7 junio, 2024

Literary review: characteristics, parts, function, examples

The literary review It is an evaluation that is carried out around a literary text, and can be done orally or in writing. Another way to define it is as a critique that an expert makes about a book with the aim of publicizing the positive and negative aspects. On the other hand, this type of review makes strong arguments about the author and the work.

For example, you can do a literary review of the work of George RR Martin Clash of Kings. The author of the literary review would explain what he thought of the novel, giving the reasons for his opinion, whether positive or negative.

The literary review can promote the reading of a certain work if the critic’s assessment is positive. Otherwise, the reader reviewing the review may decide not to read the book because they trust the expert’s judgment. The reviews cover different spaces, therefore they can be about music, cinema, art, theater, among others.

On the other hand, the literary review is characterized by being brief, objective and neutral. The objectivity of the review is justified because the reviewer must be able to expose the good and bad of the content to which he refers. The author of the review must also be specific and precise regarding the points that he is going to develop.

Regarding the structure of the literary review, it is composed of a title that is associated with the subject to be reviewed, it is also made up of an introduction, a body or development, a conclusion and, if necessary, the bibliographical references. This variety of review can be given in descriptive and informative form.


Characteristics of the literary review

The literary review is characterized by the following aspects:


The literary review is a short document, since the information disclosed must be specific and synthesized for a better understanding. Some experts suggest that it should be developed in approximately one and a half pages.


Literary reviews are objective. This means that whoever performs it must put aside their own personal opinions and tastes. The neutral character of these texts makes it possible for the reviewer to recognize the negative and positive aspects of the work he reviews.


Another feature of the literary review is that it is summarized, so you can focus on important aspects of the work. The reviewer’s capacity for synthesis arouses greater attention in the reading public and condenses the information.


Carrying out a review of this type leads to investigating the aspects or themes that the author develops in the work. There its analytical nature comes into play since the elements that will be developed throughout the review are discussed.

Supported opinion

Although in previous paragraphs the objectivity of the literary review was explained, it is necessary to emphasize that in case the author wants to express his opinion. If so, it must be supported and based on solid, verifiable and real arguments. Otherwise, the review would lose credibility.

Parts of the literary review

Every literary review is structured by the following parts:

– Qualification

The title identifies the review and must be related to the content to be developed. The idea is that the title is attractive so that it catches the reading public, so it must be short.

On the other hand, if it bears the name of the work being reviewed, it must be accompanied by a striking word or phrase.

– Introduction

The introduction of the literary review is headed by the technical sheet of the work to be developed. This section contains the name of the author, the publishing house, the original title of the work, the number of pages, the year and place of publication, among other aspects.

– Development

In this part of the literary review, the synthesized and objective information of the work in question is exposed. The reviewer makes a kind of summary of the content and complements it with background information related to the author and the book.

In addition, reference can be made to the strategies, objectives and sources that the writer applied to carry out his literary text.

Criticism of the work

Within the development of the review, the critical arguments in relation to the work are exposed. In this section, the reviewer explains, based on previous research, the strong and weak points of the text. In this part, the objectivity and neutrality of the reviewer is revealed.

– Conclusion

The closing of the literary review consists of making a summary of all the points exposed in the previous sections. The creator of the review adds comments and recommendations taken from the work itself, preventing his personal opinions from being imposed and biasing the content developed.

– Data about the reviewer

This part refers to the exposure of the data and information of the creator of the review. Whether it is your name, profession, professional experience, previous reviews and contacts on social networks or email.

– Bibliography

The bibliography is based on placing the data from the sources consulted by the reviewer to carry out the review. It is usually located at the end of the work developed.


The function of the literary review is based on a criticism or evaluation of a given literary work. The reviewer objectively argues the advantages and disadvantages, the positive and negative aspects and helps the reader to develop their own criteria to decide whether or not to read the literary work.

How to write a literary review

The steps that must be followed to prepare a literary review are described below:


The first step to carry out a literary review is to organize and plan the way in which the arguments of the work will be explained. The reviewer must devise the intention and purpose of the work, as well as the public to which he is going to address and the title that he will give to his writing. The organization involves researching the work and the author.


Before preparing the final review, it is important to make a draft in which all the ideas are reflected, in this way the aspects and arguments that consolidate the literary review can be modified. In this step, the reviewer shapes all the previously investigated elements in relation to the work.

On the other hand, the director of the review exposes his approaches to the work objectively and with support. He also discloses the positive and negative characteristics and makes possible recommendations.

Preparation of the review

Once the author of the review has adjusted all the details in the draft, corrected and reviewed all the aspects developed, he must proceed to the definitive and final elaboration. It is important that you use cultured, coherent, clear language that is easy for the public to understand.

The final elaboration of the literary review must comply with the structure described in previous paragraphs. In this way, the text will have a logical sense and at the same time organized, together with the parts that make up the review it will be more attractive to the reader.

brief examples

– Xanina, the little fairy of the fountain by Isabel Fernández Bernaldo de Quirós

Editorial Grupo Tierra Trivium.

Year 2019.

Illustrations by Rosa Urena.

“… Isabel Fernández presents us with the adventures of Xanina, a little fairy who has lost her mother. This absence forces the little girl to assume adult obligations, so to speak, in her case taking care of a fountain and the group of animals that swarm around her…

“But although she is a fairy, Xanina is still a girl, and as such she needs to experience new things, live adventures, enter the world of the unexpected… She decides to leave her comfort zone to find out where the water that reaches the source comes from…

“This element, that of distance, is not new in children’s stories. Not surprisingly, the Russian anthropologist and linguist Vladimir Propp chose the element of ‘estrangement’… as the first of his 31 narrative functions…

«In Xanina, the little fairy of the fountain, this distance, advised against by the wise men of the place… is going to cause her some unpleasantness, but also satisfaction…».

– Confusing maze by Javier Sanchez Menendez

Editorial Renaissance.

Year 2016.

“The writing of Javier Sánchez Menéndez is easily recognizable because throughout his various works he has developed a style that defines him. His poetic prose, his fixation for details and at the same time for the universal, his philosophical character and his pictorial narrative is evident in each of his books.

“In the case of (Ed. Renacimiento 2016) we find a halo of nostalgia that surrounds the work from beginning to end. The unfolding of the self, duality (angel-devil, light-darkness, among others), the weight of the past, everyday life or philosophical thought are also part of this work in which the author places us in places like Mexico and Argentina, or takes us to places like Lake Constance, Paris, Cádiz or Moguer…

“… confusing maze It also lives up to its title, where much of what is described corresponds to a chaotic whole where the intangible… and the invisible… take on vital importance.

Themes of interest

Review concept.

Critical review.

Informative review.

Descriptive review.


Guillen, E. (2018). How to write a literary review? Elements and steps to make it. (A/N): I’m a Literature. Recovered from: soyliterauta.com.
Pérez, J. and Merino, M. (2011). Definition of literary review. (N/A): Definition. From. Retrieved from: definition.de.
Examples of reviews. (2019). (N/A): Examples From.com. Recovered from: ejemplosde.com.
Review. (2019). Spain: Wikipedia. Recovered from: eswikipedia.org.
Ruiz, L. (2019). The 7 parts of a review (and how to do them). (N/a): Psychology and Mind. Recovered from: psicologiaymente.com.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *