Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Writing a book review TKGA style

From my moment of wisdom:

This is from the post so many people have pm'd me about on Ravelry. I added a few notes to it. Hope it helps you out. Writing a book review isn't that hard especially with an organized format to follow:

Here’s a list of items I put together (from searching the internet) before I wrote the book reports:

1.Write a statement giving essential information about the book: title, author, first copyright date, price and ISBN number of pages.

(I put this information at the left top of the page)

Then began the prose with:

2.State the author’s purpose in writing the book. Sometimes authors state their purpose in the preface or the first chapter.

3.Talk about the contents. What topics the book covers. Describe any thesis or themes at this point.

4.Explain the layout/organization of the book. How the chapters are arranged, etc.

5.Evaluate the book for interest, accuracy, objectivity, importance, thoroughness, and usefulness. What did you agree/disagree/like/dislike. Is the book relevant. Is there anything new or special to this book or does it retell (better or worse) information.
Include the Front matter which would include table of contents, preface, introduction by someone else etc.

6.Discuss the book’s format. layout, binding typography, quality of pictures and diagrams.

7.Check the back matter: Is the index accurate. Does the book provide a good bibliography. What sources did the author use.
Backmatter would include appendices, index,glossary,sources, bibliography.

8.Summerize/Analyze the contents. Do you recomend the book and to who. State any other opinions you have about the book. Do not introduce new material at this point

9.Provide information on the author.

Good luck to you all!!

As far as magazine reviews go… 
I wrote mine using the format of the Book Review with a few changes. First you must decide whether you are going to write about the magazine in general or a specific issue. I did one of each, that way I wrote two different types of reviews. Today I might choose to write about a print magazine and and online magazine. But it really doesn’t matter.
Basically you want to observe the magazine, just like you would observe anything, notice the makeup both physical and content. Just use words to describe it.
There is a whole lot more to write about a magazine than a book, which was a surprise to me.Here are some ideas in no particular order, but your magazine may have something else worth discussing as well:
Introduce the Magazine being Reviewed. How often is it published and by whom? What is the main content dedicated to? 
What issue or issues are you using for the review.
Who is the editor? Who writes the mag intro?--usually one of the editors. 
Typically there will be “departments” or columns? What are they and who writes them? Are they good/bad/ useful/fluff? 
Where are they located in the magazine?
What else in the magazine occurs on a regular basis? Is it helpful. I’m thinking about the list of errata from previous issues, “knitting instructions or school”, glossary of terms, etc. Classified section--what’s in it? Letters to the editor? Table of contents.
How user friendly is the magazine. How hard is it to find something using the page number. Do I need to flip pages when working a pattern or are they fairly easy to follow. How well written are the patterns? Riddled with errors that we master knitters pick up right away?
What about the advertising? I found some magazines did not include advertising with the patterns? Useful or not? Is the advertising something of interest to the reader? or totally off topic? Distracting? Is there a list of advertisers at the end? 
Sometimes the advertising is more useful than the magazine.
What about the patterns? Types? Who are they for? Trendy vs Classic? Levol of experience? What about listing of supplies for the patterns?
Talk about the quality of the photos, charts, schematics etc. Glossy vs Matte pages. How sturdy is the magazine.
Who would enjoy the magazine--target audience.
Any online supplements? How does one access them?
Where can your reader get the magazine? How much does it cost per issue/ subscription? How about those annoying cards that constantly fall out?

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