How to Review A Book Book reviews are designed to give readers a birds-eye view of a book, and to help the reader determine if they want to read the book. As a reviewer, you are the authority because you have read the book, and you are giving your professional opinions. For this project, your audience is not the teacher but the student body of your school. As you write your review, write it with the intention of having it published in the school paper where everyone at your school will read it.
Reading Instructions and Taking Notes In order to facilitate your preparation for writing your review, the following suggestions are offered as you read the book: 1. Read the entire book, preface, introduction, acknowledgments, conclusions and back of the book material, i.e. appendix, bibliography, notes, etc. 2. As you read, make notes of points you would like to remember or include in your review; points that you agree or disagree with, questions you may have and quotes. 3. In order to remember where these points are located, you could use the following system or a modification of it: Example: You find a quote you wish to include from, let's say Chapter 4.
In the margins of your notes you would indicate this as follows: 4.58. 3. The 4 indicates the chapter. 58 represents the page number, and 3 tells you which paragraph to look for in Chapter 4 page 58. When you finish reading the book, you should have a few pages of such notes. When you begin writing your paper, these notes will help you if you need to check a point or if you want to review what the author said on a particular point.
This will eliminate thumbing back through the book trying to find what you want, which means you will save time and your thoughts will be clearer. Writing the Review Your book review will consist of three (3) distinct parts. (1) Brief background about the author, and a statement of the author's intention or purpose in writing the book. Statements to this effect may be found either in the preface, the introduction, the first chapter, and / or in the conclusion.
This information will comprise your first paragraph. (2) The body of your review will comprise the bulk of your paper. In this section you will inform your readers of what the author says, not your opinions about the book. In other words, you will show what the author says about her / his subject matter. You do this by quoting the author directly, but your quotes should be brief, not more than three or four lines at a time. If you want to quote only parts of a sentence, indicate this by using ellipses (...
). Keep in mind that you are demonstrating that you understand what the author is saying or that you have read the book. Let it be known that the author is speaking and not you. Use phrases like, "According to the author... ". The author states that... ", or if using the author's last name you may say, "Williams indicates...
", (3) This section is where you voice your opinions; whether you agree or disagree with the author and why. You may agree with some of what the author says, but you may disagree with other things said by the author. In either case, this is where you may say it. You should also indicate whether or not you would recommend the book and to whom.
This section will be about a paragraph or two in length. Include the following information at the top of your first page or on your cover page: 1. Title of Book 2. Name of Author (s) 3.
Publisher 4. Date of Publication 5. Price Your review should be no more than 3-4 pages. This may appear, on the surface, to be a dream come true.
When you begin writing, however, you will find that you will need additional space to include all that you want to say. You must employ writing skills that will enable you to say what you want in the shortest amount of space. Remember, you are only giving the readers a bird-eye view. Wet their appetite. Don't rehash the entire book for them. You are Success!