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How To Write a Book Review

A book review goes beyond summarizing a book – it focuses on analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the piece.


  • Step 1: Build the body of the review analyzing key points. Use concrete examples from the book, including quotes, to support your argument. Dedicate a paragraph to each point.
  • TIP: Think about whether the characters were flat or multi-dimensional, if the style fit the piece, or if the book had an emotional or logical impact.
  • Step 2: Conclude the review by briefly restating your arguments in the body. Include publishing and pricing information at the end of the review.
  • FACT: Did you know? After the Bible, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung is the best-selling book of all time.
  • TIP: Begin focusing your review by considering who the book's audience might be, and whether the book will appeal to that audience.
  • Step 3: Focus the review on a few key points that worked or didn't work in the book. Make an argument about the strength of the material's support of the thesis.
  • Step 4: Briefly summarize the book. Discuss the major plot points, main characters, and themes.
  • Step 5: Think about the subject of the book, and summarize the author's opinion of their subject, also known as the thesis.
  • Step 6: Examine how the author used characters, settings, style, and motifs to support the book's thesis.
  • TIP: Research the author's biographical information and take that into consideration in your review.
  • Step 7: Write an introduction that includes the name of the author, title of the book, and the genre.

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