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Sunday, October 12, 2014
REVIEW WITH CLASS by Rita Karnopp
There’s no reason you
can’t review a book with class and professionalism.A book review is a description, judicious
analysis, and an evaluation of the quality, gist, and impact of a book.It’s so important to realize . . . a book
review is not a retelling. It’s not a book report or a summary.
A book review should
focus on the book's purpose and content. How did the book affect you – the
reader? You should evaluate the
strengths and weaknesses of the how well the author told his/her story. Your review should include a statement of
what the author has tried to do, evaluate how well he/she has succeeded, and
present evidence to support your appraisal.
There’s no right or
wrong way to write a book review. Face it, book reviews are highly personal and
reflect the opinion(s) of the reviewer. Your review can be as short as 50-100
words, or as long as 1500 words, depending on the purpose of the review.
I might add a
personal note here – “If you can’t say something nice, maybe it’s best left
unsaid in public.” If you truly dislike
a book, that’s okay, not every book we read will be our favorite. But chastising a book in a review could make
or break an author. Is that your intent?
I would hope not. If I don’t care for a book I’ve read, I let
it go. It’s not necessary to berate or
trash the book or the author.
following is a simple guide for writing a book review that works.
1.Write a statement including basic information
about the book: title, author, type of book.
2.Write a sentence indicating point of
view and genre.
3.Evaluate the quality of the writing
style by using some of the following standards: consistency, clarity, creativity,
strength, pithiness, development, and even fluidity.
4.Ask yourself does the story reach the
5.To me the most important question to
ask yourself – then review from your heart – “how did this book affect me?” Did
you have preconceived notions about the subject matter and now they’ve changed or
perhaps they’re reinforced due to this book?
6.Did the book realize its goal(s)?
7.End your review with the oh-so-important,
‘would you recommend this book to others’? Why?
Remember, your review should include a
brief summary, analysis, and comment on the book’s content. Include your general conclusions. If you feel
strongly to make a statement, use specific references and quotations to support them. And always
end with a comment of support and referral.