In fact, like other genres of academic writing, such as journal articles and research proposals, academic book reviews tend to have a standard, even formulaic, structure. Although of course this may vary slightly by discipline and/or publication venue, my advice is, if in doubt, to use the following framework, with one paragraph for each of the following seven sections:
Book reports and book reviews are similar. Book reports tend to be a little more descriptive (What is this book about?) and book reviews are usually more persuasive (Why a reader should or shouldn't read this book). Both offer a combination of summary and commentary.
Preparing to Write a Book Review
This evaluation of strengths and weaknesses is central to another key difference between book reviews and book reports. Book reports often ask you to provide a personal opinion as to whether or not you liked a book. A book review asks you to move beyond your personal likes or dislikes and provide a reasoned argument as to the merits or problems contained in the book. In a book review, it is not enough to say that a particular book was “bad” or “excellent.” You need to provide detailed analysis as to what factors, such as scope, theoretical perspective, or use of evidence made it so.
Welcome to my workshop! Here you'll find writing tips, strategies, and challenges to help you write a book review. Once you've completed my challenges, try writing and publishing a review of your own. When you've completed your review and this workshop, you can write your own book review and publish it online.Do you want to be a book reviewer? Start by doing. Write book reviews for local newspapers. If they don't have a book review section, start one.