Unlike a book report, the main purpose of a book review is not informational, but analytic and persuasive in nature. In analyzing the content, format, argument, and context found within the book being evaluated, the writer argues whether or not the book is worth reading.
Writing the Book Review
Start your review by providing the bibliographic information for the book. (Title. Author or Editor. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication.)
Include the title and author of the book, a very brief overview of the contents of the book, the purpose and audience for the book, and your reaction and evaluation.
· Summary of Text
Provide a brief summary of the book by including the author’s main ideas, as well as quoting and/or paraphrasing key phrases from the author. (Do not spend too much time on this section, as the analysis of content is more important than a simple summary.)
· Analysis of Content
Include the author’s style (simple, technical, persuasive, logical, etc.).
Discuss how well the organization method (comparison/contrast, cause/effect, analogy, persuasion) develops the argument or theme of the book (give examples).
Provide the evidence given to support the author’s argument (maps, essays by experts, quotes,newspaper clippings, etc.).
Discuss how convincing the evidence is (clarify which pieces are weak/strong and why).
Discuss the completeness of the argument. Are there facts and evidence that the author has neglected to consider? You might compare the information found in this book with that of another book.
Is there anything else included in the book that is worth mentioning?
Provide a brief summary of the strengths and weaknesses found in the book. Does it do what it set out to do?
Note why you liked or disliked the book.
Evaluate the book’s overall usefulness to the audience it is intended for. Is it suitable for other audiences as well? Would you recommend the book? To whom?
NOTE: This is only a guide. It is best to consult your instructor before using these guidelines, as he/she may require a different format.