Book Review Assignment: Daniel Quinn, “Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit”
For this assignment you write a scholarly book review. Each review will be graded for three factors: thesis, content, and style. The review must be well organized and grammatically sound. Each review must be typed and single-spaced in Times New Roman with 12 point fonts and one-inch margins. The review must be 2-3 pages in length and use Chicago Style citations (no bibliography needed). Reviews that do not meet these expectations will receive reductions in the final grade.
The point of a scholarly book review is not to summarize the content of the book, but to situate the historical and philosophical merit of the book and to evaluate critically the author’s purpose, thesis, contentions, and methods of analysis. Hence, the bulk of one’s review will be an evaluation of how convincing the author’s presentation of his /her thesis and a commentary on the book’s contribution to how one understands the issues addressed (for example, the theme of captivity, the idea of “takers and leavers,” the creation “myth” of modern humans, the fate of the environment, etc…).
-Among the features you will want to include in a strong review are:
-A discussion of the author’s main contentions
-An explanation of the type of methods and narrative structure the author employs
-An assessment of the strong points or the shortcomings of the book
-How does this book change the way one should think about the subject (the relationship of man to the environment)
-Finally, you will want to make references to specific portions of the book to illustrate your evaluation. The challenge will be to do as much of this as possible and yet not let it interfere with the restricted length of the review. In other words, find creative ways to give examples from the book in a limited space (direct quotations should be kept to a minimum).