What is a Book Review?
A book review is critical evaluation or analysis of the theme or ideas presented in a book. It should cover all the aspects of the book and throw light on its text’s relevance to the topic and to the time and place where it all happens.
Guidelines for Writing a Good Book Review
Following guidelines may can help you a great deal in writing a book review:
Search the Title for Suggestions
Before reading the book consider going through the title and think what it suggests. The preface or introduction tells about the author’s intentions and scope of work. Table of contents would give you an idea how the author structured his book topically, chronologically. You must pay attention because you have to write a critique so gain as much as you can about the book.
Take Notes as You Skim Through: Note the Turning Points & Angles
When you read the book, make notes. See where you find the book interesting, where it becomes dull, is it an original or a replication, is the author biased or is it the best book you read in that area, do the foot prints provide creditable information, what makes the book a classic etc.
When you start writing, keep the notes with you. Write down about the title, author, publication place and date and special features if any.
Writing it All Down: Format Your Preliminary Draft
Mention the type or genre of the book.
Briefly describe the main theme, plot, setting, characters and a little about the climax of the story. Don’t spill all the beans. Although a great deal of information is not required but it should tell what the book really is about.
Critically Analyze Various Aspects and Angles
Then comes the critical analysis in which you can discuss the story’s relevance to the setting it takes place in and say if the author does justice and covers all the important issues related to the subject. You can compare other authors’ style or books on the same subject with the one you are reviewing.
Bear in Mind the Audience
Keep in mind the reader of your review or the audience of the book. Then according to what you think they might be looking for, decide and state if it would be a good read. Make your judgments convincing by quoting examples from the book.
Be honest while writing a review and whilst concluding it. You have a responsibility because the review can influence a reader’s decision of either choosing or rejecting the book. State you verdict about the book and say briefly why you recommend or disapprove the book.
2nd Draft and Final Revision
Give your first draft an overview and skip unnecessary details and facts. Since you are writing a book review you are supposed to analyze by throwing in your own objectivity.
After the edits, revise your second draft, this time for grammatical errors, punctuation, spelling and sentence structure.
Give it a final over all and you are ready to go!