Tips to write a compelling book review or summary

A review or summary is the short text that is edited in a journal, publication, periodical, or newspaper. It can be a criticism, favoritism, and opinions of a book, play, or any other publication.

So today I am going to share pro tips with you about how you can write a review or summary about the book. These tips are the following

  • Include the data of the book publication
  • Write how the book begins and how it ends
  • Add memorable quotes from the book
  • Point out the characters
  • Include an outline if needed
  • Write with accuracy and good semantics
  • The theme and background reflection
  • Write relevant information about the author
  • Provide your personal experience and critics
  • Share your reading recommendations
  • Connection to the other books

Here is an example of a review by Daniel Soul on “The Jungle Book”, which is taken from

Making a book review is something that many readers need to do about the book that has a strong impact on their life.

It is a detailed essay that aims to inform the people about a specific book or novel. Making a review about the book is not as easy as there are many things to say and at the same time, it must not increase from 2 to 3 pages as well.

Here is a guide about writing a review or summary of the book, novel, a short story, or a play.

Include the data of the book publication

The review must include the context of the publication, this data can be

  • Which edition it is
  • In what year it was published
  • And the name of the publisher

Sometimes this type of data tells an interesting story about the book, for example, reading the 11th edition of the book means it has been sold out for the 10 times in the market already.

It shows the popularity of the book that it has been reprinted due to high value and the new edition tells us this book has been successful.

Other factors like the particular characteristics of the book and the translators are also very important for a review.

Write how the book begins and how it ends

These two factors attract the reader if he is looking for a summary or review of the specific book. So pay attention carefully about

  • How the book begins
  • How the book is going to end

There are many pieces of literature in history where the opening paragraph is memorable. These two factors act as the entrance and exit doors of the book.

Add memorable quotes from the book

Every good reader has a habit of taking notes of interesting aspects or highlighted phrases.

In the book, there are true gems of the human thoughts described in the brilliant phrases that represent an ideology, a powerful reflection, or a deep feeling.

These phrase that made you feel about something and think of someone specific, are the keys when you writing a review.

Point out the characters and their act

A review must have the identification of the personality and act of the characters. These characters can be:

  • How they express themselves
  • What they like
  • What is the story behind their philosophy and acts
  • Are the characters believable?
  • Did you believe what they say
  • How much these acts impact on others life

There are always two forces colliding with each, the hero and the villain, so these two must be considered.

Include an outline if needed

This field is optional, if you feel the complexity in the story, you can outline the verse to attract the reader so that he may research it more.

A good outline can act as a road map to avoid getting lost in books with diverse and complex information. However, many reviews do not have this type of effort in their work.

Write with original content

The book has the material that should be unique and according to your mind. If you write while stealing from the internet or any other author’s content then it might create consequences.

For example, if you write the content from copying another book while not providing a proper citation then the original author might create a case on you.

There are many examples in the history of how plagiarism creates problems for a well-known writer. For example, the famous writer, Martin Luther King Jr. was once caught using the copied content in his writing that was submitted in a university. However, the content was caught after his death, and later, it was declared fine to use.

When you write a book, go for a plagiarism detector free that would help you in finding the ratio of originality in your content. This would avoid any penalty from the publisher of the original content as well as the author.

The theme and background reflection

To understand the theme of the book and its relation to society, you have to read more deeply.

To find out the theme underlying, you have to recognize the link between fiction and real-life experience.

A very well-known book “The Lord of the Rings Saga” tells us about the triumph over the tyrants, which can be described as the battle between the good and the devil.

So when you doing a reading or making a review, you must reflect the background and theme of the book.

Write the relevant information about the author

Some people do not want to hear about the author but some take a very keen interest in the author’s work and they follow him.

So, a book review must include the biography of the author as well and the place of the author at the birth of the book can’t be denied and underestimated.

For example, Borges is the author who is very consistent and present in his work and people follow his work.

Provide your personal experience and critics

Including what impact the book left on you is a very important point in writing a summary.

To describe what thoughts, what learnings, what feelings, dreams, and fears have awakened in you is the best way to tell the reader your experience about the book.

It does not matter if you are writing about the journal, a literary work or a book on science fiction, the personal experience of reading a book left the knowledge and information that the book has.

Sharing your thoughts connects you with the others who have the same impression about the specific book and it starts the conversation with the others.

Share your recommendations

After reading and then writing the review, you must recommend others to read it at the end of the review.

Reading recommendation can be helpful in the success of a publication and it acts as a cherry on the cake.

Your recommendations can be negative as well if you have a bad experience after reading the book or if you have critics.

If you have wasted your time in reading a specific book, you can tell others to save their time.

However, if you have a good experience and it has changed your life a bit much, you will feel satisfied after sharing it with others.

Connection to the other books

The book is not like the lost island since these are always connected through the topic or maybe through the author.

You can make a connection of this book with others based on style or genre and add luxury to your comments or reviews.


Besides these tips, another thing which is very important to follow is to read the book with respect and interest.

A dispassionate reading never produces a good review or comment. Committed reading is the base of the learning process.