Most students do not necessarily understand the meaning of writing a book review. Writing a book review does not necessarily mean retelling the thoughts of an author of a book but rather, it means a critical analysis of the meaning, themes and significance of a book. This can be closely attributed to critiquing a book. In this view, a book review can be said to be a reaction essay that evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of an author of a book as well as the material analyzed. A book review therefore has a statement of what the author is trying to state or argue, and an independent opinion on whether the author has succeeded in presenting adequate evidence with regards to the subject matter. There is no single conventional way of writing a book review. However, a book review should be written from a personalized approach as it reflects the thoughts and opinion of the reviewer regarding the book. With regards to the length, a book review can be as short as less than 500 words and can go to even 3000 words depending on the instructions.

When writing a book review, the most effective way to do it is by giving all the important information regarding the book such as the author, year of publication, title of the book and other special features. Secondly, you must be able to identify form the book why the same was written. Give an independent opinion as to why you think the writer wrote the book. There are various ways of analyzing this, first ask yourself why the author wrote the book and from which point of view the work was written. Another approach is by analyzing how the author uses various grammatical, thematic, literary and artistic techniques in the book to communicate the main message to the readers. Most importantly, remember to state from which genre you think the book is and how the book is relevant to your area of study.

Every book has an intended audience. When writing a book review, ask yourself who the book is really intended for and above that, whether the author has succeeded in capturing the attention of the intended audience. In every written work, various authors have distinct ways of communicating to their audience the main points in the book. A book review analyzes such techniques applied by the author of the book. Such techniques include clarity, coerciveness, clarity, originality and language use. Always skim through the book you are writing about and understand how the author organizes his/her work as well as whether the main ideas contained in the book reflect upon each other chronologically.

If it is possible for you to gather additional information about the author of the book, some little history about the book and probably some achievements made by the author in the literature world, that would be of great benefit to your book review. After clarifying and exhausting all the information you feel might contribute to your book review, summarize and comment on the contest of the book. In most cases, pay attention to how the author summarizes the book and give an opinion whether you feel that the summary was convincing. You do not necessarily have to agree with the author when writing a book review; you simply give your opinion regarding how well the book is written. Most importantly, use specific references from the book as this will reinforce your argument as well as assert that you actually read the book as opposed to just assuming the contents of the book.