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Book Review assignment

Book Review assignment

Paper Instructions (at least 1400 words)

Book Review. 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. It will be at least five double-spaced pages in length. Again, do not do the minimum and expect a superior grade. Use the monograph you selected on day one.

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. You will upload your review as a Word (.doc, .docx or .rtf) file. Any other format will result in you receiving a zero for this assignment.

I. 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 S. Ballard, May 6, 2009.

II. Body. The review itself is a critical examination of the author’s theses,evidence, and analysis.

A. One (1) to Two (2) Paragraph Introduction

1. Tell the reader about the author

2. Why is the author interested in the subject?

3. Why did the author write the book?

B. Two (2) to Four (4) Pages on the subject

1. What is/are the author’s thesis/theses?

2. What evidence does the author use?

3. Is the author’s argument(s) effective? Defend your answer.

C. Two (2) to Three (3) Paragraphs on what worked or did not work for you

1. What was interesting?

2. What did not work for you? Defend your answer.

D. One (1) Paragraph Conclusion

1. Who would be interested in reading this book?

2. What level (novice, secondary school, undergrads, grad students, etc.) of expertise is this book written for?

3. End on a positive note.

III. Other

A. Citations – please cite work by placing a parenthetical page number before the punctuation. For example, according to the author “this book is great” (4).

B. Bibliography – there is neither a bibliography nor a “works cited” page on a formal book review.

C. Cover page – there is no cover page on a formal book review. The heading of a book review takes the place of any cover sheet. This assignment is worth 20% of your final grade.

Monograph (CHOOSE ONE):

"I Am a Man": Chief Standing Bear's Journey

for Justice



13: 978



Joe Starita

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario











Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge by Joe Starita












John Hersey

These are the choices for the book you will read and analyze in your Critical Analysis Paper

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Book Review assignment
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