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Review Format (25 points out of 100)

1. Cover Page:

Center the underlined title of the book reviewed, the author’s name, Reviewed by: Your Name, the class (History 1302), and the due date.

2. Minimum Length:

  • Four (4) complete pages of typed text
  • Double-spaced
  • Use spell-check to correct spelling errors

3. Margins and Font:

  • One (1) inch margins
  • Left justify the margin
  • Font size is 10-12 point
  • Number pages consecutively excluding the cover page
  • Header should be in the upper right hand corner with your last name before page number

4. References:

Minimum of three needed for your book review paper: the biographical information on the author, the book being reviewed, one professional review of the book.

5. Works Cited Page:

  • Found on the last page of the paper
  • Alphabetized sources
  • Use the MLA Handbook for this page

Note: These examples are for illustrative purposes and should not be used as actual sources for your paper.

Example – Book Citation:

Oates, Stephen B., The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion. New York: McMillan Company, 1966. Print.

Example – Review Article Citation: Cite and alphabetize by reviewer’s name or alternatively the title of his review if available.

Burns, Ann, and R. Kent Rasmussen “Isaac’s Storm.” Library Journal 125.8 (2000): 171. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 6 Oct. 2013.

Example – Contemporary Authors Citation:

Bevington, David, ed. “Stephen B. Oates.” Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series. Vol. 12. Detroit: Gale Literary Press, 1992.


Example – Contemporary Authors OnlineCitation:

“Stephen B. Oates.” Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale Press (2002): 1-4. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.

6. General Mechanics:

The MLA handbook should be your guide for the form of the paper. Use acceptable grammar, spelling and neatness. Do not use contractions, slang, 1st or 2nd person, incomplete sentences, short choppy or overlong paragraphs or quotes, passive voice or present tense. This paper is a history paper and should be written in the past tense!

7. Content (70 points out of 100):

  1. Creative title – Place at top of first page of text.
  2. Introductory Paragraph – (1/4 page; 5 points) Begin with an introductory paragraph including the subject of the book and the purpose of the author. NOTE: The first time you mention the book in your paper, the full title of the book and the author must be given.
    • Author’s Purpose – usually revealed in the preface or forward of the book.
  3. Evaluation of Author’s Credentials – (1/2 page, 10 points)
    • Research the author’s background using Contemporary Authors – use the most recent source. If you cannot find the author there then choose another book.
    • Report only the author’s qualifications for writing this book – include education, job experience, other books, awards, possible bias, etc. – be sure to cite sources.
  4. Brief Concise Summary – (1/2 page, 10 points)
  5. Critical Analysis of the Book – (2 1/4 pages, 30 points) This is the heart of the review. Break this part of the paper into separate paragraphs analyzing each of the following issues:
    • Effectiveness of the Author
      1. Goal – What was the author’s goal? Was it to entertain, inform, and/or persuade you?
      2. Purpose – Did he develop his thesis? Give an example. Did he get you to see his subject as he did? Give an example. did the author achieve his purpose?
      3. Style – What audience did the author write for? Was the book interesting or hard to follow? Use a quote to illustrate.
      4. Objectivity – Was the author balanced or biased in their approach to the subject? Give an example.
      5. Sources – Primary vs. Secondary? Be specific, what types, give names of sources used by the author. How well did the author document the book? How detailed was the information? Too much, not enough? Did the sources add or detract from the book? Give examples.
      6. Special Features – Pictures, chapter titles, maps and general organization – How did they add/subtract to the book?
    • Professional Review
      1. Minimum of 1 review. Use the Academic Search Complete or JSTOR online databases to locate at least 1 review of your book and cite the specific review using quotes or paraphrasing of the reviewer’s evaluation of your book.
      2. Indicate your agreement/disagreement with each professional critic. Why?
  6. Personal Subjective Judgment – (1/2 page, 10 points)
    • Overall Reaction – Did it aid your understanding/appreciation of the topic with which it dealt? If so, how? Did the book influence you in some way? Examples.
    • Recommendation – Would your recommend this book for future classes or to a friend or enemy? Why?
  7. Works Cited Page – Last page with alphabetized sources.
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