The Purpose of writing assignment is to analyze and effectively communicate information through a
summarization of the book assigned.
Make sure your review addresses the following points (go over this like a check list before submittingyour review to make sure you’ve covered these):
Who are the main characters?
What role did these characters play in American history?
When did these historical events take place?
What is the general subject of the book?
What is the author’s central argument?
What kind of resources does the author use to support his/her thesis (significant archival research?
does the author consult the relevant secondary literature)?
What is the related historiography?
You must offer evidence for every point you make about the book. One of the easiest ways to
accomplish this is to put a simple parenthetical page citation after you comment. This also shows me
the thoroughness with which you read the book and forces you to return to the work to make sure you
are fairly representing the author’s comments.
Remember that it can be useful to offer a few brief quotes from the author to give your reader a
sense of the writer’s style. You would cite the quote (in a review) just as you would the specific
references outlined above, i.e. parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence.
Typed, double-spaced, using 12 point font, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
500 – 750 words (minimum-maximum) Does not include cover page or citations.
o Cover Page, book citation, and parenthetical reference citations
Keep in Mind
In addition to clarity, style, and organization, papers will be graded on the sophistication (third person, no
contractions, etc..) and creativity of arguments and analysis. Organize, spell check and carefully proof all of
your work. Good organization, syntax, grammar, and spelling are crucial to effective communication and, as
such, are a component of you grade.
Online sources are allowed for primary sources only.
You may not use or cite any online secondary sources unless they originally come from a published, print
scholarly journal. To be safe, check all online primary sources with me. An online version of a published
journal article is not considered an “online” secondary source since it was originally in published form, and you
should cite it as though you looked at the original journal.