How to write a review Set the book in context. When, where and if possible why was it written. Tell us a little about the author and his/her objectives.
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Presentation on theme: "How to write a review Set the book in context. When, where and if possible why was it written. Tell us a little about the author and his/her objectives."— Presentation transcript:
How to write a review Set the book in context. When, where and if possible why was it written. Tell us a little about the author and his/her objectives. [It often helps to read the preface/introduction to find this information]. Set in the context of Sociology/Anthropology. What kind of Sociology is it, how what field does it cover, and how does in relate to other fields. What is the purpose of the book? What are the authors objectives. Authors will try and locate themselves with reference to schools of thought, sub-disciplines, and previous works.
How to write a review Describe the book, its contents and structure. Give the reader an idea of the principle points of the book. It may or may not be a chapter by chapter description, but try a give the logical of the organisation of the book as well as the principle points of each major section. What are the authors conclusions, how does he/she sum up the work. What does the author think they have revealed for the reader in the course of the book.
How to write a review Evaluate the book. Does the book achieve the author’s objectives. What have you learnt from the book. What standing does the book have in the range of books – a master piece, a classic, a useful contribution, a book of its time, a partial or limited insight?
How to write a review Internet sources on advice on book reviews. [both these are about fiction reviewing but the principles are the same]. http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/Cri Nonfiction.html#introducing http://www.lavc.edu/Library/bookreview.ht m
Advice on reviewing 1 The audience reading your review will be checking out opinions about the book to see what other intelligent readers think about that work. Show that you have read the book. A glowing recommendation or scathing condemnation means nothing if the reader doesn't believe you've read the entire book.
Advice on reviewing 1 Add a critical insight. If the book touches you in a certain way, be detailed about what that way was. The less specific a review is, the less trustworthy it is.
Examples: BAD: "This book moved me, and touched me, and told a great story." BETTER: "The story of this family's adventure has a great deal to teach us about togetherness, and solitude. As an empty-nester dealing with these issues myself, I found this book very enlightening." EVEN BETTER: "The underlying themes of the novel -- that solitude is necessary even in a tight family unit, and that togetherness is actually a complex fabric that weaves both solitude, circumstance, and choice in the pattern of time's passage -- are what remained with me, long after I had finished the compelling story and put down the book."
Another guide to reviewing Read the whole book. That is the very least you owe the author. You can’t make a judgment on what they have done until you know all of it. Review the book in front of you, not the book you wish they had written. You can and should point out shortcomings or failures, but don’t criticize the book for not being something it was never intended to be.
Think clearly about who the audience for the review is. Is this for a librarian who wants to know if s/he should buy the book for their collection? Is this review for students looking for information on a particular topic, or for travellers searching for a good read? If possible, compare the book to others in the genre or field of study. That helps any reader.
Criticize clearly and specifically but gently. A bad book takes as long to write as a good one, and each book is someone’s baby. But a reviewer is charged to make a critical judgment, and fails if s/he does not do so. Be precise in your language. If this is the best book you have ever read, say so, and say why. If it is yet another nice little book on a nice little topic, say that, too. Find the words to say what you mean: the author did, and so should you. Don’t be cowed by a famous name. Even famous writers sometimes do mediocre books.