How to Write a Book Review* Technical Requirements: Reviews should be a minimum

How to Write a Book Review*
Technical Requirements:
Reviews should be a minimum of two pages long (meaning it must spill onto a third page for full credit), typed in Times New Roman 12 pt font, double-spaced, with 0 pt spacing Before and After, one-inch margins, with no errors in punctuation, grammar or spelling. At the top of the review, write the name of the author, the title of the book, the place of publication, the name of the publisher, the year of publication and the number of pages. An example follows:
Meyer, Milton W. Asia A Concise History. Latham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. Pp. 603.
Suggestions as to the Contents of the Review:
There are generally two parts to any review: (1) summary of the book and (2) critical comments. A skilled reviewer usually weaves these together. The reviewer must generally answer four basic questions to succeed:
First, what is the book about?
This query, of course, leads to others. Does the book have a central theme or themes? Does it argue a thesis? What is the author’s purpose? Is it stated explicitly in a preface or conclusion, or is it implied within the body of the text? Did the author accomplish his/her purpose? Did the author do more than accomplish the purpose? At some point in the review, attempt to summarize both the theme and thesis in a single sentence.
Second, is the book reliable?
The critical reviewer is reluctant to accept the printed word without a frank appraisal. He/she must ask: Who is the author? Has he/she written any other books? If so, what was the opinion of the critics? Is the author a professional writer, journalist, college professor, or in some other occupation? Where did the author get his/her information-from travel, from careful research through manuscripts and documents, from interviews, or from secondary authorities (what others have written about the subject)? How does the author indicate where he/she obtained his/her material-bibliography, footnotes, preface, or by a casual reference within the text? Once the reviewer has determined where the author obtained the information, the reviewer must determine whether these sources are reliable. Why or why not? Does the author use his/her evidence and sources with care and discrimination? Does the author read into the evidence interpretations which do not fit the findings? Does he/she decorate the narrative to pervert the facts? Is the author swayed by a definite bias or prejudice? Is he/she fair to all sides? Are the author’s facts and interpretations valid ones? Do you believe the thesis is convincing? Has the author persuaded you to accept his/her point of view? The skillful reviewer, being fair to the author, carefully explains the basis for all criticism.
Third, is the material presented well?
Is the book readable and well organized? Is this material introduced in simple terms, or does the author plunge the reader into complexities which presuppose a general knowledge of the subject on the part of the reader? Does the book convey the excitement of the original historical event? Or is the writing lifeless?
Fourth, what, if anything, did the book contribute to your knowledge and understanding of history?
Would you recommend the book to another student in this course? Why or why not?
(*excerpted from the History Department Methods Manual, 2007)
book report is over the picture of the book i attached

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.