Step 1: To familiarize yourself with the genre of the academic book review, read at least five book reviews that interest you in Review of Biblical Literature online at: http://www.bookreviews.org/
Step 2: With a focus on the arguments and main points, read Horsley’s, Bandits, Prophets and Messiahs.
Step 3: Write an academic book review of the book (in the form of an essay), which entails:
Explaining the main argument (or point) of the book and how the author builds up this argument in sub-arguments throughout the chapters.
Discussing the author’s methods (or approach) and use of evidence to support his points.
Providing a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the book. Does the author achieve what he set out to do? Is the argument convincing or not, and in what ways? What theoretical assumptions and/or value judgments influence the author’s reconstruction of history? Be sure to provide concrete examples (citing page numbers in parentheses) of the problems or strengths you discuss.
The review paper should have a clear thesis statement (concerning your evaluation of the book) which is supported throughout the paragraphs. The paper should be clearly written and structured with no spelling or grammatical errors. Be succinct and do not exceed the prescribed length.
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