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Genres in academic writing: Book reviews

You may be asked to write a book review or a review of a journal article. This may be a simple summary of the discussion in a book or article. However, it is more likely to be evaluative.

For a book review, you will probably include the following stages:

A review or commentary on an article would include similar information.

The book review could have the following stages.



Give the title of the book, the author, the publisher, the price

The overall text

Describe the subject of the text

Describe the purpose


Describe what has been written/published before?

Evaluate this previously published work.


Summarise the book

Describe its general organisation, contents of each chapter.


Evaluate the text

Compare and contrast with other publications

Present your point of view


Describe and evaluate design, price, production, proof-reading, size, colour etc


Summarise discussion

Conclude discussing whether it is appropriate for audience

Recommend or not.

End matter

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