“Under the Feet of Jesus” by Helena Maria Viramontes and “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck,
Reviewing a book is an important skill to let readers understand the crucial particulars of a book. The review may bear exciting news or highlight facts about a book’s literature informing that the book might not meet expectations. An engaging review should be informative and helpful to the audience. For a standard book review, the first sentences should discuss what the book entails. A reviewer should begin with a concise summary of a book. The summary introduces the reader best because it provides context. However, it should not give too much detail – it needs to be short but attention-grabbing.
The reviewer should proceed by explaining the most important aspects of the book, such as mentioning the genre, characters, themes, plot, and setting. Dedicate a paragraph for each element, discussing how the author dealt with them to develop the plot. While writing about the aspects, it is imperative to mention what you liked about the book, focusing on your thoughts and feelings about the details. Mention details such as the favorite character, the book’s complexity, favorite parts, and the general tone of the book. Similarly, write about what you disliked about the book, mentioning the reasons for that position. For example, you should mention if the ending was not a cliffhanger because you considered it frustrating or if it was difficult to care about the protagonist (main character). Finally, you should round up the review by summarizing your thoughts, suggesting the type of audience you recommend the book to; for example, young or old readers, fans for comedy, mystery stories, or relationship drama.
Academic Book Reviews
The structure of a book review may vary depending on the intention of the reviewer. For an academic book review, students should pay close attention to their professors’ guidelines or instructions to meet expectations. The structure follows the purpose of the review. Generally, it would be best if you began by providing bibliographic information of the book, which includes the author’s name, the title of the book, publication information, and the book’s length. Adhere to a specific citation style such as Chicago, APA, or MLA as instructed by your professor. Keep in mind that academic book reviews are vital inputs of academic publishing wider system and upon which the academic profession is dependent symbiotically.
The main purpose of an academic book review is to convey what the book is all about and the expertise of the author or authors to evaluate credibility. The reviewer explains how the book covers the topic and the author’s viewpoint, methodology, and perspective. One should explain the intended audience and the appropriateness of evidence according to the book’s topical scope. Sometimes, depending on the discipline that the book covers, its review should evaluate the arrangement of chapters and illustrations, and the quality of the scholarly apparatus that the book bears such as notes and bibliographies.
All great academic writing pieces, of which book reviews are no exception, should have an introduction. Thereafter, academic book reviews should have a concise summary of the argument presented. If the book has a distinct thesis statement, the review should have it quoted directly. Apart from the book’s bibliographical information, it is necessary to include brief biographical details of the author or authors; editor or editors. If applicable, the book review should indicate the research methods used and the range of substantive material the book covers.
Academic book reviews highlight the strengths of the book. Identify areas that the book does well. Then identify the one particular area, which is ideally the single greatest strength of the book as an academic work. Highlight the weaknesses and place a single area you think the book should be improved on. The flaw could be something you believe is inappropriate or incorrect, something the author neglected to address sufficiently, or something the author omitted completely. End the review with a concluding statement that summarizes your opinion of the book.
Some book reviews are composite and involve a comparative analysis of the book’s contents. For instance, the two books: “Under the Feet of Jesus” by Helena Maria Viramontes and “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, contain both similar and conflicting themes while addressing the same issue of oppression in rural California. They have the same site (place) setting but different time settings. In a review comparing the books, it is crucial to introduce both the books. A comparative review can be accomplished separately. One composes an introduction of both books, then reviews the first book and the latter, and finally writes a conclusion of both books. Alternatively, the writing can present both reviews, where the reviewer considers both texts. In the comparative evaluation of the books, as shown in the following exemplary piece, elements of both books are assessed, analyzed, and reviewed simultaneously. This kind of review is appropriate when the books contain more similar than contrasting details. However, the differences are identified and expressed accordingly. All academic reviews, however, should follow the instructions provided closely, using specified formatting, referencing, and citation style.
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