Stages Of Writing A Successful Book Review

An assignment often given by professors is for students to compose a review on a book that is helpful to the study process of the given subject. The following stages must be adhered to in this order for the review to be accepted:

An overall description

This first section of your review will actually contain a lot of information:

  • First, you will be required to go over the general content of the book. You can do this by reading the writer's own summary or prologue, but don't copy them. Use them to get ideas and write a summary in your own words.
  • In your description you'll also be required to give the intention of the writer for writing the book. Ask yourself what message or agenda the writer had when putting his or her work together and include this into your descriptive section.
  • If there is an attempt by the writer to sway the reader to a certain viewpoint, then you must add this to your description. Noting the opinion of the writer and his or her effort to convince the reader of the same opinion, is probably the most interesting part of any book review.

The scrutiny section

You'll now start evaluating the book content itself and see whether it performs the above attempts successfully or not. Ask yourself the following questions when writing this part of the review:

  • Does the writer successfully cover the subject well?
  • Did the writer fulfil his or her objectives in writing the book?
  • Was the writer successful in winning the reader over to his or her opinion?

The review itself

Now you get to the part where you give your own opinion of the book. This section is more casual in nature because readers who check your review want to know what you thought. They wouldn't be reading it unless they respected your opinion, so get into your preferences and chat about any changes you would have liked - if any.

Highlight the positives and negatives and consider some comparatives to make it easier for people who haven't read the book to know what they can expect. A tactic used by many reviewers at the end of their review will liken the book to two other books or authors. For example: "This book is Terry Pratchett meets Michael Crichton. The style is clever, witty and fantastical, while containing an element of science-driven action that will make it hard to put down. A must read!"