Now that you have read and discussed Indigenous London, it is time to write a formal book review about it. Scholars write book reviews all the time. It is one way we quality check each other’s published works. Even if you are not pursuing a career in higher education, learning to critically analyze a text is a useful skill to have and one you may be called on to use in a variety of settings.
Your book review should be 800-1000 words.
Your book review should be double-spaced.
It is not necessary to conduct research for this assignment outside of reading the book.
You should organize it according to “Essay on Writing Academic Book Reviews,” (Links to an external site.) Inside Higher Ed (2015).
I want all students to use the same framework below to organize their reviews. It is not necessary to have subtitles in your review. If you follow these guidelines, I will be able to make out your strategy.
Introduction. All good pieces of academic writing should have an introduction, and book reviews are no exception. Open with a general description of the topic and/or problem addressed by the work in question. Think, if possible, of a hook to draw your readers in.
Summary of argument. Your review should, as concisely as possible, summarize the books argument. Even edited collections and textbooks will have particular features intended to make them distinctive in the proverbial marketplace of ideas. What, ultimately, is this books raison dtre? If there is an identifiable thesis statement, you may consider quoting it directly.
About the author(s). Some basic biographical information about the author(s) or editor(s) of the book you are reviewing is necessary. Who are they? What are they known for? What particular sorts of qualifications and expertise do they bring to the subject? How might the work you are reviewing fit into a wider research or career trajectory?
Summary of contents. A reasonably thorough indication of the research methods used (if applicable) and of the range of substantive material covered in the book should be included.
Strength. Identify one particular area in which you think the book does well. This should, ideally, be its single greatest strength as an academic work.
Weakness. Identify one particular area in which you think the book could be improved. While this weakness might be related to something you actually believe to be incorrect, it is more likely to be something that the author omitted, or neglected to address in sufficient detail.
Conclusion. End your review with a concluding statement summarizing your opinion of the book. You should also explicitly identify a range of audiences whom you think would appreciate reading or otherwise benefit from the book.