the book
  • Basic plot summary of the book
  • Positives – negatives or pros – cons of the book
  • Your recommendation
  • Your rating (optional)

Book Review Template

The book review template is nothing but the outline that helps write the assessment in a structured way.

Similar to any other academic writing, the book review format includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Introduction

  • Description of the book title and cover
  • Include the author’s name
  • Thesis statement
  • Compose a brief yet engaging description of the novel
  • Present the main particulars of the body briefly

Tip: Avoid discussing any opinions in this section

Body

  • Include 3 primary quotations from the book (that help your review)
  • Summarize the quotations
  • Mention your point of view on the quotation

Tip: Remember to retain every necessary point included in its paragraph

Conclusion

  • Restate the thesis statement (paraphrase)
  • Summarize the introduction
  • Summarize the body (explanations)
  • Include a concluding sentence
  • Give your recommendation or final opinion of the book
  • Star-Rating (Optional)

This is the basic book review outline or structure that you can use to construct your review easily. To help you further in this endeavor, we will explain how to write a review in simple steps in the next section.

Steps To Writing A Book Review

One can review any book irrespective of the book type. In fact, a review can be done on any literature, regardless of its genre. Some categories may be more difficult than others, but the book review format pretty much stays the same for any type of book. Learn how to write a book review by following the step-by-step guidelines given below.

Step 1: Choose A Book

The first step is to select the genre and a book to review. Usually, most students find it easy to analyze a book that they like so that you may follow the same. However, you can also find a book you dislike and review it critically. Irrespective of the book you choose, always remember not to go too personal. 

Step 2: Plan Your Review

After choosing a book, take time to examine it critically and form an opinion. You may read it multiple times and make some notes simultaneously to ensure that you have covered all the significant points and your thoughts on the same. 

Make an essay outline that incorporates all of the significant points you want to cover in your book analysis. Present relevant information on your selected novel’s story, characters, and other vital aspects. Set aside a body paragraph for each subject you want to discuss.

Some crucial points to consider when writing your outline include:

  • What is the plot of the book?
  • Is the plot gripping?/ are you enjoying the read?
  • Are the author’s writing techniques convincing/effective for the reader?
  • Are the characters compelling enough?
  • Would you recommend the book to family, friends, or others in general?
  • What could possibly be better in the book?

Step 3: Write The Review

Introduction: Use the outline and the points given above to construct your review. Start your review with introductive aspects, such as the book title and author’s name. Next, touch upon the cover image and include a thesis statement that expresses your main argument/idea about the book.

Body: Summarize the plot without giving away spoilers. Or, you may choose a specific situation or chapter to sum up. It is better to include 3 primary quotes and summaries for each in this section. Present your POV on each point, and remember to have just one quote per paragraph. 

Conclusion: Sum up the body and introduction in the concluding section. Complete the analysis of the book with a final statement that shows the overall image of the novel. Analyze whether the book is worth reading or not. 

And answer the question yes or no. Write between the lines and avoid using a phrase such as “I like/dislike this book.”

Step 4: Proofread

Students often forget to proofread their work which can cost them heavily, so don’t commit this mistake. Take a break after writing your review, and come back later to proofread your work. Rectify any grammatical errors and mistakes in sentence structure and organization. Also, use a plagiarism checker to check plagiarism if necessary.

Step 5: Rate The Book

Although this step is optional, you may add a rating to your content as it provides additional value. Including a star rating gives your readers more information about the book’s quality. Usually, book reviews with star ratings are seen to be more effective than those without them. This, however, is entirely optional.

Tips For Writing A Good Book Review

  1. Keep your introduction concise.
  2. Avoid comparing your chosen novel to other books you’ve read, as it can perplex the reader.
  3. Present your point of view properly without being vague. 
  4. Include a good amount of positive comments and criticism.
  5. Try not to make things up. Always examine what is presented in the selected book.
  6. Mention how much you enjoyed the book. This allows you to tailor your book analysis.

Book Review Examples

Example 1: Into The Wild Book Review Essay

How far will you go to find the real you? Will you give up the very identity that you are associated with? Some free-spirited souls would rebel the societal notions and get out on the road of uncertainties to live life their way.

Christopher Johnson McCandless was one such soul who gave away his $25,000 in savings to charity and his most possessions and burned cash in his wallet to connect with nature. 

Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild” is an extraordinary account of McCandless’s life that Krakauer narrates. The story is interconnected with two plots, one dealing with McCandless and the other with Krakauer. 

(Please check the sample section for the complete essay)

Example 2: Of Mice & Men Book Review Essay

Of men and mice is a tragic fiction written by John Steinbeck in the mid-1930s. This story has a tragic, sentimentalistic, and rustic tone to it. The story explores the predatory nature of human existence and the impossibility of fulfilling the American dream. It further explores the imbalance of social power in American society.

Above, this is the story of friendship between George and Lennie, the poor migrant workers who dream of owning a ranch in depression-era America. The story spans four days, beginning Thursday evening and ending Sunday morning.

Lennie and George are the protagonists with a unique friendship between them. This is registered by all other characters in the story who note having never seen such close relationships between migrant workers before. The biggest challenge that the duo face is surviving their oppressive, poverty-stricken circumstances and making themselves financially stable.

(Please check the sample section for the complete essay)

Conclusion

Writing a book review is an excellent assignment and a rewarding experience. Professors assign this type of task to students in order to empower them to express their understanding and opinion about a book/excerpt. If you are a beginner, you may follow the book review format and the step-by-step instructions given here to compose your first review.

With the help of our writing tips, we ensure that you will do a great job with your review. So just get started and give out your valuable recommendation. 

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