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Guide for Writing Book Reviews

Guide for Writing Book Reviews - manuscript While writing...

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Guide for Writing Book Reviews Florida A&M University Professor Ellis, Instructor Robert J. Norrell, Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2009), pp xi-350. Book review by John E. Doe. When writing an academic book review there should be no title page or indented identification space. All of the information that is pertinent for the instructor/reader should be found within your heading (please see example above). Your review should answer a number of questions that a general reader might have as it pertains to the work under review. Such queries as: What is the author’s argument? Does the author make this argument effectively? What were the primary and secondary sources used by the author and were they effectively used? While answering these questions you should also give a brief synopsis of the narrative of the manuscript (usually no more than one paragraph). Next, a good review reveals the strengths and weakness of the
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Unformatted text preview: manuscript. While writing your review, avoid such clichés as deeming the author “well-qualified.” Also, do not generalize when making an argument about the book. For example, do not say: “The book is very interesting,” or “The book is boring.” Moreover, avoid the use of the phrase “I liked, I did not like, I feel, etc.” Remember, when you write a review of a book the reader already understands that this critique is from your point of view. There is no need for you to remind them of that fact. Finally, your book reviews should be 2 to 3 double spaced typed (Times New Roman) pages or 500 to 600 words. I strongly encourage you to read an array of book reviews that are published in historical journals, such as The Journal of Southern History, The Journal of African American History, and The Florida Historical Quarterly to gain a better understanding of how a historical book review is formatted....
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