Part 1: Assessing the Rhetorical Nature of Book Reviews (1-2 pages)


Before writing your book review, it is vital to understand the rhetorical situation and some general rhetorical patterns. Having this understanding BEFORE you write your book review will help you to make effective writing choices. I would like you to answer the following questions relating to the genre and purpose for writing book reviews.

What purpose does a book review serve?

What expectations do readers have from a book review?

Whom might be the readers for your book review? Try to imagine a variety of people who will read this review. What assumptions and level of knowledge will they bring to your review? In addition to considering your classmates, you should consider the readers of the blog or web site to which you will house your book review. What type of assumptions will they make about the book and the writer?

What is your specific purpose in writing your particular book review and given this

purpose, what kind of information will you include? Be VERY specific here.

Part 2: Book Review (3-4 pages)

Aim at accomplishing the following objectives by including:

A title

An MLA bibliographic entry identifying the book being reviewed (Many put this right under the review title)

The name of the book and the author early in your review

A mention of what genre the book belongs to

An explanation of the author’s background and credentials and why he/she is or is not suitable person to write the book

A discussion of the what the main point of the book is, what purpose it serves, how the writer makes the central argument, and whether or not the purpose/argument is

relevant to today’s society

A discussion of whether or not the writer provides credible evidence, explanation, or examples

A conclusion of what you like, dislike, or find disconcerting about the book

Of course, you can go beyond these guidelines if you like. Write this in narrative form, not bulleted, and coherently organize your ideas around a central theme.

Part 3: Condensed Version of Book Review (1/2 page)

You will want to find the blog or web site to which you want to post your review. Read other reviews to get an idea of the formality of the language used. Then make any necessary adjustments. Repackage your book review so that it is no longer than 200 words. Then post it at whatever web site you feel will best showcase your work.

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