Learn how to become an great essay writer

How to Write a Review Essay: Creating a Draft


Review essays are not commonly something studied in high school, but they are still legitimate and important essays in academia. The purpose of a review essay is to take several sources, typically book length, on a single topic. Then it takes the main ideas of those sources, if not the details, and presents them to the reader. This can be very helpful for others trying to do research looking for specific areas. You can also do a literary review essay, which takes a theme present in multiple works of literature or media and interconnects a common theme between them.

Writing your first draft

Do keep in mind that there are certain rules to keep in mind as you write a first draft. First, do not edit as you write. If you do not like a sentence or how it looks, or even if you make a simple grammatical or spelling error, do not worry so much about it and continue writing. This is important, because it lets, you get all your ideas out as you think them- you can always edit later. Otherwise, you are likely to end up censoring yourself. Writing an outline may also be helpful, because it will keep your thoughts organized and well help you keep track of what is going on.


Review essays actually have a structure quite similar to other kinds of essays. You still need an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you make sure the reader is clear on the theme you are trying to represent, or your thesis, and outline what works you are talking about. Then you have the body. Do not fall into the temptation to write about each work sequentially, or one per paragraph- that defeats the point of a review essay entirely. Instead, have main themes, points, and brink information from each source to bear in every paragraph. The conclusion should bring your ideas together and tie everything up nicely.

Writing the review

It might be helpful to visualize the review essay as a sort of compare and contrast affair. Of course, things in between your sources will be similar, that is why you choose them, but in what ways do they different? In addition, how are these different approaches relevant to what the author is saying? Remember that you must put each part of your review into a larger context that is your thesis.