Writing a Book Review


The main thing to remember when you're writing a book review is that it is meant to be a critical evaluation, a commentary on your own opinion that offers an argument. A very brief summary is included of course, but only to give the reader the information they need to understand your commentary.

Writing book reviews can be a difficult undertaking, particularly if the author is a friend or relative. There is the feeling that you don't know enough about the topic to give your opinion, or that you're not an expert, and you're not. But you have to be willing to allow that you know enough about the piece to make an intelligent evaluation and offer valid feedback.

A few major things the body of any book review needs to include:

  • A very succinct summary of the work, including the broader purpose or perspective of the topic.

  • A critical assessment of the content, including personal reactions to the piece. 'Is there anything that stands out about the story? Was it effective? persuasive? Did it enhance your understanding of the topic?

  • A targeted description that explains whether your audience would appreciate it.

The bottom line in any book review is that you are honest. Remember that you're not there to shred the author or the story. You job as a book reviewer is to provide valuable insight and opinions on the material from your own perspective and as it pertains to your specific audience.

In an effort to keep these posts a bit more succinct myself, we can stop there for now and come back to the topic later.

See you next time.






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