Novel Critique: Beginner’s Guide

The first and foremost thing you need to remember is that a review and a critique are different papers. While you provide the summary of a plot in the former, you have to evaluate and provide a critical analysis of the quality in the latter.

A novel critique is a perfect assignment to develop critical thinking and skills to express your own opinion. For this reason, professors assign this task to students quite often. Plus this task does not limit students to repeating already existing ideas, but rather helps them to come up with their own critical analysis.

A critique of a novel is aimed at evaluating the book’s worth. Students examine its strengths and weaknesses. Learners provide an in-depth analysis and write a convincing paper to support their critical research. In addition, a student dwells upon the worth of reading the novel and supports their ideas. A reviewer also mentions why or why not a novel is worth reading.

To make a long story short, a critique of a novel should include:

  • Analysis of a book’s thesis and its major argument
  • Critique of a book’s style and its effectiveness
  • Student’s commentary and assumptions

Key to a Good Critique Paper

Preparation is often underestimated by lots of students. However, it often plays a crucial role if you want to get your paper done perfectly. For this reason, we suggest following these steps to provide an excellent critique of a novel:

  1. You need to read a book (no matter how difficult it seems, you need to do it if you want to get A).
  2. Jot down the main points from the novel while reading
  3. Find out the author’s core message and statement
  4. Do the research of other people’s reviews of the novel
  5. Formulate your thesis
  6. Be unique and do not copy other reviewers’ ideas
  7. Think of three to five arguments to your thesis
  8. Support your arguments and thesis with relevant references
  9. Look through the novel again to find evidence
  10. Write an outline of your paper

As soon as you are through with the outline, it is high time to get down writing. Follow your plan to make your paper structured and cohesive. An outline will also help you avoid writer’s block.

Structure Your Paper

It is essential to structure your critique. There should be three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Let us have a look on what to include and discuss in each part.

  1. Introduction

As the saying goes ‘A good beginning makes a good ending’. For this reason, take your time writing an introduction. In this part you should include a book’s author, title, topic, and main ideas. Do not forget about your thesis statement. Make it convincing and powerful to grab the reader’s attention instantly. As for the size of an introduction, it may differ. It can be three sentences or even up to three paragraphs. However, the information used in the introduction is the same. You need to:

  • mention a book’s author and a title
  • objectively present the main idea of a novel
  • provide a book’s summary with the key aim of a novel
  • write your thesis statement (your reaction to the work)

In the body paragraphs you should:

  • discuss the use of stylistic devices (what stylistic choices an author made; whether these choices were used effectively or not)
  • evaluate the usefulness of a novel (Are ideas presented in original ways? Does it raise any core questions?)
  • support your points with evidence from the book (Were the author’s arguments convincing? Why this evidence supports your ideas?)
  • provide examples to support your ideas (Never leave a point of critique without an example. This is how you persuade the reader and make your paper convincing).

3. Conclusion

In this part you summarize the main points and offer overall recommendations on a book. Remind the reader why you have chosen this book, what are its strengths and weaknesses, whether you agree with an author or not, and conclude with your opinion on its success.

Format requirements

The last but not least thing to remember (if your goal is a top grade) is a set of format requirements:

Page format

  • Typed and double-spaced
  • Number all pages but the first one
  • One-inch margins on all sides
  • Text on one side of a paper

Style and techniques requirements

  • Turabian or Chicago citation style
  • Do not use a first person (but for your own opinion)
  • No passive voice
  • Start each point from a new paragraph

Grammar, spelling and content requirements

  • A mistake-free paper
  • 100% unique content

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Follow this guide and you will write a flawless novel critique. Make sure you remember about correct structuring, formatting rules, and the gist of a critique. Present your ideas in a clear language, so that it is easy to follow and understand. Organize your writing and make your paper logical. Avoid over-generalization and over-simplification. Support your ideas with convincing arguments rather than emotional language.

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Hypophora is defined as a figure of speech that combines a question and an immediate answer. In other words, an author asks a question at the beginning of a paragraph and answers it in the body of a paragraph.

Hypophora functions as a trigger to attract the reader’s attention. The figure of speech can arouse curiosity, change a topic of discussion, or raise a question the reader probably wants to know the answer to.

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It is clear from a hypophora definition that it is not similar to the rhetorical question. The main difference consists in the existence of an answer. While there is always an immediate answer to the question in hypophora, the rhetorical question does not need one. In other words, the rhetorical question has no answer or is the answer itself.

Let us compare hypophora examples with those of rhetorical questions to to understand it easily.

‘Why do I go there every summer? I just need time to relax. I want to slip out of this country, this city, this street, this room.’ There is a question and there is an answer.

‘How should I know?’ This is a rhetorical question that has no answer and does not need one. A person does not expect the explanation how they should know. This is just the way to express an irritation.

So when we define hypophora, we make it clear that a writer raises a question to answer it rather than leave it without an answer.


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