Book Critique Instructions
There are several criteria that you must meet when writing a formal book critique for this course.
1) Proper bibliographic citation. A proper citation will look like the following:
Landes, David. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some Are So Poor. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, N.Y., 1998. pp. x-xxi, 1-658.
2) Your bibliographic citation MUST be single spaced and include all the information found in the above example (and it must be in the exact order found in the example above).
3) Double space ONCE after the bibliographic citation and start writing. The remainder of your paper will be doubled spaced, with one-inch top, bottom, left, & right margins.
4) Do not use a font larger that # 12.
5) When you are finished writing your critique simply double space one more time and in the left-hand margin type your institutional affiliation; in the right-hand margin type your full name. It should look like this.
East Central UniversityGertrude Himmelfark
When writing a book critique that will earn you a good grade there are several steps you must follow. To begin, of course, you must properly cite the book under review (steps 1 & 2 above).
Now comes the more difficult part: you must write a thorough and interesting critique of the book. That means that you must try to capture the interest of the person reading your critique. In short, you must try to “hook” or “grab” your reader with an interesting opening sentence, one that leads the reader to want to continue reading. After “grabbing” the interest of the reader it is your responsibility as a critic to summarize clearly and succinctly the main arguments (theses) of the author. The argument is always made in the introduction to the book. After presenting the author’s theses in the first paragraph or two, you must then briefly summarize the main points of the book. In other words, spend a page and a half to two pages describing the book. The last thing you must do is provide a summary of the book that clearly identifies its major strengths and weaknesses. For example, compare the conclusion to the introduction—does the author deliver on his or her arguments presented in the introduction? Is there a better explanation? Does the evidence contradict the argument? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself as you read, take notes, and write.