A book review is a critical analysis of the book. A book report is an
explanation of the book. Students in academia perform reviews, not reports. This assignment is patterned after the book reviews that
historians draft for professional journals such as the Journal of American History and the American Historical Review. One of the goals is to introduce a new topic, a different interpretation, or
to allow you to examine more deeply a topic of your choice. Another goal of this assignment is to develop your critical thinking and analytical means because unlike a book report that merely discusses the book in a linear narrative manner; a book review is a critical examination of the author’s thesis, use of evidence, and conclusion. Your review will be at least five double-spaced pages in length, Times New Roman, 12 fonts and you will use one of the monographs listed above.
Grade: Your grade for this assignment will be based on form and content to include grammar, spelling, analysis, and critical thinking. It must conform to the minimum length requirements or else you will receive a less-than passing grade for this assignment.
Heading. At the top of the first page only you need to place the proper citation. Please follow this model precisely:
Title of Book; By Author (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication). Page numbers. Reviewed by Your Name, Date of Review
Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era
. By Elaine Tyler May (New York: Basic Books, 1988). vii + 284 pp. Reviewed by Mary E., May 6, 2009.
Body. The review itself is a critical examination of the author’s
theses, evidence, and analysis.
One (1) to Two (2) Paragraph Introduction
Tell the reader about the author
Why is the author interested in the subject?
Why did the author write the book
Two (2) to Four (4) Pages on the subject
-What is/are the author’s thesis/theses?
What evidence does the author use?
Is the author’s argument(s) effective? Defend
Two (2) to Three (3) Paragraphs on what worked or did not work for you
What was interesting?
What did not work for you? Defend your answer.
One (1) Paragraph Conclusion
Who would be interested in reading this book?
What level (novice, secondary school, undergrads, grad students, etc.) of expertise is this book written for?