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The purpose of a book review is to help other people decide whether they want to read the book or not. You do this by summarizing the book and by evaluating how well the writer wrote the book. The book review can explain the positive aspects of the book,

the negative aspects of the book, or both.

A reviewer indicates what the book is about and what it might mean to a reader (by explaining what it meant to the reviewer). The writer of a review describes the book, analyzes it and expresses a personal reaction to it.


John Doe

V Scott

POL 211


Title. Author. Place of publication: publisher, date of publication. ### pp. (Some reviews list the cost of the book also.)

The review itself should be formatted like a composition: introduction, body and conclusion.

The introductory paragraph usually includes

the author and title again,

the purpose or main idea of the book (the kind of book),

a brief overview of the contents of the book,

background information about the subject matter and/or the author (optional), and

the reviewer's thesis (reaction to and evaluation of the book).

The body of the review must include at least two paragraphs (but it can have more):

a summary of the main points of the book, using quotes and paraphrases to prove the points, and

an evaluation of the book (criticism or praise for the book or both) (why readers should or should not read the book), using quotes and paraphrases to support opinions.

The conclusion should

refer to the book's title and its author again and

provide a concise comment on the book, including the writer's thesis.

A general rule is that the first one-half to two-thirds of a review should summarize



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