Your review should be 5-7 pages in length, typed in Times New Roman font, double-spaced with 1” margins all around. The first paragraph of your review
should provide the author and title of the book under review. In this case Brad Gregory and Salvation at Stake. Full bibliographic information about the book
should follow in a footnote using the Chicago Manual of Style. You should acknowledge all citations or references to specific information or arguments from
Salvation at Stake with the page number in parentheses. Take extra time to proof-read your review. How to Structure Your Review
The Introduction: In addition to introducing the author and title of the book under review, the
first paragraph should contain a brief overview of the book. You should describe the subject
matter (What is the book about?) and provide any other necessary geographical and
chronological information (Where did the subject of the book happen? When did it happen?).
The centerpiece here should be a succinct statement of the author’s major theme.
The Book Summary (Part One of the Review): The first half of your review should contain a
well-crafted exposition of the author’s major thesis/theses. Consider the methods and sources
the author uses to prove these theses. If there is information about the author of the book that is
relevant to your review you can provide it here (e.g. any other studies the author has published, if
relevant). This first part is descriiptive, and it should not contain a critical evaluation of the book
(positive or negative). That comes later. Ask yourself: Am I allowing the author to speak for
her- or himself?
The Critical Evaluation (Part Two of the Review): In the second half you should present a
thoughtful critique of the book. How well does the author use his/her sources? Does he/she
successfully defend the theses? Does the evidence fully support the author’s conclusions? Are
there flaws in the author’s reasoning or in the book’s organization? Are there new approaches or
interpretations, or does the author present old information in new ways? Does the author explore
or acknowledge alternative interpretations? What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the
book? Who is the intended audience? Specialists? Students? The general public? With this
audience in mind, what value or use is the book? Be prepared to explain why you’ve judged the
book the way you have. A truly critical evaluation requires you to state and defend your
opinion. It is an egregious error – although it occurs quite often even in “scholarly” reviews – to
make judgmental statements about a book without presenting the evidence for those statements.
Conclusion: In a final paragraph, briefly summarize your assessment of the book