HIST 1302 Paper 2 Guidelines: Book Review on All Shook Up

Writing a book REVIEW is not the same as writing a book REPORT. A book report is a summary that tells what the book is about. A book review is a critical analysis. The purpose of a critical book review is to present an EVALUATION of the argument in the book. As far as possible, the review should be an objective evaluation based upon evidence and examples presented in the book (and not upon subjective criteria such as personal likes or dislikes). The best way to evaluate a book is to analyze the author’s thesis or argument. First, discuss WHAT the author is arguing (the thesis) and then evaluate the EVIDENCE the author puts forth in support of this argument.
Steps to writing a good book review:
Identify the author’s thesis (this is the argument he is making in the book about how rock and roll music changed America)
Read the book and take notes on how Altschuler develops his thesis in each chapter.
Write an outline for your paper that includes these elements:
Introduction (1-2 paragraphs): give some background on the author and discuss the THESIS
Body (2-4 paragraphs): evaluate the thesis by analyzing the various points of the argument – you may address some or all of these questions to help your evaluation:
What evidence (facts) does the author provide in support of his thesis?
Is the argument logical? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the argument?
What kind of sources (primary or secondary) does the author use?
What methods does the author employ to analyze her sources?
Does the author define her terms?
Are the author’s interpretations convincing?
What are the author’s underlying assumptions? Are these assumptions valid?
How does the thesis compare to other studies of the same question?
Conclusion: reflect on how this book impacted you personally – were you surprised by any of the data? How did the book shape your understanding of this period in American history?
Write the paper! – a good method is to quickly write the rough draft based on your outline and then go back and edit
Optional Draft: you may turn in a draft or outline of your paper by DATE TBD if you would like my assistance or feedback. The draft will not be graded.
Format: the paper must be at least three (3) full pages (but no more than 5 pages), double-spaced, 1 inch margins, Times New Roman or Calibri size 12 font. Use parenthetical citations with the page number for direct references or quotations from the book.
Place the book’s bibliographic information at the top of the page (title page is not necessary):
Author’s last name, author’s first name. Title of the book (including the sub-title). Place of publication: name of publisher, year of publication.
**Correct formatting is important and points will be deducted if format is not followed.

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