Book & Article Reviews
What is a review?
A book or
article review is a combination of facts (the actual content of the text)
and criticism (analysis of the text). A book/article review should
accomplish three things:
what type of book or article is being reviewed. Is it fictional or
researched or autobiographical? Make this clear in your introduction.
Summarize the book or article's content.
Critically analyze the book or article and weigh its merits.
How do I summarize?
is a concise statement in your own words of the book or article's thesis,
main points, and conclusion. Make your summary an appropriate length: Do not
retell all the information, but do not leave out anything important. Also,
do not include your opinion in the summary. Keep the following questions in
are the major points that the author is trying to get across? How does the
author support these points?
are the key terms that the author uses?
organizational structure does the author use.
additional guidance on writing summaries, refer to the Writing Center's
How do I write a critical analysis?
analysis should reflect your opinion of the book or article. Do not be
misled by the word "opinion"; keep your criticism as objective and logical
as possible. Judge the book or article on its merits, not by your personal
feelings or preferences. Also, back up your analysis with examples and
supporting arguments; do not just tell your reader your gut feelings about
the following questions:
1. Is the
author successful in getting the main points across?
the author adequately define key terms?
does the author support the main points? What type of evidence does he use?
Is that evidence strong enough?
the author's conclusion coincide with your knowledge of the subject?
5. Do you
have any personal experience which supports or conflicts with the author's
you read other books or articles which agree or disagree with this one?
7. Do you
think this book is worthwhile reading?