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University of Toronto Mississauga • Department of Geography • WINTER 2016

GGR 333H5F Energy and Society


 Instructor: Pierre Desrochers


 Lectures: Tuesday, 3-5PM


 Phone: (905) 828-5206

 Office: Davis Building, room 3273


 Lecture room: CC 2130




Review Essay

Detailed instructions

The first thing to do is to look up the Review Essay Evaluation Sheet (PDF document).

It will tell you exactly what I am looking for in your paper and how it will be graded. Please read it carefully, try to address each point and don’t forget to include it with your review essay. This is not only an evaluation sheet, but also an instruction sheet.

In short, 2 sections of roughly equal length

Section 1: Summary

Who is the author?
What is the book about?
Where does it “fit” into the literature? (In other words, why was the book written? Is the author answering someone else's book? Is he/she part of a larger debate?)
What are the main arguments?
(Don’t use too many quotes.)

Section 2: Critical analysis

What do you think (don’t criticize for its own sake)?
Build upon the argumentation 
    Summarized earlier
    Book reviews 
    Other sources (you are expected to be familiar with all the relevant suggested readings). 

At the end of your review essay, include the following 3 attachments

Appendix 1: Marked Proposal
Appendix 2: 4 Printed Book Reviews (to clarify, I want the whole review, not just the reference)
Appendix 3: Review Essay Evaluation Sheet (identified)

Other considerations

It is acceptable to use the "I" form in a review essay.
You can use whatever referencing style you like as long as you are consistent.
You can suggest a change of topic up to, but no longer than, 4 weeks before the final deadline.
Please note that you have all semester to write your assignment. No extra delay will therefore be given with the exception of a documented
  sickness that might prevent you from delivering your assignment on time.

How do I choose a book for the review essay?

UofT libraries are among the best in North America. Select a topic and see what’s there.
Look up the links listed on my website.
You really don’t have a clue: Talk to me during my office hours (and don’t wait too long)

My advice:

Choose an interesting topic rather than shorter book
Look up more than 1 book before making up your mind
Single-authored books are usually more coherent and easier to review
It is easier to be critical when you disagree with the author.

Locating reviews written by experts

Finding book reviews:

University of Toronto Libraries (Click on "Book Reviews Research Guide")

Book Reviews – Humanities and Social Sciences

Book Reviews – Sciences

Read the instructions for each database carefully. The UTL personnel have gone to great length to help facilitate your use of these resources.

Not all indexes provide direct links with the journals in which you will find the book reviews. You might have to go back to the UTL Website and look up the catalogue to find the issue of the journal in which the book review was published.

Some advice on research and writing

The University of Toronto Mississauga Library staff has compiled  several links on researching and writing term papers. Look them up.

Some additional advice from Professor Daniel Drezner of Tufts University
On writing a paper / On researching a paper

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