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When it comes to writing book reviews, there are a few standard elements that always need to be in place. Knowing and having a basic understanding of these elements is the best way to get your book review off to a good start. The first element that is necessary and that should open your review is a short summary of the plot. This can include any ideas or lessons you learned, any main characters, any plot twists that won’t ruin the story, and any other plot elements that may help the reader understand what you are talking about. You can also include a brief biography of the author to help establish credibility and expertise. Next you need to have a basic argument, was the book good or bad, did it meet the goals that were set by the author, did the book make sense, and so on. After you have determined your argument, you need at least three pieces of supporting data to back up your claim. Say for instance you read a book and you said that the main character was too scared and that it hindered the reading of the story, finding three instances in which the main character was scared or unable to do something because of fear would be a great way to support your central argument. Having ample information to help support your argument is very nearly the only way that you can convince your readers that your interpretation is correct or at least well supported. The last thing that you need is a conclusion that wraps up your argument and brings the reader back to the central focus which should always be the book that you are reviewing. This conclusion will tie up your argument, bring readers back to the book, and offer a bit of food for thought for readers to take away from your review.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|