- Identify title, author, genre, and theme
- you have considered where this title fits into the author’s general body of work / oeuvre?
- you have considered where this title fits into the general spectrum of ideas – in terms of themes and/or politics it purports to contribute to / respond to / address?
- Remember you are NOT authoring a book report.
- does the book review (you wrote / are writing) include everything that a book report does, in terms of the information; and
- does it also include a critical analysis.
- Ensure the CRITICAL ANALYSIS is specific
- you are including opinions that are balanced and researched.
- the opinions are your own
- Consider starting with your personal reactions while reading the book
- what made you select this title review
- what made you feel and think while you were reading
- were there any physical reactions or trigger warning you experienced (e.g., connected you to a history or a trauma; forced you to confront something you wished to ignore)
- what other experiences did you have while you were reading the title.
- As with all well written essays base your critical analysis of the book on a hypothesis regarding the plotting, language, writing style, characters, structure, thematic choices etc. and back it up with arguments. These need to be specific. What you liked and disliked, what inspired, infuriated, or moved you and (why).
- you have included examples from the text and/or direct quotes to back up your hypothesis and opinions
- you have used your personal writing style to balance the positive with the negative and given the reader of the review a good experience.
- Describe the book BUT include your thoughts.
- you have summarized what happened and what it meant (concisely)
- you have not revealed the ending or key plot twists.
- you have put on the writer’s hat and avoided any information that the writer may not want to reveal.
- you have included what you thought about the plotting as a reader.
- you have included your thoughts about characters and what you loved or hated and also included something about the why it did to you what it did.
- you have described the writer’s style (descriptions that pulled your senses into the story, the moral, character or argument development, dialogue, etc.).
- you have considered including in the review, your reflections on the time, culture, or perspective in which it was written or set.
- you have considered including in the review your reflections of the (purported) theme, research, rigour, factuality, relevance.
- Conclude with your OPINION and why it is do not review if it is not worth reading
- Optionally, compare it to other titles, if you can/ if you want to / if you cant resist.
- Ensure the book review is between 500 words to 600 words.
PLEASE DO NOT
- Focus on the author’s faith, intelligence, relationships, parenting skills, parentage, or whatever
- Shy away from including your opinions, so long you are basing them on facts that you acquired from your personal experience of reading the title.