HOW TO WRITE A BOOK REVIEW
The following descriptions are translated from Yasir Maqosid’s summary (http://penerbitanbuku.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/tips-membuat-resensi/) from “How to Write a Book Report” by Myrna Friend, Erindale Campus Library, University of Toronto, which internationally has been accepted as ways in making a book review.
1) giving information of book’s bibliography; an author, a complete title, editor (when is available), a city where it is published, a publisher, total pages and appendices, month and year when it is published.
2) Compare the book’s content with the current situation, does it match the current era?
3) Describe the author’s background, occupation, reputation, etc.
4) Is there any connections between the important things or situation with the book?
5) What is the author’ material sources.
4) What kind of books we are reviewing (History, Biography, Literacy critism, Literature, etc.)
5) Describe the author’s purpose in writing a book we are reviewing and debrief its limits with a topic. Does the book have a popular topic? What is a survey result? To whom the book is intended (to students, common society, etc)?
6) What is the book’s topic? Find out the topic in its background and conclusion paragraph. During reading, try to elaborate to make a connection with the topic; does the paragraphs’ content correlate with the topic?
7) Does the author’s assumption (if any) implicitly and explicitly correlate to the content he or she has written?
8. Describe the organization of the book (content pages, introduction, content, conclusion) is it valid? Do appendices, bibliography, notes, and indexes correlate with the book’s content?
9) Investigate the main point or the key concept of the book!
10) What kind of data used by the author in supporting his or her argument? How does the author use the data in arguing? Does the argument match the data?
11) Give any important parts of the book with quotations!
12) Does the author successfully communicate his or her theory or discourse? Is the author successful with his or her purpose? Or else?
13) Describe other purposes of the book we are reviewing. Is it written in standard and effective language?
14) Does the book raise from the research issue or topic?
15) Read the content critically and extensively. The main reasons of the ability of reading a book are to be able to follow the author’s thoughts, to see the connections amongst the author’s ideas, to connect the author’s idea to our experience, and to evaluate it in educated and critic ways. To read critically, as it is possible that there is a controversial part of the book’s contents, and to seek its strength and weakness. Compare to another theory revealed by another author from another book. A careful reader could notice anything written by an author, such as bounce- around topic, bias topic, etc. Pay attention to words or phrases we do not understand. Read the book completely and follow its argument (through reading) until the end of the book’s content. We are not to justify the book until we completely read it.
16) A review on a newspaper differs from a scientific journal for sure. A review on a newspaper is commonly like a book analysis with content of book’s summary, the purpose of written text, the author’s background, conclusion, the text’s strength and weakness, and words and phrases used are usually not standard and popular, which are intended to all common society. Meanwhile, a scientific journal review is characterized with addition of supporting theory revealed by another author, and the used-language is standard and is purposed to certain party (commonly an educated-one)