Doing an academic book review can be a daunting task, especially if you are encountering this type of assignment for the first time in your life.
Writing an academic book report is not a common experience, however, you might get this assignment as a part of your college homework or when enhancing the academic career ladder.
This piece of academic reviews targets two main reader segments - scholars and some specialized readers who might be interested in the content of the book. Its goal is not just to retell the plot of the book, but most importantly, to provide constructive criticism towards the findings and ideas of the writer as well as their place on the general scientific landscape.
At this point, you might be looking for some clues on how to get ready for this type of writing. That’s when how to write a book review template might come in handy. You’ll also benefit from learning the formatting rules, so we’ll put out some basic recommendations and standards that are commonly accepted in the academic field.
An Outline of the Academic Book Review
Before you learn how to format a book report, let us show you what elements are essential for this type of academic writing.
Mind that every book review is different depending on the task or the place of publication. However, here are the basic elements that make the core of this paper:
- citation (bibliography);
The introduction usually includes facts about the author and the context of the book (when it was written, what impacted its creation, etc.). It should also include the thesis of the book evaluated through the prism of the contribution to the field and your own opinion.
The body should detail the author’s methodology, main arguments, relevance to present days, and their originality. That’s the place where you should evaluate every prominent argument or idea and then prove if it’s relevant or not.
In the end, restate the arguments and make the final conclusion about the book. You can also state who will benefit from reading this work. Do not introduce any new ideas here. That’s the place to share the final impression about the book and the ideas it shares.
How to Format Bibliography
When writing an academic book review, you should start with the bibliographic information about the book. It should include the author, title, publication data like the place and date, and the number of pages. Add ISBN, a unique book identifier. Don’t forget to specify the format (hard cover, paperback, or online version) and the price for the piece.
Mind that there are three basic types of the academic book review format, which are known for having their own peculiarities:
Consider these styles when formatting the citation and ask your instructor if you are not sure about the appropriate one.
Put your name and affiliation after the citation data.
What’s the Format of Writing a Book Review?
Most academic book reviews are between 1,000-1,500 words long. So, how do you format the file to make it look appealing and well-structured?
The formatting rules are very simple and are the same for any type of academic writing:
- Use simple fonts like Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman.
- Go for the black text color without any highlights.
- 12 font size is the most appropriate for the book report.
- Use 1.5 or double line spacing.
- All sides should have 1” margins.
- Structure the text using headlines and subheadlines.
- Make use of tabs for every paragraph.
- Justified text is a common choice for academic papers.
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