Template for Book Review
Book reviewed Rand, A. J. (2016). Writing a Book Review for an Academic Journal. Retrieved April 28, 2019, from book_review_guidelines.pdf: https://capa-acap.net/sites/default/files/basic-page/book_review_guidelines.pdf
This book review should be between 500 and 600 words long (that is about 3 double spaced pages). Start by filling out the sheet that is included in Appendix of the Rand (2016) article for your own sake to make it easier to write your book review. Do not include the sheet in your final review . General description of the topic/problem addressed in the book and provide a background. Refer to Step 3 in the Rand (2016) article in your class notes for more details on what to include here. I am also presenting that portion here from the article, for ease of use.
· Open with general description of topic/problem addressed in the work
· Think of a hook to draw readers in
· Identify the book and author under review with any background
· Time period, region? Question or topic addressed?
· About the author(s)
· Basic biographical info about editors of book
· Who are they, what are they known for, what are their qualifications and expertise in the subject?
· How can the work fit into wider research or career trajectory?
· Usually toward the end, provide a succinct, clear evaluation of the book, which is the thesis of your review
· What is the main argument of the book?
· Your evaluation of the book such as strengths and contributions or weaknesses and shortcoming
· Why and in what ways the work demonstrates strengths and weaknesses?
Summary of the Primary Arguments
Here is where you will concisely summarize the book’s argument including direct quotes, if required. More details are available in Step 3 in the Rand (2016) article, and are also presented below:
· Concisely summarize the book’s argument
· If there is an identifiable thesis statement, then directly quote it
· Identify the essential arguments and briefly summarize them
· Comment on the following:
· What is the book’s thesis? How is it similar or different from other researchers’ work on similar topics?
· How is it organized? What are the major arguments?
· What types of evidence are presented?
· Research methods used (if applicable)
· Range of material covered in the book
This will be the longest portion of your book review. You will be explaining and developing the evaluation made in your thesis using examples and quotations (if necessary). Refer to the Rand (2016) article for more information on how to write this section. I am also including it here for ease of reference:
· This section should form the bulk of your review
· Explain and develop the evaluation made in your thesis
· Use examples and quotations to illustrate and prove your assessment
· Give examples of areas where the book did well and areas where it could be improved
· Weakness are likely to be something the author omitted/did not address in sufficient detail
This will be a short conclusion to your book review that will include your recommendation, limitations of the book, avenues for future research, etc. Refer to the Rand (2016) article for more help on this section. I am also including it here for ease of use:
· Concluding statement summarizing your review of the book
· What does this work contribute to the field?
· What limitations does it possess?
· Avenues for future research
· How does it contribute to topic (e.g., culture, time period) studied?
· Explicitly identify a range of audiences that may appreciate or benefit from the book.
I am reiterating some general material from the Rand (2016) article to ensure that you keep the following in mind while writing this assignment:
Things to Avoid in a Book Review (Source: Rand, 2016)
· Do not simply summarize the work.
· Avoid writing a research paper rather than a book review. Remember the goal is to review how the author(s)/editor(s) of a book interpreted an event/topic rather than presenting a research report on the topic yourself.
· Make sure to thoroughly read the book before writing your review. If you have not, it will come across in your writing.
· Lack of organization; like any academic paper, make sure your book review is logically structured and easy for the reader to follow.
· Rather than relying on personal opinions, use reasoned judgements to inform your arguments. Rather than saying a book is “bad” or “good” provide specific evidence to illustrate the book’s strengths and weaknesses.
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