Books Magazine

How I Write Reviews (Method & Tips)

By Theliteraturelion @LiteratureLion
I'm one of those people that are creepily organized. My room is always clean, my books are always stacked in the order I need to read them, and I create a lot of lists.
This being said, of course my blog is going to be pretty organized. A few months a go I created a post about how I keep my blog organized. I still follow the same sequence, so I'm not going to talk too much about the organization about my blog, but rather my reviews.
I read a lot of books. I write a review for pretty much every book I read. Therefore, I write a lot of reviews. It's taken me a long time to find a method that worked well for me.
I used to have a little booklet that I would carry around with me. I'd do a half a page and I'd write the book, the author, the rating, the day I started/ended, and then a few key points that I wanted to include in my reviews. This was okay for a while, but my reviews were always a lot shorter and less thorough.
The past month or so, I've been trying a new way of writing reviews. As you can tell in the past few days, my reviews have been a lot longer and more thorough. This is because of the new method I've been using to write my reviews! I'll give you a basis of what I do.

What You Need: 
  • a book
  • a piece of paper
  • a pencil/pen

While Reading: 
When reading, you'll use the piece of paper as a bookmark. Fold it in half, into a bookmark shape, or even origami if you're crafty like that. 
Read the book. As you read, jot down any notes, page numbers, quotes on the back of the sheet. Pretty much anything you want to include. 
When You've Finished Reading:After finishing the book, immediately pull out the white sheet and turn it to the front. I like using different chunks, based on the format that I use in my reviews. My reviews are primarily character based, because that's what I read for mostly. These are the chunks I use in my reviews:  
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Characters
  • Other Points (plot, ending, etc.)
  • Overall Opinion/Conclusion
That's how I separate my piece of paper, and generally how I format my reviews. For each of the above bullets, I do around 3-5 bullet points. 
Summary: The summary is just something that I write about the book, about what happened. It's generally like the blurb, but not many people actually read it. 
Introduction: The introduction includes a lot of adjectives and phrases that tend to describe the novel. For my review of School Spirits, I had phrases down like "just as light as the Hex Hall series" and "comical character." The purpose is to describe the gist of the book in case people don't want to read the whole review.
Characters: For characters, I usually split it up within that. For example, in my Mila 2.0 review, I split it up into a. Mila, b. Hunter, c. Minor Characters. I do a paragraph for each of those. 
Other Points: When I say "Other Points," it means other things that really stood out to me. For example, if it had a REALLY strong setting that I was enchanted by, that's usually where I put it and I will talk about it. Sometimes this section will be only one paragraph, and other times it could be up to four. It just depends on what I want to talk about. 
Overall Opinion/Conclusion: Like a conclusion in anything, it just wraps up my review. It restates a lot of what I said in the introduction but has more support from what I've written in the other parts of my reviews. It's just my overall reaction to the book! 
When Writing the Review: Now it's time for you to write the review! Take out your one sheet of paper and start going at it! To make my formatting easy, I just open an old review and copy the HTML and paste it into a new post. Then I just switch out the information. It's super easy! 
Then I just write away! I use my guide and try and include anything that I wrote on the back sheet of the paper like quotes or page numbers. Instead of taking me about 20 minutes to formulate what I want to write about, it takes me about 5 minutes to get the information down onto the computer. Then I just edit and revise and then the post is ready to be scheduled! 
So there you go! How do you review your books? Do you use a similar method, or do you just read the book and write the review based off memory? 

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog