Cold War

Cold War

Subject: American History
Instructions for the Book Review
and the book review is on cobbs, daniel M. Native American in cold war america: the struggle for sovereignty, university of new mexico press. 2008

In order to write a good review, you must think carefully about the book. Since reviews are to be between 1400 and 1600 words long, you must take pains to organize and present your thoughts with precision, clarity, and conciseness. Begin your review with the author, title, and facts of publication for the book using standard bibliographical form, for example:


Jules R. Benjamin. A Student’s Guide to History. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001.


Answers to the following seven sections must form the substance of your review. Answer each of them in the order given, each with a separate paragraph or series of paragraphs.


1. What is the author’s purpose in writing the book?


2. What is the book’s thesis?


3. How does the author organize material? What is the logic behind the topics of the chapters, and how do the chapters go together to form the book? You should be aware that there is almost always a fit between the thesis of a book and the logic of the book’s organization. Each points to the other. Thus, if you are in doubt about the thesis, pay attention to the organizational logic. In your review, include an explicit statement about the fit between the book’s organization and its thesis. This section can also include a brief summary of the book, but make sure that the summary is tied to the issue of organization.


4. To what subfield of history does the book belong? How so? What methodologies (particular ways of studying history) does the author employ? Do any academic theories (such as feminist or postmodern theories) guide the author, and, if so, which ones? If the author does not discuss methodology or theory, note their absence.


5. Does the author place his or her book into the subject matter’s historiography? If so, how? Are any secondary sources particularly important for the author? Which ones and why? What primary sources does the author use to develop the thesis of the book, and why are these particular sources used? Do not give just a list of sources. Discuss types of sources used and the reasons for relying on certain kinds of sources rather than others. Include an explicit statement about the book’s most significant sources in light of the author’s thesis.


6. Here you must also relate the book to the subject of the course: How does the book fit in with the issues raised and discussed in the course and the textbook? In particular, how, beyond adding more detail, does the book add new perspective to the assigned course reading, especially the textbook?


7. How well is the author’s purpose accomplished? In this section, you have an opportunity to make an original, critical evaluation of the book. You will want to address the issues of what is well done, poorly done, and originally done. Are the book’s arguments and uses of evidence clear or unclear, strong or weak, convincing or unconvincing? Should a reader agree or disagree with the author’s assumptions and conclusions? What are the book’s overall strengths and weaknesses? If a reader is curious about a subject, should he or she choose this particular book?




Writing Guide

For the basic formatting of the paper, look at the sample review in chapter three of Jules Benjamin’s A Student’s Guide to History.


Number the pages of your paper and use parenthetical citations to make reference to the book’s page numbers, such as (Benjamin, 23-24).
Double-space the essay.
Do not skip a line between paragraphs.
No title page or report cover is necessary for a short paper.
Write in complete sentences; avoid sentence fragments.


Avoid the first- or second-person point of view; write instead in the third person.


Write in the present tense when referring to a book’s author (“Benjamin describes the various forms of evidence”), and write in the past tense when referring to past events (“The candidate traveled thousands of miles during the campaign”).


Avoid using contractions.
With abbreviations, use the full name for the first reference (such as, Federal Bureau of Investigation) and abbreviations for subsequent references (FBI).
When referring to a person’s name, use the first and last name for the first reference and the surname for subsequent references.
Use two hyphens–with no spaces before or after–to form a dash.


Avoid dropped quotations: quotations without reference to a speaker or a writer.
Avoid block quotations in short papers. Block quotations are long quotations separated out from the main text of the paper.
In general, try to limit the use of quotations, but be sure to cite any information taken from the book.


The following are usage guides that can be useful for further reference: Diana Hacker, The Bedford Handbook; Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations; William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style. All three are available in the campus library.




“The Fumblerules of Grammar”

by William Safire, 1978

Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.


Don’t use no double negatives.


Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn’t.


Reserve the apostrophe for it’s proper use and omit it when its not needed.


Do not put statements in the negative form.


Verbs has to agree with their subjects.


No sentence fragments.


Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.


Avoid commas, that are not necessary.


If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.


A writer must not shift your point of view.


Eschew dialect, irregardless.


And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.


Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!


Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.


Hyphenate between sy-
llables and avoid un-necessary hyphens.


Write all adverbial forms correct.


Don’t use contractions in formal writing.


Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.


It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.


If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.


Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.


Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.


Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.


Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.


Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.


If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.


Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.


Don’t string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.


Always pick on the correct idiom.


"Avoid overuse of ‘quotation "marks."’"


The adverb always follows the verb.


Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

and the book review is on cobbs, daniel M. Native American in cold war america: the struggle for sovereignty, university of new mexico press. 2008

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