In the introduction of your review essay, you should provide some background information on the text, object, or event that you are reviewing. This background information should help set up the main idea or theme of your essay. Then, after introducing the topic of your essay, you should state your thesis statement.
What is a good opening sentence for a book review?
– One of the things that surprised me was – I would definitely recommend this book to – I particularly enjoyed the part when – I am looking forward to reading other books by
How do you start a first sentence for a literature review?
One common way to approach a literature review is to start out broad and then become more specific. Think of it as an inverted triangle: First briefly explain the broad issues related to your investigation ; you don’t need to write much about this, just demonstrate that you are aware of the breadth of your subject.
What is the format of a review essay?
On reading a book Read the preface, looking for statement of major purpose, perspective, and themes. Then read the entire book thoroughly. It will make more sense if you have a preview of major themes and ideas. After each chapter, review the main themes and ideas in that chapter and jot down these points.
Reviews should include concise statements of the subject matter, problems, or issues to which the books are directed.Essays should include brief summaries of the authors’ major arguments and conclusions and a discussion of the manner in which they developed their conclusions.Reviews should also include a discussion, with explanations, of the books’ strengths and weaknesses.Finally, no review would be complete without a discussion and explanation of the extent to which each book contributes to our knowledge and understanding of History.
Keep in mind One of the primary criteria by which any written paper is evaluated is its clarity and conciseness of communication. Edit and proofread your paper carefully. It is most unlikely that a “first draft” effort will satisfy this criterion. Define clearly any key terms used by the author of the book.
- Provide sufficient examples and evidence to support your conclusions and generalizations.
- The review essay should be approximately ten typewritten pages in length.
- All review essays must be typed and double-spaced in a standard font (preferably 12 cpi), with a 1-inch margin on all sides.
- Examples of book reviews and review essays can be found in various historical journals or by consulting the Book Review Digest or Current Book Review Citations,
Also, there are numerous websites that are devoted exclusively to the works of Art Spiegelman and Eli Wiesel. These “sample” reviews and websites are to be used only for general guidance; they are not to be employed as a source for specific ideas to be included in your review.
Minimize the use of direct quotations from the book being reviewed. If you must quote the author directly be sure that the quotation is placed in quotation marks and that you indicate the page on which the quotation is found. This is a book review essay, not a book report. Do not simply summarize the books on a chapter-by-chapter basis.
You might consider What was life in Auschwitz like? What was the worst thing about it? How was life in Auschwitz organized? Can you describe a social order or hierarchy? What are the Germans at Auschwitz like? What motivated them? What is the psychological impact of life in the camp? In light of Night and This Way for the Gas.
, what does Maus do that pure text narratives cannot? In what ways do Spiegelman’s crude drawings help us visualize things that words alone might be unable to portray? One of the problems inherent in representing human beings as cats and mice is that animals have a narrower range of facial expression.
Are Spiegelman’s animals as emotionally expressive as human characters might be? If so, what means does the cartoonist use to endow his mice and cats with “human” characteristics? Maus contains several moments of comedy. Most of these take place during the exchanges between Artie, Vladek, and Mala.
Can you identify similar humor within Borowski’s or Wiesels work? What is the effect of this humor? Was it inaccurate or “wrong” of Borowski, Spiegelman or Wiesel to have included such episodes within their respective tales? Most art and literature about the Holocaust is governed by certain unspoken rules.
Among these are the notions that the Holocaust must be portrayed as an utterly unique event; that it must be depicted with scrupulous accuracy, and with the utmost seriousness, so as not to obscure its enormity or dishonor its dead. In what way does Maus, Night, and This Way for the Gas obey, violate, or disprove these “rules”?
What is a good sentence to start an essay?
This essay discusses is explored is defined The definition of will be given is briefly outlined is explored The issue focused on. is demonstrated is included In this essay is explained are identified
What is a good first sentence for an introduction?
How to Write a Great Opening Sentence – Everyone knows some of the great opening lines from fiction novels:
“Call me Ishmael.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” – Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
The common thread between these opening lines is that they create a vivid first impression. They make the reader want to know more. They’re punchy, intriguing, and unexpected. The first words of a nonfiction book work the same way. You want to create an emotional connection with the reader so they can’t put the book down.
- In some ways, nonfiction Authors even have an advantage.
- They’re writing about themselves and their knowledge while having a conversation with the reader.
- They can establish the connection even more immediately because they don’t have to set a fictional scene.
- They can jump right in and use the first person “I.” Let’s go back to The Scribe Method ‘s opening paragraph: I’ve never met you, but I’m gonna read your mind.
Not literally, of course. I’m going to make an educated guess about why you want to write a book. When you read that, at a minimum, you’re going to think, “All right, dude, let’s see if you really know why I want to write a book,” And you’re going to keep reading.
- At best, you’re going to think, “Wow.
- He’s inside my head right now.” And you’re going to keep reading.
- In both cases, I’ve managed to create an emotional connection with the reader.
- Even if that emotion is skepticism, it’s enough to hook someone.
- So where do you start when you’re writing your book? How do you form that connection? The best hooks usually start in the middle of the highest intensity.
In other words, lead with the most emotional part of the story. If you’re starting your book with a story about how you got chased by the police, don’t begin with what you had for breakfast that day. Start with the chase. A good hook might also be a question or a claim—anything that will elicit an emotional response from a reader.
- Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don’t think you can say, but you still want to say.
- Like, “This book will change your life.” Or, “I’ve come up with the most brilliant way anyone’s ever found for handling this problem.” Your opening sentence isn’t the time for modesty (as long as you can back it up!).
You want to publish a book for a reason, Now’s your chance to show a reader why they should want to read it. That doesn’t mean you have to be cocky. You just have to be honest and engaging. When you’re trying to come up with a great opening line, ask yourself these 3 things:
What will the audience care about, be interested in, or be surprised by?What is the most interesting story or inflammatory statement in your book?What do you have to say that breaks the rules?
The best opening lines are gut punches. They summarize the book, at least in an oblique way. But they’re not dry facts. They’re genuine, behind-the-scenes glimpses into a human life. They establish who you are and what you’re about, right from the beginning.
- Human beings respond to genuine connection.
- That means being vulnerable.
- You have to break down any barriers that you might usually keep around you.
- That’s one of the hardest things to do as an Author, but it makes for a great book.
- Reading about perfection is boring, especially because we all know there’s no such thing.
In the next section, I’ll go through examples of great first sentences and explain why they work. Every one of these strategies helps create an instant, authentic connection with readers. You just have to pick the one that makes the most sense for your book.
What’s a good introduction?
Introductions and Conclusions
Introductions and conclusions play a special role in the academic essay, and they frequently demand much of your attention as a writer. A good introduction should identify your topic, provide essential context, and indicate your particular focus in the essay.
- It also needs to engage your readers’ interest.
- A strong conclusion will provide a sense of closure to the essay while again placing your concepts in a somewhat wider context.
- It will also, in some instances, add a stimulus to further thought.
- Since no two essays are the same, no single formula will automatically generate an introduction and conclusion for you.
But the following guidelines will help you to construct a suitable beginning and end for your essay.
What are words for opening a sentence?
Again, look at this list of common subordinating words. Used at the beginning of a sentence, these words signal to you that a sentence opener follows: After, Although, As, Because, Before, If, Since, Unless, Until, When, While.
What are opening sentences in a critical review?
Introduction – The length of an introduction is usually one paragraph for a journal article review and two or three paragraphs for a longer book review. Include a few opening sentences that announce the author(s) and the title, and briefly explain the topic of the text.
What is a good introduction for literature review?
In a literature review, an introduction may contain the following: A concise definition of a topic under consideration (this may be a descriptive or argumentative thesis, or proposal), as well as the scope of the related literature being investigated.
What is a good hook for a book review?
A ‘hook’ is a line that catches your audience’s attention and piques their interest so they’ll continue reading your review instead of scrolling past it. Your hook could be a compelling or provocative statement: Margaret Atwood’s subversive brilliance shines in new and unexpected ways with this masterpiece.
Does a book review need an introduction?
Essay on writing academic book reviews Book reviews are important inputs into a wider system of academic publishing upon which the academic profession is symbiotically dependent, and in I argued that all scholars – regardless of career stage – ought to set time aside on occasion to write them.
Graduate students who are told that they should not waste their time reviewing books are being taught, implicitly, to reckon their time solely in terms of individual profit and loss. Were this sort of attitude replicated across the whole of the academy, intellectual life would, in my view, become more impoverished as a consequence.
Perhaps you were persuaded by that column and agree that writing academic book reviews is an excellent way of making a contribution in service to the profession. If so, I thank you. But perhaps you are also a junior scholar, unsure of where to start. That would be entirely understandable.
Like many academic practices, book reviews can seem like an insider’s game – those who already understand the unwritten rules play frequently, while those who do not are all too often never invited in. This column, therefore, aims to demystify the process with a basic how-to guide for writing academic book reviews and getting them published.
Counterintuitively, it is actually best to begin by explaining how to get reviews published. There are, broadly speaking, two ways that editors of academic journals and other periodicals solicit book review writers: 1) proactive commissioning and 2) reactive commissioning.
Proactive commissioning is where an editor seeks out potential reviewers and solicits their contribution. Obviously, you are more likely to be targeted for this if you already have an established reputation in your field of expertise, and some journals will only publish reviews which have been proactively commissioned.
Most journals, though, also accept reactive commissions, where a potential writer him/herself reaches out and proposes a review, and many will accept them from graduate students. If you are keen to write your first book review, a reactive commission is probably the way to go.
- Some journals will publish or otherwise advertise the books they have available for review, and then it is just a matter of putting yourself forward for one of them.
- Or, if all else fails, you might even try emailing an editor directly and suggesting a newly published book that you think would be of relevance to the subject area of that editor’s journal.
You may find that particular books are deemed inappropriate or otherwise have already been allocated, but the response is usually receptive, and it should take no more than two or three good, concerted tries before you have landed your first opportunity.
So now you’ve got a book to review and reasonable assurance it will be published if you do a good job. What should you be writing? Some academics, including very senior ones, see reviews as an opportunity to hold forth at great length on their own strongly held views. This really isn’t what you (or they!) should be doing.
Don’t forget: you are writing about a book, and you probably only have between 800 and 1,000 words in which to do it. While your readers may be interested in your opinion, they are, first and foremost, interested in learning about the book itself and whether or not they themselves might want to read it.
Bear that in mind. In fact, like other genres of academic writing, such as journal articles and research proposals, academic book reviews tend to have a standard, even formulaic, structure. Although of course this may vary slightly by discipline and/or publication venue, my advice is, if in doubt, to use the following framework, with one paragraph for each of the following seven sections: Introduction.
All good pieces of academic writing should have an introduction, and book reviews are no exception. Open with a general description of the topic and/or problem addressed by the work in question. Think, if possible, of a hook to draw your readers in. Summary of argument.
Your review should, as concisely as possible, summarize the book’s argument. Even edited collections and textbooks will have particular features intended to make them distinctive in the proverbial marketplace of ideas. What, ultimately, is this book’s raison d’être? If there is an identifiable thesis statement, you may consider quoting it directly.
About the author(s). Some basic biographical information about the author(s) or editor(s) of the book you are reviewing is necessary. Who are they? What are they known for? What particular sorts of qualifications and expertise do they bring to the subject? How might the work you are reviewing fit into a wider research or career trajectory? Summary of contents.
A reasonably thorough indication of the research methods used (if applicable) and of the range of substantive material covered in the book should be included. Strength. Identify one particular area in which you think the book does well. This should, ideally, be its single greatest strength as an academic work.
Weakness. Identify one particular area in which you think the book could be improved. While this weakness might be related to something you actually believe to be incorrect, it is more likely to be something that the author omitted, or neglected to address in sufficient detail.
- End your review with a concluding statement summarizing your opinion of the book.
- You should also explicitly identify a range of audiences whom you think would appreciate reading or otherwise benefit from the book.
- Writing good academic book reviews gets easier with experience, just like any skill.
And provided you meet your deadlines and are amenable to any changes your editor may wish you to implement, your opportunities to make contributions in this genre and to the collective pursuits of a community committed to the advancement of knowledge will only increase with time.
Do book reviews have introductions?
Organizing the Review –
All reviews begin with bibliographic information: the author’s name, the book’s full title, place of publication, publisher, edition, date, pagination, and cost, if known. In no more than two paragraphs, introduce the book. Give your initial appraisal of the work, including your key observation on the text. This key observation will be your thesis. Try not to begin with a flat statement such as “This book is interesting.” Begin with an anecdote, a challenging quotation, or a key observation. Follow with descriptive analysis and evaluation of the text. You may either treat these topics separately, first describing the book’s contents, the author’s argument, presentation, and evidence, and then offering your own evaluation, or you may weave the two together. In either case,
clearly set out the author’s purpose in writing the book, and whether or not you think the author has succeeded. describe the author’s arguments and the themes of the book, and give your appraisal of their validity and effectiveness. describe the sources and evidence the author uses to prove his case, and evaluate their appropriateness and sufficiency. What are the author’s sources? Should the author have used more, or different, sources? Comment on the author’s organization and writing style.
Conclude. Here you may make more general remarks about the text and the ideas presented in it. If you have not already done so, indicate whether you feel the book is worthwhile, and for what audience. Is the book outstanding? Will it make a lasting contribution to its field, or is it less satisfactory?