Overview of a Book Review for College

Is it another time you need to demonstrate apt skills on how to write a book review for college?

Are you frantically looking for book review examples?

For most, this is not the best of their time in school!

This is because book reviews could be demanding because of restricting time frames and writing skills requirements.

First, you have to understand what a book review is. It is important to note that a book review could be easily confused with a book report.

The difference is outright however.

While a book report primarily contains facts, a book review is founded more on your personal opinion.


Tips on how to Write a Book Review for College

Good book reviews for college should exhibit some features that distinguish them from poor work.

Whether it is book reviews on novels or fiction book reviews, these features usually come in handy.

Such features include:

1. Should include author and book’s names: As evidenced in good book review examples, you must include the author and book’s names in your book review.

These names must appear in the review’s first paragraph. This applies for book reviews of famous books as well.

You should realize that it is frustrating for readers to go through a review without being able to identify its title and/ or the author.

Such an incident will always create a negative impression and therefore lower the quality of your work.


2. Should include a brief summary: It is important to include a brief summary of the book.

Effective skills on how to write a book review for college requires you to provide a brief general summary of the book under review. This is important in creating a foundation for effective analysis.

You should be careful not to provide key details such as plot twists or spoilers.

Note that it is tempting to include core details especially when doing book reviews of famous books. To avoid this, you should ensure that you exclude content appearing from the middle of the book onwards.

Importantly, the summary should clearly highlight the theme of the book.


3. Should use character’s full names: It is critical to clearly identify characters in the book.

A good approach in how to write a book review for college would require you to ensure that the reader easily recognizes the characters you are writing about.

For this reason, as illustrated in proper book review examples, you must include the full names of the characters when mentioning them for the first time.

The names can be shortened in subsequent mentioning but in a manner that avoids confusion.


4. Should use quotes: Quotes are very important when it comes to how to write a book review for college. In this, quotes should act as direct examples to the arguments advanced in the book review.

For instance, if you make an argument of how a character is wise, you should go ahead and provide a quote that illustrates the wisdom. You should see to it that you use short and clear quotes.


5. Should clearly state your opinion: Your opinion must be clearly put across. Whether it is book reviews on novels or fiction book reviews, the reader should be able to identify your view about the book under review.

This is the epitome of a book review.

In doing so, you should stipulate what you liked about the book. This could focus on characters, parts of the book, scenes, story’s cohesion and convincingness, and story’s engagement.

You should also mention what you did not like about the book.


6. Apply adjectives and adverbs: Effective use of adjectives and adverbs is an important skill on how to write a book review for college. The two should be used to help precisely express your opinion about the book.

For example, you should effectively illustrate the levels of displeasure or satisfaction with the book.

You can therefore use words such “excessively imposing” or “exceedingly polite” to express your opinions about characters or the book.


Steps on how to Write a Book Review for College

Writing a book review should be systematic process. This process could be defined by the below steps.


Step I: Conducting a General Assessment of the Book

This should be the first step when writing a book review for college. One of the things to assess is book’s genre.

You need to understand whether you are writing a romance, adventure, mystery, or fiction book review. This is important in helping determine the features to look for when coming up with your opinion.

You should also examine the key aspects of the book. This would entail the identification of common themes, main characters, and plot. The general assessment should provide a platform for detailed analysis.


Step II: Developing the Thesis Statement

This another critical step on how to write a book review for college.

Now that you have the general overview of the book, it is time to identify its main argument. Doing so requires you to summarize the whole book using between one and three sentences.

Although this could be challenging for book reviews on novels with numerous themes, you have to identify the main idea advanced amongst the respective themes.

You can do this by clearly stating what the book has achieved.


Step III: Developing the Main Points

This is a crucial step on how to write a book review for college. It is equivalent to developing a draft of the arguments you intend to advance in your review.

You should come up with short notes on the points you plan to use to support your arguments.

The points should cover all the relevant sections of the book review, that is, introduction, summary, analysis, and conclusion.


Step IV: Writing the Review

This step entails putting your points together into one coherent argument. When it comes to how to write a book review for college, you should focus on the below areas:

Introduction: The introduction should be precise and catchy. It should include the following:

-Book title, author’s names, and the main argument.

-Details about the author’s authority in the genre.

-The context of the review in relation to the book, that is, how the book is relevant to what you want to review.

-The thesis statement. This entails the contribution or unique angle of the book to its respective genre.

Content Summary

This entails a concise sum up of the book. Good skills on how to write a book review for college demands that you summarize the book in a few sentences.

The summary should focus on the content of the book, including its major themes.



This part should include paragraphs that advance your argument. It should contain evidence from the book, including relevant quotes.

The section encompasses details about themes, characters, plot, and their respective contributions in supporting your argument.

It is not necessary to arrange the content in chronological order. However, it is advisable to provide page numbers particularly when you use quotes.



This part entails a sum up of the ideas in the book. When doing so, you should restate the thesis statement. Further, you should clearly put across your opinion about the book.

This entails evaluating its strengths and weaknesses.


Step V: Proofreading the Review

This should be the last step when it comes to how to write a book review for college.

Its objective is to ensure that the review is in line with the book’s key argument, it is coherent, and devoid of grammatical mistakes.

You should reread the review for about three times.