the book reviews

the book reviews

The Art of Writing Persuasive Book Reviews

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1. Introduction to Book Reviews

The function of the present term paper is to laser the student’s mind toward a detailed task – writing a persuasive book review. Our “prep” is to develop the fundamentals of exposition, which will assist us execute this task. We shall discuss the purpose of exposition and we shall abstract explicitly the major devices for persuasive writing. We shall also discuss three problems of exposition and three rules of persuasive writing. Throughout our verbal or written expression, we must “persuade” our audience to see another side of the matter other than his own view. Whether this expression be in the form of a presidential speech, an editorial, or a term paper, it must be “persuasive.” Similarly, a book review must engage the reader in a well-structured plight against the author. Only after the fiery exchange of arguments described above, can the reader begin to make an initial assessment of the book’s value. That is, the reader will judge the book in terms of similar readings and find similarities between his point of view and the author’s analysis. The book review must encourage the reader to assess the work’s worth and accuracy. Certain guidelines must be followed to ensure an effective critique. More is said than done when we are advised to write concisely. The reality is that much is written and much is said over drinks at the pub. We are confronted with the long-forgotten science of literary criticism.

For the student who cannot find an adequate text on a rule of logic, ethics, or sociology at his level, this book review assignment offers a welcome opportunity to implant some basic ideas necessary for his understanding of a particular subject. Through our undergraduate years, this assignment follows us, in every field of study. The final conclusion of our college experience, regardless of our field of specialization, is one or more term papers. Due to this lengthy experience, however, we have not developed a standard form or set guidelines to mesh our minds to an even more perplexing task – writing a persuasive book review. Of course, every person has his idiosyncratic style of presentation; however, this is not the real issue. Thousands of books have been written; every field has its required reading, and you must learn to read quickly and efficiently. You must read closely, and you must be a “disciplined reader.” You must read to learn functional rules of literary criticism and learn to apply them consistently.

2. Elements of a Well-Crafted Book Review

With these contextual elaborations in place, it is apparent that a review is a peculiar bridge between the audience and the author, between the reader and his or her mentors. Indeed, a book review is a conversation in print—a conversation in which an individual closes the circle, both introducing an author to friends and fellow students and standing up in front of mentors to chatter about an impressive scholarly interaction. Because these variable perceptions of the written work shape whether and how an author’s friends and fellow students will encounter the author and how mentors may perceive the success of the scholarly enterprise, it is helpful to have some sense of the horizon of a well-crafted review. Such structural clarity is especially valuable because of the essential differences that distinguish a review essay and a review sidebar. Like book reviews, review essays and review sidebars advance the conversation about academic discussion.

First, let’s set the stage. Every book is written from a certain perspective. A number of variables influence this perspective—variables such as the author’s personal background, his or her academic training and teaching experience, formal and informal mentors, research agenda, colleagues, and subject matter of the book. Just as background, training, experience, mentors, research agenda, colleagues, and subject matter shape every author’s perspective, similar variables shape every reviewer’s perspective. Like the author of a book, the prospective reviewer of a book is conditioned by his or her experiences and background, by formal and informal mentors, by research interests, and by broader intellectual commitments.

3. Strategies for Writing Engaging Book Reviews

– In describing a book or article, you must be careful not to overload the review with so many quotations that the review simply reiterates large sections of the original writing. Equally to be avoided is the flat summary of points or the kind of vague ‘description’ that tends to lead readers toward buying a book but should not appear in a review. In other words, when the various parts of a review are gathering, you seek a balance between inclusion and emphasis on the work being reviewed and on asserting the unique command of critical faculties that makes you the person best suited to write the review. This is a constant theme running through advice on writing reviews but is also a point of style that becomes easy – and right – if you always keep in mind the first and second objectives of a review: to help potential readers decide whether they want to read the writing under review and to provide a record of your thoughtful and well-reasoned reflections on that written work.

– Start with presenting a basic overview before getting into argumentation over strengths and weaknesses: Create context of the book – no spoilers – briefly. Quick walk-through of the book: Description of the argument or thesis of the book or article. To give readers an understanding of what the book is about, your description can build on the energy and ideas in the writing you are reviewing. When appropriate, it can help translators, too, as it commences the process that leads the translator to a profound understanding of the original work and so permits the translator to move beyond the original and make the ideas become accessible to the translated language readers. Knowledge is a shared commodity and you want to encourage as many people as possible to be able to share in what you are about to critique. The description is often heavily dependent on direct quotations from the writing of the author who is being reviewed.

4. Ethical Considerations in Book Reviewing

The Practice of Book Reviewing in the Twenty-First Century Today, we book reviewers no longer carry tablets of stone and chisel, but we now have the capability and means to source information much more quickly and near instantly disseminate a decision on the worth of a researched forgotten gem or newly-published book, be it fiction, non-fiction, or a children’s book.

Ethical considerations surround book reviewing as much as they do any other form of human endeavor. Not all authors and publishers will agree on what ethical behavior should encompass when it comes to the production and dissemination of book reviews. However, it is essential to remember that book reviewing is an open and transparent activity, with any dialogue on the subject readily available on the global book review stage that is the internet. If one has an inclination to write and publish book reviews, one is stepping on the same territory and risking the same treatment as any other published writer, particularly if the reviewing was originally disseminated via the web. There is no hiding place, please take that into consideration.

5. Conclusion and Future Trends

Future research may use three complementary methodologies. Firstly, quantitative and automatic content analyses of large databases of book reviews would show the main patterns behind this key genre. Secondly, four-type surveys with authors, readers, reviewers, and publishers could uncover the main trends and ends beneath the real use of reviews in several scientific fields. Thirdly, an action research project and several ethnographic attitudes could reveal how the main values and practices of creating persuasive reviews really support managers strategically. Once performed, a more complex and efficient communication circle may be established among research and the society. The institution may create reviews preceding the creation of useful knowledge, and the social environment may use these reviews to motivate, instruct, and judge the institution on behalf of their own multicriteria models.

As shown by social sciences and by our own example of posters about a book, reviewing is a locution act, with a strong link with the way someone creates a map of the world that he acts. Accordingly, a review builds the reputation of novel books by establishing an agreement trend before reading them. This is reached by hiring academic tones and evaluating many aspects of the book, including relevance, structure, originality, address, and method. Nonetheless, as reviews are only maps, they are partially incorrect references. Despite that partiality, they are important because scholars like being temporarily ahead of their peers. Following, a good review can support the co-selection of a book and justify the choice of what was, in fact, a great product.

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