Book Review Guidelines–Final Draft

You will write a book review on Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard.

First and foremost a book review is not a book report. Your job is not to summarize the book but to recognize certain key aspects of the book and critique them.

As with any scholarly writing, you should have an introductory paragraph and a concluding paragraph. You should also check for grammar and spelling issues.

You will discuss five topics in your book review:

Major Theme—what is the thesis of the book? In other words, what is the author trying to tell the reader?

Sub-themes—what are the underlying themes in the book? Are there certain topics the author keeps coming back to?

Methodology—how is the book written? For example: Does the author use pictures or graphs? If so, are they helpful? If not, would the use of them have been helpful? Do you think there is a better way for the book to have been written?

Sources—what sources does the author use in the book? Are they good and reputable? Are there enough sources? Are they varied? Does the author use both primary and secondary sources?

What do you think?—once you have addressed all of the topics above you can give your opinion—your educated opinion. Talk about what you liked or disliked in the book. Are there things you would have done differently? And, most importantly, do you think this book is worthwhile? Does it contribute to the topic?

Of course in answering these questions you will be discussing what the book is about, but you will be doing it in a way that fosters critical thinking, not just summarizing what someone else said.

Remember: This is NOT a book report, but a book review. Do not merely summarize the book.

For the final draft:

Write at least 3-4 FULL pages of book review content
Address ALL 5 questions above
You must include at least two quotations from the text
You must consult and cite three additional scholarly sources
You must have sources footnoted.
You must include a Bibliography page.
You must address the feedback given to you by your instructor in the rough draft assignment. Failure to correct those errors may result in a lowered grade.