How to Write an Excellent Review Essay?

By: Seohyun Lee

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Review essays are essentially a type of essay that thoroughly investigates and explore a certain textual piece of writing. It goes into a deep investigation and analysis of the author’s intention when writing the piece or what sort of theme the author tried to convey in his piece. This type of essay is usually assigned at school where the teacher assigned you to evaluate texts like pieces of literature where it contains a lot of the authors’ hidden intentions and motives.

While review essays may seem pretty boring as they do require less freedom they can also be fun in ways as your write your interpretation of a certain piece of writing which gives a fresh perspective, possibly something someone has never considered before. Unlike many other people who think review essays do not require any sort of research. Its only purpose is to develop your analytical skills and try deciphering the author’s mood, intention, and motive with the knowledge you already have to create a theme that you develop throughout your writing. So how do you write a good review essay?

Firstly it is great for you to write an abstract before you get started with the actual piece of writing. An abstract can be seen as teh “blurb” or the summary of your piece. Thus, it should be concise and only contain the main points you will be covering in your essay. This is also beneficial for the readers too as they have something to briefly read to decide if they want to read the rest of your essay or not without going through the hassle of skimming through the entire essay.

Secondly, there are three main points you should be covering in the introduction of your essay. Your introduction is very important as it’s the paragraph that is going to not only hook the readers in but also serve as a general summary of what your essay going to be about. So the first thing you should include is to introduce your topic. The reader might not have sufficient information to understand your essay completely. So use this chance to fill them up on the needed background information on your topic and even some unfamiliar terms they might come across later in the essay.

You should also include your purpose in writing this essay; why you’re writing it. Next is to talk about the relevance of your topic. You should aim to include why this topic is important to this current state of our world, and try connecting it to a bigger picture. Finally, probably the most important part of your essay introduction is to include your thesis statement or your topic sentence. This is the main idea you will be developing throughout your entire piece of writing. By doing this you are giving the reader a sense of what to expect when moving forward. 

Thirdly is the body paragraph of your essay. This is where you will be talking about the content of your writing. Keep in mind that review essays aren’t just summaries of the writing you are writing about. It requires you to deeply analyze, synthesizes information, and interpret the information in your way. Do not just simply state the obvious there are so much more things to talk about than just its significance and relevance.

Also, make sure to keep your writing organized so the readers can easily follow through. A way you can do this is by starting with a topic sentence at teh start of each of your body paragraphs. Also in essays like this, it is very easy to get sidetracked and start talking about irrelevant things. Remember your essay has to only focus on the thesis statement you chose. So it’s a good idea to constantly refer back and tie back to your thesis statement for every analysis you make or evidence you provide you dont start rambling on about irrelevant information. 

Lastly, it is the conclusion. Because the conclusion is most often the last paragraph many dismiss it to be the most irrelevant or least important, thus often occlusions can be the weakest point in a review essay. However, a conclusion is as important as your introduction or any of your body paragraphs so it definitely should be treated as such. Also, something to keep in mind is to never present new information in your conclusions; You should be doing that in your body paragraphs. In your conclusion, you should try connecting all your evidence given with your main thesis, or even to topics way out of your writing: in a larger context. It is also important to talk about what you got out of this thesis, and why the findings and whatever you talked about in the writing were significant.

By: Seohyun Lee

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