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Book Review for History: ****BOOK: SHAY'S REBELLION*****

Short Papers—Book Reviews:  Each student will prepare a typed or word-processed (double-spaced, with one-inch margins, and a 12 font), three-page summary and review of each of their assigned readings. These papers will constitute a significant part of your grade, so read the following description carefully.  Your papers should summarize the main points that the author is trying to make, evaluate the effectiveness of his arguments, and analyze the sources upon which he bases his arguments. (For a general model, see the book review section of the Journal of American History). For a more specific model use the outline cited below:

  1. Paragraph*I. Explain the author’s thesis—the main point or points that he/she is trying to make in the book.  (This is not a description or summary of the book; it is an explanation of the author’s purpose, the central idea or ideas around which the book is organized). Also include a brief discussion of the scope of the book-the subject of the book and the time or geographical that it covers (i.e. what the book is about).  Like the thesis, this should take no more than a sentence or two.

    2. Next 3-4 paragraphs.  Give a broad, general summary of the book.  You cannot in 3-4 paragraphs summarize the entire book, but you can give an example of the author’s arguments that capture the flavor of the book.  

3. Next paragraph.  Discuss the sources upon which the author bases his book.  What research materials did he use?  

4. Last paragraph.  Assess the book.  Do not tell me whether or not you liked it or found it interesting, but tell me how successful the author was in achieving his objectives (thesis) and convincing you of f the validity of his arguments; also cite the strengths and weaknesses of the book (if they exist). 

* A paragraph should be 1/2 to 3/4 pages in length.  Do not write paragraphs that are too short or too long!

Book Review must be at least 3 pages long with Quotes included from the book.


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