What generic conventions should I follow in writing a book review?

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The question asks about a book review, and that is different from a book summary; therefore, one convention that has to be followed is that the book review needs to make an argument. It is a critical evaluation of a text. Your opinion of the quality of the work is going to be stated and supported through evidence. This means that the book review should definitely contain a thesis statement. Next, the review should have a brief summary of the book. After the review, then begin the critical assessment of the content. You can write about what struck you as noteworthy. You could also write about whether or not the text effectively conveyed the message it was attempting to convey. Finally, the book review should suggest whether or not readers would enjoy the work, appreciate the work, etc. I would also recommend keeping the review to less than 1,000 words. This helps to make sure that the review stays tight, succinct, and focused.

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Normally, a Q&A should consist of no more than two closely related questions. In this case though, you really are asking a single question about how to format a book review. The main answer is that you should follow the format your teacher has specified, just as professionals follow the standards of the place in which they are publishing.

Title: Normally, just use the title of the book, “A Review of ABC”.

Divide the review into sections by using sub-headings in boldface. Do not start a new page for a new section. Just place two blank lines after a given section, then the subhead for the next section, e.g.

A Review of …

Text of introductory section


Text of author section


Text of summary section


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