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How to Write Book Critique

Writing Hand

Very often, we are confused with the task to critique a particular book and outline its best and worst sides. How can we judge the person who had enough imagination, desire, and patience to write the whole book? However, the task is still here waiting for us to write not just the praiseful comments but also the tricky ones. What should you do to highlight the most important keys of such writing and how to stay on a professional top? We will try to help!

Only an Opinion

Before writing, remind yourself that you are going to express your own thoughts that may have nothing in common with the idea of the book, the personality of its author and other readers. An opinion is the cheapest thing in the whole world. Ask anybody about it, and you will get dozens of them. Remember that you are not doing anything wrong – it is just the feelings that have appeared inside you while reading. Be honest with yourself without pretending you liked every little thing. Certainly, there was a character that irritated you, or the author's style was too rough or inappropriate.

Create a List

A List

It is very important to distinguish the things you have liked and that you have not. Do not mix them. At first, of course, you should give a proper outlook on things that (in your opinion) are worth attention and praise. Focus on what has impressed you and try to express why. Nevertheless, talk about disadvantages of a particular piece of writing as well. Using the linking words, you can insert controversial comments on your ideas. Talk about things which confused you, were difficult to understand or didn't fit the context. While discussing such issues, don't forget to follow the main idea of your essay. It should look like a complete text and not just like a list of delights and disadvantages of the analyzed book.

Be Objective

Do not discuss the author’s personality. Reviewing and criticizing the work of literature are completely possible without turning to his/her personal life, religious and political views, habits, illnesses or weaknesses. If we do not have the exact quote from an interview with the author, we can only speculate and make theories about what: "the author meant to say" or "what he/she had in mind." Nevertheless, while writing a book critique, remember that criticizing harshly may end up with misunderstandings with your teacher. Giving an evaluation while outlining issues should be completed with arguments and facts. Why do you think like that? Why did something about the book seem inappropriate to you? Of course, such writing is full of subjectivism. However, it should walk side by side with your mind-blowing awareness of the subject you are writing about. So, read about the genre you analyze, some philosophy articles concerning such issues, psychology and biography books.

Start to create constructive criticism that an adult person can do without childish arguments, such as "I didn't like it as it does not correspond to my personal views". Working in a way of total awareness, you can expect other people to refer to the work you have done.

Last but Not Least

Book Critic

Definitely, the three recommendations mentioned above form the basis for organizing the whole process of writing a really good and smart book critique. When sticking to them, you will be able to demonstrate your personal point of view concerning the chosen work, but at the same time this point of view will be free from any partiality. That is what makes a critique truly valuable. However, there is still one more very essential feature which should be taken into account if you want to stay fair about what you have read and do not want to show your deep admiration for the book or, on the contrary, your rejection of its author’s statements.

It Is All About Understanding Your Main Goal

It goes without saying that before composing your critique paper, you need to read the certain book. Of course, the more thoroughly you do it, the better. Taking notes will also stand you in good stead. As you start working on the paper, you will already have a number of the most significant or original ideas to focus on. So, you can see how important your preparation to writing is.

However, great attention should be paid to the way you understand the task itself. The book critique implies the analyzing and evaluating a writer’s work rather than that particular issue to which the book is devoted. This means that while you are reading the book, you should concentrate more on how the author expresses his or her thoughts and what these thoughts actually are. The notes you may take should also concern these two aspects.

Let’s have a look at such an example: your assignment is to write a critique of a book about the American Civil War which took place in the middle of 19th century. However, you do not need to describe the historical and political reasons for, the course or the results of this war. Your goal is to present and explain the way how the author of this particular book sees the events of that time. Also, you should consider the style and the means which the author uses to state his or her opinion on and attitude towards the war.

So, in such a case, you can analyze and criticize or support not the idea of the Civil War as it is, but the writer’s manner of presenting and interpreting it.

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