Here’s how to write a BOOK REVIEW:
Write a 1-page book review about the book you’ve just read. Your review must include the following:
- A brief SUMMARY of the book, describing major characters, events, and themes. This should be no more than one smallish paragraph.
- Two-to-three paragraphs that ANALYZE specific features of the book. For example, if I were writing about The Catcher in the Rye, I might discuss “voice” in one paragraph (maybe include some sample “Holdenisms”); in another paragraph, I would describe Holden’s character a little more specifically and analyze whether he is a typical “adolescent;” and in one more paragraph I would talk about the plot structure of the book, how it’s kind of an anti-hero’s quest, and whether I liked that or not.
- The last required element is a CONCLUSION in which you express your overall OPINION of the book. Generally, if your summary and analysis were favorable (giving the reader the impression that the book is worth reading) your overall opinion should be positive. If you didn’t find much to analyze, or didn’t like the stuff you were analyzing, you should express all that in your opinion, too. The point of this assignment is to let other students know if the book you read is worth reading.
That’s it. Keep it short and simple.
Use the standard MLA format we use for all response papers. (Sample MLA format paper)
Don’t forget to read it through to yourself out loud before printing it and handing it in, and if you want to get really fancy, have another smart person read it and correct the little grammar problems before I have to.
If you still have any questions, post them as comments to this page and I’ll respond as soon as I can. Reading your questions and my answers will probably help others out.
PS: Don’t plagiarize online reviews or the bookjacket–it’s painfully obvious when you do so, and it leads to an uncomfortable discussion with me, and an even more uncomfortable F on the assignment.