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what is the purpose of writing a book review

what is the purpose of writing a book review

Before you begin writing, take some time to assess the book. If you made notes while reading, look them over. If not, flip back through the book and review. Don’t start writing yet, but ask yourself some important questions about the text and jot down notes:
How thorough has the author been in his or her research?

What is the purpose of writing a book review
Give the author’s name; full title of book including subtitle; editor, if any; place, publisher and date of publication; edition, if necessary; and the number of pages – all this in the appropriate bibliographical style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) under the title of the review or report.

  • Has the purpose of the book been achieved?
  • What contribution does the book make to the field?
  • Is the treatment of the subject matter objective?
  • Are there facts and evidence that have been omitted?
  • What kinds of data, if any, are used to support the author’s thesis statement?
  • Can the same data be interpreted to alternate ends?
  • Is the writing style clear and effective?
  • Does the book raise issues or topics for discussion?

For an author, book reviews can open doors to new and bigger audiences.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Success begets success?” Or the term “social proof?” Books that have a lot of book reviews appear to be popular books. It’s human nature for people to be curious about what looks popular and want to check it out for themselves. As a result, a good number of book reviews can help lead to a snowball effect of book sales.

VI. Summarize and Comment

  • Who is the author? The nationality, political persuasion, training, intellectual interests, personal history, and historical context may provide crucial details about how a work takes shape. Does it matter, for example, that the author is affiliated with a particular organization? What difference would it make if the author participated in the events he or she writes about? What other topics has the author written about? Does this work build on prior research or does it seem to represent a new area of research?
  • What is the book’s genre? Out of what discipline does it emerge? Does it conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre? These questions can provide a historical or other contextual standard upon which to base your evaluations. If you are reviewing the first book ever written on the subject, it will be important for your readers to know this. Keep in mind, though, that declarative statements about being the “first,” the “best,” or the “only” book of its kind can be a risky unless you’re absolutely certain because your professor [presumably] has a much better understanding of the overall research literature.

Provide the essential information about the book using the writing style [e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.] preferred by your professor or used by the discipline of your major . Depending on how your professor wants you to organize your review, the bibliographic information represents the heading of your review. In general, it would look like this:
I. Common Features

References:

http://library.concordia.ca/help/writing/book-report.php
http://www.dudleycourtpress.com/book-reviews/
http://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185949
http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/bookreview
http://getsling.com/blog/performance-appraisal-phrases/