Among manifold academic assignments, a book review is the one which confuses students because many of them do not distinguish summary and review that are not the same tasks. Therefore, those students who want to be proficient academic writers and successful students have to learn how to write a chapter review from a book. Book review is written in order to understand whether students are able to evaluate the content of a book critically. Students have to analyze a book based on the manner of writing, style, and content. It is significant to understand that it is not a simple summary of the text, but the evaluation of how the author supports own ideas, which tools uses for addressing readers. Moreover, students can express their personal opinion on a book and give some recommendations whether this book is worth reading.
In order to understand how to write a chapter review from a book, it is recommended to follow such common rules:
- a brief summary of the context and main idea is a promising start for a chapter review. Here purpose, argument, and perspective are to be mentioned,
- the next step is providing the evaluation of the chapter. It has to contain a student’s reaction to the plot. An author should speak about what information seems noteworthy, whether the author is persuasive and helps to understand the problem,
- the final part includes personal assessment of the reading. Here students have to identify the audience of the book and think whether the audience will appreciate the book.
Students often feel confused when they are assigned to provide a review to some bestselling author because they do not think they have enough experience to cope with such task. However, they should not worry about the fact that they need to analyze Joan Rolling, for example. The purpose of this assignment is to understand what they think about the book. Students are required to provide their observations and thoughts about it without trying to look like experts. It means that students can express whatever opinion they have, however, do not forget to support it with evidence.
Besides, it is necessary to add a list of the questions which could help to organize the writing of a chapter review:
- What is the main argument of a book?
- What is the theme of the book? Does the author cover it completely?
- How does the author support stated argument? Does he or she use proofs, facts, and pieces of evidence? Are those proofs convincing? Are they contrary to the known facts?
- Does this argument make any sense? Is the author persuasive?
- How does the information from the book help to understand the topic?
As it was mentioned before, a review is not a summary, which means that there should not be details and facts from the book. More attention should be paid to opinions and reflections of students. Students need to realize the intentions and purposes of the author’s writing and avoid negative criticism.