book review 117

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Assignment guidelines

  • The book review should be exactly 800 words in length. Times New Roman 12pt, double-spaced. No footnotes or references. In addition, at the top of the page of their review students must include the following information:
  • Author first and last name, title (in italic), place of publication: publisher, year of publication.
  • Example: Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World, Release 2.0. New York: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc. 2011
  • Ideally, student book reviews should be organized as follows:
  • Introduction: A quick and general description of the topic and/or problem the book addressed.
  • Summary of main argument(s): briefly state the main research question and the book’s argument. Quote if necessary the research question and thesis statement. In that section too, students might want to give basic information about the author as it relates to the author’s expertise.
  • Summary of the book content: This section should NOT be a mere chapter-by-chapter summary of the book. It should provide an outlook about the research methods used (if applicable) as well as the main topics covered by the book.
  • Strength: identify one particular area in which you think the book does well. Focus on the book’s single greatest strength especially as it relates to the issues discussed in class.
  • Weakness: identify one particular area in which you think the book is in need of improvement. For example, what did the author omit or neglect to add to the book? Any particular details you might want to have read in the book that are not included?
  • Conclusion: last but not least, your conclusion should summarize your overall opinion of the book you just read. Ideally, you should indicate whether you believe the book is meant for a general audience or just for a more specialized one, such as economics, political science, and development students.