It is best, when writing a book review, to be an active reader of the book. Sit at a desk with pen and paper in hand. As you read, stop frequently to summarize the argument, to note particularly clear statements of the book’s argument or purpose, and to describe your own responses. If you have read in this active way, putting together the book review should be quick and straightforward. Some people prefer to read at the computer, but if you’re a good typist, you often start typing up long quotes from the book instead of analyzing it. Paper and pen provides a little friction to prevent such drifting.
Writing a book review is one of the fundamental skills that every historian must learn. An undergraduate student’s book review should accomplish two main goals:
The outline my 10 year old son uses to write book reviews page 2
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Your professor may ask you to write a book review, probably of a scholarly historical monograph. Here are some questions you might ask of the book. Remember that a good review is critical, but critical does not necessarily mean negative. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it a suggested outline. Of course, you can ask these same questions of any secondary historical work, even if you're not writing a review.Whether you've read a compelling tale of fiction or a scholarly academic text, writing a book review allows you to share your insights on a work of literature. Commonly written as an assignment for college courses, a book review goes beyond merely summarizing the text's ideas to evaluate the author's success in communicating a message. Describing the primary themes, strengths and weaknesses of a book using specific examples can help you write a review that will entice your audience to read it for themselves.