Get expert advice to help you get published!

You are here

How to write a book review

A book review is a critical evaluation of a book. While it would definitely include a description of the different aspects of the book, what you need to keep in mind is that it is not a summary. Your review should focus on your analysis and opinion of the book, and should guide the reader’s decision of whether to read or not to read the book.

Writing a book review involves the following steps:

  1. List down preliminary information about the book.  Before you begin to read, consider the title of the book and what you think it conveys. Do some research on the biographical details of the author, the setting of the book, the author’s purpose in writing the book, etc. Going through the preface carefully is also a good way to understand these aspects.
  2. Read the book carefully. As you read, make notes about your impressions on the content, style, structure, organization, etc.
  3. Once you finish reading, give yourself some time to assimilate, so that you can think about the book in perspective.
  4. Try to form a single overall impression about the book. This will form your central thesis. The central thesis generally revolves around the author’s purpose and how far he/she has achieved it. In this sense, a reviewer appraises the success of the author in achieving his purpose.
  5. Go back to your notes and see what matches with this overall impression. Strike out whatever  you feel has no relation with the central thesis.
  6. Once this is clear, you are ready to write your first draft of the book review. However, it is always a good idea to write an outline first and then start writing the first draft. Use the outline as your base and keep referring to your notes as you write.

What goes in the first draft:

  • The opening paragraph(s) give the author’s name and title of the book, the genre that it belongs to, some information about the author, the main theme of the book, and the author’s purpose behind writing the book.
  • The body paragraphs logically develop your thesis. Here, you should explain what you like or dislike about the book and why. This is where you give your analysis of the content, style, structure, etc. It would be a good idea to use one paragraph for each idea that you want to develop in support of your thesis.  However,  make sure you do not disclose too much of the content. You can give a brief overview, but not disclose so much that readers will not find any new information when they read the book.
  • The concluding paragraph gives the reviewer’s overall impression of the book. Here, you can sum up your thesis or give a final judgement about the book. Do not introduce new ideas in the conclusion.

Finally, revise the draft. As you revise, look for the following:

1. Ensure that the main points are clear. All the main ideas should support your thesis.

2. Avoid repetition and redundancy. Do not repeat an idea for emphasis. Rather, state the idea and explain why it is important.

3. Check for awkward and unclear sentences and rewrite them. If required, split them into shorter sentences.

4. Check for coherence. Each sentence and paragraph should naturally lead to the next.

5.  Finally, proofread for spelling and grammatical errors.

Your review is now ready to publish!



Like this article? Republish it!
Knowledge should be open to all. We encourage our viewers to republish articles, online or in print. Our Creative Commons license allows you to do so for free. We only ask you to follow a few simple guidelines:
  • Attribution: Remember to attribute our authors. They spend a lot of time and effort in creating this content for you.
  • Editage Insights: Include an attribution to Editage Insights as the original source.
  • Consider a teaser: Yes, that’s what we call it…a teaser. You could include a few lines of this post and say “Read the whole article on Editage Insights”. Don’t forget to add the link to the article.
  • Re-using images: Re-publishing some of the images from our articles may need prior permission from or credit to the original image source.
  • Quick and easy embed code: The simplest way to share this article on your webpage would be to embed the code below.


Please copy the above code and embed it onto your website to republish.
Download free ebooks, guides and templates.
Editage Insights offers a wealth of free resources on academic research and publishing. Sign up and get complete access to a vibrant global community of 179k researchers.
By clicking 'Join Now', you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.
Having trouble registering/logging in? Contact us
Q & A

Have your own question?

Related Categories