This handout will help you write a book review, a report or essay that offers a critical perspective on a text. It offers a process and suggests some strategies for writing book reviews.
A question I often receive is this one: “Can you give me some advice on writing a book review?” I’ll be the first to admit that I cannot tell you how to write an academic review or one you would want to submit to a journal. I became a book reviewer rather by trial and error and only through a very informal medium. Even then, I focus almost entirely on popular-level reviews of popular-level books. Having said that, I typically use a loose formula that I think can be helpful and that often resonates with readers.
How to Write a Book Review in Only Four Quick Steps
And remember one very important point while writing a book review. This is your review, your personal account of your experience with the book. Just because the book lies on the list of top 100 books of the century doesn’t mean you should like it or lie about liking it. Also, because everyone is trashing the book doesn’t mean you have to jump into the bandwagon. Notice how I’ve put you in bold in the above paragraph. That should be enough to convey my thoughts!
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.As with other essays, the steps toward writing an effective book review begin well before you turn on your computer and begin to type. Successful book reviews depend on a careful and critical reading of your book. Module 2 contains excellent suggestions on how to read critically, and it may be helpful to review these insights as you begin your book review assignment.