When a student gets an assignment to provide a professional book critique, several important questions that need to be answered immediately appear in his or her mind. The most important point one needs to know is when the critique is due. Moreover, it is necessary to figure out how long or short it should be. Besides, the writer should know if there is a specific format the critique should be written in. Although the topic of this reading is school book critiques, nothing changes. Students start to ask exactly the same questions to know what professors expect from them.
The format of school book critique is usually stable. The text should be double-spaced, printed on one side of the sheet of paper. Students should use either Chicago or Turabian style and use active voice and no first-person pronouns (unless they are expressing their own opinion or idea).
A rather important point is to know the due date to create a working schedule. The process of writing a book critique requires a lot of time. For instance, you need to be extremely detail-oriented, and for that, you will have to read the book/paper/article/section/literary piece several times. Furthermore, the evaluation requires making notes and creating an outline of the reading to divide the text into the major parts, each of which contains the main idea. The preparatory section is as important as the literary evaluation itself. Although there is no template of a good critique, and all samples you can find on various services will differ from each other, there are a lot of elements you should include in your writing.
What is a book critique
The term book critique refers to the evaluation of a literary work or some parts of it. While this task is popular among school and college assignments worldwide, it is a short paper without a detailed analysis in dozens of pages. By the way, writing a book critique requires a lot of time as it is impossible to write a quality analysis without in-depth research. Getting a task to prepare a book critique, it is vital to plan the time for reading beforehand.
Book review vs critique
A book review is a summary of the book that tells the readers about the plot. On the contrary, a book critique is an analysis of the book that critically responds and evaluates its quality. From a general perspective, writing a critique means doing a critical assessment, whereas reviewing means doing a formal evaluation.
Types of book critique
There are three most common known book critique types, listed below:
- Class book critique assignment. The purpose of such an assignment is to test students' skills for close reading along with analysis. Such type of book critique gives professors the opportunity to find out whether their students understand the key concepts in a particular field of study. Finally, a review of the book from the academic class helps students learn how to provide a review of a manuscript for their future professional work.
- Published book review. This type of book critique aims to describe the content of the book that has been already published. Students are expected to provide a summary of the core strengths and weaknesses of the book. Also, such a paper should provide a clear recommendation to read the book or skip reading such a book for a particular reason.
- Manuscript critique. This type of critique is focused on the analysis of the book that has not been published yet. Such paper plays the role of the book's evaluation necessary to the editor. Reading such a critique with constructive feedback, the editor can decide whether the book is ready to be published, revised, and even rejected.
Book critique format
The format of the book critique is similar to the other critique paper formats. Each book critique should cover the five most crucial structural components, like introduction, review, critique, opinion, and conclusion. Moreover, each of the aforementioned parts needs to continue the previous one in a logical manner, whereas it is a separate notional piece. Concerning the academic style, it's advisable to write a book critique in Times New Roman with a double line spacing. There is also a need to add the relevant title page at the beginning and a list of references at the end of the book critique. Finally, it is of vital importance to follow the grading rubric along with specific formatting requirements mentioned by the professor.
How to write a book critique
In a critical analysis paper, students aim to evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen work highlighting what the book author does well and what he does poorly. To discuss a book, a student must read it carefully, look up unknown terms or concepts, research related articles or book prior to writing their essay. Although there are numerous ways to write a book critique quickly and quality, every student develops his/her personal plan of writing based on diverse posts. The core thing to remember while writing book critique is the necessity to follow three writing phases the preparatory, writing, and post-writing stages.
Important Preparatory Steps
Before you start to write a book critique, answer the following very important questions:
1.Who is the target audience of the book?
As soon as you have this question in your mind, a lot of things become clear. For example, you need to review a textbook for beginners in psychology. Do you expect this textbook to have complex unexplained terminology and references to authors that the beginners have never heard of? Certainly, it is not what a professional textbook should look like.
Exactly the same situation can happen to any literary piece, be it a book, research paper, or novel. Identify the target audience who will read it and see whether the work under analysis meets the readers’ expectations. You may also consult a dictionary to understand the material that you are unfamiliar with.
2.How realistic and objective the book is?
Depending on the genre of the book you are analyzing, you will want to search for the elements which support the author’s plot development (in novels), main thesis (in scientific papers), etc.
For example, you read a research paper in which the author tries to prove a new linguistic theory. How clear is the evidence? Has the author held any experiments that gave interesting, valuable data? How reliable are sources of information? Does the author use outdated materials? Are the books and articles he or she is using peer-reviewed and published in academic journals? Your task is to do a research and dig deeper to give us, the readers, an answer on the following questions: Does this paper support its initial purpose? Can we trust the author’s findings?
In case you are working on a fictional novel, you should decide whether the characters fit into the frame and topic of the book and whether their psychology looks natural. How do they communicate? How good and natural are the dialogues? Did the author manage to represent real life conversations or they seem to be fake? Each and every point of the narration matters when it comes to critiquing a novel.
3.How well is the book structured?
Even books with the most complicated plots can be clear for the audience. Look at numerous detective stories: they are written in a manner which will confuse you and make you support the idea that the killer is victim’s lover and not the sister of the main character. Yet, all of us manage to follow how events in the story are developing. Talented authors manage to include lots of flashbacks and flash-forwards, but the book still remains clear.
What about your book? How the arguments are laid out? Do you have any problems with the book’s structure or everything is nice and smooth? Think about these points.
1.Gather the information about your book’s publication
Make sure you include the short data about the author of the novel or paper, when this novel was published, who the publisher is, how many pages this book contains, where it was published etc. Your audience must be able to find this book if necessary. Besides, if your critique ever is published, the publisher might want to refer it to a certain category of books, e.g. books by author, publication location, year, author’s contact etc. The details you are providing can be really helpful.
2.Write a short outline
There is no need to write a detailed sentence-based outline. All you to do is to create a short plan of your book critique developing thesis statement, central points, and evidence. To help you create the most effective outline, here are the core components of such writing instrument:
- Introduction (state the book title, the author’s name, the date of publication, main ideas, author’s thesis, own thesis statement, main idea about the work)
- Summary (the main ideas, answer to the questions who? what? where? when? why? how?; discuss the structure and style)
- Analysis (state what you liked and didn't like about the book, explain ideas with examples from the book, measure whether the book author achieved his/her intended goal)
- Conclusion (restate thesis, summarize main ideas, add a call to action)
3. Write the content
This is time for writing the analysis of the book itself. Remember, that your analysis should critically respond and evaluates the quality of the chosen book. In critical writing, you should always contain author's thesis and purpose of the book, analysis of the structure, main ideas represented in the book, description of the piece of writing, and finally a summary of the work. Remember that critical analysis of the book is your chance to provide your own opinion about a piece of writing, however, you should always back up such opinions with specific details and supporting arguments from the book you analyze.
Another important thing we would like to talk about is your English language. You must understand that your spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and vocabulary do make a difference. A lot of students think that these are just unnecessary rules which restrict their writing. In fact, the rules of the English language help students make their writing more comprehensible. Commas and colons help readers separate the parts of sentences which contain different thoughts. A long, bulky phrase can be replaced by a simple, elegant term. If you misspell the word ‘fiancée’ and write ‘fiancé’ instead, this step will completely change the meaning of your text.
When your critique is ready, don’t forget to review and proofread it. If the paper will contain different mistakes like typos, the readers won’t consider it seriously. Therefore, it is better to spend some time on this step as it is more important than it seems to be at first sight.
Book critique example
The best way to gain the necessary knowledge for writing perfect book reviews is to view the examples of the content, the number of words, or paragraphs prepared by the other people who are strong in such type of academic writing.
We hope this article was really helpful for you. However, if you are still unsure that you can complete a perfect paper, keep in mind that there are professional services at your disposal. We are one of those services, and all you need to get your assignment done at the highest level is contact us and summarize all your requirements. After you receive the order, you will definitely ensure that the expert services we provide are your best friends!