June 2, 2015 - Tom Maylor

How to Write a Book Review Essay: 4 Steps from Idea to Embodiment

You have an assignment to write a literature review essay but don’t even know what book to choose. We will guide you through several simple steps for picking the book, creating an idea and finally writing your review.

First of all think about the function of the review. Without literature review essay, the publishing industry can’t exist. The review guides the potential reader to make a decision about reading the book or not. The main purpose of it is to analyze, evaluate and provide supported details for this analysis and evaluation of a particular book. Let’s look at 4 simple steps to review writing process:

  1. Learning about selected book

At first, choose the book that you would like to analyze. Try to pick one with a bit of literary merit which has awards, or recently has been published. Read the book jacket; recognize its genre (poetry, nonfiction, fiction, romance, etc.). Find out the information about the author and research his or her writing style. This fundamental background will help you better understand the book and its goals during reading and analyzing.

  1. Reading and analyzing the book

The key to the successful literature review essay is taking notes as you read. They help you to remember everything you were feeling or thinking about. You can make notes in the book or on a separate piece of paper. Also, it’s convenient to mark relevant fragments with colorful post-it notes. Determine the central idea or the focus of the story. Do you agree with it? Does the writer support it properly? Don’t forget to write down your favorite quotations.

  1. Writing your literature review essay

Every review begins with a summary of the book and ends with a paragraph that conveys your opinion. Always keep in mind your audience: introduce the plot and characters efficiently, so readers will feel like they have a primary understanding of the book. In your summary discuss the main idea, the plot and significant characters. But don’t represent too many details. For your evaluation paragraph select three main points to consider. Give your opinion about the book and use quotes to support your arguments.

  1. Finalizing your review essay

Pretend that you haven’t read the book yet, and reread your review once more from the viewpoint of your audience. Double check your grammar and spelling. Reading out loud helps to find any awkward sentences.

Bonus: How to Write a Movie Review Essay

A good example of movie review has to entertain, inform and give an original opinion of the author. Do you go for an epic Forrest Gump or choose to create To Kill the Mockingbird movie review essay? Whether the film is awful or fantastic work of cinematography, it is worth critiquing. Learn how to review the movie and make it as entertaining and intriguing as you can.

  • Find basic and amusing facts about the film, before you begin to write your review.
  • Make notes on the movie as you watch it, because it is too long, and you can easily forget major plot points or other details.
  • Analyze direction, cinematography, writing, editing, costume design, sound and other important areas of the movie.
  • To have a fully understanding of the film, watch it one more time.
  • Begin to compose the review. Write original thesis based on your research in the first paragraph.
  • In the second paragraph give a short plot summary.
  • Write several paragraphs with your analysis of the film: discuss interesting elements that can support your thesis.
  • Don’t forget about the conclusion.
  • Last but not least, proofread and edit your movie review to make it perfect.