Writing a book review is a nightmare for most students – they need to read a book from A to Z, take notes on the plot and characters, analyze it, research other sources of information and present a well-written review in detail as a book review isn’t about a simple summary of the read book. What usually happens? A student starts reading a book and there are two common situations for students – he/she can plunge into the reading process totally forgetting about pointing out the key points of a book review or vice versa, a student can stop reading a book to start writing a book review hastily – “I’ll find something on the Internet”. Both scenarios lead to failures – whether you won’t write a good book review or you will simply copy/paste the written content from the online resource that is strictly prohibited at college.
So, don’t leave such a task as book review writing till the last minute (if it happens, you know where to find quick help – our book report writing service is open 24/7 to you). Before sitting to write a book review, study all the peculiarities of this type of writing to have brilliant results eventually. For that purpose, this article is written – all the special aspects of book review writing are given and shown through the example. Read this information attentively and achieve great results in the writing process.
Book Review: 5 Key Aspects of Effective Writing
Thinking good review writers have natural abilities? No, they have the following list of 5 elements of effective writing at their fingertips:
- The key aim of a review is to give an opinion about a book. Don’t try to simply paraphrase the content of the book. Express the main idea of a book from your own perspective – what do you perceive after reading a book? The central idea is sufficiently limited to meaningful discussion based on the facts from a book and your own conclusions.
- The organization of a book review is coherent and logical. All your efforts must be directed to making the reader oriented in your book review and a book in the whole. It is logical to start a book review with the brief background information about a book – a title, author, timeframes, setting, and so on. All that must bring to the detailed analysis of a book so that no question won’t appear in the reader’s mind, a kind of “why is it so?” questions.
- The supporting material takes place in a book review. Don’t think that writing some ideas in a review without any supporting details will be highly appreciated by your instructor. For that reason, you are recommended to make notes while reading a book so that you could put a citation in the text of your review. Some extra explanations, examples, and quotations make your review meaningful and memorable for the reader.
- The word choice and point of view must be clear, specific, accurate, and appropriate to the audience and purpose of writing. Never neglect the language you’re going to use in academic writing – book review writing isn’t an exception. Your word choice is supposed to be clear, specific, accurate, unassuming, and free of clichés and misused jargon. Make sure that each sentence is free of wordiness and ambiguity.
- The spelling, grammar, and punctuation must be taken into consideration. Fair or not, but the instructor notices your spelling, grammar, or punctuation only when you make a mistake. Even if you cover all the points necessary for a book review but make some grammar or spelling mistakes, you will be assessed accordingly, getting lower marks than you would like.
The Book Review Sample on “Animal Farm” by George Orwell
“All animals are equal, but some are much equal than others.” It is the universal formula of dictatorship or totalitarianism — just any form of an authoritarian regime. This phrase is eloquent of what Animal Farm by George Orwell is all about. Together with 1984, they form a duo of Orwell’s immortal dystopias, which have been massively read and highly praised, all over the world.
George Orwell called his Animal Farm a fairytale, but it is more of a fable with a strong moral ending. The novel tells a story of barn animals who, under the influence of Old Major, an old hog, and his teachings of Animalism, revolt against their owner and start to live free of human dominance. As time passes, the pigs take over — they are more literate and more ambitious than the rest of the animals. One of them is Snowball, more of a cultural leader. He soon gets banished by Napoleon, the other pig who has a much greater appetite for power.
Through the series of transformations and power battles, Napoleon becomes the one-and-only leader of the animals who knows how to control them as it pleases him. The farm beasts do not even notice as the Seven Commandments of Animalism are rewritten so that the infamous “…some are much equal than others” particularly stands out. The story ends with Napoleon, who celebrates signing an agreement with humans, and the reader is able to see how the pig’s features have become very human-like.
Animal Farm is an allegory written during the Second World War when the world was fascinated by the USSR and its leader Joseph Stalin. The Soviet leader managed to turn the idea of communism upside down and establish his own cult of personality in the country that lived under the reign of terror. Although the book was written during the particular historical period, its plot can be extrapolated onto any anti-democratic regime in general. Animal Farm-like storyline can be spotted in African dictatorships, Middle Eastern religious doctrine, or North-Korean aggressive isolation in the present days. What is notable, people allow the oppressors to control them, and once in a while, they revolt.
Animal Farm as a fable does not provide the solution to the problem of dictatorship in the world. It simply states the idea that most try so hard not to notice — nothing changes, and history is just a cyclic repetition of events. People are too easily manipulated; they tend to forget facts and circumstances and are most eager to consume what they are fed—not only literally.
Just like the barn animals managed to replace one authoritarian ruler with another, the nations were changing the enemy every now and then in the other novel, 1984. It seems that Orwell could not answer the question of whether the people will ever change, and what it is that must happen to force that change. Bob Dylan was asking the same question almost two decades later, “How many times can a man turn his head pretending he just doesn’t see?” and replying with a mysterious, “The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”
This piece of writing is only a part of what you need to write in your own book review. Surely, you can use it as an example (by the way, it was written with the purpose to help you) but make sure that you work on the other parts of a book review:
- A brief summary of the content;
- An in-depth analysis of the book;
- A critical evaluation of the book;
- The final judgment regarding the book.
All these elements compose a good book review. A great way to learn how to write book reviews is to look at samples, for example, written by our experts.
How to Write a Book Review: 3 Practical Steps
Keep in mind that effective book review writing usually begins before you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Follow 3 simple steps:
- Clear the way for future actions – put away a phone and a social networking site, occupy a comfortable place and focus on the final result, “I’ll do my review”. There is nothing better than a good psychological state of mind. Check what your state of mind is now. If you feel anxious or have fears of failure, it is better to get rid of these feelings.
- Research enough, but don’t bury yourself with piles of sources. It may happen that a lot of information is available to you, but it is hard to start writing anything for your own review. Filter sources of information based on the rules on how to evaluate the credibility of a source.
- Start writing a review when having an idea of the book and its content. Even you’re short of time to read a book completely; there are always ways out. For example, you can try out Blinkist to put into 15-minute discoveries of over 3,000 books in various fields.
So, don’t wait anymore and start writing a book review. If you have some questions, troubles, or doubts, we are open to you. Remember how long we work? A day and night availability is one of our priorities offered to you. Don’t miss an opportunity to have a book review written well!