Critical Book Review: Combining Reading and Writing

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A critical book review isn’t just a summary or an overview of the novel’s contents (though that might be true in a way), but rather an assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. In terms of writing a critical or political science book review, it means that you have to determine what are positive and negative traits of the story in regards to the novel, and why they are there.

As you read, you may want to ask some or most of these questions regarding the chosen novel when it comes to writing a critical book review, or a descriptive book review:

  1. Concept. What is the major argument of the author? Is it understandable? Is it convincing? (There may be another point as well).
  2. Range. What is covered by the main plot of the book? What else do you wish to see there?
  3. Organization. Is the book’s plot built rationally, or is it confusing, persistent, etc.?
  4. Did the author provide enough information about the book?
  5. The manner of the storytelling. Is the manner of the storytelling appropriate? Was it easy to read the book, or were you frustrated by it? Why?
  6. Material. If you are an experienced reader, you will be able to tell whether this particular story was based on real-life letters, documents and so on and so forth, or was it fiction from the head to toe?
  7. Citation. When you use quotes or citations from this particular book, you should be aware of appropriate way of citing and formatting this whole thing, and it should be understandable for a reader and that the reader would be able to find it easily, as it is a custom book review writing assignment with the standard structure of organization. Did an author organize it appropriately? (You are to mention it in your review, and it is important).
  8. Outcome. What did you bring in for yourself from the book and from the message of the book (this little detail is slightly different from the main concept of the book), and were these thoughts appropriate or useful?
  9. Value and benefit. Was it useful to read a novel or a book from a student or a specialist perspective. What a specialist finds especially useful? Was he able to understand the text, or this person needed a guide to writing a book review for dummies?

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In case if these guidelines were not particularly useful for you and you need help with writing such a book review, you are welcome to think of the way of your review organization, and this once again will induce your ability to think critically. A critical book review means that you assess every aspect and fact mentioned in the book and think how it may help you understand an author’s idea, it is about ongoing thinking process rather than plain reading, so don’t forget to use your brain when reading something for the critical book review.

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Review paper writing

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