4 Tips on How to Write a Good Short Story Review

Reviewing literary works has tremendous significance for the development and expansion of the literary field within the academic sector. It is important to provide an unbiased opinion on a piece of literature to create an independent and professional environment for the literature sphere to exist and undergo substantial advancements. This is the main reason why writing reviews of literary works is such a common practice in academia, also being one of the main indicators of a student’s competency.

Among the types of literature, college kids are often assigned to review, fiction stories receive the most attention. And the greatest focus goes to short stories in particular. Reviewing critically short stories seems to be the best option for students, as this genre of fiction is relatively easy to grasp and analyze, which is a great practice for young people who have little experience evaluating literature. Thus, by analyzing short stories, college kids train their skills and learn the craft of reviewing with exceptional effectiveness. And, as is true of every academic practice, reviewing literary works sometimes proves to be a big challenge for inexperienced students. That being the case, a few killer tips on writing a professional short story review will do!

how to write a good short story

how to write a good short story

Always Be Unbiased

After you devour the story for analysis, you will most likely have a strong impression of what you read. And developing your own opinion about anything you peruse or study is the main indicator of being equipped to do proper analysis, just like professional writers who provide online essays and reviews. However, having personal impressions of the piece you read may largely harm the quality of your review. The most critical principle that a writer should stick to when developing a review is staying unbiased and fair-minded. Leave aside your subjective impressions of the piece and instead steer an objective and reasoned way of evaluating it.

Provide a Critical Analysis of the Story

Critical analysis of the story is the bulk of your entire review. How you provide a critical viewpoint within a review defines its quality and the effect it will make on the reader – whether the review will be comprehensive and reasonable or not. To analyze the story in a critical way means to include the following important points:

  • What is the main idea of the story?
  • What is the purpose of the story?
  • The story’s theme.
  • The setting and the role it plays in the story and whether it’s relevant to the theme of the story.
  • The development of the characters.
  • The structure of the plot and if it’s built properly.
  • The stylistic devices used in the story and if they are employed successfully or not.
  • The literary and academic value of the story.

To make your review valuable and informative, you need to include each of these critical points, expressing them to the fullest. Let’s view the first point, for example. When mentioning the main idea of the story, you need to clearly state what the story’s main message is, which serves as the focal aspect of the story and its major goal. Then, we can move to the story’s purpose. This part is similar to the idea, as the purpose of your story is reached and realized with the help of its idea, so these things are interrelated within any story.

Now, speaking of the theme of your story, it’s crucial not to confuse it with the idea as many young writers tend to. A theme is something that is portrayed or described within the story, while an idea is something that the author wanted to communicate to the reader. The rest of the points we mentioned are easy to expound upon, providing you stick to academic standards, which will be the subject of our next section!

Follow the Scholarly Standards

As one of the most critical rules for academic writing, sticking to the standards that have been approved by specialists in order to unify academic writing is extremely important. It’s normal that, inspired by the story (if the story is good, of course), you might want to simply express how compelling the piece is, disregarding other criteria for an academic review. But this is a misleading habit that many young writers follow, only serving to devalue their analyses and making them unprofessional. Writing an academic review presupposes adhering to the strict academic standards, doesn’t it? Make sure to follow the common standards for scholarly writing as long as you want to strike gold with your review!

Develop a Plan

Sketching the structure and creating a plan are quite reasonable options to consider when writing a critical review. Planning your future evaluation will help you include all important points in it, eliminating any possibility of missing anything vital in your review. Be sure to take your time to think over how you want to structure your review. Decide what elements you want to include in it and wherein your essay you want to place them. To make the planning procedure more effective, you should also include sub-points to every major point you write down – this will help you elaborate on noteworthy things in your review.