Barbara P.
Barbara P.

Book Review Writing - Complete Guide

8 min read

Published on: Jul 14, 2020

Last updated on: Dec 25, 2022

Book Review Writing

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Reviews are important and many people make their decisions on the basis of the reviews they see. A review is basically a critical analysis and evaluation of a text, event, or object.

It is quite commonly seen that before buying or opting for something, most of us ask for reviews. Similarly, book reviews are also considered before reading.

It is important that a review makes a whole argument. It must have enough detail to make it clear to the reader what the book actually is about.

Read the blog ahead to learn how you can write a well-articulated book review.

What is a Book Review?

A book review in specific is a discussion in which the plot, genre, and characteristics of a book are discussed. Book review allows you to step into a dialogue with the author and the target audience of the book.

Writing a book review is a technical thing to do that is why it is considered a major part of academic life. It does not just polish the writing skills of a writer but also enhances the analytical skills.

Apparently, writing a review report is usually a boring and tiring activity for young adults. It can be made easy and a fun thing to do if you know the steps involved in review writing.

At the end of this blog, hopefully, you will be all good to write an effective review easily.

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Book Review Format

Reviews may be critical, analytical, short or long. To write any type of review, a similar structure is followed.

Elements of a standard review writing are as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Summary
  3. Critique/Opinion
  4. Conclusion
  5. References

Keep reading the blog to know the details of writing a book review.

How to Write a Book Review?

Here are the steps that you can follow to write a solid and convincing book review.

1. Introduction

Review writing is always done in a brief way. To deliver the message in limited words becomes a difficult task sometimes. To make a review, the writer usually begins it with a quote or some other kind of catchy quip.

This catchy sentence succinctly explains the whole idea of the book. It is not a hard and fast rule to start a book review this way. You may use some other and better approach to convey your message.

A standard introduction of a book review has the following elements.

  • Author’s name, the title, and the theme of the book.
  • Details about the author and where he/she stands in the genre of the book.
  • Your context and review about the book. Highlight your point of view so that the reader can think from your perspective and decide on taking or not taking the book.
  • The thesis statement you propose about that particular book.

2. Summary of the Contents

In a book review, a summary of the contents means interpreting the information provided in the book. It must be to the point as you have to mention all the major elements.

During the summarization phase, you should support your statements with strong evidence from the book. It could be striking news, features of characters, real-life metaphors, key events, etc. It will keep your summary more relevant throughout the review.

It is important to mention here that this part of the book review depends on the type of book you are reviewing. Also, a writer has to consider the target audience while he writes a summary of the contents.

Suppose you are reviewing the book for a group of people who have no idea about the book. In this case, you need to pay more attention to the summary part.

Otherwise, if your intended audience has already read the book, then you have a free hand to explore more subtle points and to emphasize your own argument.

3. Analysis and Evaluation

This is the most important part of writing a book review. Use multiple paragraphs to analyze each major element of the book. Then add all the related information to support your argument.

Use different paragraphs to discuss the theme, characters, and other elements of the book. This way the reader will not get confused and all the key elements will be separated by a fine line.

To make the analysis strong, try adding a short comparison with another book that can be related to your book.

4. Synthesis and Explanation

A review is not just about the summarization of the book. You must conduct a detailed analysis, synthesize all the contents, and explain key elements of the book logically. You need to go beyond just explanation and discuss the relevance and significance as well.

  • Stay focused

Writing assignments requires your focus. Similarly, good review writing depends on how concentrated you are. Stay focused on the main idea of your book and avoid adding irrelevant, unwanted information.

  • Organize the points

An organized review is more effective. In order to organize your points, you need to understand the book well and write wisely. It makes it easy for the reader to understand what you are trying to say.

Use paragraphs and topic sentences for all the key elements you aim to discuss. Also, make use of the headings to highlight the more important points.

  • Relate the discussion to your thesis

To picture your objectives and plan of action, use a thesis statement. Keep your discussion revolving around the thesis to keep the whole review organized and coherent.

The thesis statement is the root of a review or an essay. Make sure it is strong, concise, and effectively communicates your stance.

5. Conclusion

Here, you need to sum up your review of the book. Never discuss a new point in the conclusion. Simply reiterate the key elements you have mentioned in the summary and other parts of the review.

An organized conclusion should do the following:

  • Provide a summary of the important aspects.
  • Evaluate and analyze the literature review.
  • Identify the gaps in the composition.
  • Highlight areas for future study.

6. Recommendations and Rating

This is not a formal part of a book review, but adding it will not do any harm.

Once you are done writing the complete review, in the end, add a small paragraph of recommendations and ratings.

Never criticize while putting forward the suggestions, and avoid using offensive language. Also, rate the book according to your understanding.

Identifying a Suitable Book for Review

Choosing the right book for review writing would do a major part of your job. In order to choose the perfect book, follow the below-mentioned guidelines.

  • Think about the type of books you are interested in. Visit your nearest library and look around for some interesting books.
  • Search online, read articles and magazines that print the reviews of upcoming books before the publication.
  • Try to get copies of newly published books for review. Editors especially like reviews of such books.
  • Ask your mates or teachers for recommendations. You might also want to use online sources for the best recommendations.

Once you have selected a few books, start reading them thoroughly one by one. Choose that one book that you would like to review. Avoid choosing a book that has major problems or with which you disagree majorly.

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Importance of Book Reviews

Most of the time, reviews are quite brief. You can see reviews of different products in newspapers and academic journals. You would notice that the word count of a review will never exceed 1000 words.

In any case, a review must be synoptic. The tone, style, and tense may vary according to the subject. The following are a few points that would briefly explain why reviews are important.

  • A review provides the reader with a brief summary of the content. This helps the reader to decide if this book is about what he/she is looking for or not.
  • A review describes the topic from different perspectives, explains the argument, and describes its purpose.
  • A review is basically a critical assessment of the content.
  • Finally, a review would help you analyze whether or not your target audience would appreciate the book or not.

Book Review Examples

Examples help you understand things better. Here we have brought some easy-to-understand examples for writing a book review. Have a look at them before you start writing.

Book Review Examples for Middle School

Middle school students are often assigned assignments in which they have to write book reviews. The following are some good examples of book reviews for middle school students.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

To write a book review like professionals, you need to avoid some pitfalls.

  1. Focus on the evaluation of the text, and not just on the summary.
  2. Never try to cover every part of the book. Try to explain your review rather than explaining the author’s point of view mentioned in the book.
  3. Analyze the book in light of the intentions mentioned in the book. Never attempt to criticize the author for not being able to write the book you think he/she should have written.
  4. Do not focus on the gaps in the book. It is a matter of fact that a book has around 200 to 500 pages, and it is logically not possible to address each and every bit.
  5. Don’t overuse quotes from the book. A better approach is to paraphrase the quotes within the sentences.

It is quite understandable that writing a book review is not simple academic writing. One needs excellent writing and analytical skills to write a strong and effective review.

If you think you are not yet ready to write a book review, now then there is no harm in asking for help from a professional essay writing service.

At, we provide you with the best quality and original writing services. Our extensive team of writers is available 24/7 to write all types of reviews and other writing assignments for you. All you have to do is place an order for your assignment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 4 stages of a book review?

The 4 stages of writing a book review include:

  1. Introducing the book
  2. Outlining the contents of the bok
  3. Highlighting the key theme of the book
  4. Writing a detailed description of the book

Is a book review written in the first person?

No, a book review is never written in the first person. You never use pronouns like I, We, Us, etc.

Barbara P.


Barbara P., Literature, Marketing

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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