SUMMARY OF THE CONTENTS OF THE BOOK.
Identify the title and author of the book.
Describe the book's
topic. Remain consistent with the author's intentions.
If you have
a personal evaluation or criticism, do not write them
into the review at this point. Instead, keep separate notes, and
save them for Part IV of the process.
of a Summary:
In his book The
Pagan Worship of Trees (Arbor, 1979), Miles Arbor investigates
the ancient practices of tree worship among numerous world cultures.
He cites a wide variety of examples of tree reverence, including Sumerian,
Babylonian, Druidic, and Native American. Included in his work is
a stunning examination of how and why such diverse cultures mirrored
one another's rituals.
IDENTIFYING THE AUTHOR'S MAIN THEME(S) OR THESIS
The author maintains that the pagan worship of trees has complemented
the development of today's most commonly accepted religious practices.
Moreover, he hypothesizes that the very foundation of such widely
acknowledged faiths, such as Christianity, is based almost entirely
upon tree worship.
The author summarizes the key elements necessary for a modern
audience to identify which practices among contemporary religions
reveal a direct connection to ancient tree worshipping rituals.
His agenda here is not to dishonor today's world faiths, but rather
to enrich our understanding of their heritage.
An author's goal or thesis typically appears in a book's "Introduction"
or "Preface." It is generally expressed in several sentences
or perhaps one or two paragraphs.
HOW EFFECTIVELY THE AUTHOR EXPRESSES GOALS OR SUPPORTS THE THESIS
WITH STRONG DETAILS AND EVIDENCE.
Has the author
accomplished his or her goals?
Has the author carefully supported the validity of the thesis?
Is the argument or position logical? Is the supporting evidence reasonable?
Sample Beginning of an Evaluation.
Miles Arbor has devoted
his career to comparative literature and the study of world mythology.
As professor emeritus at the University of Pine Mountain, he has written
over seventeen volumes focused exclusively on the human mythic connection
to the natural world. His meticulously researched The Pagan Worship
of Trees traces not only the historical milieu of each culture
examined, but also the anthropological significance of tree worship.
Citing the commentary of both literary as well as theological scholars,
Arbor offers his audience a well-balanced dialogue about our religious
past, present, and future.
PERSONAL CRITICAL REMARKS
These are the reviewer's
thoughts, comments, reactions, critiques, and/or opinions. They should
be stated objectively and based upon:
Individual observation and experience;
Logical analysis and evaluation; and
Interpretations from outside sources, such as secondary writing addressing
the same topic offered by the work under review.
Sample of Critical
book is a significant addition to the study of comparative mythology.
It investigates nearly all the significant pagan practices of tree worship
among some of the world's most prominent ancient cultures. Though dense
at times, Arbor manages to keep his language simple enough for the layman
to enjoy the complexities of pagan ritual. Filled with both senses of
humor and adventure, the book is non-threatening in its suggestion that
many of our contemporary religious rituals are in fact the vestigial proof
of pagan beliefs. If one wishes to understand clearly the roots of his
or her religion, The Pagan Worship of Trees will undoubtedly offer deep