How to Write a Book Critique in APA Style

One of the most vital aspects of a college education is knowing how to write a book critique in APA style. Unfortunately, not many students have the skills or expertise to write such papers effectively. New assignments come in all shapes and kinds. It’s, therefore, always easy for one to mix up the writing rules and guidelines. One such task is knowing how best to critique a book in APA style. But first, it’s important that you know what a critique is before you start writing such a paper.

Often, students confuse critique papers for reviews or article summaries. Therefore, it’s always important that you understand what the paper is about before you start writing. A critique is basically an objective analysis of someone else’s piece of work. In this case, we’ll focus more on someone else’s book and how you can format it in APA style.

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An effective critique essay generally aims to give the reader an idea of the author’s writing from your perspective. Your primary objective here is to share your personal opinion with your audience, backed up with evidence and arguments. Keep reading to know more about how to write a book critique in APA style.

how to write a book critique in apa style

How to Write a Book Critique in APA Style

When writing a book critique, it’s vital that you provide your reader with your qualified opinion of the book. American Psychological Association, commonly known as APA, is often used when writing books and other literature forms. This form of writing also has a set of writing guidelines that the writer must follow.

Here’s more detailed information on how you can write a book critique in APA style:

Read the Article Thoroughly

First things first, it’s essential that you get yourself well-acquainted with the book you intend to critique before you start writing. Ensure, therefore, that you read the book at least twice and ensure that you know and explicitly understand the message that the author intends to pass to his/her audience.

Reading the book for the first time should provide you with an overview of the author’s intentions and the topics used throughout the book. You also get a better feel of how the author structured and organized the book.

Reading the book for the second time helps you to identify all the key points and ideas that the writer aimed to pass across to the reader. You will also know more about all the supporting details that the author used to support his/her key points. As you read the paper, it’s vital to take notes of the key points that will help in writing your critique essay. You should also check all the sources that the author used to see if they are trustworthy.

It’s necessary that the information you provide differs from merely presenting just another piece of feedback to fill the pages. Ensure that you do our best to explain all the key points and explain all your relevant arguments in detail. Only after you’ve acquired the author’s purpose, will you have a clearer understanding of how to approach your paper.

Basic Format

When writing a critique paper for a book in APA format, you must follow all the general structural guidelines. You must also format your paper to your text is:

  • Double-spaced
  • Uses the Times New Roman writing font (recommended)
  • Uses a 12-point font
  • Has a 1” margin on all sides

Your paper must also have all the four major sections of an APA style written document. As such, it must include the title page, the abstract, main body, and the references.

how to write a book critique in apa style

The title page basically entails the name of the paper you intend to write, your name, and the name of your school. All of these must be on separate lines.


After the title page, use a page break to get to the next page of your paper. This is a key element that anyone who wants to know how to write a book critique in APA style must implement.

On the abstract page, write the word “Abstract” at the top, center section of the paper. Don’t include any additional formatting in this section. On the next line, you can now start writing the abstract. Write a clear and concise summary that critiques the book. It’s also important that you make it a brief summary of your paper and your critique as well.

You should also indicate examples of the main points that you intend to use throughout your paper. Remember, it’s important that your reader is made aware of what you intend to write about and expect in your excerpt. The abstract section of your paper ca, therefore, be between 150 to 250 words, depending on what you include in your paper.

Main Body

Upon completing the abstract, the next section is the main body. You should start writing the main body on a new page. Remember, also to type the title of what you intend to write about at the top of the page. You shouldn’t add any additional formatting here, either. Following the double space format, start writing your critique essay. Any student who wants to learn how to write a book critique in APA style must have all the necessary resources and references by this stage.

All book critiques must analyze several different topics that go in line with what the author wrote about. Ensure, therefore, that you have all the necessary facts and examples necessary to include in this section. You can also point out any errors of fact or misinterpretation that you found in the book.

It’s not uncommon for some authors to omit or assume some facts simply because they don’t favor their writings. As such, if you are critiquing a research book, you may want to consider checking whether the experimental methods used were adequate. You can also point out if the procedures used didn’t include enough supporting detail in the paper.

In-Text Citations

Quoting or paraphrasing certain sections of your paper is another vital aspect of critiquing a book. Anyone who wants to learn how to write a book critique in APA style must know how to cite and reference important sources within the paper. Whenever you do this, ensure that you include authoritative in-text citations. This also helps to improve the credibility of your paper. Your readers will trust the contents of your essay more if they have reputable and reliable sources to refer to throughout your paper.

With the APA citation style, you will have to use the author-date citation system. Supposing you mention the author by name, you will only need to add the year of publication in parentheses directly following that author’s name. And whenever you quote a specific passage from the book, remember to include the page name after each sentence in parentheses. This is written as “p.” It’s always placed before the closing punctuation mark.


Learning how to write a book critique in APA style is another important element of any paper to know. Your paper may only also reference the book that you are critiquing. For you to write a paper in proper APA style, ensure that you indicate the author’s last name, a comma, the first and the middle initials, then a period. Ensure, also, that you include the publication year in the parentheses followed by a period. Next, type the name of the book title in sentence case and follow it by a period. Finally, write the name of the book in italics and the title case, comma, the volume number, comma, page numbers, and a closing period. The volume number must also be in italics while all the other content that follows be in plain formatting.

How to Start a Critique Paper

From the above excerpt, it’s evident that it takes a lot more than reading to perfect your book critiquing skills. Knowing how to write a book critique in APA style can be a daunting task, a challenge that most students aren’t always up to. Thus, the reason why most students choose to hire online essay writing services to write and complete their papers. ranks as one of the best custom paper writing services that you can trust to deliver the best high-quality papers out there.

how to write a book critique in apa style

Essay Axe is a leader in writing book critiques in APA style. Your paper will be in good hands when you have one of ’s professionals writers assigned to work on your paper.

Although there are certain aspects of writing book citation APA that are fairly straightforward, not everyone knows how to gather all the relevant ideas and key points to write an attractive critique paper. It takes a lot of time, practice, and consistency to know how to write a book critique in APA style.

Ultimately, any strong book critique paper must meet the following writing criteria:

Conduct Research

As aforementioned, it’s vital that you conduct in-depth research on the book that you intend to critique before you start critiquing it. In some cases, your professor may assign you a specific book to analyze and critique. There are also instances where you will have to choose the book that you want to critique yourself. Once you have the piece to analyze available, ensure that you go through it thoroughly at least twice. As you read, ensure that you also highlight all the book’s vital aspects that you can use to form a strong critique or argument.

Understand the Objective of the Critique

Inasmuch as a critique paper can adopt different forms, the main idea here is to critique another writer’s writing piece. This is a chance for you to analyze someone else’s work and highlight all the areas that need improvement. There are certain key questions and guidelines that your paper should strive to meet for you to do this effectively. For someone who will be critiquing someone’s book, check if the book meets these guidelines:

  • Is the hypothesis clear in the introduction?
  • Is the text clearly structured and organized?
  • Are there any images or graphs in the book? Are they labelled clearly and relevant to the text at hand?
  • Is the text easy to read?
  • Is there enough background information about the topic in the introduction to enable the reader to understand what the book is about clearly?
  • Does the conclusion section make sense? Does it sync with the rest of the book?
  • Is the book generally good? Is this a text that the audience would actually enjoy reading and gain valuable information from?

All these are important questions that you must ask yourself when reading and analyzing the book you’re about to criticize. Use these questions as a guide to help you research the contents of the book. Only then can you find something concrete about the book to critique.

Create a Strong Opening Sentence

All students who want to learn how to write a book critique in APA style must learn how to write a strong, captivating introduction. This is standard for all essays, really. The introduction must be interesting enough that it grabs the reader’s attention from the get-go. And since it’s a critique paper, your writing must be exceptional as well. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to criticize someone else’s book when your writing itself needs work.

Summarize the Text

As with other types of essays, when learning how to write a book critique in APA style, ensure that you summarize your paper as well. It’s important that you summarize the text that you intend to criticize in your introduction too. You can, therefore, use this section to give your audience a brief overview of what your paper intends to critique about the book. Share with the audience the text that you are analyzing as you emphasize the author’s key points and purpose. It may also be best to include a brief counterargument in your summary. This should give the reader a rough idea of the author’s conflicting views.

Highlight Your Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is another key aspect that every student who wants to learn how to write a book critique in APA style must know. This is always a very sensitive part of any essay. Ensure, therefore, that you include a clear and concise thesis statement for your paper. A good thesis is one that summarizes the writer’s argument and supports his/her critique.

Your thesis statement is, therefore, the lifeline upon which your paper depends. A poorly written thesis can easily make the reader doubt your entire essay. As a result, always ensure that you write a brief overview of what you intend to critique in your paper. It should be your opinion on the topic and what the author could have done differently to improve the context of the book.

Tips for Writing an Effective Book Critique

Writing book critiques in APA style is not only difficult, but it’s also really demanding. It’s especially stressful for students who have never written such a paper before and don’t know which writing criteria to use. Below are simple tips that you can use to write a more helpful, informed critique essay.

Keep a Cheat Sheet

Create a cheat sheet that keeps you focused as you read the author’s book. Ensure, therefore, that you keep track of the genre of the book, themes, point of view, hook, what the narrator wants, what pushes the story forward, etc.

Don’t Focus on Bad Elements Only

Many people often see critique papers as essays aimed at highlighting the faults of the paper being critiqued. Make it a habit of finding at least one or two things that the author got right while writing the book. Remember, you’re analyzing and critiquing something that another human being wrote. So, try and be as considerate as possible.

Keep the Big Picture

When critiquing a book, ensure that you always keep the “big picture” aspects in mind. That means considering all the major themes used in the book, the message that the writer is trying to get across, etc. Don’t let yourself get caught in the smaller details of the book that you forget to see what the book is really about.

Proofread and Refine Your Work

One of the major elements of writing any paper is to proofread it and check if for any grammatical and punctuation errors. Read your critical analysis thoroughly several times to catch any errors that you might have missed while writing. Proofread and refine your paper as many times as you can until you feel satisfied that it’s perfect. has a host of proofreaders and editors who checks all papers submitted by its writers. You can, therefore, rest assured that all papers from Essay Axe are grammatically correct and free of any punctuation errors.


From the above excerpt, it’s evident that it takes a lot more than reading a few books to know how to write a book critique in APA style. You must invest your time and patience to perfect your writing skills if you want to write an A+ paper. Writing a book critique in APA requires you to incorporate all the APA writing styles to be considered complete. In any case, if you still feel the need to hire a professional to work on your paper, visit You will get the best book critique paper in the writing industry.

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