Your Questions About How To Write A Book Critique

Thu, Jun 7, 2012

Writing and speaking

James asks…

How do I write a book critique?

My professor was very vague when he gave us directions for our paper. All he said was “critique the book.” What would be the best way to go about doing this? I’ve never written a critique before..I’ve already read the book.

This book is not a novel so I cannot speak of any characters/plot

vermins answers:

A critique is actually a book review. This link gives an excellent explanation of what a book review actually is.



And this one gives you even more details.


You said you’ve already read the book, which is excellent. These links will tell you what you need to do from here. Good luck!

Paul asks…

How do I write a book critique? What do I write about? It is based on The five people you meet in heaven. Help?

I have to write a 5 page paper on a book that is only 194 pages long. I don’t have anything to say but, that I liked it and why? What do I write about? What is it supposed to in tell? Help me with whatever you know or find. I have searched a lot of web spaces with nothing to show for it. Thanks!

vermins answers:

Well, a book critique should include a short summary of the story. Also put your likes and dislikes for everything. Explain how the conflict built up. Talk about the rising and falling action. Also mention how the exposition built up the story and how the resolution gave it a nice or bad finish. Good luck! I hear its a great book!

Richard asks…

How to write a book critique?

I have 3 book critiques that I need to write but I don’t no how to format it. We have a book critque suggestion but i don’t no how we’re supposed to but it together can someone help or give me and example of any book critique they’ve done, it has to be at least 2 pages doubled space? Thank you in advance :D

a. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Author, title of book, publisher, date of publication, number of pages.

b. CONTENT: A brief summary statement indicating what the book covers. Does it cover what the title and preface say it covers? Whta’s the organization? Is it historically accurate? Chronological? Topical? How does it reflect the course content? Is it a biography or monograph?

c. SOURCES: What are the author’s sources- primary materials or secondary matierals or a combination of the two? Most books will be a combination of the two. Try to indicate the relative importance of each type in the book. Were you satisfied with the author’s research?

d. INTERPRETATION: The preface and conclusion help here. Whether implied or explicit, what do you believe is the quthors interpretation – not only of the events about which she is writeing, but also of history? Is she biased? Impartial? Do her sympathies lie with “the people”- is it an elitist approach. Is there a “message”? Most scholars have some interpretation or “point of view” in approaching the events or persons that they deal with, and your task is to grasp this and analyze it.

e, STYLE: Your impression of the stle, the lucidity or lack of it, the bauty or lack of it. Is it a pleasant read? Obscure? is it readable? Give a few examples form the book- the good, the bad, or the ugly.

f. EVALUTION: Is there value to the book. What does the author set out ot do? Is the quthor convincing in his interpretation? Does she disagree in significant aspects with what you know of the subject already? Does she prove her case? Is it relevant?

vermins answers:

When you critique a book, you want to make it yours. You write IN YOUR OWN WORDS (but try to use proper grammar/spelling if you’re showing this to a teacher). You can be very general–I don’t mean not be specific, because not being specific is the LAST thing you want to do, but I mean you can talk as if you’re talking to someone.
It seems like the questions for each part give a pretty clear, easy way of critiquing the books. As long as you really read the books, you should be able to give a well-thought out and written essay, and finish in no more than an hour.
What I’m trying to say is….the questions provided really just lead you through it. It seems easy. When in doubt, just answer yes or no, then expand upon it a little. Write what you know teachers want to see. It’s a critique, it’s your opinion, so there’s no right or wrong answer.

Good luck! :)

Donna asks…

How do I write a book critique? Please help (teacher is dumb)?

My teacher said book critiques and completely different than book reports. So Im like, ok?

The thing is, I don’t know jack what to do, because she said:

1: we can only work, write, type in our classroom
2: we can’t take the work we have done home
3: we can’t work on it till the next 2 weeks.
And we haven’t started yet.

We will start like 2 weeks from now.

And she gave us 1 DAY TO WORK ON IT, -_- how stupid is that?

So I need to know exactly what to do, step by step.

vermins answers:

Introductory Statement
Did you enjoy reading this novel?
Briefly explain why reading this book was, or was not, a positive experience for you.

Body of the Critique
Topics to consider in your critique . . .
(You should pick two of the following four questions and develop each of these selected topics into a full, rich paragraph.)

#1.Characters – Were they interesting and believable? Did you have a favorite? Why was this character special to you? Did the author do a good job of creating the characters in this novel?

#2. Was the author able to hold your interest throughout the entire novel? How did he or she manage to do this?

#3. Which were your favorite scenes in this novel? Explain why you enjoyed them.

#4. What changes, if any, would you have made in this novel?

In you concluding paragraph, discuss the following topics:

What did you learn from reading this novel?Did you gain anything from the experience of reading this book?

Is this a book you would recommend to your friends?Why or why not?

See Critque example.

Maria asks…

how to write a critique book review?

vermins answers:

A critical book review has several parts.
1. Basic information about the book, such as the author’s name, the title, the date published, what kind of book (novel, stories, biography, etc), its length, number of chapters, poems, etc. This should not be a list but info embedded in a paragraph.
2. Your view of the book. Is it good? Bad? Part good, part bad? Boring? Too long? Too short? Again, all done up in a nice paragraph.
3. What gave you the opinion of the book that you laid out in paragraph 2? You might get into interesting characters, good (or bad) points of the author’s style, organization of the plot, richness (or not) of description. There are lots and lots of possible things to discuss. You should aim to have several paragraphs, each one supporting the opinion of the book you set forth in paragraph 2. You will have to vary these according to what type of book you are reviewing.
4. A final paragraph that ties it all together. Talk about the author’s place in his genre, whether you would like to read more of his work, whether you recommend it heartily, somewhat or not at all.
Good luck.

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