History Orientation Jane McKenna Librarian
Library Resources • Computers • Textbooks • Librarians • Workshops • Study Rooms
Writing a Book Review A reviewer has two goals: • Inform the reader about the content of the book • Provide an evaluation that gives your judgement of the book’s quality
Thesis • “A proposition for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or disproved.” – Dictionary of Literary Terms • If the author wanted you to get one idea from the book, what would it be? What is the author's purpose in writing the book? Is the thesis clear, logical and supported?
Bias and Perspective From what point of view does the author write? Does any of the author's information (or conclusions) conflict with other books you've read, courses you've taken or just previous assumptions you had of the subject? Does the author cover all aspects of the subject in a balanced fashion? Did the author neglect information or a point of view that might have changed the interpretation? Compare the book to other books or known facts and don't be afraid to be critical.
Evidence How does the author support his/her argument? What evidence does he/she use to prove her point? Do you find that evidence convincing? What other writings does the author include to support their thesis?
Structure How does the author structure the argument? What are the parts that make up the whole? Does the argument make sense? Does it persuade you? Why or why not? How has this book helped you understand the subject? Is the book well written?
Audience • Is the book accessible to any college level reader or only to a specialist?
Impact What impact does this work have in its field? Does it contribute something original? Will it have lasting value?
Your Evaluation What is your response to the author's point of view? Are you convinced? What do you think to be the greatest strength and weakness of the work? What does the book contribute to your understanding of the subject? What questions were left unanswered? Would you recommend the book to your reader? Remember, back your opinions with facts or examples.
Selecting a Book Use Library Catalogs: • COA Library Catalog • Other Library Catalogs
Locating Background Info. Textbook and lectures Reference Books (ex. Subject Encyclopedias, Chronologies): How to Write Book Reports – REF PE1478 .T45 2002 Japanese American History – REF E184.J3 J3355 1993 COA Catalog (browse books for subject and/or author) Article Databases (search for subject and/or author)
Citing Sources Plagiarism MLA Citation Style