Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide

Essay Lab Glossary

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Review

Definition:

Most of us read movie reviews, so we’re familiar with this type of essay.

The Review is a close cousin of the Analysis Essay and the Response Essay. Just like the Response Essay, the Review will also make an evaluation about a work and support that evaluation. One important way in which it differs from the Response Essay is that it includes a summary of the work. (This is why it’s also called a Summary/ Response Essay.) It’s like the recap of “last week’s episode” on a serial TV show. So if you haven’t seen last week’s episode… spoiler alert.

Usually, the Review takes this form:

  • Paragraph 1: Introduction to the work, including a summary, that contains the main details of the work, but often leaves out the ending so that you don’t ruin it for your readers. Try not to be too spiteful—you want them to enjoy this thing. This paragraph often ends with a thesis that’s an evaluation of the work. 
  • Paragraph 2: Pick out one criterion (for example, a movie’s plot), and in your topic sentence, state what your evaluation of it is. Then, use examples from the work you are responding to, and analyze each example to support the evaluation you made. If you need any technical support, operators are standing by. 
  • Paragraph 3: Pick out another criterion (for instance, the soundtrack) and do the same as above.
  • Paragraph 4: Pick another criterion (for instance, the quality—or lack thereof—of the acting), and do the same as above.
  • Paragraph 5: Conclude the review by summarizing your evaluation as well as your supporting points.

See also: Analysis EssayResponseSummary