Do NOT let the review become a mere summary of the contents of the book. Although a summary of the content is a valid portion of any review, the most important section should be the analysis of the volume.
1. Read the book. This seems trite, but reading the entire volume is your responsibility. You may consult other reviews of the volume in journals or the internet, but be careful not to copy someone else’s opinions. If you do quote from another source, you must provide a citation giving credit to the source. Failure to do so is PLAGIARISM! This constitutes a violation of my policies, could result in you failing the course, and could result in you being referred for disciplinary action. Your analysis of the book- not someone else- is what is important for this assignment.
2. You may use direct quotations from the book (to show the author’s biases, thesis, point pit errors, etc.) but do not let the review become an endless series of quotations. If you quote directly from the book, provide page citations in parenthetical documentation. Example: In his analysis of King John, Hollister concludes that he was “Richard’s opposite—unchivalrous, moody, suspicious, a mediocre general, but highly intelligent and deeply interested in the royal administration.” (p. 172)
3. Components which should generally be part of your review (not necessarily in this order).
1) Information about the author- background, major interests, previous works (if any), profession. Don’t add this to the end of your review as an afterthought or use it in the first paragraph. Include only information that is appropriate in relation to the work under consideration (we don’t need to know that Professor Smyth’s wife is named Hilda and that his favorite hobby is gardening.).
2) Thesis of the book. What is the author’s major focus/point?
3) Definition/Description of Sexuality. How does the author define/describe sexuality?
4) Purpose of the text. Why did the author address sexuality?
5) Provide a brief summary of the contents. What time period is covered? What specific topics are discussed? Are their additional themes and concepts, if so how are they defined? How is the work organized (chronological or topical?) How does the material relate to sexuality & society?
6) To what audience does this book seem directed? Is this meant for the general reader interested in sexuality and/or a particular population, or is it directed more toward scholars and sexologists? (Hint: One way to determine this is to look at the nature of the documentation; if the work is heavily footnoted with a meaty bibliography, then the latter is probably the case; if it has only a sketchy bibliography or few or no footnotes, then the former is likely).
7) Nature of the documentation. What are the most common sources the author seems to use? Does he seem to rely on the general works of other authors (secondary sources) or are most of his sources primary (contemporary documents, etc)? Use the book’s footnotes and bibliography to analyze the types of materials the author employs. Sometimes he will also discuss this in the preface.
8) Miscellaneous aspects regarding things found in the volume (If applicable). Are there illustrations? Tables? Genealogical charts? Appendices?
9) Particular strengths and weaknesses of the book in your opinion. How readable? What is its relative value or contribution to the study of history?
10) Make sure your review has a thoughtful introduction and conclusion, hopefully tied together with a thesis. Don’t let your review end too abruptly.
11) Is the content relevant to current issues in sexuality?
12) What did you primarily learn from the book? Who would you recommend read the book and why? List at least three quotes that connect to theme, concepts, scholars from course reading/viewing materials. For more information on Knowledge, Sexuality, and Academic Practices in Higher Education Check: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED441368