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When you have to write a critique of a novel or a book, you need to make sure that you understand the task properly. First of all, you have to remember that writing a critique is not the same as writing a review. Understand this difference from their definitions:
- A book review is a summary that allows the readers to learn more about the book. Here you just describe the plot for those who didn’t read the book.
- A book critique is the evaluation and analysis, where you don’t give a book description. Your task here is to offer your personal evaluation and critique of the book.
Steps before Writing
- Carefully read the book on which you have to write a critique. Pay attention to its key points and make notes.
- Grasp the author’s main idea.
- Make a summary of the book to see its main events.
- Read some reviews of the book to better understand its meaning. Use these articles in your bibliography.
Just like any other academic paper, a book critique needs to have a particular structure that includes the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion.
It should include the following information:
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- The author’s name
- The book’s title (include the date of publication and the number of pages, if necessary)
- The author’s statement given in the book
- Your reaction to the book and to the author’s statement
There is no definite number of paragraphs you should have in your paper. But the minimum is two paragraphs: one for the book summary and another for its evaluation. The book summary has to be very brief. Make sure to state the author’s main points and purpose of writing the book here. In your evaluation, you should present a book analysis using certain questions:
- Does the author give logical arguments?
- Does the author interpret the facts in an understandable way?
- Does the author use proper methods to gather information?
- Does the author state his/her main point successfully?
- Can this book be related to any other books in a similar field?
- Does this book relate to your personal opinion on the subject?
- Does the book have the well-written characters?
- What scene is the most important on the book, to your opinion? Why?
- Would you make any changes to the book?
- Does the author succeed in holding the reader’s interest throughout the book?
In your conclusion, you should include the following:
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- Give the general opinion on the book
- Describe its positive and negative sides
- Assess the book’s value for the readers
- Tell what a reader can learn from this book
- Explain why you would or wouldn’t recommend this book to others
Remember to be specific. Avoid general words and use the examples from the book. Add page numbers to the examples.