This book review is for a public administration class
APA Book Review Assignment Guidelines
Using the suggested elements by Loren Johns below, complete a book review on your selected book. For guidelines only, undergraduate reviews should be approximately 4-5 pages double-spaced pages in
Book: Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America
Suggested Elements to Be Included in Book Reviews
By Loren Johns from https://www.ambs.edu/LJohns/bookrept.htm, retrieved January 4, 2006
At the beginning, give your title for the review, and also give complete information about the book: author, title, place of publication, publisher, date, number of pages. Use APA format for the citation.
a. Brief explanation of the relevance or importance of this book.
b. Questions of introduction: background; date of writing; genre; for whom the book is intended; what we know about the author; the historical context in which the author wrote: the “school” represented by
this author or work (i.e., identifiable groups of persons with whom the author works and agrees). It is the reviewer’s responsibility to judge which of these components can be known and which are helpful
and/or necessary for understanding the book.
c. The purpose of this book; what the author is trying to accomplish
d. Brief identification of the scope of the book (how much the author is trying to cover)
a. Overview of the book and a description of its contents. (Book reviews vary as to purpose. Most book review editors want a short, succinct “overview” of the contents rather than a (longer) summary of the
book. In some cases the purpose of the review is to present content unknown to the audience of the review. In the latter case, a (longer) summary of the book’s contents may be appropriate. But in any case,
the overview/summary of the book’s contents should never amount to more than half of the length of the review.)
b. Description of the author’s
iii. main thesis or theses
c. The structure of the book
d. Note-worthy statements, wordings, quotations from the book
a. Of the author’s method
b. Of the thesis
i. How and why the author selects the data he or she selects; the validity of those judgments evaluated
ii. Whether the evidence selected supports the conclusions drawn (why/why not): Where is it flawed by over-generalization, faulty reasoning, false assumptions, etc.?
iii. Other evidence or questions that may have strengthened the book
c. What others have said about this work (check indices of book reviews in the library)
a. What this book does well and why
b. What this book does not do well and why not
c. The overall significance of this work: Is it a valuable piece, a useful piece with some minor problems, a brave attempt gone wrong, a waste of the trees sacrificed to print the book?
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