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Prewriting Questions for Book, Movie, or Play Reviews
The following questions are designed to help you generate and focus your
ideas when writing a book, movie, or film review. You won't need to
answer all of these questions for your paper, but many of the answers will
help you discover information and focus your thinking.
- What are you reviewing? What is it about? What's the plot?
- What's the theme?
- What is the author's/director's purpose?
- What genre or classification does it fit?
- What is the tone? What is the point of view? What's the mood?
When and Where questions
- When was this done? Or when does the action take place?
- Where was this done? Or where does the action take place?
- Who wrote it, directed it, or acted in it? What else have they done?
- Who are the main characters?
- Who's the intended audience?
- Who has said what about this? Why?
- How does it convey its main point, mood, or theme? How did the audience react to it?
- How well does it fulfill its purpose?
- Did I like this in general? Why?
- Did I agree with the main theme/purpose? Why or why not?
- What specifically did I like/dislike? Why?
- Did the author/actors/director do a good job? Why or why not?
- How could it be improved? Why would particular changes help?
After you have answered these questions, begin selecting and organizing
the information that you'll include in your paper.
Once you've done the prewriting, you're ready to think about the
requirements and structure of a review.
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© 1995, 1996, 1997 The Write Place
This handout was written by Judith Kilborn for
the Write Place, St. Cloud State University and may be copied for
educational purposes only. If you copy this document, please include our
copyright notice and the name of the writer; if you revise it, please add
your name to the list of writers.
Last update: 28 September 1997