Book Reviews/Writing a review/analysis topics to cover
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Analysis Topics to Cover[edit | edit source]
Analysis is conclusory. In analyzing the book you present your opinions as conclusions and then support these conclusions with evidence drawn from the book. Consider these topics:
- Identify or formulate the book’s thesis statement. Judge how important that thesis is and how well (how convincingly) the book proves the thesis. Did the book influence your thinking?
- Choose the one adjective that best describes this book. Consider these suggestions, or choose some other descriptor: accessible, archaic, authoritative, autobiographical, bland, boring, captivating, comprehensive, confusing, creative, dated, disjointed, disorganized, dull, encyclopedic, engaging, enlightening, entertaining, erudite, exciting, exhilarating, factual, fanciful, fascinating, fast-paced, fragmented, frivolous, fun, funny, hackneyed, heart-wrenching, helpful, hilarious, incoherent, indecipherable, informative, innovative, inspiring, interesting, intriguing, important, irreverent, lackluster, liberating, long-winded, mediocre, misinformed, monotonous, obsolete, obvious, opaque, pedantic, penetrating, poorly-researched, pornographic, pretentious, profound, rambling, relevant, revolutionary, rousing, scandalous, scintillating, sexy, shocking, sloppy, slow-going, sophomoric, steamy, strident, surprising, suspenseful, tedious, thought-provoking, trashy, trivial, uninspired, unoriginal, up-to-date, well-organized, well-researched, well-written, whiney, witty,
- Assess the argument, evidence, and exposition—clarity of expression and writing style—of the book.
- Describe, discuss, and assess the author’s use of logos—argument by logic, pathos—argument by emotions, and ethos—argument based on character and values.
- What surprised you, what disappointed you, what informed you, what entertained you, what make you think, what provoked you?
- Identify the standards (norms, reference model) you are using to judge the book. For example, “Good writing is clear thinking made visible” is one such norm. After stating the norm, explicitly assess the book’s adherence to that standard.