To help foster your creative talents and to reinforce the necessary skills of critical reading and writing, you need to participate in a summer reading project and writing assignment. Every school has its their own requirements for summer reading. Usually you have to read two books from a summer reading list and write an essay about one of them. For the book you don’t choose for your essay, you have to submit a book review.
The first step in writing a book review is reading the book and taking notes. First of all, familiarize yourself with the book and form initial ideas about it. Then, collect evidence to support your impressions.
The review should have one central thesis (main point) and should be organized logically to support that thesis. The review must have four components, which may or may not be used as headings to organize the review:
1. Details of the book
Present a full bibliographic entry for the book. Include the total number of pages. Some reviews also include the price and ISBN number.
2. Background of the author
Do some research on the author – qualifications, background, church affiliation, ministry position or experience, previous publications. Briefly note anything about the author that sheds light on the book being reviewed.
3. Description of the purpose
You should remember that the description is not a summary of the book. It should show the author’s main purpose and thesis (authors often state their purpose in the preface or introduction), then describe how he or she sets about achieving the purpose and developing the thesis. Those who read your description should have a clear understanding of the book’s main purpose and how the author went about achieving it.
4. Evaluation of the book
The longest and most important part of the review is to evaluate the book:
How effectively did the author develop his or her thesis?
How well did he or she achieve the purpose?
It is crucial to evaluate the book with the author’s stated purpose in mind. State how well you believe the author achieved his or her purpose, then back up your conclusion with evidence from the book.
The next part of our summer reading help presents the outline for your essay.
Outline for Essay
Start with an opening sentence that captures the reader’s attention (a question, statement, quote…).
In one or two sentences tell the name of the book, the setting, and the overall concept of the book.
Conclude with one or two sentences explaining how you will present the book.
Write a detailed description of the part of the book you are choosing to portray (a conflict? a character? the setting?)
(more if you think it’s necessary)
Describe the way you would present the part you described in the second paragraph. Use words that are striking and fresh but natural, varied, and vivid.
Tell what you expect your audience will get of your performance and adaptation.
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