How to write a book review, Part 3

Reviewing a homeschool curriculum or textbook is different from reviewing a novel. In Part 1 of this series, I shared four basic steps to writing a homeschool book review, and Part 2 looked more closely at writing a neutral or unbiased review.

But what if you’re so impressed with a curriculum or book that you feel you MUST give an opinion? More than simply summarize its main features, you want to share your enthusiasm and encourage others to check the product out, too! If ths is the case, you’ll want to write a positive review.

This type of product review is designed to influence a purchase. It not only presents the facts, but it adds the writer’s personal bias.

The reviewer has not used the material but clearly loves what she sees, and doesn’t hesitate to say so. So when you write a positive review, even if you haven’t used the product, share why it appeals to you and mention the features that make you say, “Wow!”

If you’re visual like me, it always helps to see an example, doesn’t it? This review, written by Deborah Cariker of Eclectic Homeschool Online intermingles facts about WriteShop with her personal excitement about the program, even though she hadn’t used it herself. While she stays focused on the program’s key features, she also manages to impart a “Where has this been all my life?” flavor to the review.

Review by Deborah Deggs Cariker

for Eclectic Homeschooling Online

    I met veteran homeschoolers Kim Kautzer and Debbie Oldar, saw their curriculum, and knew that I was looking at something special. I am a writer, but I never really learned how to write. No one sat down and taught me how to paint pictures with words. I did very well in English and Literature, but can’t tell you why. I won the National Council of Teachers of English award my senior year and had my essay published in an English textbook, but can’t tell you what was so special about what I wrote. I have believed throughout my ensuing writing career—for radio, television, newspaper, and magazine—that “my ability” is God’s gift. I also thought that this was impossible to teach.

Next week, we’ll close out our series, “How to Write a Book Review,” by taking a look at Part 4: reviews written by homeschooling moms who have actually used the products they’re reviewing.

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