If you are a student, you have written a book review at least once. But can you remember what grade you received? Was it high or low? Were you satisfied with your writing? What strategy did you follow? There are many questions because book reviews tend to be among the most assigned tasks in academia these days. No matter what you study, you will have to read the book and write a review. This article reveals a list of hints to help you how to write a top-notch and awe-inspiring book review.
Read The Book
Indeed, it might sound ridiculous, but we mean it. Read the entire book and stay away from summaries and whatsoever. If you want to create a valuable piece, you have to read the book. To mitigate and speed up the reading process, take notes of unusual aspects you come across.
Think Of A Hook
Once you read the book, try to develop a hook. A hook, also known as an opening sentence, is your review’s first sentence. It aims to catch the audience’s attention and make it read the work. Now, hooks can be written in various forms, starting from anecdotes and quotes and ending with misconceptions, facts, and shocking statements. Before writing the hook, evaluate your audience. If you know the readers well, you might choose an anecdote. But make sure the opening sentence is closely related to the book you’ve read.
Writers from WritingCheap have been working on academic assignments for years. And they say that an opening sentence decides whether the reader remains and keeps reading. A hook is essential, so don’t forget to craft it.
Research the book
While it is important to know the plot twist, it is also worth diving into the book’s history of creation. Not only will it help you write a book review, but it will also show the reader your serious approach to the topic. Plus, the audience will know that you are competent in the subject and unbiased. Start with looking for basic information about the book – when it was out, who ranked it, etc. When you have some background information necessary for understanding the book in a broader scope, compress it into two sentences and include it in the essay.
Create a Summary
Writing an informative summary is a pure craft. It requires strong descriptive and analytical skills. When working on a summary, you must remember: under no circumstances can you spoil the plot! You must remain general. Include the main characters and touch on their actions staying on the surface. People won’t appreciate it if you reveal the plot and everything that makes the book a bomb.
Draft your summary and leave it aside. After some time, get back to it and evaluate whether you would want to read the book after reading the summary. If not, it might be too accurate or not catchy enough. In that case, review the book summary and write it in a more appealing way.
Think Of What You Liked
Once a summary is done, it is time to reveal your inner critic. A book review must be objective, indubitably. But every thought is subjective by default, and while one can adore a particular element, another can score despise it. Cast your mind back and think about what you liked the most. Provide reasons for that. Although you are subjective, try to approach objectivity. Write it, avoiding personal pronouns, slang, and other colloquial expressions.
Analyze What You Disliked
By the same token, write about elements you didn’t like. It can be anything related to writing techniques, heroes, plot holes, etc. You may not like the ending because it was a cliffhanger, or the main hero was vague, or the story was too scary.
Highlight Unusual Aspects
You don’t necessarily need to like unusual aspects to call them as such. But whatever makes you think, “hm, this is something exciting,” is what determines an exceptional item. Several steps earlier, you were suggested to take uncommon features when reading the book. And that is when your notes come into play. These aspects might be different and hard to understand. Yet, they exist. For instance, Virginia Woolf was famous for her stream of consciousness. Henry Fielding was known for his digressions. Look at the book you read. What does it have? Did such elements help you read the book? When do they appear most often?
Rate The Book And Provide Recommendations
You might want to rate the book and recommend it to particular people at the end of your review. Wrap up your thoughts on the book. Try to be reasonable and explain which type of reader is the most pertinent to the book. Whatever the category you choose (young/old readers, fans of the genre/author, occasional readers), provide arguments for that.
As a bonus, take a brief look at quick tips that will speed up book review writing:
Avoid Unnecessary Structures
A book review is not an academic article when sentences are five-line long. Follow simple structures and words. You aim to help the reader more about the book and decide whether it is worth reading. The audience wants to read a simple and coherent essay about a book.
Remember to Edit and Proofread
Editing is an integral part of essay writing. Every paper is double-checked and proofread. When you complete the first draft, check your text by using Grammarly. The app will highlight grammar, lexicon, and punctuation mistakes. Also, let Hemingway Editor check your paper’s readability score. It will advise you to replace adverbs and passive voice to make your paper readable for anyone. These two apps will refine your essay and help you spend less time polishing it to shine.
Stay Away From Prejudice
As was said, it is impossible to remain entirely objective. But no matter whom you recommend to read the book and how you rate it, remember: don’t be rough. Writers are also humans, and even though criticism is vital, it isn’t always helpful if people criticize harshly. So, express your opinion in a polite manner and avoid being mean.