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Writing Tips

11 Writing Tips for a Captivating Book Review

Remember, the point of  your review is to let fellow readers know about the book. Your opinion is important, but it’s not the only important feature of the review.

Also, please: this is your chance to take charge of what you do. The sky’s the limit. Be creative, challenge yourself to do something new and different. Maybe you can try a new computer program. Record something. Make a video. Have a blast.

  1. Before you begin writing, make a few notes about the points you want to get across. Think plot, character, setting, theme.
  2. While you're writing, try thinking of your reader as a friend to whom you're telling a story.
  3. Try to mention the name of the author and the book title in the first paragraph — there's nothing more frustrating than reading a review of a great book but not knowing who wrote it and what the title is!
  4. Explain a little bit about the plot and setting but don’t give anything away! What’s the main conflict? Where are we?
  5. Be sure to describe at least a couple of the main characters. Who was your favorite, and why? Could you relate to the characters? Why?
  6. Try to get the main theme of the book across in the beginning of your review. Your reader should know right away what he or she is getting into.
  7. Think about whether the book is part of a genre. Does the book fit into a type like mystery, adventure, or romance?
  8. What do you like or dislike about the book's writing style? Is it funny? Does it give you a sense of the place it's set? What is the author's/narrator's "voice" like?
  9. Try using a few short quotes from the book to illustrate your points. This is not absolutely necessary, but it's a good way to give your reader a sense of the author's writing style.
  10. An effective conclusion explains how you feel about the book and why. An interesting review expresses the reviewer's opinion and persuades the reader to share it. Would you recommend the book? What didn’t you like about the book?
  11. Proofread the review carefully. Read it aloud to catch fragments, run-ons, and other confusing sentences. Spellcheck.