Opening Paragraph (or two)
Introduce the book, what it’s about, what it’s like, and the main theme for your paper.
Opening Sentence. Your opening sentence should include the title of the book, the author, and publication date.
Summarize the book very briefly. What is the book about? What time period, event, controversy, person, etc. does it cover? This can be done with a statement of “what and how” about the book. (For example: In his allegorical novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding writes about [what?] the evil side of man [how?] by describing what happens to a group of young boys who are marooned on a desert island.)
Use a passage from the book and follow it with a comment on how this quotation is typical (or not typical) of what is contained in the book.
Author Info. You can present information about the author and his or her background, qualifications, or philosophy.
Theme/Thesis. Finally, state your specific theme. (Example: Nancy Shoemaker argues that Native American women adapted their cultural tradition and gender roles to seek power in Euro-American society.) What do you think is the main thesis of the book? What is the author’s main argument? What main point do you think the author is trying to get across? (Hint: The author’s thesis is usually stated in the introduction or preface to the book.)
State Three Points. State the three points you will address as the topic for your body paragraphs.
Body (Three paragraphs)
Use the following pattern two—three times:
State. State an idea about your theme clearly (generalization). (Example: “The Pima and Maricopa women of the Salt River Community were empowered through involvement.)
Support. Support each of your generalizations with specific details from the story (evidence). (Example: As Hoikkala states, “Pima-Maricopa women’s responses to their work… attested to a significant change in their attitudes about themselves and the community.” (225)) Include page numbers in parentheses after quoting the author or citing an example. You do not need to include the author’s name since you will only be dealing with one source.
Interpret. Explain how each of these specific details proves your point (interpretation). (Example: The positive reaction of the women of this tribe shows how involvement through work empowered the Salt River women.)
Evaluate the book writing a paragraph or two about the following points:
Does the author succeed in proving the stated thesis/theme? Support your answer with examples or quotes.
Is this book convincing to you? Did you enjoy it? Was it helpful to understand the topic of the book? Support your answer with examples or quotes.
What are the holes or problems in the author’s book? What does the author overlook or not prove? Support your answer with examples or quotes.
Sum up your paper with a paragraph or two.
Focus. Bring your theme into final focus for the reader. This can be done by restating the original theme/thesis that you started with in the beginning paragraphs.
Conclude. Arrive at a specific conclusion about your theme, or about the author’s purpose, or about the overall effectiveness of the book.
After the end of your paper, cite the book you reviewed in the complete Chicago format. (Consult a style manual (Links to an external site.) for citation help.)
The author’s name, last name first
The title and subtitle, italicized
The place of publication, the publisher, and date
Book Review Rubric
Book Review Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWrite intro paragraph(s) detailing biographical information about the book and its author. Includes the title of the book and the author’s name. Include your main argument and points for your body paragraphs. Any sources used are cited.
Title and/or author not properly included. Everything else is good
Needs minor editing/revision. Everything else is good.
Needs minor editing AND title/author is incorrect/missing
Needs major editing, everything else is good
Needs major editing, AND title/author incorrect/missing
Plagiarized or has other major issues.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeBody parapraphs: Use clear thesis statements, evidence from text, and your interpretation.
Needs minor editing
Doesn’t adequately cover the scope of the whole book. Or is too long,
Doesn’t adequately cover the scope of the whole book. Or is too long, AND needs minor editing
Needs major editing, but the content is good
Doesn’t adequately cover the scope of the whole book. Or is too long, AND needs major editing
Plagiarized or has other major issues
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSuccess and Conclusion: Clearly includes your evaluation of the book plus any counterarguments. Sums it up.
Needs minor editing. Length may be an issue.
Speaks only of genre or opinion of book, not both. Length may be an issue.
Needs minor editing AND Speaks only of genre or opinion of book, not both.Length may be an issue.
Needs major editing, but the content is good. Length may be an issue.
Needs major editing AND Speaks only of genre or opinion of book, not both. Length may be an issue.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFormatting: complete heading, double-spaced, 12 pt. font, no extra white space, indented paragraphs, complete sentences, proofread
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