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Guide to Writing a Book Review Like an Expert

Book review

Oftentimes, students are assigned to write a book review. It’s a very interesting and simultaneously, complicated assignment. One should make in-depth research, make an adequate and objective analysis, really understand the message of an author, etc. It’s a responsible task and one ought to be maximally focused and attentive. We can help you with this essential matter.

Our guide provides helpful insights to write a professional book review properly. First of all, let’s begin with a definition. You have to make a review of a certain book you’ve read. You may either agree or disagree with its author. It’s necessary to be objective and use effective examples to prove your point of view.

Secondly, learn the structure. It consists of:

  • Heading. It contains data about the title, its author, place of publication, publisher, date, and the number of pages.
  • Introduction. Provides a brief overview of future research. Convey what is your review about and why you have chosen the topic.
  • Summary. Gives a quick summary of the main events tightly related to your research.
  • Evaluation. Provides your own attitude concerning the main problem of the piece. You should describe all the things you like and dislike about the piece.
  • Conclusion. Justify the analyzed piece. Tell about its strong and weak aspects and recommend either reading it or never doing that.

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Preliminary Phase

Before you begin the write the main paragraphs, you are supposed to undertake some preliminary steps. They are necessary to understand how to compose your project properly. You should determine all possible facts. Of course, you may not be obligated to learn every detail.

Nonetheless, you should provide the following facts:


  • The main theme of the book and historical period;
  • Individual style of the author;
  • The main arguments of the author;
  • The historical facts and evidence used to support the main idea of the book;
  • The book’s structure;


This is concrete research you ought to do. Before you read, find out these facts. Afterward, read the book several times to understand the main purpose of the author. Define your own attitude towards the theme and style. Tell whether you like them or not.

Special Recommendations

There are also some important tips we would like to tell about. They are universal and suit any type of book review.

Consider the next essentials:

  • Provide the general facts about the analyzed piece (author, title, genre, special features, etc.);
  • Explain the reasons the author crafted his/her book;
  • Tell from what viewpoint the book was written;
  • Determine the main message of the author;
  • Define the kind of book and acceptable audience;
  • Clarify such important points as clarity, creativity, the flow of the text, and the precision of word choice;
  • Tell whether the reading of the book changed your opinion and try to predict how it can affect the readers;
  • Mention whether the book met its major purpose (if not, tell how can it be achieved);
  • Determine the main topic and clarify the development of the plot with the help of quotes and other examples;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the author’s writing techniques (did he/she suit the intended audience or no);
  • If you disagree with the author’s opinions, provide your own explanations and examples to support your point of view;
  • Make a short summary of the entire project. Involve the main points, use direct quotes and interpret the outcomes of your research;

Tips for Different Genres

You should know that there are different kinds of book reviews. These are fiction, non-fiction, and bibliography. Each has something in common. Nonetheless, there are some great differences you should be aware of. Let’s review these kinds.

  • Fiction. It’s necessary to analyze the way the author treats his/her characters, sets the plot in motion, structure text and dialogue. You ought to explain certain points to make your viewpoint clear. Put different questions to find out how interesting the story is. Does it contain too many clichés or complex sentences? Isn’t the book too boring? Does the story run naturally? You should also tell whether the characters can be believed. Do you care about them as you read? Are there some unimportant parts that don’t affect the plot at all? Try to compare this book to other pieces of the same genre. What does it lack? What are its main benefits? Is the mood of the story set properly? What writing techniques were used to accomplish the book? Did they help to reach the author’s main goal? If no, explain why.
  • Non-fiction. If you’re assigned a non-fiction book review, you should pay attention to the way it was organized. Is it logical and consistent? Is it really interesting? Which parts bring the necessary information and which lack the informative style? Don’t forget to lead a discussion on the accuracy and relevance of the book. It is supposed to be objective and meaningful. Answer whether the author managed his/her task properly or wrote in a rather subjective manner. Was the research really thorough and precise? Is the book helpful? What associations do you have when you compare with other works of the same genre?
  • Biography. This kind focuses on the precise and honest story about a concrete person. Pay attention to the structure and organization of the plot. Was it consistent and logical enough? Did the author show extensive knowledge about the person he/she analyzed? Do you feel that you’ve managed to understand that person?

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