standard procedures

| June 19, 2015

T he following are standard procedures for writing book reviews; they are suggestions,
not formulae that must be used.
I. Write a statement giving essential information about the book: title, author, first
copyright date, type of book, general subject matter, special features (maps, color plates,
etc.), price and ISBN.
2. State the author’s purpose in writing the book. Sometimes authors state their
purpose in the preface or the first chapter. When they do not, you may arrive at an
understanding of the book’s purpose by asking yourself these questions:
a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?
b. From what point of view is the work written? v 3
c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to
convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?
d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use
outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the
genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.
e. Who is the intended audience?
f. What is the author’s style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the
writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality,
l forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development,
1 fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience? 3
g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized
and will aid in determining the author’s main ideas and how they are developed
chronologically, topically, etc.
h. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject i
changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own
course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you’ve had relate to the subject? 3
1′. How well has the book achieved its goal?
j. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?
3. State the theme and the thesis of the book.

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