HI 101 Book Review Assignment

| November 6, 2015

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Students will select two books on the same time period or same geographic place in history. The instructor must approve the two books which will be on any world history topic before 1500 A.D. Our library has many acceptable history books on the shelves.

Book reviews will be 5 to 8 pages in length, typed, double spaced, with one inch margins.  The title of the books, the author of each and your name must appear at the top of the first page.

An essential feature of a good book review essay is the reviewer’s ability to write concisely so that a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of the books can be obtained from a brief reading. So, do not write more, write more concisely –find creative ways to communicate your critical evaluation of the books in a short essay.  Do not copy in whole or in part your review from a website or use someone else’s material for any reason.  This constitutes plagiarism and will result in a zero on the assignment. You will be submitting this review to the website Turnitin.com which checks for plagiarized material.

The point of this essay is not to summarize the content of the books, but to situate the historical merit of the books and to evaluate critically the purpose, thesis, and methods of analysis. Hence, the bulk of the body of one’s review essay will be an evaluation of how convincing was the presentation and a comparison of the two books and their contribution to one’s understanding of important issues in history.  If you quote or use any part of the book in the review you must cite in a footnote or endnote where you got that passage using Chicago Manual of Style.


Among the features you must include are:

_      A summary and then discussion of the main thesis of each book.

_      An explanation of the type of sources the historian utilized, and the methods the author employs in choosing and organizing those sources.

_      An assessment of the strong points or shortcomings of the books.

  • How does the book change the way one should think about the subject?


  • How are the books similar and how are they different?


  • How do they treat their subjects?



Finally, you will want to make references to specific portions of the book to illustrate your evaluation. The challenge will be to do as much of this as possible and yet not let it interfere with the restricted length of the essay. In other words, find creative ways to give examples.




Discussion of the thesis of the books       20


Sources used in both                       20


Discussion of their subjects               20


Comparisons              20


Contrasts                 20


100 possible points.

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