How to Write a Book Review

Usually, students learn how to write a good book review to illustrate the intentions of the author and to provide an objective critique of the selected book in general. You can check our guide at and find a lot of useful tips on academic writing.

How to Write a Book Review

What is a Book Review? Many students have no idea what an academic book review is. The main objective of this type of writing is to show that a student understands the novel, and of course to make sure that a student reads it. Pay attention to the format of your review since it also plays a crucial role in the overall grade.

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Usually, a book review refers to literary criticism. It is aimed at analyzing the ideas and thoughts of the author, his/her writing style, and overall book quality.

Choosing a Nice Book Review Title

Make sure a book review title is not general because it has to convey your impression of the book.

Below are examples of strong titles:

  • "Complex characters and perplexed actions".
  • "A story that will not let you sleep all night".
  • "Love, hate and vampires".
  • "Animal lovers will cry".

The weak and not interesting title may sound as follows:

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  • "Bad book".
  • "A five-star book".
  • "Not bad".
  • "Road reading".

Looking through Book Review Templates

Below you will find a simple book review template. Usually, it consists of an introduction, the main body, and a logical conclusion.

  1. Introduction.
  • Here you can describe the cover of the book and its title.
  • Include subtitles if needed.
  • Provide the name of the author.
  1. Thesis statement.
  • A short book description should be written.
  • Introduce the major body points.
  • Do not present opinions at this stage of writing.
  1. Main Body.
  • Here you can use at least three direct quotes from the book.
  • Write a summary of the quotations.
  • Provide your point regarding the quotations.
  • Every point should be presented in a separate paragraph.
  1. Conclusion.
  • Provide a summary of quotations.
  • Explanations should be summarized as well.
  • Finish your writing with the concluding sentence.
  • It can be in the form of your final point of view regarding the book.
  • It is optional but you can give a star rating as well.

Useful Guide on How to Write a Book Review

You can apply a book review to every book regardless of its genre. Anyway, the format of a book review is usually the same.

Step One: Proper Planning

Make an outline with the major points you want to cover in the review. Include details about characters, plot, and anything that seems to be important. Every point should be presented in a separate paragraph.

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Think about the major points before writing:
  • The book and its plot. A good review can be written only if you understand the plot.
  • Is it gripping? Do you want to continue reading the book? Did you like the plot?
  • Did the author use an effective writing style? Can you read between the lines?
  • Do the characters seem to be realistic? Can you easily imagine them?
  • Will you recommend your friend to read the book? Is it a good one or a bad one?
  • What could be done better? Provide your critique.

Step TWO: Introduction

Let us imagine that you have selected the book. In the beginning, introduce the author and present the book title. Write a thesis, which describes the material in the review.

Step THREE: Main Body

Select a particular scenario or chapter to write a summary. At least three quotes should be presented in the main body. Each quote should be summarized. You can also provide your point of view.

Step FOUR: Conclusion

Summarize the quotations and your explanations presented in the main body. Your review should end with the concluding sentence.

Step FIVE: Rate the Book (It can be optional)

After finishing your review, you can rate the book. It will help the readers to understand the book's quality.

Tips on Effective Writing

  • Make sure the introduction is not too long.
  • Book reviews can be written better than fiction.
  • Do not compare your book with the ordered one.
  • Include your personal opinion about the book.
  • Check out the review templates before writing your book review.
  • Have no fear of criticism.
  • The amount of criticism and positive comments should be fair.
  • Do not make up anything.
  • State whether you enjoyed or disliked reading the book.

It is worth thinking about book review writing. Students are often assigned this type of assignment. It helps them understand the novel they read. Hope our step-by-step instructions on how to write you a book review will assist you to create a perfect review and get a high grade.

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Book Review Examples: Expert Hints

It is helpful to refer to book review examples. Such practice helps to better understand how to perform this task effectively. You can check out the review examples written by our expert academic writers.

Book Review Writing

As has already been mentioned, the main task of review writing is to show that you read the book and understood it. This writing can be informal or formal. However, it is recommended to use formal language when writing a book review.

Steps to Consider When Writing a Book Review

  1. Select a book for your review. The book selection should not be influenced by any subjective issues.
  2. Read the selected book. Make some notes while reading.
  3. Reread the book. Highlight the major quotes and points. You can use them in your review later.
  4. Find popular critics and opinions regarding the book. It will help you to find out what has already been written and said about the book.
  5. The introduction should mention the basic information about the selected book. The present book title, name of the author, main book theme, etc.
  6. In the main body, it is important to mention the characters, summarize the story and provide general comments regarding the plot.
  7. In conclusion, you can provide your recommendations about whether you advise reading the book. Your opinion should be supported by a strong and logical rationale.

Choosing the Topic

It is better to choose a book from classical or American literature. Choose any genre you like. Make sure you have the time to read the chosen book and understand it. That is why try to use a shorter book to make sure you will manage your time effectively and meet the deadline.

Consider the Following Key Points

  • Use present tense when reviewing the book. You can also use past tense but be careful with the sequence of tense in this case.
  • The book review structure should be correct. First, summarize the plot and then provide your comments regarding the main quotes. There is no need to retell the story. Avoid this common mistake.
  • Analyze the book text. Pay attention to the author’s language, and examine the stylistic tools he/she uses. Assess the main characters as well.
  • Research the information about the author. Find some story behind the book writing, what inspired the author to create the novel, etc.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Use specific adverbs and adjectives to provide your point of view regarding the book.
  • Provide your comments on the novel, characters, and plot.
  • Your reasoning should be objective. That is why argumentation should be provided from any point of view.
  • Paraphrase the plot.
  • Provide opinions of other critics.
  • Edit and proofread your review.

Your recommendations should be precise and clear.

  • Your review cannot be based on other reviews written on the selected book.
  • Have no fear and express your personal opinion.
  • There is no need to remain neutral or use accurate and too general phrases. It is supposed to have some critique.

Your criticism should not be flat it is clear that every novel has strong and weak sides. Mind this when writing your book review.

Common Mistakes Students Should Avoid

  • Do not make a point that does not even sound like an opinion. Your review should be objective.
  • Do not use informal language, slang, or conversational phrases. Language should be academic.
  • Do not forget to present the basic data about the book: publisher, author, book title, etc.
  • Students forget to pay attention to the potential readers of their reviews. That is why you need to mind the target audience.
  • Selective book reading is a mistake. You will not be willing to write a good book review if you read only a few chapters.
  • It is a really bad idea to copy and paste long direct quotations from the book. There should not be a problem for you to summarize the book if you read it from the beginning to the last page.

We hope that our article will help you to write a perfect book review. Do not hesitate to use our tips and step-by-step recommendations. You can also check the samples of book reviews on our website to get a better understanding of how to write your review.