Guidelines on Writing Computer Science Book Reviews
Writing book reviews about computer science texts is really no different than writing a review for any other book genre. Obviously, you will need to cater to the audience that would feel the need to read your review. This means that you will need to be quite knowledgeable about computer science lingo, and the topics associated therein.
Ensuring that your reviews incorporate significant scientific interest will help advance the goals outlined in the books you review. Make sure that you write with clarity and originality. Explore the basic concepts while providing an overview for your readers. The idea is to create a review that leaves readers wanting to ingest the books themselves.
First, you need to understand what you are writing. Book reviews are critical evaluations of the text. They generally make an argument for, or against, the information included in the book. In fact, the most important aspect of a review, is the fact that it is a commentary, not simply a summary.
When you write a review, you need to ensure that you reveal your personal opinion about the piece. You will need to determine whether or not you agree with the information provided. Whatever your position is, it is imperative that you evaluate the validity of the knowledge, systems, and programs discussed. Keep in mind, though, that most book reviews are brief. Here are some common book review elements:
While there is no definitive answer to constructing a proper book review, it is generally accepted that there will be a thesis, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Additionally, some level of critical thinking should occur before you endeavor to put all your thoughts about the book on paper. Some would even say that it is a two-step process in which you develop an argument and then support that argument in an organized form.
If you are in need of help to focus your thinking, as you begin to critically assess the book you are preparing to review, consider asking yourself these questions:
Sometimes it is equally beneficial to consider the writer’s qualifications. You will want to be able to discredit him/her if there are controversial or contrary things in the book. Consider some of the author’s information and the incidents that spurred the creation of the book. Ask yourself:
Now that you know the answers to all the questions mentioned here, and how to prepare a decent book review, it is time to finish your piece. Beginning the writing process might be a little daunting, but if you will follow these instructions, it will be considerably easier to complete the task at hand. Follow these four suggestions to complete a well-written book review:
Remember that you are reviewing the book in your hands, not the book you wish the writer had penned. That means pointing out shortcomings and failures is wholly acceptable. However, don’t criticize the book for the things you wish it had been.
Precise language will allow you to keep your tone in check. Good and bad books take equal amounts of time to write. Your obligation is to the reader while still being fair to the author of the text you are reviewing. Don’t lose focus on that truth.