At the start of your essay, introduce the literature you're writing about by providing the author's full name and the full title of the work. Book titles should be italicized or underlined. If there is more than one author, give their names individually followed by et alia.
After introducing the literature, you need to explain why it matters today. Do this by discussing any recent events or controversies related to the topic.
Finally, show how the authors address these issues by describing the main ideas in the books.
An effective book review should be between 150-250 words long. If you write longer reviews, then they are called essays.
The basic structure of a book review should be as follows:
Introduction: This section should state the issue that the book addresses along with its significance. The introduction should not be longer than 20 lines of text.
Body: Explain how and why the authors solve the issue raised in the introduction. Use specific examples from the book to support your arguments.
(Titles of tales, essays, and poetry are enclosed in quotation marks.) Depending on what it is, refer to the work as a novel, tale, essay, memoir, or poem. Use the author's surname in subsequent references to him or her. (For example, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain.")
References should include the author's last name and the date of publication if you have it. If you don't know the exact date, say so and give an estimate of when the book was published. You can also use an abbreviation for the year if that's all you know. ("After James Joyce's Ulysses was published in 1922, no one read books like they used to." "That book wasn't written until after I got here, so don't count on finding it in the library.")
Books that have not been published yet should be listed with out-of-print books so that students know how old they are. References should be submitted at least six months before they are due.
Book reviews appear in newspapers and magazines. The person writing the review may mention the book but usually doesn't need to be cited. If the reviewer does cite the source, however, he or she should be given credit with an author reference. Book reviewers often get their information from publishers or authors who want positive coverage in return.
Book titles are usually not repeated in citations, although they may be necessary to distinguish works by the same author.
In academic contexts, the title of a book or article can play an important role in its influence and reputation. In science books for example, the title often includes a key word or phrase that indicates what kind of material is covered in the book. This makes it easier for scientists to find relevant literature. In history books, the title often describes events that led up to major changes such as wars or revolutions. This helps readers understand the context in which these events occur.
Writers use subheads to highlight important ideas in their articles or books. Subheads can be used to provide more detail about a topic than the main heading; for example, "The rise of fascism in Europe will be discussed in depth." They can also serve as catch-alls for material that doesn't fit well into the main section of the article or book. For example, an article might have a subheading of "Why I write historical fiction" and then within that section discuss research interests, a favorite author, and other topics unrelated to the main theme of the article.