Learn » How to write an essay » How to Write a Critical Book Review Essay

How to Write a Critical Book Review Essay

by tutlance

How to Write a Book Review Essay Step By Step Guide

Do you know how to write a book review? If not, then in this article, we are going to look into book reviewing critically. We will teach you how to.

As a student, being assigned book reviews are a common thing. However, when asked to review an individual novel, you might not know how to go about it. What do you include? Is there a format? plus other related questions are what runs in your mind at that time. Here we are going to answer the questions. Here we will look at some aspects related to book reviews.

What is a Book Review?

A book review definition: A book review essay is a summary or essay about a novel or literature material. Is it an opinion based essay? It is often assigned to students to assess their understanding of a particular novel. It is also assigned to check if the students have read the books. It is meant to get your views on the author’s ideas and writing techniques. It is also a critic.


  1. Choose a book. If a specific book has not been assigned, choose a book to review. Choose one that you like and enjoy reading. It can be a fictional novel, as well.

  2. Create a checklist. In the checklist, include questions like;

  • What is the main idea of the book in review?

  • What is the plot of the book, it is interesting?

  • What writing techniques has the author used in the text? Do these techniques enhance the book?

  • What type of characters does the book have? Are they realistic?

  • Is the book an excellent recommendation to others?

  1. After you have made your checklist, go ahead, and read the book. Take note of every aspect used. Answer the questions in your checklist one by one. Answer them as accurately as possible noting the supporting texts. Do not be in a hurry to read as you may miss the key points. Carefully analyze the book from the beginning to the end.

  2. Write down your book review. Let us first look at the structure of a book review.

Book Review Essay Structure


Here you will introduce the book you are reviewing. Give some background information about the book. Include the book title and the author’s name. Describe the cover page, what does it entail?

Still, in the introduction, write down your thesis statement of the main idea in the book. Keep the introduction brief and precise. Make it exciting and engaging to keep the reading wanting more. Use about 5% of the total word count in the introduction.


For the body, divide it into parts of 2-4 paragraphs. Then, from the book, choose three quotes used and discuss them in the paragraphs. In each paragraph, discuss one of the quotes. Choose a specific chapter to support every quote. Also, include your views on the stated question or quote.

Have strong points to back you up. Remember the readers rely on you to understand the book. Make use of words that are catchy so as not to bore the reader. The words you use should not be complicated as they are likely to confuse your audience. Make sure your sentences are not too wordy. Keep them short and precise but interesting.

Ensure you do not compare the novel with other novels. It might not go well with the readers. Do not create scenarios that are not in the book.

Criticizes the author but equalize positivity and criticism. Say what could have been used instead of what.


Summarize everything in the essay. State if the book is worth reading or not. However, do not say you like/dislike the book. Paraphrase your view.

5. Proofread and edit. Once you have written the essay, revise it, and check for any grammatical errors the edit it. You might also consider getting a second opinion before handing over the final piece.

Writing a book review is simple as long as every detail is put in place. Ensure you read the book first before reviewing it. When next asked, faced with the question of how to write a book review? Follow each step to the letter.

Related Guides

Need Academic Writing Help?

Hire a Writer Now