How To Review A Book – A Step By Step Process
February 14, 2019
Writing a review of a book is not a hard task, but it does require a lot of effort. There are a few detailed steps that need to be taken to write a comprehensive review. Each of them is given below.
What To Do Before Reading The Book?
- Consider the title and what it suggests.
- Read the preface or introduction, if provided. It will help understand the intention of the author and the scope of the book. Think if there have been any limitation or topics that have been ignored.
- Go through the table of content to get a feel of how the ideas have been organised in the book. For example, are they topic wise or chronological?
- Reading The Whole Book
- As you read the complete book, first think of which genre does it fit into or if it is a generic one.
- Consider the point of view that the book is written in and if you, as a reader, agree or disagree with it.
- Ponder over the fact if you can follow the common thread that flows through the whole book and if the concepts are well defined. Here you have to be cognizant of the how well developed the ideas are, if the info given is accurate and if the author fails to cover a crucial topic.
- Make a note of the style of writing and if it is appropriate for the audience. Examples would be informal and formal.
- How convincing or impactful was the summary or end chapter?
- If there are footnotes, do they add value to the main text by clarifying points?
- What did the book achieve or accomplish? Consider if it required more work. This can be done by comparing the book with others the author has written or books by different authors on the same topic or subject.
- Some Notes That Should Be Made
- Passages that you will quote in the review.
- The format of the book. This includes binding, layout, font, illustrations, and maps. Note if they are helping the story.
- The sources the author used and if they were primary or secondary. If there have been omissions, point them out. The index will help at this point.
Penning The Actual Review
Use all the points from above to write the review. Begin by including this vital information:
- Author name
- publication date
- special features (maps)
Once this is done, begin with a sentence that hooks the attention of the reader and sets the tone for the entire review. For example, is the review about recommending the book to new readers or is it more about offering a summary of the plot?
Be Cautious Of These
- The review is of the book and not the one you wished the author had penned.
- Be very specific of why you liked the booked or found it just average.
- The tone has to be as per the target audience. Librarians require a different type of review when compared with the average reader.