Honors Western Civilization I The Last Duel A book review is a description, a critical analysis, and an evaluation of the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling of the story. It should focus on the book’s purpose, content, and authority. A critical book review is not a book report or a summary. It is a reaction paper in which the strengths and weaknesses of the material are analyzed. It should include a statement of what the author has tried to do (why do you think he wrote this book?), evaluate how well (in your supported opinion) the author has succeeded, and present evidence to support this evaluation. Your book review must be 3 – 4 pages and must be at college-level writing. You must include a minimum of 10 quotes distributed throughout the book. The following are the requirements for this assignment: Biographical sketch of the author (5 % of grade): It is important to know something about the author. Is he qualified to write this book? What are his professional credentials? What other books has he written? Why do you think he has written this book? General Summary of the work (10% of grade): Briefly, what is the book about? This should be short and snappy – it should not be a long summary but, rather, an eye-catching start to your paper. Author’s Thesis (40% of grade): What is the author trying to say about the subject? What is the main argument or point of the book? Some theses are stated quite simply while others are more subtle. If you are uncertain, please speak to me about this. Your reaction to the author’s views (40% of grade). Do you agree or disagree with the author’s views? How has this book helped your understanding of the medieval period? This is the part of the paper where you can use your own creativity and express your views. While you have some leeway in this area, responses such as “I don’t know much about this topic and the author has a Ph.D. in history so I agree with him” would not be an acceptable statement. Choose one of the following topics to help you develop your argument: gender roles, religious beliefs, and practices, nature of feudalism, the relationship between church and law, the nature of feudalism. As you write your paper, be sure that each topic statement ties into your thesis statement – in other words, each paragraph should be written in support of your thesis statement. 5. Conclusion (5% of grade) Briefly, was the book well written? How well does the author make use of maps, pictures, footnotes? Would you recommend the book? To what audience?