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Write Book Reviews

The two objectives of a book review are to describe the work and to provide a critical evaluation of the work within its literary genre or academic discipline.

As you read the book you should consider the following critical questions:

  • purpose - why did the author write the book?
  • authority - what are the author's qualifications on the subject?
  • content - what are the author's main ideas or themes?
  • style & format - how well does the author express his/her ideas?
  • significance - what new information does this work add to its discipline?


You may wish to make notes and select quotations from the text that will support your point of view. Also, you may want to consult other reviews or texts on the same subject or by the same author.


Preliminary Information should include:

  • title of the book
  • author(s) name
  • place of publication, publisher, date of publication
  • edition
  • number of pages
  • special features such as maps, graphs, illustrations
  • cost


Introduction should describe the thesis of your review.  You want to catch the reader's attention with your opening paragraph.

Description and analysis includes several paragraphs to develop your thesis, such as background information about author, purpose of book, and significance of work.

Conclusion should summarize your thesis and discussion.


Here are a few books, found in our LIbrary, that may help you in the writing process::


You could also look at the following sources for examples of written book reviews: the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement. 

As well the following universities offer helpful advice on how to wrtie a book review: