survival of the sickest summary and analysis
A book review has three objectives:
• Describing what the book is about
• Analyzing how the book tried to achieve its purpose
• Expressing your own opinion of the book
As you read the book, try to answer the following three questions:
1. What are the author’s objectives? What is he/she trying to prove? (These will often be stated in the introduction)
2. What kind of evidence/experience does the author use/have to prove his or her points?
3. Is the evidence convincing?
When you start writing your review, state the book’s main thesis and present some background information on the author.
Next, give a summary of the main points/sections of the book, quoting and paraphrasing key phrases from the author if necessary.
Finally, get to the heart of the matter—your opinion of the book. In this section, you can discuss several issues:
• How well has the book has achieved its goal
• What the book has left out
• How the book compares to others on the subject
• What specific points are well sustained and what is not convincing, and
• How does the content relates to you and your field
It is important to carefully distinguish your views from the author’s, so that you don’t confuse your reader.
Optionally, you may finish your review with a conclusion that ties together the issues raised in the review and provides a concise comment on the book.