Write a critical review essay of Priya Satia’s book Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution. The essay should be 12 pt. font, double spaced and 5-6 pages long with one inch margins. You should “give credit where credit is due” using MLA style parenthetical citation. You are also required to cite your evidence. You are encouraged but not required to include outside research but no free web sources may be used in your paper.
As you plan your essay remember that a critical review essay must evaluate the quality of someone else’s argument. Your essay should include, in paragraph, essay form, but not necessarily in this order:
1. A title that reflects the thrust of your argument (centered at the top of your paper).
2. A full bibliographic reference for the work under review, in proper MLA style, immediately under your title (justified left).
3. An introduction that sets the scene. What does the reader need to know to understand the main point(s) of the book? Don’t assume that your reader has already read the book.
4. Your essay must identify the author’s thesis. Many writers do not state a clear thesis (or if they do, they do not make good on their promise set out at the beginning); therefore, you may have to figure it out yourself and state it in your own words. Sometimes, there may be three or four main points, not just one.
5. Your essay must identify not only the main claim of the book but also some of the reasons and evidence the author uses to support his/her argument.
6. Your essay must be organized as an argument that evaluates the work. It should reflect your thinking and not just the thinking of the author that you are reviewing. Be careful to distinguish between the two.
7. Your essay should use present tense when talking about the book (e.g. Gross argues, Gross writes, Gross thinks etc.) and past tense when you are talking about past events in history (the colonel collaborated with the Soviets, her neighbor hid from the Nazis, they said all the Jews must die etc.).
8. Your essay should evaluate the content of the book not its style. To this end, you might think about answering some or all of the following questions before you plan your essay. Does other information from other sources contradict the sources or evidence the author is using? Is the evidence relevant to the claims that he is making? Are there implicit or unstated assumptions that you might not agree with? What don’t you understand, and is this because you lack certain assumed knowledge or vocabulary or because the writer is unclear or her reasoning unsound?
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