Review Writing: Mistakes to Avoid

During your academic studies and even in your every-day life when there is a necessity, you have to deal with review writing. Review writing can be confusing. You may start asking yourself what you should and shouldn’t write in your review. It is not as difficult as it seems, though. To begin with, let’s provide a precise definition of this type of paper. A review is a descriptive and critical analysis of a creative or non-creative work. It could be an examination of a book, musical composition, company, service or product, etc.

To teach you how to write a strong and worthwhile review, we prepared simple guidelines for you. As an example, we chose the subject of a book review to relay our information.

  1. Not having a thesis statement.

    In a thesis statement, you should provide the essential information about the subject of your research. If it is a book, then mention its author, title, first copyright date, genre, general subject matter, ISBN, and price.

  2. The author’s purpose is not stated.

    Be attentive and remember that authors usually define their purpose in the preface or the first chapter of the book. In the case that the author did state their purpose for the book outright, you can rely on your general understanding of the book. Ask yourself the following questions:

    • Why did the author choose this particular subject?
    • What goal did they try to achieve? Did they manage to achieve it successfully?
    • Who is the target audience?

    Answering these questions will help you to understand the author’s purpose. Then you can state it in your review.

  3. Lack of strengths and weaknesses in analysis.

    When writing a review, you should explain the author’s achievements as well as failures. For instance, the style of writing can be deliberate and exquisite, but the content can be poor and meaningless. Be attentive and focus on being critical in a comprehensive way.

  4. Using another person’s literature review.

    When you write a review, you are required to describe your own point of view on the matter. A book review is highly personal. It reflects the opinion of the reviewer. You can look through book reviews of other people, but don’t copy them.

  5. Lack of focus.

    You as a reviewer should concentrate on your goal, which is the evaluation of a book. It is not a general description or a summary – be precise and accurate.

  6. No recommendation.

    In your conclusion, you should state whether you recommend reading the book or not. Was it useful to read it? Or was it just a waste of time? Share your point of view.

  7. Mistakes in spelling and punctuation.

    As any other written paper, a review has to be grammatically correct. When your review is ready, read it one more time and correct the errors if you find them.

We hope that these instructions will help you to avoid mistakes in review writing in the future. We want you to remember that it is important to express your own thoughts and to be precise and accurate when evaluating while writing a review.