History Book Review
This is to be a formal book review, not a report. A report tells the contents of the bookthis is a story aboutwhile a review analyzes the book according to the following criteria. Your paper needs to be double-spaced with one-inch margins. Please give your review an appropriate title and begin the review with the bibliographical information in single-space, including your first sentence.
Specific Instructions: The review should be divided into four parts as follows: FOLLOW THESE STEPS! Write in narrative/essay from, not outline, and do not write in first person.
1. Author: What are his/her qualifications? Who is he/she background, education, professional status,
political, religious, and/or philosophical affiliations, life experiences? Does this influence his or her purpose in writing this book? How?
2. Scope and Content: What are the authors objectives? (preface or introduction) What aspects, phases, topics has she/he focused on. Is there a central theme/s? Identify it. Give a brief summary of the topics, periods, and/or personalities dealt with in the book. Does the author come to any general conclusions?
3. Physical Description: Things to look for: How is the book divided or organized? Sections, chapters, topically, chronologically, collection of essays, pictures, maps, footnotes, bibliography, index? Where these things useful? Is the type readable?
4. Evaluation: This is your original contribution to the review. It is asking for your opinion and critical analysis of the book. You can praise as well as criticize, and you MUST support you critiques with examples. EVALUATE IN TERMS OF:
STYLE: Was it well-written, interesting, well-organized, repetitious, obscure, tedious, witty, provocative; or partly all of that? Ask yourself if you enjoyed the book or if you learned anything. Use examples to illustrate why, or why not.
CONTENT: What are the strong and weak points of the book? Did the author accomplish what he/she set out to do? Are the central theme/s valid? Does the author use evidence with care and discrimination? Does the author follow through with an idea, develop it coherently and substantiate it?
BIAS, IF ANY: Does the author have a particular point of view? Did he/she make any judgements, evaluations, or criticisms and support them, or not? Again, provide a brief exampleuse a quote if possible.
GENERAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Did the book treat a subject hitherto ignored or slighted? Did it offer new insights into a subject, time, or personnew/different interpretation of a subject?
YOUR GENERAL OPINION: Did you learn anything new from reading this book? Did it change your mind about anything or stir you to think about something in a different way? If so, what?
1. The Epic of Gilgamesh.
2. The Art of War in the Middle Ages. C.W. C. Oman
3. 1066: The Year of the Conquest. David Howorth
4. Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali. D.T. Niane
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