Books Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Books College Essay Examples

Title: Book Review

  • Total Pages: 6
  • Words: 1793
  • Sources:1
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Book Review. A book review is a critical analysis of the book. A book report is an explanation of the book. Students in academia perform reviews, not reports. This assignment is patterned after the book reviews that historians draft for professional journals such as the Journal of American History and the American Historical Review. One of the goals is to introduce a new topic, a different interpretation, or to allow you to examine more deeply a topic of your choice. Another goal of this assignment is to develop your critical thinking and analytical means because unlike a book report that merely discusses the book in a linear narrative manner, a book review is a critical examination of the author’s thesis, use of evidence, and conclusion. It will be at least five double-spaced pages in length. Again, do not do the minimum and expect a superior grade. Use the monograph you began reading on day one from the short list of assigned books found here in the syllabus.(White, Debra Gray. Ar’n’t I a Woman? WW Norton, ISBN 2)


Grade: Your grade for this assignment will be based on form and content to include grammar, spelling, analysis, and critical thinking. It must conform to the minimum length requirements or else you will receive a less-than-passing grade for this assignment. You will upload your review as a Word formatted file. Any other format will result in you receiving a zero for this assignment.

I. Heading. At the top of the first page only you need to place the proper citation. Please follow this model precisely:

Title of Book. By Author (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication). Page numbers. Reviewed by Your Name, Date of Review.

Example:
Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era. By Elaine Tyler May (New York: Basic Books, 1988). vii + 284 pp. Reviewed by J. Ross-Nazzal, May 6, 2009.

II. Body. The review itself is a critical examination of the author’s theses, evidence, and analysis.
A. One (1) to Two (2) Paragraph Introduction
1. Tell the reader about the author
2. Why is the author interested in the subject?
3. Why did the author write the book?
B. Two (2) to Four (4) Pages on the subject
1. What is/are the author’s thesis/theses?
2. What evidence does the author use?
3. Is the author’s argument(s) effective? Defend your answer.
C. Two (2) to Three (3) Paragraphs on what worked or did not work for you
1. What was interesting?
2. What did not work for you? Defend your answer.
D. One (1) Paragraph Conclusion
1. Who would be interested in reading this book?
2. What level (novice, secondary school, undergrads, grad students, etc.) of expertise is this book written for?
3. End on a positive note.
III. Other Stuff

A. Citations ??" please cite work by placing a parenthetical page number before the punctuation. For example, according to the author “this book is great” (4).
B. Bibliography ??" there is neither a bibliography nor a “works cited” page on a formal book review.
C. Cover page ??" there is no cover page on a formal book review. The heading of a book review takes the place of any cover sheet.

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Excerpt From Essay:
Sources:

Reference

White, Deborah, 1985, Aren't I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South. New York:

W.W. Norton and Company. Print

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Title: Winning Is the Only Thing book

  • Total Pages: 3
  • Words: 785
  • References:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Book Review Instructions
PURPOSE: The supplementary readings and written reviews are designed to accomplish three goals. First, to gain an understanding of the specific historical information contained in the book. Secondly, to acquire experience in analyzing written material by determining the underlying thesis of the work and examining the author’s use of evidence in support of that thesis. Third, to increase skills in accurate written communication.
DEFINITION: A critical book review is a critique of a book containing analysis of the author’s background, the thesis of the book, and the material in the book that the author presents in support of the thesis. A book review IS NOT a book report. The objective of the review IS NOT to present the book in a condensed form.
CONTENT: Your review should consist of six (6) paragraphs. It MUST be structured in the following manner.
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Introduce the book
Paragraph 2: Author Information
The reviewer should investigate the author’s life in such sources as Who’s Who in America, the Directory of American Scholars, or Contemporary Authors. Some of these sources may be found online, others may not. If not, a trip to any academic library will accomplish the goal. The reviewer should consider, for example, the author’s academic and professional experience, the title/subjects of other books the author has published, his/her specialty or historical interest, the period in which the book was written, or any other information which might affect the author’s point of view. Knowing something about an author can often provide insight into the author’s perspective and reason for writing the book. However, include only such information as is pertinent to the author’s qualifications to write the book.
Paragraph 3: Thesis of the Book
The thesis is the underlying theme of the work; this is the contention with which the author tries to get the reader to accept. Oftentimes, thesis pronouncements may be found in the introduction, preface, foreword, and/or conclusion of book. However, the thesis may not be declared per se in some books. Nevertheless, the student can determine the thesis by
noting the particular interpretation of the book’s subject that the author presented. For example, if information is included in the book revealing how the author’s point of view differs from other accounts, this data provides an indication for the reviewer to ascertain the thesis of the book.
After identifying the thesis, the reviewer should comment on how the author attempted to support his/her thesis and evaluate the effectiveness of the author’s evidence. Refer to only the sections of the book which are pertinent to this discussion. Do not try to summarize the entire book, render a chapter-by-chapter description, provide a thumbnail sketch of the plot, or retell the story.
Paragraph 4: Methodology
In this section, the reviewer should analyze how the author presents his/her argument. You should comment on such points as the following: organization (chronological or topical); style (narrative/analytical); readability (“scholarly” or “popular” reader appeal); balance (author’s possible bias); internal consistency (contradictions detected in the book); research methods that the author utilized to write the book (primary/secondary sources indicated in footnotes and/or bibliography). Insure that balance is established in the review. Address both the weak and strong points of the work. The perfect book (perfectly bad, or perfectly good) has not been written.
Paragraph 5: Other Book Reviews
Conclude your review by providing what other reviewers have said about the book. Locate reviews of the book using a library resource such as Book Review Index. Book Review Index is not a journal; it is an index for locating journal articles and may be accessed using the SJC Online Library (General Research link). Use only historical journals for your reviews (Reviews from Amazon.com or other novice readers do not count). Many of the journal articles may be accessed using JSTOR link also found under General Research links. In some cases if the journal article cannot be found online, you will have to go to an academic library.
After locating the other reviews include the comments of at least one in your essay. You may either paraphrase or quote the reviewer. Cite the review using the following format: (Journal, volume #, date, page #). A citation would look something like this: (American Historical Review, 65, June 1975, 115.)
Paragraph 6: Conclusion
Provide any concluding remarks.
FORMAT:
1. Your book review must be composed in essay form. It should be arranged with a distinct introduction, body and conclusion, but should not utilize section or paragraph headings/numbers.
2. Book reviews must be typed (black ink), not less than three and one-half or more than four pages in length, with double spacing throughout and one and one-half inch margins. Use a font size of 12.
3. This should be a finished paper that exhibits proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Eliminate all typographical errors by retyping the page---do not make pen-and-ink or editing corrections.
4. To give an authoritative style to your work, do not write in first person (omit words such as I, me, my, etc.)
5. Avoid the repetition of words.
6. Avoid the use of contractions (ex. don’t, can’t, won’t, etc.)
7. Avoid purple prose (really creative writing).
8. Quoting: There are a few rules to follow when quoting from the book. 1.) The quote must be part of your sentence, not standing alone or in a block quote format. 2.) Cite the quote by placing the page number of the quoted text in parentheses at the end of the sentence. 3.) Use quotes sparingly---no more than one or two at the most.
9. No cover sheet is required. Place student name, course number, and date in top left-hand corner of the first page (single spaced). Place a bibliographical citation of the book (centered) as a title of the review. An example is offered below:
Name
Course #
Date
Paul D. Lack. The Texas Revolutionary Experience: A Political and Social History, 1835-1836. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992.
10. DO NOT use a Works Cites page. Cite the book reviews using the following format.At the end of the sentence or paragraph where the review is cited include the following information. (Journal, volume #, date, page #). A citation would look something like this: (American Historical Review, 65, June 1975, 115.)
11. Reviews should be submitted twice: once using the SafeAssign system found in the Evaluations section of this website and once to the instructor. E-mail the review as a .doc or .docx file attached to an e-mail. Your review will not be graded until it is submitted twice.

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Both authors show their classical trained historical expertise when presenting both insightful and extremely well-researched arguments that, rather than a journalistic polemic, present facts that explore the manner in which big-business, especially in the personification of people like Roone Arledge, both expanded the idea of sports as a pastime and controlled the purse strings to the point that even teams seemed manipulated. Thematically, they show that the emphasis on money and national status may have turned such iconic games as the Olympics into "commercial extravaganzas financed by television and dominated by a show-business ethos" (pp. 209-10). Indeed, the authors' expertise in social history is shown by their analysis of the particular Catholic viewpoint from the early owners of the big football franchises who, until the late 1970s, limited their own franchise movements based on a particular moral and ethical template.

The book was received quite well in the fields of sporting history, social history, and American popular culture studies. One reviewer noted that the only serious limitation in the book was an almost complete lack of the significant changes the sporting world saw from 1960 on in the field of women's sports, feminist thought, and equal participation in the team sports (Adelman, Journal of Sport History, 17, Winter 1990, 390).

For the reader interested in more of an intellectual history of modern sports, the book is a perfect overall introduction. For the reader fascinated by the manner in which the intricacies of popular culture mimic larger cultural trends, the book is a fascinating insight into the way technology, business, and leisure studies merge into a single, unifying trend.

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Title: Winning Is the Only Thing A History of Sports Since 1945 Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN 9780801842405

  • Total Pages: 3
  • Words: 869
  • Works Cited:0
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Book Review Instructions : Book--- Randy Roberts and James Olson. Winning Is the Only Thing: A History of Sports Since 1945. Johns Hopkins University Press, (ISBN # 2405)

CONTENT: Your review should consist of six (6) paragraphs. It MUST be structured in the following manner.
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Introduce the book
Paragraph 2: Author Information
The reviewer should investigate the author’s life in such sources as Who’s Who in America, the Directory of American Scholars, or Contemporary Authors. Some of these sources may be found online, others may not. If not, a trip to any academic library will accomplish the goal. The reviewer should consider, for example, the author’s academic and professional experience, the title/subjects of other books the author has published, his/her specialty or historical interest, the period in which the book was written, or any other information which might affect the author’s point of view. Knowing something about an author can often provide insight into the author’s perspective and reason for writing the book. However, include only such information as is pertinent to the author’s qualifications to write the book.
Paragraph 3: Thesis of the Book
The thesis is the underlying theme of the work; this is the contention with which the author tries to get the reader to accept. Oftentimes, thesis pronouncements may be found in the introduction, preface, foreword, and/or conclusion of book. However, the thesis may not be declared per se in some books. Nevertheless, the student can determine the thesis by
noting the particular interpretation of the book’s subject that the author presented. For example, if information is included in the book revealing how the author’s point of view differs from other accounts, this data provides an indication for the reviewer to ascertain the thesis of the book.
After identifying the thesis, the reviewer should comment on how the author attempted to support his/her thesis and evaluate the effectiveness of the author’s evidence. Refer to only the sections of the book which are pertinent to this discussion. Do not try to summarize the entire book, render a chapter-by-chapter description, provide a thumbnail sketch of the plot, or retell the story.
Paragraph 4: Methodology
In this section, the reviewer should analyze how the author presents his/her argument. You should comment on such points as the following: organization (chronological or topical); style (narrative/analytical); readability (“scholarly” or “popular” reader appeal); balance (author’s possible bias); internal consistency (contradictions detected in the book); research methods that the author utilized to write the book (primary/secondary sources indicated in footnotes and/or bibliography). Insure that balance is established in the review. Address both the weak and strong points of the work. The perfect book (perfectly bad, or perfectly good) has not been written.
Paragraph 5: Other Book Reviews
Conclude your review by providing what other reviewers have said about the book. Locate reviews of the book using a library resource such as Book Review Index. Book Review Index is not a journal; it is an index for locating journal articles and may be accessed using the SJC Online Library (General Research link). Use only historical journals for your reviews (Reviews from Amazon.com or other novice readers do not count). Many of the journal articles may be accessed using JSTOR link also found under General Research links. In some cases if the journal article cannot be found online, you will have to go to an academic library.
After locating the other reviews include the comments of at least one in your essay. You may either paraphrase or quote the reviewer. Cite the review using the following format: (Journal, volume #, date, page #). A citation would look something like this: (American Historical Review, 65, June 1975, 115.)
Paragraph 6: Conclusion
Provide any concluding remarks.
FORMAT:
1. Your book review must be composed in essay form. It should be arranged with a distinct introduction, body and conclusion, but should not utilize section or paragraph headings/numbers.
2. Book reviews must be typed (black ink), not less than three and one-half or more than four pages in length, with double spacing throughout and one and one-half inch margins. Use a font size of 12.
3. This should be a finished paper that exhibits proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Eliminate all typographical errors by retyping the page---do not make pen-and-ink or editing corrections.
4. To give an authoritative style to your work, do not write in first person (omit words such as I, me, my, etc.)
5. Avoid the repetition of words.
6. Avoid the use of contractions (ex. don’t, can’t, won’t, etc.)
7. Avoid purple prose (really creative writing).
8. Quoting: There are a few rules to follow when quoting from the book. 1.) The quote must be part of your sentence, not standing alone or in a block quote format. 2.) Cite the quote by placing the page number of the quoted text in parentheses at the end of the sentence. 3.) Use quotes sparingly---no more than one or two at the most.

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Excerpt From Essay:
Works Cited:

References:

Halpert, F.E. (1990). Business as Usual. The Nation. Cited in:

http://www.thenation.com/authors/fe-halpert

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Title: Synopsis of the book The Sunflower On The Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

  • Total Pages: 2
  • Words: 730
  • Bibliography:2
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Book for the Paper: Wiesenthal, Simon, The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of
Forgiveness, Schocken Books, 1998

1. The paper should be 3 ??" 5 pages long.
2. Section 1 ??" Introduction
This section includes a synopsis of the book and setting
3. Section 2 ??" This section is an analysis and explanation of Weisenthal’s actions
Include what he did or did not do and why. Explain the culture he was currently living in and how it
influenced his behavior
4. Section 3 ??" The commenter’s ??" pick 2 of the commentators and describe their reactions to
Weisenthal’s query and explain how their culture affected their thoughts on this matter.
5. Section 4 ??" Your thoughts
Describe your reactions to what you have written about and also what you think you should do and
what you would do if you were in this situation. Explain why and how your personal experience of
your culture affects this.
6. References

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Wiesenthal, Simon, The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness, Schocken Books, 1998

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