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How To Write A Book Review

At one point during your studious student life, you will need to write a book review for an assignment or a project. Some people may wonder, what is a book review? A literary book review is not the same as the book reviews that you often see on the internet as these are more critical as compared with the latter. A literary book review often focuses on the purpose, content as well as the authority of the book. The question now is how to write a book review that is actually good? There are a few book review example worth looking at and this should be your first step before you start writing your review.

Approaches to Writing Effective Book Reviews

There are usually two agreed approaches to a book review which are descriptive and critical reviews. Descriptive reviews tell the readers the important information about the book. Critical reviews on the other hand describes and evaluates the book by looking at standards or references from other books to establish its credibility.

Writing a critical review requires you to know and understand the work. This means that you will need to understand the purpose of the book as well as the author. In addition to that, knowing the right standards to base the review on is also important so that it gives your own review some credibility. In addition to that, it is always good to look at some book review examples on critical reviews so that you can understand how they write a good review. There are often many free book reviews on the internet that you can check. Scholastic for example, has an example of a book review as well as an interactive site dedicated to writing book reviews.

Essentials of a Book Review

A book review often have a few essentials and these include the description of the book, discussion about the author as well as an appraisal of the book. These are included so that the readers of your book review will have an understanding about both the book and the author. Your understanding of the author’s purpose is also important and must be included in your book review. Evidences must also be shown to back your understanding.

It is important to read the book carefully and highlighting the passages that you find can be quoted in your book review. As you read the book, be sure to take notes and not to rush into things so that you can see things in various perspective. After that, you will need to decide on the kind of impression that you wish to portray to your readers.


When it comes to writing the book review, we definitely recommend that you first check a sample book review or the many examples of book reviews that are available on the internet. This can help you get a grasp of how things are done. After that, you can start with your first draft after you have outlined your review.

Firstly, your opening paragraph will decide how your book review will be. Some people prefer to write a thesis statement while others prefer to talk about the purpose of the author, the work and its significance or the comparison between the work and others.

After that, the body of your book review then develops your thesis statement and this should follow the outline that you have set earlier on. Your argument should be backed with credible evidences and it should also be footnoted as well.

The closing paragraphs on the other hand, sums up your book review and most often than not, reinforces your thesis statement or your judgment towards the book. It is best to not give new ideas or information in your closing paragraphs as these should have been inside the body.


Keep these seven tips in mind when preparing a book review:

  1. Read on how to do a book review and some sample book reviews that are worth to read.
  2. Decide on the approach that you prefer with your book review.
  3. Read the book carefully. Highlight and note the important parts or aspects of the book.
  4. Understand the purpose of the author.
  5. Outline your review and create an opening paragraph with a thesis statement, purpose of the author or a comparison of books.
  6. The body of your review will develop your thesis while the concluding paragraphs sums it up.
  7. Recheck and proofread your book review.

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