Book review #1 instructions
I. The critical book review: The purpose of a critical book review is twofold. The reviewer wishes, first, briefly, to inform the reader as to the nature and scope of the book under consideration. More important, the reviewer seeks to present an evaluation of the book.
In so far as is possible, the review should be objective; it should be an evaluation based upon evidence and examples presented in the review and not upon such subjective criteria as personal likes and dislikes. (In other words, don't use "I think..." statements in the main section of your review.)
II. Reading the book:
A. Begin with questions in your mind: Who wrote the book? Is he/she qualified to write on the subject chosen? What is the book about? Why did the author write the book? Does the book have a thesis?
B. Read the preface, the introduction, and the acknowledgments. Valuable clues to the author's purpose and/or thesis may be found in one or all of these places.
C. Read the body of the work carefully, noting important passages.
III. Evaluating the book. While reading the book, attempt to identify the author's thesis - a thesis is an argument supported by evidence put forward by the author of the book.
Given that it’s still early in the semester, I assume that your knowledge of consumer behavior is limited at this point. Therefore, for this book review, you don’t need to perform a comprehensive book review.
Instead, you need to identify 4-5 topic areas of consumer behavior research within the book that the author has done an exceptionally good job with. By “good job,” I mean that the author has made a strong, credible, well-crafted and well supported argument in favor of his thesis.
For each of your topic areas, think about the following questions:
- Is the author's argument valid?
Are his conclusions clearly based on sound evidence & evaluation?
Does he use logical critical thinking to assess the information presented?
Does he effectively use specific examples to support his analysis?
Does he evaluate alternative perspectives?
- How thorough is the author's treatment of the topic area?
Does he cover the topic in depth with details and examples?
- What kinds of sources does the author use?
Are these sources valid?
Does he provide source information for all ideas, facts and quotes?
- Is the author’s argument well organized and constructed?
Is the CB idea/theory clear and well developed?
Is the content well organized?
IV. Writing the review: Once you have read and evaluated the book, you are ready to write your review. Write an introductory paragraph containing the title and author of the book, a sentence about the author, a brief description of the book's contents, and an indication of what your review will say.
In the body of your paper, you will be making an argument about what the author of your book has done well, but this should not be your subjective opinion -- you must support your claim with well-documented material. Using the answers to the questions in section III, the body of your review should provide 4-5 ideas from the book that you find the author made a strong argument for. Use relevant (but brief!) examples (with proper citations!) from the book that support your evaluation of the author's argument, and a thorough evaluation of the argument's validity (citing your textbook and any other valid outside sources you choose use).
In your concluding paragraph, you should sum up your evaluation, and at that point, may briefly discuss why you (dis)liked the book.
This should result in ~ 5 double-spaced, typed pages.
V. Citations. Within the review itself, please use abbreviated citations.
At the end of your review, please give full citations for all the sources you use to evaluate the book you read.
Book review guidelines adapted from: http://www.uncp.edu/home/rwb/bk-rev114.html