How to Write a Book Review: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Writing Plan:

1) Introduction: (Paragraph 1)

Write an introductory paragraph that introduces the book and catches the readers’ interest.

2) Main body: (Paragraphs 2 & 3):

a) A brief summary of the book’s contents (e.g. the main characters, the setting and book genre – romance, thriller). Be careful not to reveal too much of the story, or you’ll ruin it for new readers.

b)  Analyze or critique the book. You can write about your own opinions; just be sure that you explain and support them with examples. Some questions you might want to consider:

  • Did the author achieve his or her purpose?
  • What did you like/dislike about the book?
  • Did you have a favourite character?
  • Is the writing effective, powerful, difficult, beautiful?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the book?
  • For non-fiction, what are the author's qualifications to write about the subject? Do you agree with the author's arguments and conclusions?
  • What is your overall response to the book? Did you find it interesting, moving, dull?
  • Have you learnt anything from the book?

3) Conclusion: (Final Paragraph)

Finish your review with one or two sentences that summarize your overall response to the book / film

Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not?


Paragraph 1
An introductory paragraph which clearly defines the topic to be covered and keeps the reader’s attention.

Main Body
Paragraphs 2, 3, 4
Paragraphs in which the topic is further developed in detail.

Final Paragraph
Summarising the topic or a final opinion, recommendation or comment.


Paragraph plan


Reports should have a clear factual title.


The opening paragraph outlining the purpose of the report.


2-3 paragraphs

Each paragraph may come under a subheading which divide the writing into different subsections.

Use linking devices to connect the different paragraphs.


This varies according to the question. You may be asked to sum up the information, to make recommendations or to comment on possibilities. 

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