How to write book reviews
once you have found a book worth reviewing,
take a hard look in the mirror and ask whether you truly are qualified to
critique it. Imagine the author of the book and the years of struggle that he
or she went through, hoping to contribute meaning.
Honestly ask yourself if you
know enough about the conversation to which the book is contributing. Can you
place the book in a historical framework? Are you properly familiar with the
author’s previous works, presuming, of course, that such works exist?
the ideal text syndrome
researchers in composition theory have
found that readers usually judge documents by comparing the author’s product
with what we would have done if we were the writer.
Like the horse following
the carrot, we often feel frustrated. While we have an image of how the text
should be formed, an inchoate sense of excellence, our ability to capture this
image in words continually eludes us.
Let’s face it,
we can critique even the most sublime document note, for example, the endless
parade of criticism regarding shakespeare’s work.
We need to focus on what is really
important and describe this information for our readers. And yes, in the spirit
of presenting an objective evaluation, we also have to input some commentary
regarding significant deficiencies. When carefully reading the work, therefore,
you may want to divide comments into thirds:
describe the contents of the book and its organization, while
paying particular attention to the new knowledge the book.
Mention the significant weaknesses.
Focus on the strengths.
as with all scholarly documents, you would
be wise to share what you consider to be a final draft paidessay of the review with your
friends before submitting it.
You may want to ask them whether you have given
enough information about the book for them to understand your assessment of it.