Choose and obtain a book from the “Suggested Reading List ” pdf file Download th
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Choose and obtain a book from the “Suggested Reading List ” pdf file Download the “Suggested Reading List ” pdf file
Familiarize yourself with the topic: Before you read the book you have selected, you should read the corresponding chapter in which your book selection is listed in the “Suggested Reading” Appendix to familiarize yourself with the historical context.
Example: let’s say you choose Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique listed in section “From Camelot to Cultural Wars.” Before you read Friedan’s work, you look up “Women’s Rights” or “Friedan, Betty” in the index and review relevant information on her work and the women’s liberation movement in chapter 28 of the textbook.
Read the introduction and conclusion chapters in your book very carefully: Make sure you read the introduction of your book (first chapter) and conclusion chapter (last chapter) of your book selection very carefully for this is where the author(s) summarizes his/her work and let you know what their objectives are and how their work contributes the historical topic.
Take notes and keep track of main ideas, sources, and organization of the book as your read: As you go through your reading, make sure you take notes and keep track of the author’s main ideas, sources he/she used, and how the book is organized for this will help you in writing your review. Note: I have also attached a sample book review to give you some ideas.
Write 4-5 page book review: Once you are done with the reading, it is time to write a 4-5 page (minimum of 1000 words) book review.
Instructions on Book Review Format:
Book Review Format: your book review essay should be organized in the following format:
Include book citation at the top of the first page of your book review
Citation of the book: Author’s name (last, first name), title of book (capitalized and underline or italicized), place of publication: name of publisher, year of publication.
Sample citation: Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. New York: Norton 1963.
Introduction Paragraph: This is where you introduce the author(s), the topics that the book covers, and why you have selected this book. In addition, you should briefly provide a brief overview of the objectives of the book, and layout your thesis statement about the book.
Summary of Content: This is where you provide a summary of the book focusing on the topics, themes, evidence, and resources the author used and how he/she organized and presented the information to support his/her thesis. This section SHOULD NOT take up more than 2 pages of your essay for you are writing a book review, not a book summary.
Again, Do NOT spend more than 2 pages of the paper summarizing the book. The summary should consist of a discussion and highlights of the major arguments, features, trends, concepts, themes, ideas, and characteristics of the book. While you may use direct quotes from the book (make sure you always give the page number), such quotes should never be the bulk of the summary. Much of your grade will depend on how well you describe and explain the material IN YOUR OWN WORDS. You might want to take the major organizing themes of the book and use them to organize your discussion. This does NOT mean, however, that I want a chapter-by-chapter summary. Your goal is to write a cohesive and organized essay.
So what do I want, if not just a summary? Throughout your summary, I want you to provide a critique of the book. (Hence the title: “A Book Review.”) A critique consists of thoughts, responses, and reactions. It is not necessarily negative. Nor do you need to know as much about the subject as the author (because you hardly ever will). The skills you need are the ability to follow an argument and test a hypothesis. Regardless of how negative or positive your critique is, you need to be able to justify and support your position.
Analysis and Evaluation of the Book: This is where you analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the book. Think about the topic, the evidence, and the structure of the book— did it convince/persuade/expand/contribute to your knowledge of the topic? Did you like the book? Would you recommend the book to a friend? Why or why not?
What is your overall opinion of the book? On what basis has this opinion been formulated? That is, tell the reader what you think and how you arrived at this judgment. What did you expect to learn when you picked up the book? To what extent – and how effectively – were your expectations met? Did you nod in agreement (or off to sleep)? Did you wish you could talk back to the author? Amplify upon and explain your reactions.
Identify the author’s thesis and explain it in your own words. How clearly and in what context is it stated and, subsequently, developed? To what extent and how effectively (i.e., with what kind of evidence) is this thesis proven? Use examples to amplify your responses. If arguments or perspectives were missing, why do you think this might be?
What are the author’s aims? How well have they been achieved, especially with regard to the way the book is organized? Are these aims supported or justified? (You might look back at the introduction to the book for help). How closely does the organization follow the author’s aims?
How are the author’s main points presented, explained, and supported? What assumptions lie behind these points? What would be the most effective way for you to compress and/or reorder the author’s scheme of presentation and argument?
How effectively does the author draw claims from the material being presented? Are connections between the claims and evidence made clearly and logically? Here you should use examples to support your evaluation.
What conclusions does the author reach and how are they stated? Do these conclusions follow from the thesis and aims and from how they were developed? In other words, how effectively does the book come together?
Identify the assumptions made by the author in both the approach and the writing of the book. For example, what prior knowledge does the author expect readers to possess? How effectively are those assumptions worked into the overall presentation? What assumptions do you think should not have been made? Why?
How does the author see history as being motivated: primarily by the forces of individuals, economics, politics, social factors, nationalism, class, race, gender, something else? What kind of impact does this view of historical motivation have upon how the author develops the book?
Does the author’s presentation seem fair and accurate? Is the interpretation biased? Can you detect any distortion, exaggeration, or diminishing of material? If so, for what purpose might this have been done, and what effect does it have on the overall presentation
Conclusion: This is where you sum up your thesis statement and state the contributions of the book and how it is relevant to the class. AVOID meaningless generalities such as “It was well written.” or “I found it interesting.” Be specific as to how the book contributes to your understanding of American history and only by doing so will you convince me that you have read and understood the book. -Below I have attached a sample book review to give you some ideas on what my professor is looking for. Also, for the topic of the assignment you can use the title of the book you have chosen to do the review on.
– https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=463 here is a link to view a sample book review just to give you an idea on what
my professor is looking for. And for the title of the assignment you can use the title of the book you chose.