BOOK review of John J. Mearsheimer & Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
Instructions (See attach document as well): Your book review should be divided into five interwoven parts, which are logically connected to each other.
BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION (Cover-page)
Publisher. Cannot be a think-tank, an advocacy group, self-published, religious organization, a government sponsored report, or historical book, a journalistic report. University presses or publishers specialized in academic books are fine
.Place and date of publication.
Your name as the reviewer
Briefly describe the topic or theme of the book.
Clearly state the book’s main question and its thesis.
Make a short statement evaluating the contribution of the book.
3. CONTENT OF REVIEW: BODY PARAGRAPHS
1. Description: make a brief summary of the book.
2. Why did you become interested in the book.
3. Literature Review: drawing from your perspective, describe the debate around this issue, to which the author(s) is responding, adding, or criticizing.
4. What author’s question.
5. Thesis: describe the main thesis along with working theses that follow. Use a series of relevant quotations from the book in supported of the main thesis, as well as working theses.
6. Significance: state the significance of the work and its contribution to the extant literature.
7. Supporting evidence: by citing a series of telling quotations, identify supporting evidence provided by the author(s). In this section, you need to summarize what and how the author(s) supports, or not, the main thesis of the book. Being precise and concise are critical here.
8. Reviewer’s Evaluation: state your opinion in regard to the followings:
i.Intended goal: did the book meet its intended goal? Did the book prove its main thesis? Evaluate the quality of supporting evidence and rational.
ii.Style: did the book succeed in explaining its stated goals coherently, clearly, logically, and factually? Did the organization of the book make sense?
iii.Express your opinion in relation to the extant literature
9. CONCLUSION: summarize by stating the main thesis, significance, and contribution of the book to the literature and thus reality; reiterate your evaluation; express your opinion here by citing other related works if you can.
A Random List of What to Avoid:
Do not make declaratory statements without providing evidence, reason, and specificity. For example, if you write something like, “I really like this book” without following evidence, you will lose points.
Be precise with your words. For example, do not write I feel when you mean you think. The words “feeling” and “thinking” are not the same thing.
No colloquial language at all.Do not use pronouns unless the reference subject is clearly known to your reader. For example, do not use the pronoun “we” to refer to all Americans, as though you can speak on behalf of every American. The same thing applies the pronoun “they” when applied to other collectivities.Do not repeat a concept or a thought, unless you are making a new point. If you say it well once, you need not to return to it for a while.
Do not be wordy: no need to use extra words to meet the word-requirement of the paper. Instead, be concise and precise.
Every paragraph must stand on its own. A good paragraph should provide
(1) a concise introductory sentence;
(2) a series of logically consistent sentences in support of your introductory sentence;
(3) at least one concluding sentence; and
(4) finally a transition sentence for the next paragraph.
Avoid making non-sequiturs, i.e. a statement that does not logically follow the preceding one. Make smooth transition from one thought to another; one subject to another; one sentence to another; and one rationale to another.
Do not write cliché statements such I agree with the author wholeheartedly without specifically indicating on what issue, based on what quotes, and why.
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