How to write a book review, Part 4

Over the past several weeks, I’ve given you tips on how to write various kinds of curriculum and product reviews.

Smiling womanAs we wrap up the series in Part 4, let’s look at the personal review. This type of product review makes a personal recommendation. It not only presents the facts, but it adds the writer’s opinion based on her experience with the product.

So even though Part 3 explains how to write a positive, opinionated review, using the materials is not a criteria. On the other hand, the personal review must be written by someone who has actually used the program, book, or product. She loves it and will gladly tell you why. 

The personal review will include facts sprinkled liberally with opinion. The reviewer may also indicate how her children enjoyed the materials or how their skills have improved as a result.

The following review is written by a mom who uses and loves WriteShop. She glowingly describes how her kids’ writing has improved, what she loves about the program, how easy it is to use, how helpful various parts of the Teacher’s Manual are to her, etc. You’ll easily see how you can use this method to review any of your favorite products!

Review by Heidi Shaw

for The Old Schoolhouse magazine

    This is a GREAT program. I don’t usually start out so strongly but a program like this in the home school community has been needed for a long time. Let’s take a look.
    Starting with descriptive writing, and carrying on with narrative and informative, WriteShop has everything you need to guide your students on the path to becoming excellent writers.
    Sure, I can hear you say, but how will I KNOW they are becoming excellent writers? Aha, that’s where the beauty of this well laid out program becomes evident.
    Lesson by lesson, step by step, the student is taught how to evaluate and improve his own writing. And the parent/teacher is taught right along with him. Every lesson has self-checking evaluation worksheets for both student and teacher. They actually teach us how to assess and edit every lesson. We start with describing an object and move on up through to conducting and writing an interview; the lessons are interesting and fun! Each lesson follows a basic format so it is easy to implement…. (Read complete review here. )

You never know when you’ll have the chance to review a book or curriculum, whether it’s a brand-new product or an old favorite. Now you have the tools to write with greater confidence by following some simple steps and then deciding whether the review needs to be neutral, positive, or personal.

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