How Do You Write a Book Review?


Quick Answer

Write a book review by providing background information on the book, introducing the book’s main characters and ideas and offering an evaluation of how successfully the book achieves its goals. A book review differs from a book report in that it offers the reviewer’s opinions on the work.

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How Do You Write a Book Review?
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Full Answer

A book review typically begins by offering some sort of background for the book and placing it in a larger context. A fiction review may focus on the book’s place in a specific literary tradition or within the context of the author’s previous books. A non-fiction review might open with a brief overview of the topic the book covers. The goal here is to quickly introduce the book and help readers determine whether they are interested in it.

A book review offers some plot summary, but only enough to set the stage for readers and introduce them to the major features of the work. The reviewer typically gives readers a general sense of the book’s story and characters, rather than getting into overly specific detail. The review ideally speaks to thematic qualities of the book, rather than plot-specific concerns.

Finally, a review must offer an overall assessment of the book, determining which aspects are successful and which are not. Beyond whether the reviewer likes the book or not, the review evaluates how the book functions as a cohesive whole, and how likely readers are to appreciate the work.

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