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Phrases you can use to end the review


How to write a review


An international arts website is looking for reviews of novels for a new section called ‘A Reader Writes’. You have decided to write a review of a novel you’ve recently read for this section. Describe the novel and say what you think about it. Would you recommend this novel to other people?

Write your review in 140- 190 words in an appropriate style on the separate answer sheet.

Sample answer:

I really enjoyed the film version of The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon, but I thought the original novel by Robert Ludlum was even better. This book is so well-written, I didn’t want to finish it!

Tips how to write a review

You start with Paragraph 1- Introduction
In the introduction you :

– make your review more interesting with personal comments

– mention the title, the type of the book/ play/ film/etc, the setting (when/where), the theme, the main characters, etc

Phrases you can use in the introduction:

* This well-written/ informative / fascinating/ thought-provoking book is…

* The film/ book/ play/ etc. is set in….. / tells the story of…../ is based on…..

* The film/ play starts …../ is directed by…../ is the sequel to…..

Comparing and contrasting

*… is even better than …

*… is (not) nearly as good as …

*… is twice as good as …

*… is the best I have ever seen / read / been to in comparison with …

*One of the strongest / weakest things about …

*In contrast, … / On the other hand, …

REMEMBER: A review is a special type of article written for publication in a magazine, newspaper, etc giving a brief description and evaluation of the film, book, play, TV/ radio programme, etc . It may be formal or semi-formal in style, depending on its intended readership, and is usually written using present tenses.

The plot is gripping right from the start. When we first meet the lead character, Jason Bourne, he is being rescued from the sea. His identity is a mystery to everyone, including himself! Over the course of the novel we gradually find out who Bourne is, and follow him through a series of exciting adventures.

In the 2nd and 3rd Paragraph you:

– include the main points of the plot (without revealing the ending), and evaluate such features as the acting, writing style, directions, characters etc.

– you can also add what you learnt, found out from the book, etc

Phrases you can use to in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph:

Describing a book / film / TV programme

* … is set in …

* The main character is …

* It tells the story of …

* The plot / dialogue / acting / characterization is …

Giving an opinion

* The only criticism I would make is that …

* What I really loved about … is …

*To me, … seemed …

* … was … from start to finish.

+ exceptional / good value / gripping / lively / memorable / perfect / realistic / stunning / superb / well-written / -acted / -cooked etc.

disappointing / dreadful / dull / inadequate / poor / predictable / sub-standard / unconvincing / unimaginative / uninteresting

As well as a highly original plot line, the novel includes a number of fascinating characters, especially the villains! I only have one negative -comment: in my view, the novel is strong on action but weaker on description. However, this is a small criticism of an otherwise excellent book.

Phrases you can use to in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph:

To explain the plot:

* The plot revolves around …involves …/focuses on …/has an unexpected twist.

* The story begins with …/unfolds / reaches a dramatic climax when …

Evaluating various features:

* The play/film/series has a strong/star-studded/mediocre cast.

* The acting is moving/powerful/excellent/weak/disappointing/unconvincing.

* The plot is gripping/dramatic/fascinating/suspense-filled/fast-moving/ far-fetched/predictable/ confusing/dull /unimaginative.

* The script/dialogue is touching/witty/hilarious/boring/mundane.

* It is beautifully/brilliantly/sensitively written/directed.

I would highly recommend The Bourne Identity to anyone who enjoys action or crime stories. However, if you prefer more descriptive or romantic novels, then you should give it a miss. Personally, I can’t wait to start reading the sequel!

In the last paragraph you:

– include an overall assessment of the work and/or a recommendation, usually with justification

– you may also be asked to give reasons why someone should see the film/ play or read the book, how it has influenced you, etc.

Phrases you can use to end the review


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