Everyone, regardless of whatever field they are in, has to write their opinion about a material relating to their field or their interests either for a superior or for their friends and associates. If you are an avid reader of books, you will have to write a book review at some point, because your friends and other people that know you might ask you, at one point, to help them out. Therefore, if you are ever stuck on how to write a book review, think of the book review as you sharing your feelings about a book, and trying to convince them to read the book, it will help you to be able to put your review together. In some cases, the review might be for an academic text or document, it is still the same principle, but in this, the style is more formal
Here are some of the steps that you can take to make your book review an engaging read for your reader(s)
- Discuss a General Overview of the Book
Your general overview of the book can include as much information as you can give, general facts about the book such as its author, the language it is written in, the number of pages it has, etc. The overview should also include the book’s narrative structure, the number of chapters that the book has, and how they are structured, the point(s) of view that the author uses in the text, the kind of language that the characters use, etc. Your overview may also include a discussion of the plot, setting, characterization (e.g., the number of characters and what they do). However, as much as possible, do not reveal how the book ends. Since your goal for writing the review is to convince them to read the book, spoiling the book will achieve the exact opposite of that. If you are doing a review of an academic work, instead of all of the above, you can do a discussion of the book’s statement of problem, literature review, methodology and findings.
- Discuss Your Feelings About the Book
If it is a work of fiction, you can discuss the plot characters and the setting and how they contribute to the book, are the characters believable? Which ones are your favorites and why, which ones do you not like and why do you not like them? Is the setting of the book appropriate for the characters? Is the plot coherent and cohesive? Has the author drawn inspiration from outside experiences? These are some of the questions that can help you put your thoughts and feelings about the book logically and coherently.
Suppose you are reviewing an academic work, in lieu of the above. In that case, you can discuss how well you think the researcher’s findings answer his research question(s) and solve his stated problem, how well the researcher analyzes literature if the literature they use is relevant and current, and if their methodology is appropriate to the problem. All these will help the reader to easily understand the work.
- Round-Up Your Review
Here, you should do a short summary and conclusion of your opinion of the work. Do you like the book, or do you think the writer can do better? You may discuss who you think is the book’s target audience and what they’ll gain from it. While it is not compulsory for you to give the book a rating, you can give it one to help the reader make a decision. However, it is worth noting that a book review is essentially your opinion; therefore, you should try as much as possible not to generalize or to make substantial negative value judgments of the book.