Kell

Steps for writing a good book review

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36 posts in this topic

I'm not sure where you got the idea that we are saying reviews should be regimented. The original poster labelled it a 'rough guide', and proceeded herself to say she doesn't really follow any set structure for writing reviews. The entire point of her posting it, as is made obvious by the above, and by what everyone else who has commented in this thread chose to take from it - is to in fact aid people looking for a little help with structuring their reviews. Nobody is evaluating anybody's ability to write reviews, it was a simple offer of advice for people to take or leave as they wish - and according to the poll 43 people happily took something from it!

 

It is, as you say, a crutch for people wanting to work on the technical side of their review writing, IF they choose to use it; I don't know where you got the idea that it's anything more than that.

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As Noll says, it was just a rough guide I found online and posted in response to people asking how to go about writing a review. Telling someone who's never written a review and doesn't know where to start just to "go with the flow" isn't exactly helpful. And there are some useful tips in there to remember even when going with the flow, as I've read countless reviews where the reviewer neglects yo mention the author's name even once (and if there are multiple books with the same or similar titles, that can be problematic), or in some cases, even the title of the book! If either of those things are missing and then they don't even bother to mention the themes and only include what they thought of it, then you're going ot struggle to find out what the book is!

 

Writing reviews gets easier with practice. As I mentioned very early on in the thread, at school we were given a rough template for our book reviews which most of the kids found very helpful and although I tend to go with the flow with my own reviews, I always ensire I include certain elements with the factual information (title, author's name, and even the ISBN of the copy I read) clearly at the beginning so everyone knows exaclty which book I'm reviewing. So you see, even when "going with the flow" we fall into a pattern of ease when we review in order to include all the useful general information as well as our personal thoughts on the book in question.

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I also think there are different types of reviews - most are to give a potential reader an idea about what to expect, so they can make an informed decision as to whether they will read it. If I go to amazon, for example, I'm really not interested in long rambling reviews, and I really don't care about the reviewers personality - I simply want to know what the book is about, it's style, any negatives to be aware of etc.

 

I don't see reviews as being there to spark discussion - a forum such as this is much better for that! :D

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Always toy with the idea of reviewing, this will definitely help! Thanks!

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This is a great list. It's also important to find the redeeming qualities of a book you may not like. I've read and reviewed a lot of books that I didn't particularly care for but knew that other would appreciate it. Balance is key! 

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I've very recently decided to venture into the world of blogging/reviewing and these suggestions are much appreciated.

 

I, for one, am glad they weren't torn up into shreds and burnt. Everyone has to start somewhere.

 

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This guide helped in my latest review and allowed me to flourish from set points instead of writing a confusing cluster. Thank you for sharing, Kell; bookmarked in the browser.

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