Archive for December, 2011

How to Write a Critical Book Review

To let you understand what a critical book review is, let’s define firstly what is a book review itself? Book review is an academic paper that gives an analysis of a book based on content, style, and merits. To make a book review critical, you should add more personal judgments and evaluations. It is very important to understand the book completely in order to write a good book review. Now, let’s divide your critical book reviewing into steps.

Even before an actual reading, study the table of contest and chapter titles, read the preface. It will help you to understand a book’s structure and writer’s way of thinking. You should study the writer’s biography to understand the reason of his writing. It might be good to read others critical reviews. Take some notes while reading, then you will use them for your outline. Find a way you are going to criticize, then revise your notes and eliminate all that doesn’t relate to your future thesis.

First thing you have to do, is to write a draft. Think about what will go into your introduction, body and conclusion. For example in the intro you can analyze the potential target audiences. Tell about the author’s purpose in writing the book and what have influenced him/her to write the book. Show your overall opinion of the book. In a few words explain the basis of your opinion and state the main thesis.

In the body of the review you start to evaluate the book. This evaluation should contain your arguments that support your thesis. Here you can identify the author’s main thesis and agree or disagree with them. Try to discuss not only the author’s point of view, but the accuracy of the facts, the use of the language and writing style. Comment all these by using quotations from the text, so that your book review reader would understand right away your idea. You can criticize by answering such questions as: Is the book lacking of argumentation or information, that in your opinion has to be? Are the ideas logical and easy to follow? How skillfully does the author use vocabulary, explains and supports his own arguments? Is there anything that is missing in the book? Does it need illustration? Don’t make any offensive statements here. In general you can find lots of information from the book to criticize. Be creative and remember that you have always to prove and explain your statements.

In the conclusion you should summarize your main thesis. On the ground of your short summary tell about your expectation. Were they met? What have you learnt from this book? There is a good way of an impressive end. Imagine that you could meet the author of the book and tell about your possible conversation. This will leave your review reader ran information to think about.

After you will be done with the draft, proofread it. Check for grammar and punctuation errors, for errors in your quotations, and for your logical development. Ideally, you should leave your first draft for a day or two before revising. Then you will be more open minded and will be more objective in checking. This might lead even to some radical changes of your paper’s plot.

Jennifer Burns

21 comments - What do you think?
Posted by mark - December 8, 2011 at 10:25 am

Categories: Critical Thinking   Tags:

Regarding online editorial blogs & opinions, why do liberal ones seem more long winded than conservative ones?

Personally,when I do read online editorial blogs & opinions,I like the conservative ones better,because they seem to be more straightforward & to the point,as opposed to liberal ones,which seem to be,in my opinion,wordier & more long winded & not straightforward & to the point. In other words,pointless!Why is that?

At first I thought I’d make this response really long but I wasn’t sure if you’d get the sarcasm.
Conservative opinions are based on pretty simple concepts that superficially make sense. They don’t want to explore issues too deeply because they do become more complicated and require further thought.
Liberals tend to over-think issues and concentrate on exceptions. A liberal will view the issue from more then one point of view and its impact on society. A conservative only considers how an issue impacts them.

22 comments - What do you think?
Posted by mark - December 2, 2011 at 9:04 am

Categories: Conservative Blogs   Tags: