Book Review Assignment

Write a book review of a research book in communication. The choice of book is yours. Several models are appropriate, and the choice of models among them is yours. Whatever model you use should do more than simply summarize or reproduce the content of the book. I recommend the following procedure:

1. Read some book reviews

Particularly in the journal you select below, but in other places as well read some reviews. Determine the characteristics of ones you like and how those you find insufficient fail. Develop a sense for how the authors of these reviews read the books.

2. Select your book and publication

The choice of book and publication you might submit the review to go hand-in-hand. Begin this process early in the semester. Identify a journal that publishes book reviews in the area in which you wish to read. Be certain they have not already published a review of the book you wish to read. You may also contact the book review editor. Explain that you will be working with me on a review, and ask whether the book you have chosen to review is one not yet in the editorial process and one the editor would find within the purview of his/her journal. Alternatively, you may ask the editor if s/he has books s/he would like to have reviewed. Do not expect the editor to commit to publication at this stage. Make clear that you would be submitting a book review for their editorial process.

3. Read the book

Be sure you begin this process early enough in the semester (fourth week, I would think) that you have the opportunity to complete the project by its due date to me.

4. Prepare your review

As you read, develop a thesis for your review. Be certain you keep marginal notes on characteristics you see to later incorporate in the review. After finishing the book, revise your thesis. Generally, a book review should: (1) define the audience for the book, (2) summarize the argument of the book, (3) provide useful information that may assist the reader in orienting to the book, and (4) fix and argue for a judgment on the significance of the book.

For my purposes, the review should be 500-1000 words. If the journal you are working with has a longer or shorter permissible length, let me know. The assignment will be graded on: (1) the insight of the review; (2) the quality of writing; and (3) the following of proper form.

Grading: 30 percent of your final grade

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