Writing a book review essay can be exhausting. It’s hard to know what to include that will really make your paper stand out from the rest. It’s even harder to write a book review essay on a book you didn’t really care about or enjoy reading.
However, with the right advice, you can spin that book review into an amazing, captivating paper, no matter what the book is about.
Think About How You Would Describe the Book to a Friend
When you first sit down to write, think about how you would
describe this book
to a friend. What would you say to them to get them excited about picking it up for themselves? This is what you should use to inspire your storytelling within your essay— make your reader excited about the things you loved, or hated, and tell them why.
Give Your Book a Rating
Author Luisa Plaja
suggests giving your book a rating. You can write this in your review, or you can leave it out, but consider why you’re giving it the rating you are. What factors are preventing you from giving it that perfect score? This is a great way to dig deeper into the things you may not have liked about the book, or what you think should have been done differently.
Touch on Less Obvious Details
Everyone knows the famous line from To Kill a Mockingbird where Atticus tells Scout that it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. However, there are tons of other amazing lines in the book that don’t get as much traction. Use some of the lesser known points, especially when you are writing about a famous book, to show your professor that you read the book inside and out. This indicates to them that you digested every part of the book and didn’t just scrape some information from SparkNotes or Wikipedia.
Don’t Spend Too Much Time on the Plot
The longer you spend describing every detail of the book, the more your professor is going to think you’re trying to waste space. Focus only on the details that matter. You should be able to provide enough context for the reader to understand the points you’re making, while leaving enough for them to form their own questions. After all, this is a book report— not a book summary.
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Plaja, L. (n.d). How to write a book review. BookTrust. Retrieved from https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books/writing-tips/writing-tips-for-teens/how-to-write-a-book