Papers should be 5-7 pages (about 1,500 words) long, with an additional cover sheet, endnotes, and
bibliography. They should be typed and double-spaced. Use the Chicago citation style in crafting your review.
Use reasonable margins and type-size. Bibliographical information for the book should be provided, as follows:
Author. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year Published.
Number the pages of your review in the lower right-hand corner of each page.
Proofread your paper to check for spelling and grammatical errors. Make sure that nouns agree with pronouns,
possessive, and verb forms. Keep verb tenses consistent. Watch out for homonyms (such as to, two, and too).
Content and writing ability will both be evaluated. Do not use “you” or “I.” Do not use others’ reviews.
Writing the Book Review
Some issues to analyze are the author’s thesis, use of sources, clarity, bias, credentials, and organization. How
does this book complement other information you have learned from the textbook, in class, or from outside
sources? Is your book well-written? Interesting? Would you recommend this book to others?
You should make sure that your review is above all an evaluation of your author’s performance, using the
criteria I’ve assigned, with many examples. A typical book review is organized like this:
I. Introduction: author’s name, title, sense of whether you like the book, foreshadow the outline of your paper to
A. Author’s Credentials (use your own words to describe his education, books he’s written, and other important
experience. Provide lots of examples. Use your own words , and provide a citation about where you found out
about him. This section should be only one paragraph (perhaps 1/4 page) long.
B. Author’s Thesis and is it Believable (one short paragraph)
C. Author’s Use of Sources (one-two paragraphs) Tell me which types of sources he uses, and provide multiple
examples of each. Be specific.
D. Author’s Organizational Style (one paragraph) Provide multiple examples.
E. Author’s Bias/Neutrality (one-two paragraphs) Provide examples.
F. How does this book complement any other material (assigned films, assigned readings, or common sense)
on this topic. Provide specific examples.
G. Is it well-written? Provide examples
H. Is it interesting? Provide examples
I. Does your author provide the reader with assistance? Provide examples of maps, charts, glossaries…)
J. Other evaluative areas, as appropriate.
III. Conclusion (one paragraph) Briefly restate your main points, using slightly different language, and give me
the bottom line: Do you recommend this book?