This is a guest article by Richard Nolan. If you want to submit a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
If you are to write a book review, you definitely want to get some ideas on how to make it effective without spending too much time. You have already defined why exactly you need that: to reach out the publishers, to create an academic paper, or to write a blog post.
Whatever the reasons you have, the approach to writing a review is almost the same. However, if you create a review for your own book, you may skip some of the points, like reading the book as you have been working on it and know its content better than anyone.
Must have points for any book review
Prior to identifying the best ways to write a sufficient book review, first let’s dwell upon the elements it must contain. This is essential information that you are to know to reach the desired effect.
- Always identify the genre of the book and the field it belongs.
- Draw some conclusions based on the facts and arguments previously used in this book.
- Define the main ideas of the whole book and of its chapters.
- Explain why you like some of the ideas and why you don’t. It’s better to exemplify each your statement with the direct quotations.
- Give recommendations on how this book may be used in different studies.
These are basic ideas that must be presented in any review. However, if you struggle for more, you must consider following our guide that includes 10 ways that are to help you in writing the book review that anyone would like.
The best ways to work on book review are:
Choose the book, but read neither the reviews nor the book itself
The best start for writing an objective review is not to read the book, but to read the annotation and accolades and analyze the name. What do you expect to find here? Does the annotation provide you with all information that makes you feel that you must read it? What do the accolades tell to you? Does the name of the book tell you something? Can you predict the content by relying on the information that you’ve got? By answering this questions, you will be able to define what you expect from this book. Later on, you will be able to use this information in your review.
Read the book. At least twice
If you want to write an objective review, you must read the book. Moreover, you must do that at least twice. The matter is that when you are reading it for the first time, you just capture the basic ideas and the plot. Perhaps, you will pay attention to the style and language. However, when you read it for the second time, you start to pay attention to the smallest details. Perhaps, you will discover the truth that has been hidden from you while you were reading it for the first time.
Develop a plan for taking notes
Before you start to make notes, you are to understand what points you want to highlight in your reviews. Thus, you need to create a special plan that you will follow. Consider the points that you would like to cover and check them while you read the book.
While reading the book, you will get thousands of ideas that you would like to include to your paper. You will forget almost all of them till you start to work on the review. Thus, take notes while you are still reading a book. Even though their number may be rather impressive, later you will be able to select the best ones.
Pay attention to the details
A great book review is not based on the general ideas that can be easily captured by reading a book. The most valuable reviews are those that are based on the details that you notice. Therefore, you must always enrich your review with this information. The readers will notice that you have done a great job to determine the factors that really have importance, thus, your review will get a huge value.
Describe how the content correlates with the form or topic
Those who consider reading this book will definitely want to know this information. Besides, this is perhaps one of the most objective details that you may include in the review.
Choose the ideas to cover
Working on a book review, always consider the ideas that you want to introduce. Do remember that adding all the ideas that you have is not obligatory, moreover, it may distract your readers. It will be better to include only one idea to the review and dwell upon its aspects or choose up to five ideas that you would like to cover. Here, you should follow the rule that if you present certain idea, you need to stick to it until you explain it perfectly.
If you want to write an objective review, avoid judgments. When you start to judge authors for the results of their works, you immediately turn your writing into a kind of a scholar essay but not a professional book review.
Do not make summaries
Again, summaries are too personal in be included to the objective review. Here, you just present your observations, and the reader should make his own conclusion after reading the book itself, not your review.
Limit the number of quotations
Many include too many quotations hoping to make a review more reliable. In fact, it’s always better not to include too many quotations, but use only some of them that perfectly suit the situation.
Now you know how to create an objective book review that anyone would like to read. Following these simple steps, you will save your time on considerations whether to include certain information or not, what things to avoid, and what details to add to make it stunning. Hope you will enjoy writing an objective book review by following our ways!
About the author: Richard Nolan is a writer and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers and students. Currently, Richard works as a general blog editor for ProWritersCenter. Follow him on Twitter.