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How to Write a Book Review - Cedarburg School District

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Dear Parent/Guardian,
After reading the book review directions, expectations and due dates for Anthem, please sign below and return. If you have any questions concerning the book review please e-mail me and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Handed out in class:
Book Review Description and Expectations sheet
Book Review Rubric (to be stapled to top of Final Book Review)
A Book Review is Not a Book Report (3 pages)
Cover for My Anthem
The Reading Guides
CHS Global Studies Teachers
In signing below, I am acknowledging that I have read over the book review directions, expectations, and due dates for Anthem and have discussed them with my parent/s.
Student name (Please print)
Signature of Student
In signing below, I am acknowledging that I have read over the book review directions, expectations, and due dates for Anthem and have discussed them with my daughter/son.
Signature of Parent/Guardian
Global Studies
Book Review
For your semester book review, you will be reading the book "Anthem" written by Ayn Rand. Each student will sign out a book and be expected to return it in the condition in which it was received. Throughout the process of reading this novel the students will be assigned questions to answer. These questions will and can act as a guide in helping them complete their final product, which is a review of the book. The book review will be due on December 10th.
1. Students will be expected to see the writing center specialist with a typed, completed rough draft before handing in a final draft.
2. Papers will be typed. Non-typed papers will not be accepted.
3. Final draft will be collected during class Monday, December, 16th (drop 4). 4. Late one day (Tuesday, December 17th) will be a loss of 20% points and every school day after will be an additional 20% point deduction. This means the assignment must be completed before Winter break (20th) for the minimum credit of a 20%.
5. No Title Page is needed.
* Follow the CHS MLA Manual (page 5) for page 1 heading which includes information such as your name, instructor, class, date, and an original title.
6. Use MLA page number formatting per the Manual (page 6).
Formatting (rule of thumb for future papers as well)
* Margins will be 1" all around* Size 12* Double spacing* Times New Roman font
7. At the end of your paper, you will create a Work Cited or Bibliography page. Please follow CHS MLA Manual for correct formatting for the citation of sources within the text and at the end of your paper.
8. Students are asked to complete 12 journal entrees entitled My Anthem. Follow the directions on the cover given out in class. The prompts can be found on my Global Studies Website. Only print off the ones you want to complete. This journal will be due November 27th (half day). If you are leaving for Thanksgiving weekend early, turn in BEFORE you leave for Thanksgiving.
9. Reading Guides will be filled out and handed in for a grade. There are about 90 pages in the small paperback handed out in class. Many students in the past have finished the book in three days or less. However, a minimum pacing expectation for this book is 10 pages a day. Students will be given some time to read in class, but the expectation is that students are reading Anthem outside of the classroom.
Chapter 1 (pgs 17-37) done reading by Friday Nov 8th. Reading Guides due Monday Nov 11th (drop 3).
Chapters 2-5 (pgs 38-62) done reading by Monday Nov 11th. Reading Guides due Wednesday Nov 13th (drop 5).
Chapters 6-8 (pgs 63-80) done reading by Thursday Nov 14th. Reading Guides due Monday Nov 18th (drop 4).
Chapters 9-12 (pgs 81-105) done reading by Tuesday Nov 19th. Reading Guides due Thursday Nov 21th (drop 3).
This leaves just over two (2) weeks to complete the Book Review.... Due Monday Dec 16th (drop 4).
Due to the CHS drop schedule, these dates may be modified by your teacher.
Global StudiesName ____________________________
Book Review
(Major Assessment)
This is your rubric for your Book Review. Fill in the Student Evaluation and staple to the top of your Final Book Review.
CategoryStudent EvaluationExcellentSatisfactoryNeeds WorkRough Draft seen by Writing Center
(have reviewer sign/stamp HERE)
Writing Specialist
Parent Review
No ReviewPaper communicates well with the audience (writing style, flow, grammar)
1-0Introduction - Well developed including a thesis statement that is clear and concise.
1-0Body - Complete, concise, and accurate summary of the book detailing Equality 7-2521's quest for individuality. A discussion of what was learned from the book in terms of history and culture. Critical evaluation of the novel is supported with evidence. (5 points for each)
7-0Conclusion - Accurately summarizes the book review and restates the thesis.
1-0All paragraphs (except the introduction and conclusion) Include:
* clear, concise, and relevant topic sentences
* clear, concise and relevant concluding sentences
* supporting detail that draws on specific examples from the book
5-0Typed, 10-12 inch font, double spaced, 1 inch margins, and proper MLA headings.
Total out of 50
A Book Review is NOT a Book Report
How to Write a Book Review
A book review is a description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling. It should focus on the book's purpose, content, and authority. A critical book review is not a book report or a summary. It is a reaction paper in which strengths and weaknesses of the material are analyzed. It should include a statement of what the author has tried to do, evaluate how well (in the opinion of the reviewer) the author has succeeded, and presents evidence to support this evaluation.
Before You Read
Many of you may want to jump right into the story as it begins on page 17. However, there is important information that may help you in writing a Book Review located in the preface, introduction and at the back of the book. Before you begin to read, consider the elements you will need to be included in your Book Review. The following items may help:
* Author: Who is the author? What else has s/he written? Has this author won any awards? What is the author's typical style? This information could be in the front, back, inside cover, or on the outside back cover of the book.
* Genre: What type of book is this: fiction, nonfiction, romance, poetry, youth fiction, etc.? Who is the intended audience for this work? What is the purpose of the work?
* Title: Where does the title fit in? How is it applied in the work? Does it adequately encapsulate the message of the text? Is it interesting? Uninteresting?
* Preface/Introduction/Table of Contents: Does the author provide any revealing information about the text in the preface/introduction? Does a "guest author" provide the introduction? What judgments or preconceptions do the author and/or "guest author" provide? How is the book arranged: sections, chapters?
* Book Jacket/Cover/Printing: Book jackets are like mini-reviews. Does the book jacket provide any interesting details or spark your interest in some way? Are there pictures, maps, or graphs? Do the binding, page cut, or typescript contribute or take away from the work?
It may help to write some notes prior to reading:
As You Read
As you read, determine how you will structure the summary portion or background structure of your review. Be ready to take notes on the book's key points, characters, and/or themes.
* Characters: Are there characters in the work? Who are the principal characters? How do they affect the story? Do you empathize with them?
* Themes/Motifs/Style: What themes or motifs stand out? How do they contribute to the work? Are they effective or not? How would you describe this author's particular style? Is it accessible to all readers or just some?
* Argument: How is the work's argument set up? What support does the author give for her/findings? Does the work fulfill its purpose/support its argument?
* Key Ideas: What is the main idea of the work? What makes it good, different, or groundbreaking?
* Quotes: What quotes stand out? How can you demonstrate the author's talent or the feel of the book through a quote?
Notes While Reading:
When You Are Ready to Write Your Book Review
Begin with a short summary or background of the work, but do not give too much away. The final portion of your review will detail your opinion of the work. When you are ready to begin your review, consider the following:
* Establish a Background, Remember your Audience: Remember that your audience has not read the work; with this in mind, be sure to introduce characters and principals carefully and deliberately. What kind of summary can you provide of the main points or main characters that will help your readers gauge their interest? Does the author's text adequately reach the intended audience? Will some readers be lost or find the text too easy?
* Minor principals/characters: Deal only with the most pressing issues in the book. You will not be able to cover every character or idea. What principals/characters did you agree or disagree with? What other things might the author have researched or considered?
* Organize: The purpose of the review is to critically evaluate the text, not just inform the readers about it. Leave plenty room for your evaluation by ensuring that your summary is brief. Determine what kind of balance to strike between your summary information and your evaluation. If you are writing your review for a class, ask your instructor. Often the ratio is half and half.
* Your Evaluation: Choose one or a few points to discuss about the book. What worked well for you? How does this work compare with others by the same author or other books in the same genre? What major themes, motifs, or terms does the book introduce, and how effective are they? Did the book appeal to you on an emotional or logical way?
Anthem Reading Guides
Ayn Rand is the author of Anthem. She wrote thirteen other books that have sold more than twenty million copies worldwide. Two of her other famous books are Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead. Ayn Rand was born Alice Rosenbaum in 1905 in St. Petersburg as revolutions were sweeping the impoverished countryside. In the wake of the massacre known as "Bloody Sunday," enraged and starving peasants burned manor houses and crops. Ayn Rand grew up amid the chaos of the Russian Revolution. Ayn Rand looked into the collective eyes of the new Russian (soviet) state and saw the oppressive black hole of collectivism. She wrote the original version of Anthem in 1937. The book is a fictional look at the future when collectivism has been developed into what she considers its most logical extension--totalitarianism. This can be defined as "a state or government which controls all aspects of human activity, tolerates no competition, and demands absolute loyalty, not just passive obedience." Characteristics of totalitarianism: * militaristic * authoritarian; moving towards total control * tightly organized * intolerant of deviation from ruling position * national values and racial or ethnic identity * vision of organic society--the individual is a mere component and is expendable Five tools of totalitarianism: * single party unity * use and manipulation of mass communication * economic planning and control * armed force for internal and external use * official revolutionary ideology It is almost impossible to find a neutral reaction from a reader of this book and other works of Ayn Rand. Most people take a strong stand for or against what she says and represents. Her biographer, Barbara Braden, says "She is viewed as a goddess and as a malefactor, as a seminal genius and an ominously dangerous corrupter of the young, as the mightiest of voices for reason and the destroyer of traditional values, as the espouser of joy and the exponent of mindless greed, as the great defender of freedom and the introduction of malevolent values into the mainstream of American thought."
Directions: The following questions are designed to guide you through Anthem. After completing it, you should have a thorough understanding of the main points of the novel and Rand's overall view of totalitarianism. Global StudiesDate Due: _______________Name ____________________________
Chapter 1 (pp. 17-37)
1. What do the laws of this society say about writing? 2. List four other laws of this society.
3.What is the name of the person telling the story? 4. What is the body of all truth? 5. What is the "Great Truth?" 6. How was Equality 7-2521 guilty of the "Great Transgression of Preference?" 7. What did the Council of Vocations assign to Equality of 7-2521 as his life mandate? 8. What happens at age 40?
9. Why was International 4-8818 sent to the Home of the Street Sweepers? 10. Why did International 4-8818 say it was forbidden to enter the "hole" even if the Council did not know it? 11. Why did International 4-8818 go along with Equality 7-2521 and not report the hole to the Council?
12. How did Equality 7-2521 secretly visit the hole? 13. For what purposes did Equality 7-2521 use the hole?
Global StudiesDate Due: _______________Name ____________________________
Chapters 2-5 (pp. 37-62)
1. Why did Equality 7-2521 dare not speak Liberty 5-3000's name aloud?
2. How did Equality 7-2521 meet Liberty 5-3000?
3. What is Equality 7-2521's second Transgression of Preference? 4. Who is the "Golden One?" 5. How do Liberty 5-3000 and Equality 7-2521 feel about each other?
6. What emotion does Equality 7-2521 not feel when he is in the tunnel? 7. What is the "Uncharted Forest?"
8. What were the "Unmentionable Times?" 9. Who are the "Evil Ones?" 10. What was the "Great Rebirth?" 11. What is the "Unspeakable Word?" 12. What did Equality 7-2521 think about the Transgressor who spoke the Unspeakable Word? 13. What "new power" of nature did Equality 7-2521 discover? 14. Who is the Unconquered and how did he get his name? 15. What is the "glass box" that Equality 7-2521 built? 16. What does he plan to do with the glass box and why?
Global StudiesDate Due: _______________Name ____________________________
Chapters 6-8 (pp. 63-80)
1. Why has Equality 7-2521 not written for 30 days? 2. Why was Equality 7-2521 sent to the Palace of Corrective Detention?
3. Briefly describe what happened to Equality 7-2521 at the Palace of Detention.
4. How did Equality 7-2521 escape from the Palace of Corrective Detention? 5. Why did he feel he must escape at this time? 6. Collective 0-0009 said of Equality 7-2521's discovery, "What is not thought by ___ men cannot be ___. " Then International 1-5537 said, "What is not done ___ cannot be ___." ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________
7. Why did Harmony 9-2642 object to Equality 7-2521's discovery? 8. Why did Unanimity 2-9913 object to Equality 7-2521's discovery? 9. Why did Similarity 5-0306 object to Equality 7-2521's discovery?
10. Why was Equality 7-2521 not worried about the authorities pursuing him when he fled into the forest? 11. What did Equality 7-2521 mean when he said, "We are old now, yet we were young this morning"?
12. Why did Equality 7-2521 think his first meal in the forest was so satisfying?
13. What did Equality 7-2521 see in the stream for the first time?
Global StudiesDate Due: _______________Name ____________________________
Chapters 9-12 (pp. 81-105)
1. Why did the Golden One have a difficult time expressing her feelings about love? 2. What caused the white flame? 3. According to Equality 7-2521, what are the "three holy words"? 4. What does Equality 7-2521 think is his greatest treasure? 5. According to Equality 7-2521, what is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages? 6. According to Equality 7-2521 what word will grant men joy, peace, and pride? 7. What is Equality 7-2521's new name? 8. What is the Golden One's new name? 9. What will Equality 7-2521 use to fight the brute force of his enemies? 10. Why does Equality 7-2521 plan to return to the cursed City of his birth? 11. According to Prometheus, "a man has rights which neither ____ nor ____ nor other ____ can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of ____, and there is no right on Earth above his right." ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________
12. What is Prometheus going to cut into stone over the portals of his fort and use as his beacon and banner? 13. Not in book, Anthem: Questions 11 and 12 reflect the philosophy of what great thinker/writer?
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