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Writing Reviews

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Book Reviews

Writing a book, article or video review

The purpose of a review is to provide an informed and succinct analysis of an item such as a book, article or video. The review should describe the item’s content and argument(s) and discuss its strengths and weaknesses. A person who has not read (or seen) the item should be able to decide from what you have written whether or not he/she wants to read (or see) the item.
Reviews should include the following information:

a heading which provides all the necessary bibliographic information about the item (i.e., author, title, publisher, publication date, etc.)

a summary which briefly summarizes what the item is about

a discussion of the author’s main point which reports on the author’s main purpose and overall argument

a critique which uses your knowledge of the field to evaluate the quality of the item (i.e., its strengths and weaknesses)

The summary and critique follow one another without the use of subheadings.

Literature Reviews

What is a literature review?

A Literature Review summarizes and evaluates research sources from a body of literature. They provide background for the discussion that follows in your essay, and serves as a springboard for new ideas.