The purpose of a book review essay is to determine how well a student read and understood the book. The difference between a book review essay and a book ?report? is that in the book essay the student strives for a more in-depth analytical treatment of the book, and in doing so provides the appropriate historical and analytical background to allow a complete examination of the book and its subject.
The book review essay should begin with a thesis statement outlining exactly what the student will accomplish in the essay. Once this has been accomplished the next section is the summary of the book. The student should provide a summary of the major points of the book. In doing so the student will use citations when necessary to provide the reader where the information was gathered. If direct quotes are used to emphasize a point or statement, etc., direct quotation marks should be used and the correct citations given. All citations must conform to Turabian Style Format. For information on this style of citation go to www.uwa.edu and click on Library, then Index, then Writing and you will find the Turabian Style Format and a Turabian Style Form Guide. Also click under Library and then click Browse the Internet Resources by Subject?click on History and you will find journals, etc., to aid you.
The key to citation is to cite your source material that allows the reader to find the source of your information. The summary should not be overly long, but long enough to cover the major themes of the book. The student must use their judgment at this stage.
Once the student has completed the summary section, they should then begin the critical analysis section of the book. It is in this section of the book review essay that the student analyzes the book. The student should ask for example, ?Who was the author of the book? Where did the author get their information?? How professional was the book? What sources were used? How readable is the book? It is in this section that the reviewer can use other sources to help illustrate their point of view. The reviewer can use references to locate the credentials of the author, and book reviews of the book. The student does not necessarily have to agree with reviews given in the essay. It is in this section that the student determines how well the book was written.
The final section is the conclusion. Sum up your ideas and tell the strengths and weaknesses of the book and offer a judgment on the book. Throughout the review the reviewer should seek to answer the questions who, what, when, where, why and how/