Book Chapter Review: Ultimate Guide for Needy Students

What is writing a book chapter review all about? The goal of this project is to share your viewpoint of the literature work or some part of it (chapter) while supporting your opinion with strong evidence taken from the text directly.

Questions to Answer Before You Start Writing a Book Chapter Review

According to online dictionaries, a review is a report that includes an evaluation of something. The most convenient way to write a review is to make a list of questions and answer them. Below, one can see an approximate list:

  • What message does the book convey?
  • What is the theme of the book and the chapter you have chosen for the review? Does the chosen chapter echo the topic of the book?
  • What methods does the author use in the chosen chapter to support the main idea of the book? Are there any facts or shreds of evidence? Does the author sound convincing? What language does he or she use to express the ideas? Are they suitable for that purpose?
  • What is the value of the selected chapter? Is it central or supporting? Why do you think so? What will happen if you delete this chapter from the book? Will the message change?

Answers depend on the college requirements. They can be detailed or not. One should read them carefully to create a top-level literature review.

Four Steps from Experts to Consider

Let’s check four steps that you have to take one at a time to write a reliable book chapter review.

Step 1. In a perfect world, you have enough time to read the whole book. Having a complete picture in your head will help you immerse yourself in the story and get to the core of what the author is trying to say in the written piece.

Step 2. Read the chapter once again. This time, do it with a critical eye. Consider and highlight the things you believe are important. Be attentive during your reading sessions, and make sure to take notes of what matters to you (and will later to your readers). This is what they call “annotation.”

Step 3. Write a thesis statement. It must include a subject of your review and opinion. While the subject here is the book chapter under review, your opinion is an explanation of how this very chapter contributes to the general picture or for what purpose the author used some literary devices.
If literary devices aren’t your strong suit, we have some examples to ease the process:

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?
  • The last chapter of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” written by J.K. Rowling shows Harry as the symbol of light and hope in a world full of evil powers.
  • The author uses allusions in the book. Even the title of it “Gone with the Wind” is an allusion itself to the poem written by Ernest Dowson. His work is like crying for lost love, that definitely has something to do with the story by Margaret Mitchell.
  • In “Frankenstein,” the author Mary Shelley employs many devices, especially the one called ethos. In a famous story, ethos is used at the very beginning of the novel, where the letters written by Walton to his sister show affection and deep love. This adds certain credibility to the story of Victor and then to his monster. By using ethos, Shelley provides her readers with an opportunity to be outside the plot and, at the same time, to remain as close to the characters as possible.
  • In Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind,” the author uses imagery throughout her work. In the novel, Mitchell uses descriptions and visceral sounds generously to capture the spirit of the time together with the horrors of war.

Don’t underestimate the power of a sound thesis statement. The point is that the success of every word you’re going to produce from this part will result from the success of your thesis statement.

Step 4. Learning how to write a good book chapter review is impossible without a solid outline. What makes a sound outline? Let’s find it out below.

A. Provide a topic sentence for the 1st body paragraph. Use it to support your thesis statement. For instance: Telling the story of her life in the first person, Jane Eyre recalls how as an orphan since infancy, she has been raised by Mrs. Reed, who was her maternal uncle’s wife.
At this point, you have to provide your first portion of the evidence. The latter, by the way, should be taken from the chapter under review. Use a specific fact, a direct quotation, or a short summary. Ensure you don’t confuse your target readers with unnecessary facts or an unlimited flow of information.

B. Main points. Choose four or five major points and let your readers know how the author of the book supports each. Provide a separate paragraph for every main point. You’re basically writing the other type of college essay.

C. Author. At this point, you talk about the professional experience, background, and qualifications of the author that together helped to create this work of literary art. Check online sources or library materials for more information. Mind that each source that you use should be provided with appropriate credit.

D. Your evaluation. What did you manage to learn from this chapter? If it’s the first chapter from “Romeo and Juliet” that you’re reviewing, you may let your readers know that you’ve got to know that the ending of the love story is actually revealed at the beginning of it – right in the prologue. Tell your readers that when the Chorus sings, “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes/A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,” it clearly tells us what kind of tragedy to expect at the end of the story.
Was the chapter clearly written? Did the author open up the issue the way you expected? Is this chapter relevant to modern life?

E. Conclude your book chapter review. Did the author succeed in accomplishing the key purpose of the chapter? Would you recommend this book to the other students? If yes/no, why?

Choose the Topic

Although the book chapter review differs from a standard college essay, the process of preparation, writing, and editing is pretty much the same. Just like in the case of the essay, you have to choose a sound topic that will interest your reader. In the process, be careful to avoid spoilers. Readers hate spoilers, and if you fail to provide one, they are not going to forgive you! Choose the topic for your review so that you don’t rob your reader of that unique surprise reaction. If there’s sudden death, a shocking twist, or a surprise come back in the chapter under review, don’t let your readers guess that right from your title.
At the same time, it is important to make your topic hooking and inspiring to make your readers want to know more.

Find Your Genuine Voice

Many readers decide to read more than just the title of your book chapter review because they enjoy unique reviewing styles. Celebrate your unique review style and give the vision that no one else can offer. This is especially crucial if you want to be honest in your writing, so ensure to make it personal. Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t happen at once. There’s always time to rewrite, fix, hone your unique voice, and keep on working on it.

Know Your Audience

It is important to know the kind of audience even if you are reviewing only a part of the book since it will give you an idea of what kind of language to use. You should then read the chapter of the book once again and, afterward, reevaluate its content. When you are reading the chapter and taking notes, always leave some space between the lines, so you can later add ideas or correct any misunderstandings that your readers might experience. It is also important to mention that you should remember that it is the book chapter review that you are writing – not a critique or summary. Keep in mind your target audience and be careful of what information you include. Make sure you don’t overload the paper with your personal opinions. Be as neutral as possible.

Read the Other Reviews

Do some online search to find internet resources with book reviews. Choose the examples that you think are relevant to your topic and effective in your writing. Save several reviews that deserve more attention than the rest. Ask yourself what it is that you like about this or that work, as well as come up with a way to discuss the same issues uniquely in your own review. Maybe you’re impressed with all those accurate characters’ descriptions, virtuous plot summaries, or writing styles that all seem to have a confident voice. Or, perhaps, you are swayed by controversial or humor-based reviews. Finally, maybe only book chapter reviews with a serious tone are the ones to keep your attention. Whatever it is that you choose to use as your inspiration, feel free to apply all these techniques to make your own writing stronger and more successful.

Edit and Proofread before Submitting

Most students pay attention only to the content of a book chapter review. They forget that it is also essential to check the grammar and punctuation of the written text. Those who are not good at English need help with the correct paper editing and proofreading. These are the best tools that students can use to cope with these tasks.

Grammarly
This online tool is unique because it identifies mistakes and suggests ideas for their correction. A person should insert the text and set goals. Unfortunately, a computer can make mistakes. For example, the program does not take into consideration jokes, mistakes made on purpose, and other language tricks that contradict the rules of the language. A free version helps users to identify basic errors. If one wants to improve the overall quality, it will be better to upgrade and pay for extra options such as sentence clarity, tone, and style.

Hemingway
If students have to be precise and avoid unnecessary details, this application will show them what words to delete to enhance the readability. As a rule, it suggests users delete adverbs and correct lengthy sentences and phrases.

PlagScan
Except for good content, a review must be unique. It is not a secret that the Internet is full of reviewed books. A student can use them to cheat and select the best variant among the given chapters. One can investigate them to get a high-quality sample, but a student must not copy it. Students need online examples to see proper structuring, presentation, and word selection. PlagScan shows whether a paper is original or the text was stolen on the World Wide Web.

Conclusion

It does not matter what you review – a chapter of a book in History, Harry Potter, or the Anthropocene Reviewed. The main thing is to choose a decent topic, write without mistakes, structure the review neatly, and provide the required information to reflect the message of the book and the selected chapter in particular.

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