Writing a book review in six steps

Writing a book review in six steps

A book review is the in-depth analysis of a book, evaluation or description often written in relation to research on a topic or a book. It gives books visibility and greater chance of getting found by more readers. It also helps readers decide if they should read a particular book or not. How do you write a book review?


1) Basic Introduction


2) Attention Grabber


3) Plot


4) Book Assessment


5) Observations, Commendations and Condemnations


6) Conclusion and Recommendations




1) Basic Introduction:

The introductory Section familiarizes the readers with  basic information about the book. The section may contain the following;

-Book Title


-Year of release


-Name of the writer

-Awards if there is any

2) Attention Grabber:

This is the First thing the reader sees after the basic information about the book. The attention grabber can be a quote from the book, a brief reference to your favorite scene or chapter in the play/novel or an exciting /witty reference to the characters, awards or sales of the book. For example,


For Things Fall Apart Review, the Attention Grabber can be:

“Over 150,000 copies sold and translated into over 50 languages worldwide, Two Nollywood adaptations, several references in Pop Culture and widely regarded by critics as one of the best novels in the history of Nigerian Literature, what is so special about Chinua Achebe’s 1958 novel  ” Things Fall Apart “

The essence of Attention Grabber is to grab and ensure the attention of the reader is captured right from the beginning of the review.

3) Plot:

A summary of the events of the book, one or two paragraphs is sufficient for this aspect. The Plot section gives the readers an insight into what the book is all about.


4) Book Assessment:

This is the main body of the Book Review, the following items  will aid the proper utilization of this section of the Book Review;

a) THEMES – Themes of the plot (Love, Politics, Violence, Fate, Racism, Religion) and the strength of the portrayal of these themes in the book can be discussed.


C) CHARACTERIZATION –  The characters in the book and the emotions they convey and parts they play in arriving at the climax. (The protagonist, The Antagonist, The Dialogue, The  characters you find interesting, characters you feel shouldn’t be in the book)


d) LITERARY DEVICES – The use of Hyperbole, Metaphors, Similes in the book, whether the story is anticlimax or climax. The narration style, use of flashbacks, monologues and dialogues can also be discussed.


e) WRITER – The Writer’s Style whether it is fast paced or slow, and also, the tone and mood of the writer can be examined. The use of words whether complex or simple also falls under the writers section. 


5) Observations, Commendations and Condemnation:

This is where the writer can examine the flaws and the perfections of the book. Any additional observation. Commendation (high points and positive aspects of the book) and Condemnation (negative review and observations) of the book is stated here.


6) Conclusion and Recommendation:

The writer concludes the review with his/her/they overall rating of the book. Recommendations can also be made to the authors in regards of sequels. The writer can also make recommendations as to the type and range of audience that would love the book and any other recommendations to intending book readers they see fit.


Note one of the major reasons why someone is reading a review is to decide whether he or she should read the book or not, so your review should give a suitable answer to guide and solve the dilemma of the book.



It is very important and essential that the writer ensures he or she proofreads the article before sending it over to the publisher. This makes publishing faster and saves the editor from avoidable stress. While Proofreading yourself or giving someone else to proof read, make sure you or the proofreader pay attention to the following

a) Grammar and Punctuation errors

b) Syntax and Semantics

c) Avoid Spoilers

d) Avoid use of unnecessary words and scenarios

e) Confirm that you have used an appropriate book review format

f) Make sure it is well paragraphed and follows an organized sequence

g) Check your work for originality

A good book review helps readers decided and have a profound interest in a book.

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