Brief introduction to books

Brief introduction to books

The book review should do the following three things:

  1. Provide a brief summary of the content of the book. Imagine that the reader has not heard of the book before, and provide enough of a summary that they understand what the book is about. Also identify the book’s core argument or perspective and the types of evidence and data used to support that argument/perspective.
  2. Provide a critical assessment of the book: highlight what you think are the strengths and weaknesses of the book based on the evidence presented and the arguments being made. Articulate whether or not you think the argument is persuasive. You may want to consider the following questions when evaluating the book:
    • What would make the argument more persuasive?
    • Does the book help us to better understand or solve an environment or resource problem?
    • What kind of approach does the author take to the issue?
    • What kinds of issues does the author discuss? Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
    • Based on your new knowledge of transdisciplinary environmental problem-solving, does the book offer a transdisciplinary or interdisciplinary approach to understanding or solving the issue? Or does the author only appear to consider a single perspective?
  3. Articulate why this book is important to read (or not) and who might benefit from reading it.

Essentials:

  • Title Page, Reference List Page with the proper APA citation of the book under review.
  • 1000-1200 Word Count; word count listed at the end of the book review.
  • Written as an essay: Introduction, body, and a brief conclusion.
  • Book must be from the approved list.
  • Students may write their essays in the first person, but the paper should be written in a formal and professional tone.
  • Students do not need to do additional research in support of their book review, however, if they draw from additional sources, those sources must be cited properly and listed in the references.

 

 

 

  Book Review Essay: 1000 – 1200 words

 

There is an automatic 1% penalty for any reference to the book as a “novel”.

 

 

(A- – A+)

 

Highly Proficient

 

 

Substance

Summary:        Clear and concise summary of the book’s core argument and the types of evidence used to support the argument  

Assessment:     Clear and insightful assessment of the book, with reference to why the student finds the book persuasive or not persuasive, and supported with evidence from the book. Strongly demonstrates the student’s familiarity with the book and engages with the author’s argument and evidence.

Organization:  Sequence of ideas is effective and purposeful.

Evidence:        Highly persuasive use of evidence or examples from the book or other sources of information.

 

Composition

Grammar:    Perfect or near perfect

Diction:         Word choices perfect or near perfect, little confusion about meaning

Sentences:    Clear and easy to read; few convoluted sentences

Style:             Clear, engaging and elegant writing; formal and professional tone

Word count: Falls within the word count

 

 

 

(B – B+)

 

Proficient

Substance

Summary:        Clear summary of the book’s core argument and the types of evidence used to support the argument; overall, the review might be more summary than critical assessment.  

Assessment:     Clear and somewhat insightful assessment of the book, with some reference to why the student finds the book persuasive or not. Student’s assessment is partially supported with evidence from the book. Demonstrates that the student has read and understood the book.

Organization:  Effective organization, very little awkward sequencing of ideas

Evidence:        Very persuasive use of evidence or examples, few gaps in logical connections

 

Composition

Grammar:    Mostly proper grammar; very few errors

Diction:         Mostly proper word choices; some awkward or incorrect words

Sentences:    Mostly well-crafted; few awkward passages

Style:             Clear; assessment flows easily; mostly formal and professional tone

Word count: Falls within the word count

 

 

 

(C – B-)

 

Somewhat proficient

Substance

Summary:       Reasonable summary of the book’s core argument and the types of evidence used to support the argument;  

Assessment:     Less clear assessment of the book; little reference to whether the student finds the book persuasive or not. Student’s assessment is not well supported with evidence from the book. Overall, the review seems to be more summary than assessment of the book.

Organization:  Generally effective; significant sequencing problems but not enough to muddle the assessment.

Evidence:        Evidence to support argument is broad or non-specific but still on-topic; logical connections not entirely clear; promising assessment, but needs further development to be persuasive and/or cogent

 

Composition

Grammar:      More errors than appropriate, requires one more proofread

Diction:         Problems with word choice begin to obstructs clear understanding

Sentences:      Sentences convey meaning but not always clearly

Style:              Writing style has lapses in formality or professional tone

Word count:   May exceed the word count and needs editing; may fall below word   count and need more content

 

 

(D – C-)

 

Weak

proficiency

Substance

 

Summary:       Poor or unclear understanding of the book’s core argument and the types of evidence used to support the argument;  

Assessment:     A discernable but vague assessment of the book. No articulation as to whether the student finds the book persuasive or not. May rely heavily on describing the book rather than assessing it.

Organization:  Some attempt at organization, but overall a bit scattered.

Evidence:        Little or shallow substantive evidence, no clear logic to the                    argument

 

Composition

Grammar:       Many grammatical errors

Diction:           Many improper word choices

Sentences:       Many passages and connections between sentences are difficult to   understand

Style:                Mostly awkward phrasing and immature or informal writing style

Word count:    May fall below the word count and need more content

 

 

 

(D-)

 

Very weak

proficiency

Substance

 

Summary:       Does not describe the book’s core arguments or the types of evidence used.

Assessment:     Lacks an assessment of the book. May rely heavily on describing the book rather than assessing it.

Organization:  Disorganized, no direction; needs considerable rewriting

Evidence:        No discernable effort made to support claims or assessment of the book.

 

Composition

Grammar:       Very sloppy

Diction:           Weak

Style:               Poor grammar, diction and immature writing style

Word count:   May fall below the word count

 

 

F (Below 50%)

 

Not proficient

Substance

 

Summary:        No clear summary of the book  

Assessment:     No clear assessment of the book

Organization:  Entirely disorganized; reads like a stream-of-consciousness piece

Evidence:         None

 

Composition

Very sloppy

Poor grammar, diction and immature writing style

Does not meet the minimum word length

 

Unacceptable

(Below 40%)

Substance

Did not review a book from the selected list

Makes no reference to evidence used in book

 

Composition

Extremely sloppy

Extremely difficult to understand what is being said

Does not meet the minimum word length

 

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