Each book review will be 5-7 pages double spaced and must:
Introduce the book. To do so (a)briefly outline the main problem(s) or issue(s) addressed by the book—do not summarize the book; (b) outline the author’s purpose.
Outline its Arguments: (a)Identify the main/most important argument(s) made in the book and provide a brief discussion/elaboration of each; (b) outline the basis of the arguments (how does the author support their arguments?)
Critically respond to the book (not the same as taking a negative stance). To do so, a student might ask: (a) are the arguments convincing, why or why not? (b) are the arguments important and relevant for today’s problems, and what perspective do they lend? (c) what is significant about the book? (d) what questions does the book help us to ask? (e) has it changed your opinion, and if so how? and (f) how does this book contribute to understanding of course themes and problematics? Note: “critique” does not mean negative, antagonistic reading. It means taking a thoughtful, analytic, probing stance. Critiques can be favourable!
Consider the importance of the book: (a) what is the significance of the book (whether you liked it or not); (b) what should other people to know about the book (c) what is the single most important thing learned from the book; (d) What was the book’s most important message?
Be sure to cite any materials used in your review using the APA style guide.
Book Review Rubric
Criteria Excellent Good Fair Poor Inadequate
Introducing the book
(/2) 2 points
Provides a succinct, clear and competent outline (not summary) of (a) the main problem(s) or issue(s) addressed by the book and (b) the author’s purpose. 1 point
Outline of (a) the main problem(s)/issue(s) addressed by the book and author’s purpose are present but are less clear or partly miss-identified or verge on summary. 0 points
Outline of (a) the main problem(s)/issue(s) addressed by the book and author’s purpose are not present or detectable or they are entirely miss-identified. 0 points 0 points
Outline of the book’s arguments
(/5) 5 points
Clearly identifies the main/most important argument(s) made in the book and provides a well written, accurate and insightful brief discussion/elaboration of each. Provides a competent, well written outline of the basis of the arguments. Outline conveys a very strong understanding of the book’s arguments and how they are supported. 4 points
(a)the main/most important argument(s) are competently identified and accurately described. (b)the basis of the arguments are accurately outlined. May lack slightly in detail or insight. Outline conveys a good understanding of the book’s arguments and how they are supported. 3 points
(a) argument(s) are described though not necessarily the main/most important ones. OR description may lack accuracy (b)the basis of the arguments are outlined but may lack accuracy or important details. Outline conveys a passable understanding of the book’s arguments and how they are supported. 2 points
(a) or (b) is incomplete OR missing. Arguments are clearly miss-understood and poorly outlined. Conveys minimal understanding of book’s arguments and how they are supported 1 point
(a) and (b) are both incomplete or missing entirely. Arguments are clearly miss-understood and not outlined. Conveys almost no understanding of book’s arguments and how they are supported
Critical response to the book
(/8) 8 points
Critique is informed and reflects meaningful, thoughtful, analytic engagement with significant arguments in the book. analysis is backed up by supporting evidence or information. Author provides an excellent, informed assessment of arguments or claims 7 points
High level engagement with the book’s message/s: clearly identifies significant components of the book. Provides and engaging and well informed discussion of why selected components are important.
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