Book Review Essay

A book review essay is an academic paper that offers a brief description of the book and provides the author’s opinion. This paper can be either informal or formal. However, as book review writing resembles other college assignments, it should be in formal language.

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Main Points to Take into Consideration

  • As a rule, use the present tense when writing book reviews. However, if you choose to write your paper in the past tense, ensure consistency in tense usage throughout your essay. Use the past perfect tense when describing events in the book. However, when presenting your impressions, use the past simple tense.
  • You have to properly structure your paper while writing a book review. Begin with a short summary of the book’s plot, ideally one or two paragraphs long. Afterward, provide general comments about your chosen book. Ensure not to reveal the entire story to your readers, as they should be intrigued to read the book after checking your review.
  • When creating your book review essay, examine the text of your chosen book. Analyze the language used and provide examples of stylistic tools. Remember not only to analyze the book but also to provide an assessment of its characteristics.
  • Another important thing to do is to conduct thorough research about the author, their other literary works, the inspiration for creating this book, the story behind its creation, and so on.

Mistakes that Are Commonly Made

  • Merely providing opinions. The main aim of a well-written book review paper is to be objective and supported by reasoning.
  • Using slang and informal language. Consider that while writing book reviews, you have to use formal and academic language.
  • Not identifying the basic info about your book. Do not forget to include the author of your book, the date of publication, place of publication, the publisher, and its edition.
  • Forgetting about the audience. Every author targets a specific audience while creating their books. While you may consider the book unrealistic and boring, take into account the audience for which the author created it. Therefore, analyze the preferences of this audience.
  • Reading only some chapters of the book or its summary. If you aim to create a professionally written book review paper, you must read the entire book, not just its summary.
  • Providing long direct quotes from your book. It is not a good idea, as every professor has their own rules for an acceptable percentage of direct quotes in the paper. Moreover, if you read the entire book, summarizing it will not be a problem.

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