Steps for Writing a Good Book Review

Introduce the subject, scope, and type of book

      Identify the book by author, title, and sometimes publishing information.

Specify the type of book (for example, fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography). Help your readers to review with perspective.

Mention the book's theme.

Sometimes you will need to include background to enable reader(s) to place the book into a specific context. For example, you might want to describe the general problem the book addresses or earlier work the author or others have done.

Briefly summarize the content

          For a nonfiction book, provide an overview, including paraphrases and quotations, of the book's thesis and primary supporting points.

For a work of fiction, briefly review the story line for readers, being careful not to give away anything that would lessen the suspense for readers.

Provide your reactions to the book (note: these are prompts to help you develop your review, not individual steps for every review)

Describe the book: Is it interesting, memorable, entertaining, instructive? Why?

Respond to the author's opinions: What do you agree with? And why? What do you disagree with? And why?

Explore issues the book raises: What possibilities does the book suggest? Explain. What matters does the book leave out? Explain.

Relate your argument to other books or authors: Support your argument for or against the author's opinions by bringing in other authors you agree with.

Relate the book to larger issues: How does the book affect the human condition? How does it change one’s opinions about the topic? How is the book related to history or tradition?

Conclude by summarizing your ideas

Close with a direct comment on the book, and tie together issues raised in the review. Briefly return to your thesis statement, paraphrased. If you like, you can offer advice for potential readers.