Home Book Review Dos and Don'ts of Writing a Book Review

Dos and Don'ts of Writing a Book Review


Writing a book review is not like writing a fiction, where you have your freedom to express any type of literary mood. Here, you are limited within the scope, which is related only to the book or the literature and nothing else. To write a proper literary review, you should follow some important dos and don’ts, which are discussed here.

Top 3 dos

Select a literature of your choice and read it thoroughly. If required, you should read it multiple times, before you really frame up the literary review in your mind. While reading, try to assimilate the thoughts and philosophy of the author behind the book and also to analyze all the characters and events described in the literary piece. Start to pen down your literary analysis only when you have a complete understanding of the book, and not before that.

Prepare your write-up based on your understanding of the book. Since you are reviewing the book, your opinion plays an important role here. If you prefer any particular character or any particular instance from the book, then expose that character or the situation in your review, to give it more importance. Also ascertain your preference with supporting logic. Ultimately it is your understanding of the book, and it can differ from others viewpoint. But you should stick to your opinion.

Follow a proper format to construct your book review. It should have a proper introduction and a conclusion, other than the usual subject body. Distribute the subject body in chapters and paragraphs, to give a nice, structured look. Also, add a list of reference material at the end of the book. A structured material always carries a good impression and also, it helps the reader to go through the article at ease.

Top 3 don’ts

Book reviews are not exactly meant for writing a summary on the books. The objective of writing a book review is to arouse the inquisitiveness in the mind of the readers. If someone mentions everything in the summary then the actual intention is lost.

As mentioned earlier, one should not cross your limit to write a literary review. Do not bring up unnecessary topics to increase the length of the write-up, which is not at all related to the book. The readers want to learn about the book and not something irrelevant. Also, a smart and crisp writing helps to create a positive impression.

You can go through reference books or articles on your subject, before you start preparing your article. But that should be completely with the intention of getting help in your understanding of the book. These reference items will help to strengthen your grip on the subject. But, you should never copy a single line of text from any other document or write-up. Plagiarism, in any form, is a punishable offence by law. It will also destroy your reputation and close all the future avenues in this arena.

If you can follow the above dos and don’ts religiously to write a book review, then it is going to be more original and interesting.

By Zara Evans

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