Tips on Writing a Novel (Or Book) Critique

If or when a tutor asks you to read a novel and write a critique about it, the first thing to do is to make sure you fully understand what is required of you. For example, book reviews and book critiques are very different.

So, what are the differences between these two tasks?

  • Book reviews are summaries that describe a book’s plot to readers.
  • Book critiques are a type of analysis that critically evaluate and respond to a book or novel’s quality.

Since most experts agree that reading is one of the best ways of acquiring knowledge, tutors and professors frequently ask students to write book critiques. These tasks enhance a number of skills such as brain function and the ability to think critically. They also encourage young people to read a variety of books and show them how to develop opinions on a range of notable works.

A novel critique can be described as a form of written assignment that provides the reader with a critical evaluation of some type of literary work. It is a systematic type of analysis where the writer evaluates and discusses a book or novel’s worth and validity. Critiques do not really provide information about a book but rather their intention is to analyze and persuade.

Book critiques are also referred to as critical evaluations or responses where the writer argues the validity of a book and whether or not it is worth their audience’s while reading it and they should say why this is their opinion. Put another way, a novel critique should assess and discuss:

  • The style of a book
  • The thesis and main argument of a book
  • The writer’s assumptions and comments as a reviewer

Guide to Writing Good Book Critiques

Like most scholarly papers, there is a set structure to a critique:

The introductory section

  • Introduces the book or novel and its author
  • Sets out the purpose of the book or novel
  • Sums up the main ideas and/or findings of the author
  • Provides the writer’s reaction or response to the book or novel i.e. the critique’s thesis statement.

The main body

  • Provides a short summary or synopsis about the work
  • Includes three to five points in support of the writer’s thesis statement
  • Illustrates each point using strong evidence, such as quotes or paraphrased text, taken from the novel or book
  • Full development of each argument

The concluding section

  • Restates the central thesis
  • Sums up each point
  • Sets out writer’s recommendations.

If you are asked to critique a book or novel, it is important you properly understand the specifics of the task that has been assigned to you. To start with, you should remind yourself of the differences between a critique and a review as outlined above. 

Remember, a review sums up the book’s plot for the reader while a critique analyzes the book’s quality and provides a critical response to the work. So, in essence, a critique analyzes and persuades.

How Then Does One Go About Writing a Successful Critique?

First, there is the structure described above to take into account and then there are other factors to consider such as:

  • How accurate is the information in the book?
  • Are there any underlying messages or assumptions?
  • Has the author been fair?
  • Is the language clear?
  • Have all key terms been defined (or not)?
  • Is the work logical and well organized?
  • Has the author made any common mistakes? For example, have they used overly emotional language or over-simplified any aspects? Have they been too hasty in the way they have generalized any situation(s) or has there been any name-calling? Is everything sufficiently set out in black and white or are any points obscure? Are there any other mistakes you can see?

To Conclude

The concluding paragraph is the last part of your critique and it is the part where you sum-up and qualify any arguments or judgments. It is also where you offer recommendations about the book you have read.

Here are some questions you should try to answer:

  • Are you in agreement with the book’s author? Say why you agree or disagree with them.
  • Do you have an overall view of the book? If so, what is it?

Being specific is important. Remind your readers why the literary piece you have critiqued is important. Focus on the book’s strong and weak points and say what aspects ultimately make it a success.  

Please feel free to check out Best-Writing-Service.net website for sample critiques to help you understand how to complete these tasks. 

Finally, there is one last point you need to bear in mind to ensure your essay gets an A+ grade.

Pay Attention to Formatting

The style rules for a book or novel critique are quite clear and include the following:

  1. A critique should be typed in double spacing.
  2. Print a single-sided version for submitting.
  3. Allow a one-inch margin on each of the four sides of the page.
  4. Number every page with the exception of the first page.
  5. Use the Chicago or Turabian style for citing sources.
  6. Critiques should not be written from the first person perspective except when providing your own opinion.
  7. Use the active rather than passive voice.
  8. Start a fresh section or paragraph for each new point.

Equally important are grammar and content. If the structure of your sentences is such that readers cannot understand them, it will be impossible for them to follow your train of thought and/or argument(s). This is why Best-Writing-Service.net proofreads and edits every essay that is ordered from us - we do not rely too heavily on spell-checking software since these programs often do not catch quite blatant spelling errors.

It is a good idea to get another person to proofread your written work. In addition, remember, you are always welcome to ask the writers and editors at Best-Writing-Service.net to help with your essays.