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Asking questions when reviewing books
What is the purpose?
- Informing the reader: What is being informed?
- Entertaining the reader: Is ths meant for entertainment purposes?
- Sharing information with the reader: What does the author share with the reader?
- Advertising/selling: Is the author trying to sell a product, service or similar concept?
- Advocacy: Is the author trying to influence views, beliefs, elections, pros/cons and more?
- Recruitment: Is the author trying to encourage membership?
- Current news & information: Is the reader providing updates?
- Questions such as these address the purpose of the page. The reader evaluates what the author purpose of the source?
- These are some examples of types of purposes authors present in articles.
Who is the Author?
- Is the author a government agency?
- Is the author an expert in this field?
- Where is the author employed?
- What else has he/she written?
- Has he/she won awards or honors?
- Is the author a higher education institution?
- Is the author an association?
- Is the author an individual?
What is the background of the author?
- Is there information on the authors background and can it be verified?
- Is the author qualified to speak on the subject being written?
- Questions such as these addresses if the content is correct or biased?
- bibliography lists are usually included to present supported research.
- References include primary sources (ex. journal articles)
- References include current books
- The citation style is clear and consistent.
Asking questions when reviewing books 2
What is the content?
- Is the page organized?
- Is the book relevant to the topic or subject of study?
- Is it well researched?
- Is it well written?
- Does the book cover the topic comprehensively, partially or is it an overview?
- What language is being used?
- Is the content biased (liberal, conservative, association/advocacy groups, businesses etc.?
- Questions such as these look at the content to allow the reader to evaluate if it is a reputable source?
- Who is the target audience (general audience, professionals, researchers)?
- These are a few questions readers need to ask.
How old is the content?
- When was the book published?
- Some content change over time such as healthcare. Health care today may be different from 5, 10, 15, 20, etc. years.
- Are there revised editions? APA revises their book. small changes can be seen from the 5th to 6th edition?
- Does the book answer part or all of y our questions?
- Is the book up to date with current research?
- Is it useful?
- Does it support or argue against an argument or main point of the page?
- Does it support arguments with evidence?
- Does it provide information that can be challenged and provide partial information?