Understanding World Religion Book Review

Understanding World Religion Book Review

Critical Book Review Format:

Purpose:     When someone wants to decide which book to read on a given topic many choices present themselves. A critical book review helps narrow the choices for the potential reader.  A critical book review provides an academic overview and analysis of a book for a person who is considering reading the book. Writing a paper review is a good skill to develop especially before entering a four-year school. Objectivity is the goal in this assignment. Whether you like the book or not does not matter.  I want to know if the author does what s/he says s/he will do and how well it was done.

Parts of a review:

Introduce the Subject (1 paragraph)

Publishing Information:  Bibliographic content and number of pages
State purpose and aim of writer; use the writer’s own words if possible

Your first sentence should look like the one below with the proper information from your book inserted into the example.  This first sentence then identifies the book and bibliographic information so that one can find the book. Also, you need to find the purpose and aim of the author.  These are usually found in the Introduction or the Preface of a book. Many times authors clearly state what they intend to write. But sometimes, you have to infer what they mean to prove.  Remember, just because some writes that he is going to do something does not mean that that is what he did. Do not include comments from the dust jacket or back of the book. Do not give me your view of the book yet.  I want the facts first, then in your conclusion you can give me your evaluation.

Understanding World Religion Book Review

Body of Review (3-4 ½ pages)

If only a few chapters, state the main thesis of one chapter at a time in no more than a few sentences.  Then explain in a few sentences for each chapter how the author proved his point. If many chapters, group similar chapters together and give the same information as mentioned above for each group of chapters.  Make sure to comment on all parts of the book.
Give strengths of the section/chapter.
Give weaknesses of the section/chapter.
Show how writer made transition from one chapter to the next.  Was the transition smooth or rough and why?

For each chapter in the book, you should be telling me what the main argument is and how the author proves his point.   Do not simply retell the book by giving lots of quotations. Almost all of your paper should be your own words. Also, start out each chapter by the following, In Chapter  Five, “Alex’s Philosophy class” Joe tries to prove …….The chapter titles are often clues to the main ideas.   Understanding World Religion Book Review

Conclusion:  (one paragraph)

Give your own recommendation for the readership level.
Your recommendation for the text for others to read.
Overall conclusion of how successfully the author wrote

You should not surprise me in the conclusion.  I should be able to tell if you liked the book or not by the time we get to the conclusion.  You should have given me many examples of positive or negative aspects of the argument.


What is the writer’s bias?  Was it handled well, or did it get in the way?
Did the writer support his thesis with evidence or just speculation?
Did the writer write clearly, precisely, and in an engaging style?
Did anything else stand out as peculiar or fantastic?

Understanding World Religion Book Review

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