Salem College Dems

Some General Advice on How to Write Review Essays


Sometimes you have to write a review essay on something that you have read and it can be a challenge to figure out where to start.  You want your essay to reflect what you read, while at the same time giving your opinion on the work.  Whether it is a book, article, movie, or even a place that you recently visited you want it to all sound good in the essay.  There are some things to keep in mind while you are reading or watching and I will tell you them here.

What to Do

  • The first thing that you should do before you even start to read is to make sure that you have a pen and paper handy so you can take notes while you are reading.  This will help keep a record of what you read and something that you can come back to later once you are ready to write the review.
  • After you have read what you will be reviewing, the next step is to decide what will be the main idea you will be covering in the review.  Narrowing this down will keep your review focused and not all over the place.
  • The first paragraph should tell the reader about the work you are about to review.  This will tell the reader everything they need to know about the book or article, author, and when it was published.  This comes in handy if the reader decides that they want to read it as well.
  • Next you will write a short summary of what the work was about. You shouldn’t have too much information because the point of a review is to give general information. By doing this, you can get others interested in the item of review and in return they may read it as well.
  • Now you will give your opinion to the article or book that you just read.  Keep in mind that this part can play a critical role in what the reader thinks of the work, so don’t make it bad if it wasn’t horrible.
  • Conclude the review: Here you want to conclude your summary and the evaluation of the work.  You should compare the author’s work and your meaning of the work, while also summarizing the weaknesses and strengths of the work.

Writing a review essay can be difficult if you don’t have an open mind to the subject but if you pay attention to what you are reading, you could find something good in the work.  Essay reviews are a way to show the reader that you know what you are talking about and you can also show them that you understand what you have read.

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