The Review should be 3-4 pages (not including title page and bibliography), 12-point font, 1-inch margins. A good rule for number of sources is have at least have more than the number of pages.
The Book Review should include a summary so that we know the main points, as well as critique. Draw from how articles and approaches are critiqued from discussions and the weekly critiques. More details will be provided later.
To keep your focus, remind yourself that your assignment is primarily to discuss the book’s
treatment of its topic, not the topic itself. Your key sentences should therefore say “This
book shows…the author argues” rather than “This happened…this is the case.”
Key things to remember
You want to provide enough summary that the reader knows what the book is about. If need be, you can do brief chapter summaries or theme summaries. If you are working with an edited volume, then you need to provide chapter or section summaries, but talk about the central theme of the book.
In terms of critique portion, I have listed several questions to guide you. You don’t need hit all of them, but you should hit most of them and provide thoughtful fleshed out critique.
1. What is the topic of the book, what is the purpose behind this book. In other words, what is this book contributing and what theoretical issues and topics are introduced that can lead to further discussion or inquiry?
2. How are arguments/concepts in the book connected to lecture themes, concepts, discussions, points of critique brought up during lecture?
3. How are arguments being made? What archaeological material/evidence or what other types of evidence is being used to support the argument?
4. What theoretical assumptions are being made? Remember that if you are having trouble with this, try to come at the book from a different perspectives. For example, if you are looking at gender, what might be a critique brought up by a processual approach rather than an approach that espouses multi-vocality?
5. Does the author have a bias, intended or not intended, or is there another way to approach the topic?
I want you to include in the concluding section of your review the following: (in last paragraph or last few paragraphs)
Drawing from your growing understanding of course discussions, what are your reactions and opinions about the argument, the effectiveness of the argument, and its importance?