Writing a Book Review for Your College or Personal Blog

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Before you decide whether to read a specific book or watch a movie, you most probably wonder what other people say. If you don’t, at least you would be interested in what others think about a particular piece once you read or watch it. That is our nature. Others will always be interested in your opinion even if they would disagree with it.

You can be asked to write a book report by your literature class teacher. If you handle this assignment successfully, there are all chances that you will be able to write reports for the book review websites one day and earn some good money and even fame. Instead of treating academic assignments as a nightmare, you can always find the positive sides of the coin by thinking about the positive outcomes.

No matter whether you have loved the written piece, or should criticize it, provide your honest thoughts to let others have some pictures of what they are going to read or watch. A sincere review can prevent people from wasting their time on trash, or, vice versa, make them want to read the same masterpiece and enjoy it.

If you are stuck on writing any academic task, you can either read how-to guides or ask for help online. We will cover each of these options one by one.

What a Book Report Is: Definition and Goals

If you prosper what book review is all about. Those are academic assignments often assigned to students to allow them to demonstrate a personal understanding of the story as well as share impressions. It can be something one writes for a newspaper or online resource. For instance, one can come up with a NY Times book review to make it accessible for thousands or even millions of readers.

Teachers assign book reviews to make sure the students have read the specific story and check some of the essential skills like research, reading, critical thinking/analysis, and writing. In most cases, a book review shows up in the shape of essay format. It means it has a similar structure and approaches to writing.

Students obtain a unique chance to share their own opinions instead of citing others or offering the results of some experiment or study. They can criticize both the piece and its author, but they should try to sound objective. Without reading a full story, usually, it is impossible to judge all of the aspects, and teachers often realize that students tricked them by skipping some parts of the book. Here are some recommendations on how a student can avoid reading the entire book if he or she has no interest in it:

  • Read a detailed plot summary online
  • Find and review book reports
  • Watch a film based on the target story
  • Ask for help from writing services
  • Choose the book that you have already read

A book review usually comes in the form of literary criticism that evaluates the writer’s competence, approaches to writing, and quality of content. It is similar to literary analysis and critical analysis. However, a book report does not require so much assessment and retelling of events. It is more about the student’s position towards the topic, and it is fully opinion-based. To make the piece sound more persuasive, students can cite other critiques or experts or parts of the story itself. Writing a review is a perfect practice for students who want to become editors or develop their blog one day. Besides, it is a good chance to improve the course grade and overall literacy.

Book Report Outline

Every piece of content requires some writing plan. It will prevent a writer from writer’s block or simply falling off the topic. Such a plan is known as an outline, and book reviews are not the exceptions. Even if the teacher does not insist on including an outline as an obligatory part, spend some time to come up with it. Here is a template that you may use in your work:

Introduction (opening paragraph)

  • Describe the cover and title of the chosen piece.
  • Add subtitles at this stage of writing.
  • Do not forget to recall the author’s name.

Thesis statement (do not confuse it with an MA thesis which is like a dissertation)

  • Offer a short yet clear description of the story.
  • List the main points in brief. Mention all of them later in the body paragraphs.
  • Do not offer your points of view in this part.
  • A thesis statement should pop up at the end of your introduction and consist of no more than two sentences.

Body part

  • Insert 2-3 quotations from the book. Cite them properly.
  • Provide a summary of the citations in your own words (paraphrase them to make a paper unique).
  • Tell your audience why you have chosen the specific quote.

Conclusion

  • Provide a summary of all used citations.
  • Summarize the topic sentences and interpretations.
  • Enclose with a concluding sentence.
  • Offer the final opinion supported with your star-rating.

Always refer to this template, and you will make it through. Also, decide on the citation format before writing, but we recommend using MLA.

You should not be afraid to criticize things that you do not like. After all, the goal of this assignment is to demonstrate your position, not someone else’s. Of course, positive comments are also required, so try to balance between these two.

The Major Steps to Writing Book Review Blogs

We will discuss six major steps to developing a book review for blogs. If you stick to these simple rules, you will most probably succeed with your blog or academic book report.

Begin with Several Sentences to Describe the Overall Plot and Purpose

The major idea is to avoid providing spoilers or plot twists as most of the readers will hate you for doing that. Teachers also prefer when students do not reveal hints and share an objective opinion as possible. Of course, it is difficult to remain objective as we all have different tastes, but the majority of readers tend to agree when the book is worth reading or not.

You should not provide any details or in-depth analysis of specific episodes. You may say a few words about an intro, but stop going into too deep from about the middle of the story onwards. Some books are part of a series. In this case, a writer can admit it and specify whether other parts are worth reading, or you expect them to be better/worse.

Explain Things That You Enjoyed about the Story

If you work on a non-fiction or fantasy book review, always start with the things that you enjoyed, no matter what your overall impression is. Pros tend to seem better before the cons. Concentrate on personal feelings and the way the author delivered it. A good idea would be to respond to these questions:

  • Whom can you call a top-preferred character?
  • Why do you like specific characters?
  • Was the plot intriguing enough?
  • Did the heroes feel real and sincere to you?
  • What was the favorite episode of the story?
  • Was it more about laughing or crying?
  • Which scenes were written better than others and why?
  • Did the book grip you enough to read it from cover to cover? Did you skip any parts, and why, if yes?

These questions will help you to analyze your overall impression. You will understand which sides to focus on more.

Cons Always Come Second!

One of the “golden rules” that works is to leave disadvantages to the end. It works for every type of report or review (e.g., when describing some software, never start from its pitfalls even if they dominate – people like to hear about good things first even if there is a couple of them).

When you decide why you dislike certain moments, focus on answering these questions:

  • Was the main character annoying? Did you wish to change them?
  • Was the ending a cliffhanger for you? Did you find it irritating or not?
  • Was the book too hard for you to find it exciting even partially?
  • Was the topic overall interesting to you?

Perhaps, the book was presented in the wrong manner. After answering these questions, you will understand the root of the problem. Share your recommendations with the readers and initiate a discussion about how the story could be made better.

Roundup Your Post or Paper

No matter whether you work on a book review for your college class or carry out an IT book review for your blog or review website, there is one more thing to keep in mind. Come up with the summary of your main points. Think about the audience that would find this story interesting. While some people may rate it 10/10, others would barely put it a 2/10. You should be careful when recommending the book – respect the tastes of people from different groups and of different ages and genders. Perhaps, it is better to analyze comments that readers leave on various websites after reading the same books and decide who would like to read it. It will add popularity to your blog as people hate being tricked. You may come up with several categories and allocate the recommendations, respectively:

  • Youth
  • Adolescents
  • Comic book fans
  • Males
  • Females
  • Kids under 12
  • IT experts
  • Drama fans
  • “Harry Potter” admirers
  • Your granny etc.

Never Forget to Rate the Piece

Even though your rating might seem subjective to others, still put it like “5/10” or “10 out of 10.” People still love to hear your point of view no matter whether they support it or not. Develop a comparison table to see how well the book is compared to other books from the same genres. Come up with several criteria to rate the book based on each of them. Then, provide an average score.

Need Help with Your College or New York Times Book Review?

The principle of creating a book review is almost and everywhere the same. However, some nuances exist. If you do that for your blog or a website like the New York Times, you may use less formal and more kind of fun form. In any case, your grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary should be perfect. Also, the content should be informative, fresh, and original. If you cannot figure it out on your own and need some help, let our team of experts help!

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