Tips on Writing a Review Essay
Review essays can help you work with various written works and prepare to use them in your research project. To write a good review essay, you should summarize, synthesize, and explain the ideas from different books and other sources. When writing a review, you can focus on a particular topic or a single work, as well as on a collection of works written by the same author. Here are some tips from editors at college-writers.com that will help you write a strong review essay.
Reviewing a Single Work
When focusing on a single work, you have to accurately restate the author’s argument and ideas. Before describing the work as a whole, you should summarize the conclusions. For example, when writing a review essay that focuses on a biography of Abraham Lincoln, begin by summarizing Lincoln’s life and then examine works that were used by the author. When summarizing a particular work, you can determine whether the author covered the topic properly and provided all the necessary information.
Comparing Different Works
When reviewing a collection of works written by the same author, you should consider every work in the context of the author’s writing career. You still have to summarize every work and describe the way it was written but you should also consider the way it relates to other works. For instance, if the author has written several works about traveling, you can focus on the way each consecutive work describes a new culture. Such review essays focus not only on the author’s works but also on the author themselves.
Examining Several Works on the Same Topic
Review essays that focus on a single topic must summarize opinions expressed by different writers. Select relevant works, summarize each one of them, describe how they were written, and reflect on how these works relate to each other. For instance, when writing about climate change, you can point out how works written by climate change deniers only try to undermine the credibility of experts who write about global warming. Review essays of this kind allow you to illustrate the development of the topic and find new ways to approach it.
Review to Critique
Although all kinds of review essays aim to figure out whether the author managed to accomplish their goals or not, there are also review essays that critique sources. For instance, you can consider a book that claims to provide a completely new perspective when analyzing Civil War and point out that the author’s conclusions have a lot in common with another book that was written many years ago. After this, you can criticize the derivative book that claims to provide a new perspective while repeating information from another book.