Critical book review on The World is Flat by. Thomas L. Friedman

PSC 116: Critical Book Review

Due april 14
Minimum of 5 pages, double spaced, 10-12 point font, 1 margins

Background: the purpose of a critical review is to analyze and evaluate a written work. In this sense, you are to judge the work based on its merit (or in some cases lack of merit). A critical book review is not the same as a book report. In fact a book review that merely summarizes the author s argument will receive a poor grade on the assignment.

Instructions and expectations:
This will be a critical analysis of the book the world is flat
Here are my expectations:

1) make an argument and state it concisely in your introduction in the form of a main thesis-you may bold or highlight this statement if you desire

2) write no more than 1 page providing a generalized summary of the book s contents-you must be able to synthesize the material concisely

3) if you need to cite outside materials, such as the textbook, please look at the example below (under citation style) and attach a works cited page
Textbook: James Lee Ray and Juliet Kaarbo 2008. Global Politics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 9th edition

4) proofread your paper-this requires more than just running spell check, proofreading requires you to actually check your grammar too

Failure to meet these expectations will result in a low grade regardless of the quality of writing. Papers will be due at the beginning of class on the due date. Late papers will be docked one letter grade for each day overdue.

In general a critical book review should try to answer the following questions (and not necessarily in this order):
Is the author qualified to write on this subject? In other words, how trustworthy is the author in making these types or arguments? (is he a quack or is he a reputable source?)
What are the author s central arguments?
Are the arguments logically consistent in the sense that the explanations easily follow from author s assumptions?
What evidence is used to support those arguments? Does the author use the evidence effectively and convincingly?
Is the book objective?
How does the book relate to other things you have learned, either in class or in others, regarding how international relations are shaped?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the book taking into account the arguments and the evidence?
What is your overall assessment of the book? Are you convinced by the arguments?

Below I list one helpful way to organize a review in light of these questions. However, please note that this outline is not the only way a critical book review can be organized and should only be viewed as a guide.
Generalized summary of the book s contents
Author s purpose and background-establishing the author s credentials (or lack of them)
A discussion of the book s main arguments
Discussion of the author s most important evidence
Evaluation of the use of evidence
As assessment of the book (are the arguments convincing?)
Final evaluation (was the book useful? Did u like the book?) that includes the reasons for this evaluation
You must make sure to discuss why you liked or disliked the book. Or why you thought the book was useful or not. This is a crucial part of the critical book review.