� Identify the thesis of the whole book its main idea or ideas. Be sure to read the Preface or Introduction thats often where the author explains the thesis of the book most clearly.
� Explain the key evidence and arguments that support the thesis. Often, each chapter identifies a major sub-argument. Look at sub-headings, too dont miss obvious clues the author has provided.
� Avoid generalizations. That is, dont simply name the topics covered. If you find yourself writing phrases like then the author talks about, you are probably generalizing. Better to be writing that the author asserts/claims/argues/supports/refutes and so on.
� Be positive. Stick to whats in the book, try to appreciate the authors point of view, and save your assessment for the very end. Quote key passages if you feel that is useful.
� Provide page numbers frequently at least one in every paragraph! Use the MLA format, putting page references in parentheses so readers can keep track of where you are in the book as you summarize. The MLA style guide is accessible (with difficulty) through the Library website keep clicking on citing sources
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