1. A basic description or synopsis of the book – what was it about? This is pretty straightforward. Do not let this become the bulk of your paper, however. Getting caught up in this section can really hurt the rest of your paper. If your whole paper is a description of the book, you are not doing the assignment and will be graded accordingly. Limit this section of the paper to no more than two and a half pages.
2. Please critically and analytically evaluate the author and their work. Authors write books because they are interested in a topic and want you to understand their point of view or the conclusions they draw about the event, person, period, etc. You can usually find out what it is they are up to by closely reading the introduction and/or conclusion of the book. In this section you need to be able to identify their argument(s) or point of view. What major points did they make in the book? Do you agree with the author’s point of view or the conclusions they draw regarding the topic? In what way do you disagree with the author? If you are reading a play or a historical fiction book, the author is still trying to convince you of something…a major or recurring theme, the moral of the story, etc. Comment on these in a similar fashion. This section should be at least two pages long.
3. Please tell me your opinion of the book and the subject discussed in it. In this section, spend a bit of time assessing the topic. What do you think about the topic discussed? What is your point of view? Has this book changed your opinion regarding its topic? Did you enjoy the book? The use of phrase like: “this was a good book…I liked it…it was well written, had good ideas, and was interesting…or it was boring…the author used big words…the chapters were too long” tell me nothing! Tell me WHAT you liked or disliked and WHY you liked or disliked it! This section should be at least a page and a half long.
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