How to Write a Critique of a Novel

Almost all course instructors and tutors promote a message that reading is the best source of new information and knowledge about the world. Reading provides a new perspective on ordinary things. It encourages students to look beyond the conventional and learn new habits and things. However, it is not enough to read; students must also show their critical thinking abilities and skills.

A novel critique is one of the most popular academic tasks, which requires that students assess each and every aspect of the novel. It means that, apart from summarizing the contents, students will also need to provide evidence that the novel is worth (or not worth) reading. It can be described as a critical evaluation or response to a novel, which should incorporate the following components:

  • The main theme of the novel
  • The style and tone of the novel
  • The comments and assumptions made by the author

Novel Critique

It Is Easier to Read than Follow

You can’t simply wake up and create a perfect essay, well, unless you are a proficient writer and know everything about writing. Otherwise, feel free to follow these steps to produce a brilliant critique of a novel.

Just before you start

It is possible that you will be free to choose a novel for your critique. Then you will be able to use something you really like. However, it may also be that your professor gives you a novel for evaluation. In both cases, the process of writing will begin with an outline.

To create a well-organized outline, you will need to follow a number of steps.

  1. Read the novel thoroughly. Do not forget to make notes.
  2. Provide a brief summary of the novel, as well as for each and every section of the book.
  3. Define the key theme and message communicated by the author.
  4. Take some time to read what other reviewers wrote about your novel. This way you will know how to organize your own critique.
  5. Take the most useful information from the most interesting reviews.
  6. Create a thesis statement.
  7. Do not simply copy and paste the information provided by other reviewers.
  8. Use 3-5 evidence pieces to support your thesis (3-5 body paragraphs).
  9. Use evidence from the novel itself. Do not make empty statements.
  10. Review our checklists to make sure that you have included everything in your novel review. When you are done with the initial research and the outline, you will be ready to work on the initial draft of your critique.


An introduction is fairly regarded as one of the main yet easiest components of any critique, as well as any other essay. However, it is still vital that the basic principles of academic writing are followed. An introduction must include the purpose of writing, some background information, and a thesis statement.

Thus, follow this structure when writing an introduction.

  1. sentence – mention the author and title of the novel, as well as its message idea.
  2. sentence – provide a brief summary of the novel
  3. sentence – evaluate the consistency of the novel and its main idea. Include a transitional sentence to prepare the reader for a thesis statement.

Body of the Paper

Follow your professor’s requirements and see how many body paragraphs you need to support your thesis and earn the highest grade. However, in most cases, it is between 3 and 5 paragraphs that a standard critique of a novel should include.

Remember the Following Things:

  • Organization. Whatever approach you choose to use, you will still need to organize your paper logically, following from the strongest to the weakest part. You do not need to criticize the novel or highlight its weaknesses. You must be objective and well balanced in your analysis.
  • Tone and style of writing. Do not forget to evaluate the author’s use of style and literary devices. This is important.
  • Evidence. Consider the arguments and evidence the author uses. At the same time, do not neglect the use of evidence from the novel when you are making an evaluation point.
  • Utility. See if the novel of your choice provides a better understanding of the issues it addresses. Is the argument logical and substantive?
  • Examples and evidence. Make sure that each and every argument you make when writing your critique is supported with evidence from the original text. If your instructor allows, you can also use external sources to ensure the overall credibility of your claims.
  • Avoid using colloquialisms. Use formal language only. Your task is to produce a sound academically written paper according to your professor’s instructions.


Now you can complete the final component of your novel critique, where you will wrap up the main argument and offer recommendations for your readers.

Here you will need to answer the following questions:

  • Do you agree or disagree with the main message of the book?
  • What is your perception of the plot and its characters?

Avoid making vague statements. Try to be as specific as possible. Remember that your readers will follow your recommendations. Below you will find a sample of a critique of a novel that was created to help you with your studies. And now one more detail to help you write an A+ paper.

Formatting and Style

Your critique should be written in accordance with the formatting and style requirements for your order. Generally, it will be

  • Double-spaced, typed in Times New Roman or Arial 12
  • Left justified
  • Pages numbered throughout
  • Citation style either APA or Chicago
  • Only third-person pronouns used
  • Only active voice used
  • One point per paragraph
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