Book review

HI/POL 250, Fall 2011

Assignment #4: Book Summary and review.

Due Friday, October 14, midnight EST. 1 point off for each day or fraction of a day late, meaning if you turn it in at 12:01 a.m. it’s late. Email it to me, preferably as a pdf document.

Your summary and review should be double-spaced, and be no longer than 4 pages. Use standard one-inch margins and twelve point fonts. Number your pages, and cite in footnotes anything you directly quote or paraphrase from the article, using the Chicago Style is used for footnotes and bibliographical entries.

Your paper should be about half summary and half review.

How to summarize a book:
  • State the author’s thesis.
  • Describe the key logical steps the author uses to develop the argument.
  • Describe the key evidence the author uses (if any) to test the argument.
  • DO NOT simply repeat the author’s points in chronological order. Describe the author’s argument and ideas, not just the book containing them.
  • DO NOT simply quote long passages. This is almost always a waste of space.
  • Consider the author’s entire argument (i.e. read the whole book).
How to review an article:
  • Internal critique: Is the author’s argument logical? Do the conclusions follow from the premises? Do some of the author’s arguments contradict?
  • External critique: Are there other facts or conditions the author is missing? Draw on your own experiences or outside reading to comment on the general applicability of the author’s argument.


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