Most of us have had those days in our childhood when we couldn’t wait another day to tell our friends about the book we just finished. Even though none of us were great reviewers back then, our opinions were enough to convince our friends to get that book within a few days. Even though such recommendations did the work of a book review for our friends, a book review is a way mature and exquisite evaluation of a particular book and is considered as a part of literature itself.
Don’t confuse the book review with people’s opinion about books on the social media platforms. First of all, a book review has a structure. You cannot just write your opinion about a book and call it a book review. There is a proper way to compose it. If you have never tried your hands at writing a book review, the following steps will guide you on how to draft a compelling book review.
- Choose a genre you enjoy reading:
If you are given the option to review any book you want, it is always wiser to choose from the genre that you personally enjoy. Although there are no restrictions on writing a review of the books from your least favourite genres, writing a review becomes a lot easier when you enjoy reading the content.
You may need to read the entire book a couple of times to understand every aspect of the narration, the characters, the theme and other significant elements in that book. If you are not a great fan of the particular genre, the entire reading session may feel like a drag. So, it is always recommended to choose a book from your favourite genre.
- Take notes while reading the book:
Before you can demonstrate your writing expertise with the book review, you need to read the book thoroughly to assess and evaluate various aspects of the content. Even if you are good at remembering the contents of the book, it is advised to take several notes about the content of the book while you are reading it.
Since there are hundreds of pages to read in a book, there are high chances of missing out a few crucial details about the book while drafting its review. Taking notes of every significant detail while reading the book can help you avoid such a blunder. Besides, it is much easier to refer to the notes instead of going back to the page and finding a particular line in the book.
- Decide the length of the review:
It is important to decide the length of the book review before you can start writing it. If you are writing it for a publisher, you can ask them for their preferences. Generally, a book review is 180-220 words in length. However, the publisher might want you to make certain adjustments in the length.
For students, the length of a book review is suggested by the professor. But if he/she forgets to mention the word limit, it is recommended to follow the standard length of a book review. Websites like MyAssignmenthelp.com has a collection of some well-written book reviews which you can use as references.
- Elements that are essential for the review of the content:
After determining the length of the review, you should proceed to review the writing. Start the review by giving a brief outline of the plot. However, you should not give away any crucial information that spoils the book for those who haven’t read it yet. Also, don’t include the ending of the book.
Furthermore, discuss the characters mentioned in the book. If you cannot mention all the characters due to the word limit, discuss only the major characters of the book, especially the protagonist and the antagonist. Finally, describe what you think about the book. Was it engaging, inspiring or delightful according to your judgment? Give the readers a comprehensive overview of how you feel about the book, and explain why you should or should not recommend it to the readers.
- Things you need to consider while writing the review:
Apart from the length of the review, there are several other things that you need to consider while drafting the review on a particular book. Firstly, use the present tense while describing the content of the book. Also, you should use the first person while sharing your opinion. Since a book review is more or less a piece of opinion about a book, it sounds better if the author (which is you) narrates the review in the first person.
Apart from these small technicalities, it is also important to draft the review using a simple language, which an average reader can understand. Using a literary style of your own might not be the ideal approach to write the review. If you are a professional, you cannot make this mistake as it reflects your inexperience in drafting a book review.
- Add some finishing touches to the review:
Just like any other piece of content, a book review also requires proofreading and editing to fix the errors in it. It is advised that you should proofread the review several times to identify all the errors that can harm the quality of the content. It is important for the reviewer to proofread the copy as he or she has a better idea of the content and can make the necessary changes in the content to make it sound better.
Some experts even suggest the review writers perform the readability check of the review to ensure the content is easy-to-follow. As mentioned earlier, the review should be lucid. And finally, run a plagiarism check on the review. Even if you have created the review from scratch, it is better to get a plagiarism report of the content, just to stay on the safe side. There are a number of online plagiarism checker tools that delivers the plagiarism report almost instantly.
- Review your work before submitting:
Now that you are ready to submit your book review, just take a moment to assess your own work. By the word “assess” we are not just asking you to proofread it, but also to review the content you have prepared. If you can review a book, reviewing a 200 word-long content won’t be a big deal for you. However, it can be stressful at times to judge your own writing.
In case you can’t evaluate your own writing, ask your friends and family to give their feedback on the review you prepared. Their feedback may help you understand whether your content needs any alteration or it is great the way you have created it. When you are done reviewing your book review and made the necessary changes (if they were necessary), you can go ahead and submit it to the right person.
You don’t need to be a highly-qualified scholar to prepare a remarkable book review. If you understand what the author tried to convey to his/her readers, drafting a review will be a piece of cake for you. And for references, you have the aforementioned tricks at your disposal.
Author bio: Theo Merlin is a PhD scholar who is currently associated with MyAssignmenthelp as an academic expert. His job is to provide students with academic guidance on their request. Interestingly, he also runs his own blogging site.