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Review Essay

Review Essay

Review essays are assigned to students to check their understanding about a particular book or work of art or movie, etc. This article is aimed at giving you guidelines and tips on how to write a review essay for an academic book and some tips on writing a review essay on a fictional book.

Things to do while reading the book

Read and understand the preface of the book. This will help you identify statement(s) that relate to the primary purpose of the author to write the book. You will also get an idea about the major themes and perspectives of the book.

Now, read the full book thoroughly. Since you have a gist of what the major perspective and ideas of the book will be, it will be easier to follow the book than if you had not focused on the preface of the book.

At the end of each chapter, look at the main themes and jot down your reviews and ideas about them

As you are reading the book, think that you are having a conversation with the author. Imagine you are asking the questions that are coming up in your mind as you are reading and see if you can find the answers in the book.

Things to do while writing the review essay of the book

The review essay should include brief and succinct statements that tell the readers the issues, problems, and the subject matter that the book is talking about

The essay must include the author's main arguments in brief along with the conclusions he or she has reached. You must include the flow of the author's discussions to arrive at the conclusion.

The review essay must also include discussions about the strengths and weaknesses of the book. Here, you must also explain how and why you arrived at the list of the strengths and weaknesses

Lastly, your review essay must conclude with the contributions that the book has made to the field of study. The contributions can be in the form of helping us improve our understanding of a topic or creating a new idea altogether

Things to keep in mind while writing your review essay

One of the primary aspects of a great content lies in its clear and concise communication style. To achieve this, it is imperative that you edit and proofread your essay to get a perfect one. It is highly impossible for a first draft to be the perfect essay.

In your review essay, make sure you define key terms that the author has used in the book

You must include sufficient evidence and examples to support your own conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of the book.

The length of the review essay will depend on the book you are reviewing and your professor's instructions

Unlike a summary, you must not simply write the details of each chapter in brief. You must analyze the book and point out how the author has discussed and concluded his or her main arguments. You must necessarily talk about the good and the bad aspects of the book (with sufficient examples and evidence taken from the book and other credible sources)

Tips on how to write review essays on fictional books

It is important to keep in mind never to give away the plot and the twists in the plot while writing a review essay on books of fiction. Here are some tips:

You should start the essay with a few sentences that describe the book (without giving away the plot). For this, avoid talking about anything in the middle of the book. If it is part of a trilogy or some kind of series, you must mention it here.

You must then discuss what you liked about the book and these ideas could help you:

  • Your favorite character with reasons

  • Did you feel the characters were real?

  • Did the narrative keep you on your toes constantly guessing what will happen next?

  • Your favorite part with reasons

  • Did you like the way certain parts of the book were written? Explain in brief

  • Did it make you cry, laugh or ponder on certain things?

  • Was the story gripping right till the end?

Include aspects that you did not like about the book and round up your review essay by telling the reader what kind of an audience will like the book. And do you recommend reading it?

Final notes

Writing a review essay can be quite an enjoyable experience as you read and write about your favorite book, movie, piece of art, or anything else you like. If you find it difficult to write your essay, call our essay writing experts at Prescott Papers for help.

Call us for all your academic writing needs including custom essays on any topic or subject, writing assignments, research papers, dissertations, and more.

The Help Essay

This article gives you an example of The Help Essay. I have divided the essay on "The Help" into the following segments:

  • Setting of the book

  • The Main Characters

  • The Plot Summary

  • What aspects of writing can you learn from this book?

Setting of the book

The Help is set in Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960s. This was the author's hometown and the importance of the setting is very critical because Jackson was one of the most segregated towns in the United States back then. This book written on the subject of racism in the US could not have had a better setting than Jackson.

The Main Characters

There are three main characters in this book including Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny and the narrative moves seamlessly from one character to the other right through the book. Aibileen is an African-American domestic help who cleans the houses of and cares for the children of rich white families in Jackson.

Minny is an African-American domestic help too but her frankness in voicing her opinions about injustice directly to her employers has made her lose her job many times. Skeeter's full name is Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan and belongs to a rich white family. Her family's cotton farm is spread over several hundreds of acres and employs many African-Americans both on the field and at their huge home.

The Plot Summary

The plot revolves around the telling of the unfortunate and sad circumstances surrounding colored maids in the south. Skeeter feels the urge to write a book and talk about the sad plight of colored people because she realizes how the trusted nanny Constantine from her childhood was sacked from her job because she was too old and feeble to do anything now.

Skeeter decides to do something about the injustice served on the African-Americans through her book. To write her book, she needs the inputs from the colored maids and for this, she needed to win their trust. Winning the trust of these people was as difficult as writing the book. Owing to huge divisions between the white and black people, none of the colored maids would speak to her initially.

The narrative of the story goes through many episodes of unjust behavior done against colored people. The book finally gets published anonymously and becomes a bestseller. Very soon, the white people of the book begin to recognize themselves as characters in the book. The book becomes an irrefutable and powerful voice for the colored maids of Jackson, Mississippi.

What aspects of writing can you learn from this book?

This book uses many rhetorical devices effectively. Each of Kathryn Stockett's characters appears real and true to life. The writing is so clear and straightforward that readers will not need to make any inferences about anything in the book. The author uses colloquial language right through the book and varies this colloquialism to match the character speaking the lines.

Final Notes

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