How To Write A Book Review

Your lecturer asks you to make his or her book to be reviewed by you? What will you do? Don’t be confused. Just do these steps:
Method 1 of 4:
1. Learning about the Book

2. Get to know your book. Read the book jacket, which generally offers a summary of the book (without giving away the ending). Figure out what genre the book is. Is it fiction, nonfiction, poetry, youth fiction, romance, sci-fi, etc.?[1]

3. Research the author. Find out if he or she has written other books or won other awards. Research the writing style of the author. Knowing the author’s background and style will help give you some context while you read the book. Does he/she write like Hemingway- with long, winding sentences- or does he/she do something unique, such as not using quotation marks like Cormac McCarthy?[2]

4. Read the preface or introduction if the book has one. Prefaces can tell you a lot about a book-where the author got the idea, what you can expect from the book, what the goals of the book are etc.

Method 2 of 4:

1. Reading the Book

2. Take notes as you read. Notes will help you to remember everything you were thinking or feeling as you read the book. Sometimes, you will dislike a book at first but will grow to love it. Notes remind you of why your change in feelings happened.

3. Make a list of the characters. At the very least, make a list of the primary characters. Note what a character’s personality is like at the beginning and end of the book. Try to figure out what creates a shift in his/her personality. Was there a specific event that happened in the book that made the character change?[3]

Some other questions you should ask as you read are: Who are the primary characters in the book? How do they affect the story? Do you like them or empathize with them?

4. Pick out what you think is the main idea of the book. The main idea is the focus of the story. Your job is to determine whether or not the author’s idea is good or groundbreaking in some way. Do you agree with the idea? Does the author support his/her idea well?

5. Make a list of the themes you notice. A theme is a universal concept or message that the author tries to convey through his/her writing. Some common themes are chaos vs. order, the circle of life, love and sacrifice, man against nature, etc. How does the author convey those themes? Do you think he/she does a good job supporting those themes through the text?[5]

6. Determine the author’s argument, if there is one. An argument could be something like “harming nature is evil.” You must determine how the author supports this argument. Does he/she do a good job? Do you agree with the argument?

7. Write down any quotes that stand out to you. In this case, a quote is not necessarily something that a character says, but is instead a few lines of the book that you think summarize the work well, support a theme or argument, or is a good example of the author’s style.

Here is an example from Jack London’s The Call of the Wild: “But in the main they were the wild wolf husky breed. Every night, regularly, at nine, at twelve, at three, they lifted a nocturnal song, a weird and eerie chant, in which it was Buck’s delight to join.(Ch.3, Pg.27)” In this quote, Buck, a domesticated dog, gives into his basic nature by joining the howl of wild wolves. Through this quote, London plays upon the theme of Man’s Relationship with Nature.

Method 3 of 4: Writing your Book Review

1. Understand the structure of a book review. Book reviews begin with a summary of the book that avoids giving away too much about the book. The summarizing paragraph is followed by a paragraph that conveys your opinion of the book.

If you are writing this for a class, or have specific instructions regarding the structure of your book review, follow those instructions. Generally, book reviews assigned for a class will be one paragraph of summary and one paragraph about your opinion of the book.

2. Keep your audience in mind. Your audience is the group of readers (perhaps your teacher and classmates) that will be reading your book review. Remember that your audience has not read the book. You must introduce the characters and plot efficiently so that your audience feels like they have a basic understanding of the book.[6]

3. Write the summary. Keep your summary brief. Discuss the main idea of the book, the plot, and the major characters. Do not go into too much detail- you have a limited amount of space to write in, so only give the most important details about the plot and characters.

4. Write your evaluation of the book. Choose one to three major points to discuss about the book. This is where you can discuss the themes of the book. This is also where you give your opinion of the book. You can use quotes to support your argument but make sure that they are not too long, since you do not have much room to write.[7]

What themes did the author convey? Were they effectively conveyed? Did you agree with them? Did the book appeal to you either emotionally or logically? Did you like the book? Why or why not? How did this book compare to other books you have read in the same genre, or other books the author has written? What was the author’s style like? Did you like the author’s style?

5. Finish your article by including a sentence or two about the publisher and the price. If you have specific instructions regarding whether or not to do this, follow them. Most book reviews end with a sentence that says what publisher the book was published by, and what the prices of both the hardback and paper copies are. Some book reviews end with the year the book was published and the ISBN number.[8]

The ISBN number is the commercial identifier of the book. It is generally located on the copyright page at the front of the book.

Method 4 of 4: Finalizing your Book Review

1. Read your essay from the viewpoint of your audience. Pretend that you have not read the book. Are you able to understand everything that you have written? Do you get a good sense of the book’s plot, character, and themes? Is your writing easy to understand? Does your argument make sense?[9]

2. Have someone else read your review. Getting someone else to read your work is a great way to make sure that what you have written is clear and easy to understand.

3. Double check your spelling. Make sure that the name of the author, the title of the book, the names of the characters, and the publisher are spelled correctly. If you have included quotes, make sure that they are accurate and match what is written in the book.

4. Proofread your review. Make sure there are no typos and that everything is grammatically correct. Read your review out loud to check for any awkward sentences. Reading your writing out loud helps you to determine whether or not your writing sounds awkward.

Sentences – Connectors

Sentence Connectors are a great way of improving your English. Why? Because we use them to express relationships between ideas and to combine sentences.

When we begin learning a language, we speak in very basic sentences, a bit like children.
Example: “London is a very exciting city. London is very expensive.”

As we learn more words and more complex sentence structure, we are able to start using sentence connectors to make more sophisticated sentences.
Example: “London is a very exciting city; nevertheless it is also very expensive” or
“Despite the fact that London is very expensive, it is also very exciting”

There are various types of connectors. We can divide them into:

Coordinating Conjunctions – They connect words, phrases and clauses. They are usually found in the middle of a sentence with a comma (,) just before the conjuction, or at the beginning of the sentence.
Coordinating Conjunctions:

(remember FANBOYS)

Correlative Conjunctions – They connect equal sentence elements together (like two nouns) and are always composed by two words.
Correlative Conjunctions:

not only…but also

Subordinating Conjunctions- They connect a dependent clause and an independent clause and establish a relationship between them. They happen at the beginning of a sentences (with a comma in the middle separating the clauses) or in the middle of a sentence with no comma.
Subordinating Conjunctions:

after if though although
if only till as in order that
unless as if now that until
as long as once when as though
rather than whenever because since
where before so that whereas
even if than wherever even though
that that while

Linking Adverbs and Transition Words- They connect two independent clauses or sentences. They provide transition between ideas.
Linking Adverbs and Transition Words:

accordingly however nonetheless also
indeed otherwise besides instead
similarly consequently likewise still
conversely meanwhile subsequently finally
moreover then furthermore nevertheless
therefore hence next thus

Within these 4 categories, we also find the following division:


We will explain each of these 4 types of sentence connectors in depth with examples over the next couple of days. They will teach you how to introduce, order, contrast, sequence and connect ideas within a sentence.

Subordinating Conjunction

A subordinating conjunction joins a subordinate clause to a main clause.

The following is a list of the most common subordinating conjunctions.

after how till ( or ’til)
although if unless
as inasmuch until
as if in order that when
as long as lest whenever
as much as now that where
as soon as provided (that) wherever
as though since while
because so that
before than
even if that
even though though

An adverb clause is always introduced by a subordinating conjunction. A noun clause and adjective clause sometimes are.

Adverb clause: Before you go, sign the log book.

Noun clause: He asked if he could leave early.

Adjective clause: That is the place where he was last seen.

A subordinating conjunction is always followed by a clause. Many subordinating conjunctions can be other parts of speech.

Adverb:Jill came tumbling after.

Preposition: Jill came tumbling after Jack.

Subordinating Conjunction: Jill came tumbling after Jack had fallen.

linking adverbs and transition words
Let’s remember what linking adverbs and transition words are. They connect two independent clauses or sentences. They provide transition between ideas. They can also be called conjunctive adverbs.

They can be used at the beginning of a sentence or mid-sentence with punctuation.
Addition Alternative Cause-Effect Comparison Condition Contrast Emphasis
Furthermore Otherwise Therefore In the same way Otherwise Nevertheless Indeed
In addition Rather Consequently Similarly In the event Nonetheless In fact
Moreover As a consequence In contrast Anyway On the other hand
Additionally As a result Unlike In contrast to
When do we use each connector?

Ok, we will now look at the most used transitional words. Yes, it’s quite a long list – don’t worry, just understand when we use each one and practice making sentences with them.

Accordingly – in a proper or appropriate way : in a way that suits the facts, needs, or requirements of a situation.
Example: “Susan is an intern and she is paid accordingly”

Besides – synonym of also; in addition to what has already been said.
Example: “I really want to go to the party, and besides, it’s close to my house”

Consequently – happening as a result of a particular action or set of conditions.
Example: “The price of real estate has gone up. Consequently people have to move outside the city”

Finally – at the end of a period of time.
Example: “After years of arguing, Tim and Tina finally got divorced”

Furthermore – in addition to what has been said.
Example: “Bruno always makes amazing art. Furthermore, he’s such a nice man!”

Hence – for this reason.
Example: “The company lost a lot of money. Hence, the manager was asked to resign”

However- used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement.
Example: “Mary should stay at home and study. However, she decided to go camping”

In fact – in truth — used to stress that a statement is true although it may be surprising or unlikely.
Example: “He looks young, but in fact, he’s in his 40′s”

Instead – used to say that one thing is done or that one thing or person is chosen when another is not chosen, cannot be done, etc.
Example: “I don’t have any coffee, would you mind tea instead?”

Likewise – in the same way.
Example: “Everyone in class studies 3 hours a day, we should do likewise”

Meanwhile – at or during the same time : in the meantime.
Example: “Please make something to eat. Meanwhile, I’ll clean”

Moreover – in addition to what has been said. This word is quite formal.
Example: “I’d love to come over for coffee. Moreover, I’ll bring a cake!”

Namely – used when giving exact information about something you have already mentioned.
Example: “Malaria can be prevented, namely by taking malaria tablets and using a moskito net”

Nevertheless – in spite of what has just been said.
Example: “Joy doesn’t like avocados, nevertheless she ate them for her husband”

Nonetheless – in spite of what has just been said.
Example: “We’re always arguing, she’s my best friend nonetheless”

Otherwise – in a different way or manner.
Example: “After the fire, all the books had been burnt or otherwise destroyed”

Similarly – in a similar way : in almost the same way.
Example: “My sister’s and my house are decorated similarly: we love minimalism”

Thereafter – after that.
Example: “Thereafter, the companies merged together”

Therefore – for that reason : because of that.
Example: “The mobile phone is light to carry, therefore it’s very conveniant”

Thus – in this way or manner : like this. This word is also very formal.
Example: “The detergent is highly concentrated, thus you will have to dilute it”

Wow, good job everyone! You should now have a clearer understanding of sentence connectors.

Do you have any questions? Let us know!
Incoming search terms:

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Some Examples of Conversation For Part A PBT

1. Woman: You’d better take the car to the garage from now on. They charged me seventy-five dollars for a few minor repairs.
Man: That’s not too bad.
Narrator: What does the man mean?

2. Man: The International Students’ Association is having a party Saturday night. Can you come or do you have to work at the hospital?
Woman: I wish I could.
Narrator: What will the woman probably do?

3. Woman: I think that the game starts at eight.
Man: Good. We have just enough time to get there.
Narrator: What will the speakers probably do?

4. Woman: What did you do after you lost your passport?
Man: I went to see the foreign student advisor, and reported it to the Passport Office in Washington.
Narrator: What did the man do after he lost his passport?

5. Man: If you don’t have an account here, I can’t cash your check. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is.
Woman: Well, thanks a lot. You’re a big help!
Narrator: What does the woman mean?

6. Man: I’m not sure what Dr. Tyler wants us to do.
Woman: If I were you, I’d write a rough draft and ask Dr. Tyler to look at it.
Narrator: What does the woman suggest the man do?

7. Man: Dr. Clark is the only one teaching statistics this term.
Woman: You mean we have to put up with her for another semester?
Narrator: What does the woman mean?

8. Man: Do you think that you can have these shirts finished by Friday morning?
Woman: I’m sorry. I couldn’t possibly get them done by then. Saturday afternoon would be the earliest that you could have them.
Narrator: What does the woman say about the shirts?

9. Woman: The music and the flowers are lovely.
Man: Yes, I hope that the food is good.
Narrator: What kind of place are the speakers probably talking about?

10. Man: Hello, Anne. This is Larry at the office. Is Fred at home?
Woman: No, Larry. He’s in the class now. He’ll be home for lunch though.
Narrator: What do we know about Fred?

11. Man: When does the next bus leave for New York?
Woman: Buses leave for New York every half-hour. You just missed the nine-thirty bus by five minutes.
Narrator: What will the man probably do?

12. Woman: Did we have an assignment for Monday? I don’t have anything written down.
Man: Nothing to read in the textbook, but we have to see a movie and write a paragraph about it.
Narrator: What are the speakers discussing?

13. Man: Make thirty copies for me and twenty copies for Mr. Brown.
Woman: As soon as I make the final correction on the original.
Narrator: What is the woman probably going to do?

14. Man: Excuse me. Are you Sally Harrison’s sister?
Woman: No, I’m not. I’m her cousin.
Narrator: What had the man assumed about the woman?

15. Woman: I can’t find my pen. It was right here on the desk yesterday and now it’s gone.Have you seen it?
Man: Yes. I put it in the desk drawer.
Narrator: What is the woman’s problem?

16. Woman: When is John coming?
Man: Well, he said he’d be here at eight-thirty, but if I know him, it will be at least nine o’clock.
Narrator: What does the man imply about John?

17. Man: I suppose we should look for a bigger house, but I don’t see how we can afford one right now.
Woman: If only we hadn’t spent so much money on our vacation this year.
Narrator: What does the woman mean?

18. Man: Did you see Jack’s presentation?
Woman: Yes. What happened? He didn’t seem to know up from down.
Narrator: What does the woman imply about Jack?

19. Woman: Shall I send out the invitation?
Man: Let’s hold off on that until I can talk to Janet.
Narrator: What does the man mean?

20. Man: How’s the baby? Is she walking yet?
Woman: Oh, yes. I can’t keep up with her.
Narrator: What does the woman mean?

These were taken from Baron.