Guidelines for Writing your Book Reviews
This guide recaps the information concerning the book review for the assigned article: The Lynching of Persons of Mexican Origin or Descent in the United States, 1848 to 1928 by William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb or The Plan of San Diego: War & Diplomacy on the Texas Border 1915-1916 by James A. Sandos. If you have any questionsregarding the content, please contact me. Refer to your class syllabus for due dates.
Format: Your review should be two full pages long. Use the Times New Roman 12-point font throughout the document. In the paper’s header, provide the following information: your full name, and your class. Single space that information so that it fits in the header. Center and single-space your paper title starting on the first line, then double space all your text. The title can be as simple as the author, title, and publishing information, but creativity is encouraged. Your review must be submitted electronically thru Blackboard.
Proof your paper for grammar and spelling errors. As noted in your syllabus, two of the course objectives are to “improve skills of analysis and logical reasoning” and to “improve the ability to write and comment effectively.” This writing assignment helps you improve in both areas.
You do not need a cover sheet or title page, nor do you need to repeat the book publishing information in the text; repeating that information again will only take up valuable space for you that would be better served by providing your thoughts and ideas on the book, which is precisely what Iwish to see. For that same reason, avoid quoting from the book unless necessary to make some specific point. Excessive quoting will result in points being deducted from your overall score. If you must, use a short quote, provide a quick page cite using the page number from which you drew the quote in parentheses. For example, Nashcontends that “South Carolinians hated each other” (393). Be concise but be clear in your writing.
Content: At a minimum, your paper should contain four basic elements. These are: the article’s purpose, structure, central argument (or thesis), and how the article relates to this class. A short description of each of these elements follows.
1. Provide, in your own words, what you believe the author’s purpose was for writing this article. What is it about? Who is he/she trying to reach? Give an example that supports your statement.
2. Describe the structure of the article. How is it put together? Does its structure help or hinder the reader from following the author’s argument? Provide an example to strengthen your case.
3. What is the author’s central argument, or thesis? Exactly what point (or points) is the author trying to make? Provide an example that helps to support your view.
4. Finally, provide a brief paragraph that relates exactly how the article fits within the course structure. Why was this specific book assigned, and not some other study? Was the assignment of this book a good one? Explain why or why not.
Grading: As noted in the syllabus, this assignment is worth a maximum of 50 points. It will be graded using the guidelines listed above. Each of the four elements of the paper are worth a maximum of 10 points apiece, with 10points reserved for overall clarity of writing style, originality of thought, grammar, format, and spelling. Papers submitted late, without prior approval from me, will be penalized 10 points for each day late, assessed after the paper has been graded. I will add these points to the points received on the Photo Analysis Review Assignment which is also worth 50 points. Together, both assignments add up to 100 points.
Internet: Avoid using the internet for this assignment. DO NOT USE OTHER BOOK REVIEWS FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. Aside from the fact that the quality of reviews found on the internet range drastically in quality and value, I want YOUR individual ideas on the book. You do not need to look at the work of others to tell me your opinion. And, all too often looking at the opinions of others only clouds your view, making it even harder for you to clearly convey your own thoughts. Write the review in your own words.