Analytical Book Review



1. What are analytical book reviews?

An analytical book review assignment requires you to read a book and analyze its contents in relation to a question, theme, or topic. A common question is to evaluate the main argument (thesis) or purpose of the book’s author(s). Sometimes, you are given freedom to choose a topic or theme to write about in relation to the book.

Generally, you should formulate a stance based on your understanding and/or interpretation of the book. You should then provide support for that stance by citing parts of the book’s text as well as the opinions of authoritative experts, preferably taken from journal articles. Thus, you usually need to do research on the academic literature published on the book. Based on your research, you might evaluate competing views and interpretations of an aspect or theme of a book and offer your own understanding of it. This is what most differentiates an analytical book review from a simple book review found on a website or in a newspaper.

About this website

EWRite is an open access online literacy platform for PolyU community that has two major objectives:

  • to support PolyU students’ literacy development within and across the disciplines
  • to support subject and language teachers to implement system-level measures for integrating literacy-sensitive pedagogies across the university

This platform provides access to generic genre guides representing typical university assignments as well as links to subjects offered by faculties with specific disciplinary genres and relevant support materials.

The materials can be retrieved by students by choosing the genres that interest them on the landing page. Each set of materials includes a genre guide, genre video, and a genre checklist. The genre guide and video are to summarize the genres in two different ways (i.e. textual and dynamic) to fit different learning styles. The genre checklist is for students to self-regulate their writing process. The genre guide and checklist include links to various ELC resources that can provide further explanation to language items (e.g. hedging and academic vocabulary).

The platform also acts as a one-stop-shop for writing resources for students, language teachers and subject leaders. Information about the English Writing Requirement policy can also be found on this platform. There are training materials for new colleagues joining the EWR Liaison Team.