Textual Analysis of Ralph Nader’s The Seventeen Traditions
Your review is an evaluation that should tell the reader not only what the book contains and attempts to achieve but also what reactions it evokes in you and what use it can be for you and readers. It must be objective in presenting what the book says, but it must also discuss your personal responses to the ideas in it.
To let the reader know what book you are writing about, begin the review with a bibliographic entry. The common format for this information is as follows:
Title. Author. Place of Publication: Publisher, date of publication. Number of pages.
• The first time you mention the book in the review, you should repeat the author and the title so that the reader does not have to refer back to the bibliographic entry at the beginning.
• Write an introduction or an opening paragraph that is a direct statement about the kind of book you are reviewing and its main topic – followed by a few words of evaluation. If this book raises some questions that you will explore later, you may briefly outline them here but avoid listing. This brief opening paragraph lets the reader know what direction your review will take, so state your evaluation. (one paragraph)
• In the remaining section of the review, you are free to carry on the discussion or evaluation of the book in a variety of ways. Consider the following questions: How well has the book achieved its goal or purpose? What other possibilities are suggested by the writer’s conclusions? Do you agree or disagree with some or all of his specific points? Did it suggest some connections between your experiences and its observations? Were you impressed by his writing style? What contributed to your enjoyment or lack of it in this book? What has the book left out? Use these questions to think about these aspects and write your commentary, pointing out the strengths or weaknesses of the book. Use personal tie-in and SEC strategies for developing and supporting discussion of your ideas or insights about the book. For your discussion in this section of the paper, you can select 4-5 ideas from Nader’s book. Your discussion of each idea can use Personal Tie-in and SEC strategies for development and support. (4-5 paragraphs).
In particular, write a closing paragraph discussing the relevance of one of the ideas for effective communication in the workplace.
• Avoid summarizing the ideas of the book.
Use present tense in referring to the author and the book: “the author states” instead of “the author stated;” “the book contains” instead of “the text contained.”
• It is important to distinguish between the ideas of the author and those of the reviewer. Be careful to label (Aldous Huxley continues…; this reviewer believes…; I believe) your sentences wherever appropriate so that your ideas are separate from the author’s ideas. Confusion between the two considerably weakens your review for the reader.