Book Analysis: The New Jim Crow
All the critical research reviews for this course must develop and contain the following four main elements below:
1. What is the book’s topic? Who is the author? What is his background?
Do not merely state the book’s topic and author. You must define the topic in some depth and explain the academic background of the author. Is the author an expert on the book’s subject? How do you know? What makes the author an expert on the subject? Do you detect any biases in the author? Do these biases help or undermine the validity of the author’s arguments anywhere in the book? You must justify any assertions or claims that you make in developing your responses to these questions.
a) What is the author’s point of view? What is your sense of the author’s point of view and why?
(Often the introduction reveals clues on a author’s point of view. So read the introduction of each book thoroughly)
2. a) What is the author’s major hypothesis? Look up in a good dictionary what hypothesis means. You must underline what you assert to be the book’s hypothesis.
b) What kinds of evidence does the author use to support the hypothesis? There is a range of evidence in the development of any book. Authors use facts, figures, statistics, historical events, other research studies, etc. It is important to weigh and reflect on the evidence. Does this evidence help explain, support, clarify any assertions or claims that the author makes and why? Do not merely dismiss any evidence without justification and sound reasoning. Simply not liking a particular type of evidence does not make a book’s argument weak. You must demonstrate you have a stronger argument in support of your own judgments beyond mere opinion.
3) a) What are your objections/contrary views on any of the book’s principal arguments or propositions. Your objections should go beyond mere generalizations and must be supported with alternative evidence that you will analyze.
b) Are there other works by authors in the field? You must introduce and cite the works of four other authors (NOT WEBSITES) who have published (hardcopy publications) on the book’s subject. It is important that you justify your choice and use of these four authors. You must explain how and why their views and use of evidence are similar or different from those of the author of the book you are writing your review on.
c) As part of your development of element #3, you must assess the evidence used in the book as well. You must explain if the evidence is convincing or adequate and if the sources used in the book are found to be acceptable by other experts.
d) Determine if any of the book’s information or conclusion conflict with any other books you have read on the subject. How do you think this conflict can be resolved?
e) If you determine there is no use of the traditional sense of evidence in a book, explain if texplain your reasons.
4. You must end your critical research review with a persuasive conclusion that argues the book’s impact on you as a college scholar. You must state and explain your reasons for this impact. How has the book changed or influenced any ideas you had on the subject before you undertook this assignment. Explain your response with good reasons.
(Pointers # 2 and #3 are the “heart” of any critical research review. These areas must be well developed. Avoid the temptation to fill overwhelming biographical information on the author to the exclusion of the central arguments propositions underlying the author’s hypothesis and subject. You are reviewing the author’s work and the scholarship in his or her book, not his/her lifestyle. While pointer
#1 does require some information on the author’s biography and academic background, it is the subject of his/her book! And the biographical details must be made relevant to the overall purpose your writing of this review. What good is the author’s love of golf relevant to his or her books on Jim Crow? and his lack is in any way detrimental to the book’s hypothesis or not.