The Pullman Case

to Writing a Book Précis
A book précis is a short review or summary of a text. It should be informative and meaningful to someone who has not read the book in question. An effective review should contain an analysis of the author’s thesis or point of view, a discussion of the methods/sources that the author uses, and your critical evaluation of the work.

• Must include your name, course number and section (single-spaced) in upper-left hand corner on the first page of your review
• 1-inch margins and the body of your review should be double-spaced, 12pt font
• 2-3 complete pages in length
• Bibliography in Chicago Manual of Style format:
Papke, David Ray. The Pullman Case (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1999).

• A short summary of the scope, content and argument/thesis of the book (generally done in one introductory paragraph)
• Your analysis of how well the author supports his/her thesis (the bulk of your essay)
• Is the book well-written and well-documented with sources?
• What are the strong points of the book? Its weak points?
• Conclusion – would you recommend the book to a reader interested in its subject matter? Why or Why not?

Grammar and Syntax
• This is a formal piece of writing that requires correct English, grammar and punctuation.
• Do not use profanity or slang and address authors and key figures by their full or last name.
• Try to avoid writing in the first person, e.g. “I feel,” “I think.”
• Quoted material must include page numbers, e.g. “[Quoted material]” (Papke, pg. #).
• Avoid quotes that are more than 6 lines long

“A” papers (27-30 pts): Adequately meet above requirements and with few grammatical errors.
“B/C” papers (21-26 pts): Meet most of the above requirements, but lack a complete analysis of the
book and miss some formatting requirements. Will have grammatical errors that detract from the paper. Paper may have been late.
“D” papers (18-20 pts): Paper did not fully address the assignment and above requirements. Paper includes numerous grammatical errors. Paper may have been late.