Writing a book review or a movie summary may seem a simple task at first. However, don’t be fooled because this assignment takes lots of skills and energy, and may cost you a few sleepless nights.
Even if you have a favorite book or movie to discuss, you still should possess strong writing and analytical skills, a broad vocabulary and a clear understanding of what a book or movie review is. That’s exactly what we are going to discuss today!
What is a Book/Movie Review?
Writing a movie review or a book summary always starts with a precise understanding of what the task is about. The definition is rather simple: it is a written summary of the piece of art (whether a film or a book) that includes detailed information on its plot, writer/director, main characters, and key ideas.
The goal of book and movie reviews is to check whether you have read or watched the original piece and can analyze it in a logical way. Some tutors also pay attention to the language students choose and written instruments applied.
The main difference between a book and a movie review is that in the first case you’ll need to read many pages, research the author’s background and often explore features of the century (or year) it was written in. A movie review is much simpler and you only need to spend a few hours watching it and half an hour reading about the director and producer.
There are no particular types of book and movie reviews because all of them are based on the story and aim to provide basic information on the piece and your understanding of it.
Professional Book or Film Review Writers
If you are on this page, most likely you have any idea how to write a movie review. Don’t worry, thousands of students feel the same way at the exact moment, and you are not alone. Luckily, you are already in the right place because a team of experienced writers is here to help you even with the most difficult tasks.
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General Steps for Writing a Review of Book/Movie
It is easy to feel lost and puzzled when a film review essay is assigned. However, with our step-by-step guide, you’ll know where to start and how to manage the task with ease. Just read the guidelines below, make notes or even learn them by heart, and you’ll become a guru of writing all sorts of reviews in no time!
Choose a Book/Movie to Review
Everything starts with understanding what your book or movie review will be about. Sometimes teachers give students a certain book or film to discuss but most often you have a chance to select it on your own. The trick here is to choose a piece that you are genuinely interested in: it is impossible to write a powerful review if you write about things that make you bored or even annoyed. At first, define your interests, choose favorite writers or actors, and then shorten the list to a few options. It will be a great start to writing a film review or a book summary.
Research Your Topic
If you want to get an A, it’s important not only to watch the movie or read the book but to understand its background, the topic behind it. That is why open your search engine, type in the title and read everything you can about the time when the book was written or the movie took place (especially if it is a different century).
In such a way you’ll have a better understanding of the context, will be able to analyze dialogues and events through the prism of the time or author’s personal traits.
Write Your Review
Now, when the preparatory stage is over, it’s time to learn how to write a book review that would be worth the highest grade. Make sure no one is distracting you because there is nothing more annoying than being disturbed when you are trying to focus.
Ask your friends and relatives not to phone or text you, take a piece of paper (or open a Word document) and concentrate. Don’t worry, the steps discussed below will allow you be concentrated with writing a book review any student will be proud of!
It doesn’t matter whether you are willing to learn how to create a film review for a documentary or a movie review for English class: our guidelines apply to all types of movie and book reviews.
Make an Original Thesis
A thesis is the heart of your review. Most likely, your tutor will start reading the review from this part and if your thesis is boring or irrelevant, you risk getting a lower grade. A thesis should consist of a sentence or two on the main idea of the book or movie. Further paragraphs may prove the claim you have made in the thesis.
Don’t worry, you can always rewrite the thesis if in future you decide that the main idea of your review has changed.
Introduce a Short Summary of Plot
For those, who haven’t read the book or haven’t seen the movie it’s important to understand the main events that are happening in the analyzed piece. Simply write four-five sentences on the plot of a chosen book or movie without diving too much into details. Don’t forget to fuel the interest of the reader with a few spicy details.
Create a Detailed Analysis of the Book/Film
Now, when the introductory section is ready, you can proceed with writing a film review. The analysis is probably the most challenging part because it must be based on facts and arguments. Use the notes you have made when watching the movie or reading the book, and distinguish three-four arguments that meet the topic of your review.
Don’t forget to dedicate a new paragraph to every argument and use transition words to make the text smooth and clear.
Use Examples to Confirm Your Points
There is no better way to write a book review or a movie summary than including examples from the source. Write down quotes, paraphrase events and provide background details to make your review vivid and bright.
However, remember about the formatting style (if it is required), because every source or quote should be referenced in a particular manner.
Personalize Your Writing
Even though writing a book review is about analyzing the plot or the author, you shouldn’t forget about your personal vision of the piece. Tell readers what you think about the book or the movie, give your own evaluation of the problem. This will show the teacher that you can not only analyze the piece but can shape personal opinion and to put it on paper.
End with Strong Conclusion
Finish your book or movie review with a sharp conclusion. Some students think it’s not important and simply write a few sentences that paraphrase the introduction. But if you want to get an A, we recommend summarizing everything that has been stated throughout the review and adding a few personal comments on the subject.
Don’t forget to add a call-to-action, because it will make readers feel that you are referring directly to them.
Edit & Proofread Your Assignment
Writing a film review doesn’t end when you have put a full stop. Take some time to relax after finishing a review and then get back to it to eliminate mistakes and make the text readable. Switch paragraphs, rewrite sentences, add new transition words, and do everything possible to create a powerful review.
Don’t forget to delete all the typos and misprints, because often grades are hurt simply by many mistakes. Your language must be flawless if you want to get an A.
Book/Movie Review Tips from Experts
Here are the most important writing tips to help you craft a perfect book or movie review:
- Always make notes when watching the movie or reading the book. Look for the details of the main character, plot twists, dates and any other important information that is easy to forget. These notes will act as a skeleton of your future review and you’ll be able to save lots of time. Moreover, such notes will help you to stick to the main topic without wasting time or meaningless details or irrelevant features;
- Stick to the book review format. No matter what type of a film or book you are reviewing, your paper should have an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. Thus, the reader will find it easier to understand what your review is about and won’t lose track of the story;
- Take into account your tutor’s requirements. Every teacher has his or her own demands. That is why listen attentively when you are assigned a book or movie review. Write down how many words it should consist of, the applied formatting style, and other important details. If you missed anything out, don’t be shy and approach your teacher to clarify details;
- When writing imagine that you are telling a story to a friend, and not holding a boring lecture. The audience won’t want to read the entire review if it is not interesting. And you risk getting a much lower grade. That is why your tone should be vivid and lively as if you’re discussing a book or a film with your friend;
- Write about your own likes and dislikes. Did you like the author’s style? Was the piece attention-grabbing? Film or book review is not only about the plot and the author but also about your vision of the chosen piece. Let the teacher and other students see what you think about it and don’t be shy;
- Make sure you’re not simply retelling the book or movie. Yes, events and details of the source are important but they shouldn’t make up the whole review: add examples, dilute the essay with personal details or even jokes (if appropriate). Provide your own understanding of events and your grade will surely be much higher;
- Research biography of the writer or director. To add depth to your review, take some time to learn about the writer of the book or director of the movie. Provide unknown facts and interesting details. This will motivate readers to conduct their own research, read other books or watch the next movies of the author.
Book/Film Review Example
A few days ago, I saw the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie. It is a part of the Harry Potter books and series, and it’s surely a piece to remember.
The movie is about a wizard competition, which took place in Hogwarts during the school year. Harry also participated and needed to contest in the Triwizard Tournament. As in all of the previous series Harry Potter and his friends had to overcome multiple problems and challenges.
This film was also rich in new characters and it added colors and intrigue to the film compared to its previous parts. Moreover, this series seems to be the most accurate interpretation of the same name book. I also liked that this movie was not too short and not too long – a perfect duration to tell everything about the story. I enjoyed the special effects, especially the part with dragons.
I think that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is different from the rest because it provides more information on the characters’ personal lives. One of the scenes depicts a dance that all of the contestants needed to attend. The ball was so beautiful and I got a feeling that I was also participating.
In my opinion, this one has been the best Harry Potter movie and directors managed to depict the wizarding world in its full beauty. The addition of new characters made the film more interesting, and love aspects added sensuality to the story. I surely recommend this movie to each and everyone, not depending on the age and background.
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