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How to write a book essay: tips on completing a book review.

A book review is a genre of academic writing that is supposed to give an explanation about the book’s plot, author, main ideas and writer’s interpretation of it. If you have a task to write an essay about a particular book the first thing, which you must do, is to find that book and read it. Consider that if you use just the book’s summary to review it your paper will not be full and, probably, will not get a good grade. Here we have some recommendations of how a book essay should be written.

To start with.

  • As we have already indicated the book review requires you being familiar with the book. Not only should you read it but also learn essential information about the author and historical and cultural contexts of the time, when it was created.
  • Learning about the author and context is important because that will let you understand the main concepts, images and arguments developed and discussed in the book.
  • Usually all the literature is linked to the culture and history of a certain epoch or period as it has influence on its style of writing and ideas developed.

Interpreting the assignment.

  • Sometimes you are just given the task to write a book review but in some cases it is followed with the particular questions from professor.
  • Check the questions given and learn what you are expected to pay the most attention to. Some task will even narrow your focus so you may need to elaborate some chapters or parts of the book only.


  • The introductory part gives general insights on the book, usually followed by the book’s full title, author’s name, time and place of writing or publishing.
  • Note that the introduction should include thesis statement – your personal opinion or position about the book and its significance.

Author of the book, historical, social and cultural contexts.

  • When you are writing about the author you should mind such points: the country, place and time when he was born, lived and worked, his major position and activities held, writer’s work on this book.
  • Describe the historical events, which were happening in the period of book creation and issue. Does your book reflect them? Try to find the social and historical impacts in the book reviewed.
  • Find the information and let the reader know if the book had popularity from the very beginning or it was noticed with some time only. Think about the reasons for it.

Summary of the book.

  • The important part is a book’s summary. Usually it is provided in order to familiarize the readers with the main events, ideas and arguments stated in the book.
  • Also, here you can mention the events and arguments that are the most important and you are going to criticize, evaluate and discuss.

Your personal opinion about the book.

  • This part requires you to give your personal insights of the book. You can evaluate it, compare with the others that you have read, criticize the ideas. Here are some points, which you should note:
  • Does the writer develop some ideas fully?
  • Does he refer to any other literature or art works in his book?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the ideas provided and why?

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