book review political theory book

You are required to write a book review. The book you choose should be a book of political theory written within the last two years. These reviews do not need to be too long but should follow standard structures for written work, which means that they must contain an argument that is supported with specifics drawn from the text.

These reviews should be about twelve paragraphs long. The first paragraph should entice the reader with a clever opening sentence and should close with a concise thesis.

The second paragraph should clarify the book that you are discussing. What thesis, bias, themes does it suggest or maintain? Do not repeat your first paragraph; just present the evidence for your claim.

Paragraphs 3 to 5 go into the main contentions of the book. Give detailed evidence for your claims.

In paragraphs 6 and 7, contrary or additional evidence from other sources should be presented but should only qualify what is acceptable in the text under review.

In chapters 8 and 9 you should deliver your most important objections.

Ten and 11 should suggest further areas the text should develop or explore and suggest what the text means within its context.

In 12 the merits should be balanced with the faults and there should be one last glance at the author. It is always polite to give the author the final word.

(See Jacques Barzun and Henry Graff, The Modern Researcher, pp. 290-291.)

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