Book Review Assignment

To hear the lecture, click here.

Learn by writing

Use your own words, not quotes

Focus on a key idea. Do not summarize the entire book.

It's about the idea, not about you. I don't care whether you would recommend the book or not, whether you like the book or not. I care about how you evaluate the central idea.

Discuss objections to the author's idea. How does the author deal with objections? Are there some objections that the author fails to address?

Grading Criteria

50 percent content--demonstrate that you grasp an important idea, understand objections to the idea, understand the author's defense of the idea; explain its importance in economic issues, such as the standard of living

30 percent organization--the book review should be planned, not written stream-of-consciousness. I strongly recommend writing an outline before you write your review. For example, if one were reviewing Learning Economics (not eligible for this assignment), an outline might read:

  1. A central idea is the relationship between progress and displacement--that improvements in the standard of living come from innovations that lead to old production methods being discarded
  2. Examples of progress--flour, longevity, Moore's Law, wireless Internet
  3. Examples of displacement--manufacturing workers, record stores, newspapers
  4. Objections--environmental issues, outsourcing, money vs. happiness
  5. Other possible objections--inequality, loss of way of life
  6. Role of government: protects incumbents
  7. Conclusion

20 percent clarity of writing--sentence flow, word usage, grammar