The Book Review or Article Critique:General GuidelinesWhat is the specific topic of the book or article? What overall purpose does it seem to have? For what readership is it written? (The preface, acknowledgements, bibliography and index can be helpful in answering these questions. Don't overlook facts about the author's background and the circumstances of the book's creation and publication.) Does the author state an explicit thesis? Does he or she noticeably have an axe to grind? What are the theoretical assumptions? Are they discussed explicitly? (Again, look for statements in the preface, etc. and follow them up in the rest of the work.) What exactly does the work contribute to the overall topic of your course? What general problems and concepts in your discipline and course does it engage with? What kinds of material does the work present (e.g. primary documents or secondary material, literary analysis, personal observation, quantitative data, biographical or historical accounts)? How is this material used to demonstrate and argue the thesis? (As well as indicating the overall structure of the work, your review could quote or summarize specific passages to show the characteristics of the author's presentation, including writing style and tone.) Are there alternative ways of arguing from the same material? Does the author show awareness of them? In what respects does the author agree or disagree? What theoretical issues and topics for further discussion does the work raise? What are your own reactions and considered opinions regarding the work? Written by Dr. Margaret Procter, Coordinator, Writing Support, University of Toronto. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Cited from Site created by Dr. Margaret Procter, Coordinator, Writing Support.