Book Review on James McPherson’s What They Fought For, 1861 – 1865

You are required to write a .Book Review on James McPherson’s What They Fought For, 1861 – 1865

As part of your grade, you are required to write a BOOK REVIEW. A review must comprise 3 to 5 pages of your writing. The Review is an essential component of your overall course grade. It will be next to impossible to achieve a passing grade without the submission of this assignment. Below I have included a guideline for the proper writing of a review. The review must be typed, font 12, and double-spaced. You must paginate your work. I WILL NOT accept a HANDWRITTEN review. Failure on your part to comply with the said guidelines will result in a low grade.

How to Write a Critical Book Review:
Your review should have two goals: first, to inform the reader about the content of the book, and second, to provide an evaluation that gives your judgment of the book’s quality. Your introduction should include an overview of the gist of the author’s argument. In essence, this is the equivalent to a thesis statement.
Do not merely summarize events. The summary should be limited and consist of a discussion and highlights of the major arguments, themes, ideas, and characteristics of the book. While you may use direct quotes from the book (make sure you always give the page number), such quotes should never be the bulk of the summary. Much of your grade will depend on how well you describe and explain the material IN YOUR OWN WORDS. You might want to take the major organizing themes of the book and use them to organize your own discussion. This does NOT mean, however, that I want a chapter-by-chapter summary. Your goal is a unified essay.
To evaluate a book consider whether the interpretation and/or conclusions of the author make sense. What evidence does the author present in putting forth his or her argument? And is the evidence adequate? Does the author ignore evidence or present evidence that contradicts his or her own interpretation? Is there an explanation that fits the evidence better than the author’s? Is the author organized and clear in presentation? It is not acceptable to simply write that you agree with everything the author says. If you do agree, you must give reasons as to your assent.

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