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Tutoring Service: Writing a Book Critique

Overview of the Avondale University Tutoring Service.

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Purpose of a Book Critique

A book critique—it can also be called a book review—is a critical evaluation of the content and purpose of a book/journal article. In a critique, you will analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the work you are reviewing.

Structure of a Book Critique

Unless your lecturer has prescribed a particular format for your book critique, you could prepare it using the format outlined below. Each part provides guidance for what you should cover in your book critique.

PLEASE NOTE: the title of each part below also indicates an approximate % of your word count that should be dedicated to each section.

Part 1: Introduce Work and Author Details (5%)

  • Provide information on the author/s. Be factual and relevant.
  • Establish the specific qualifications that qualify him/her to speak on the topic.

Part 2: Purpose of the Book (5%)

  • Summarise the aim/s or purpose of the book. Ask yourself why the book was written and who are expected to be its intended readers.
  • Outline the author/s thesis statement.

Part 3: Summary of Contents (30%)

Discuss the content by providing a concise overview of the author’s main themes. Provide a broad sweep of the issues discussed in the book.

Part 4: Critical Analysis (50%)

This is the most important part of your book critique.

  • Provide an analysis and evaluation of the author’s content and conclusions by giving your own analysis and comments.
  • Analyse the author’s writing style, organisation, referencing, clarity and coherence.
  • Comment on relevance, who the content is applicable to and how the content is helpful to you in your area of study.

Part 5: Recommendations (10%)

  • Give a general opinion of the work.
  • Offer your specific recommendations for who should read the work.
  • Provide a reference list if you used supporting sources for your position or if you used direct quotes or paraphrased the author.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

FYI:

This resource page has been developed to help you write a book critique, however, your lecturer may have specific ideas of what should and shouldn't be included in your assignment. Always ask your lecturer if unsure.

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