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Book reviews are general written assessments on books that not only analyze the content but also critique the content and how the work was authored. These reviews are conducted for two basic reasons. The first reason is for commercial purposes, where the book reviews are meant to act as marketing tools which help buyers to know what is inside the book. Commercial book reviews are basically written to appeal to whoever would be interested in purchasing a book from the genre that is designated. They therefore may fail to highlight the negative parts of the book or where it fails to appeal or deliver the content expected of it. The second purpose of book reviews is evaluation. At times the reviews are evaluated in academia for the sole purpose of making students aware of the content of certain specific books. The books selected for book review assignments are usually brief and the student is expected to have gone through them before writing a preview.
These book reviews are also meant to help the students to generally develop good evaluation skills that can enable them profile books and find out through book reviews which book can serve their study purposes well. Book reviews generally have a basic format of documentation with slight variations that may arise depending on the genre of the book. The first section of the review simply highlights the basic details about a book and these include the title of the book, authors, publication year, publishing house, copyright details, ISBN numbers, genre of book the general subject matter that the book covers and any special features that the book may posses. This is then followed by the author’s intention of writing the book which is supported by explaining the kind of content within the book.
Many at times authors state their aim of writing on the preface section and this may greatly help getting a quick idea on what the author may actually be out to present. This part of the book review may also include the intended audience, style of authorship, point of view undertaken in writing the book as well as the reason why the author may have written the book. The theme of the book should also be included, and this highlights the subject matter or topic that is mainly highlighted within the work. The theme is used to express a general phase of a specific issue which should later be mentioned. The method of development of the book’s main content may also be explained through the approaches applied. These approaches could narrative, descriptive or argumentative-just to mention but a few. The book review writer should also include a little character description if the book contains characters.
Finally, the book review should be concluded by the writer and reader’s own opinion which should include the evaluation of the book’s objectivity, attainment of goals, usefulness and thoroughness. This is meant to help the rest of the readership assess whether the book is worth reading. A personal review should not be biased but well explained and well stated with purposes for example as to why the book may have failed to attain its intended objectives or goals. If the book has succeeded it is good to offer an appraisal too and finally recommend the book to the readers that may view your book review.