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The standard review format that is roughly (but not rigidly) followed by most reviewing journals (as opposed to magazines such as The New Yorker, which follow an essay format) is 2 paragraphs, each approximately 100-150 words. The first paragraph is a summary of the story, the second is your evaluation. Some reviewers will mix the two: I generally prefer to keep them separate. It is generally assumed that most people won't read reviews much longer than 300 words total, especially online.

A book review has two objectives:

  1. to describe the work
  2. to provide a critical evaluation of the work within its literary genre or academic discipline.

Here are a few guidelines for the evaluation paragraph:

A note about your writing style: