Critical Review

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Name: _____________________________
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Critical Review
CHOOSE A BOOK FROM THE AP BIOLOGY SUMMER READING LIST ON THE BACK OF
THIS SHEET TO READ, THEN WRITE A CRITICAL REVIEW ON THE BOOK.
See attached informational sheet for help in writing the review. Also, use the scoring guide below to
help assist you in the correct production of the review.
The review is NOT a summary!! You will need to give an overview of the book, but the main purpose
of a critical review is to evaluate the effectiveness of the book. What did you like/not like about the
book? Did it effectively teach you something in an entertaining/understandable way?
Distinguished Proficient
(5 points)
(3 points)
1. Critical Review contains a summary of story and
discussion of major points in the work
2. Reviewer makes an assessment of the works strengths and
weaknesses
3. Special features of the work are described that either
enhance or diminish the work (font size, illustrations, etc.)
4. Interesting title that catches the attention of the reader
5. Conclusion ties the piece together, including the title
6. Review includes embedded statements
7. Reviewer discusses the style of the book (essay, narrative,
use of anecdotes) and justifies if it was helpful or not.
8. Review includes other references or sources about the
book
9. Variety of punctuation is used (semi colons, parentheses,
colons, etc.)
10. Variety of sentence structure is used
11. Rhetorical questions are used (must be answered within
article)
12. Literary devices are used (metaphors, similes)
13. Transitions between paragraphs are appropriately made
14. Review is personalized without using the words (I, me,
you, In my opinion, etc.)
15. Review does not contain contractions (won’t, can’t)
16. Piece has been reviewed by three other peers and/or
adults (This should be the final draft)
17. Piece is neatly typed in columns
18. Precise and/or rich language is used
19. Grammar errors are under control
20. Control of spelling, punctuation, and capitalization
21. The same tense is used throughout the entire piece
22. Length (2-6 pages) *Focus on quality not quantity.
Generally speaking…. It takes at least 2 pages to sufficiently
analyze these books. Be sure that most of the information
is the analysis…not just a big summary!!
Total Points: 110 points
Unsatisfactory
(0 points)
AP BIOLOGY SUMMER READING LIST
o The Beauty of the Beastly (Natalie Angier, 1996) (A book of essays
about organisms on which we don’t normally dwell)
o Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed (Patricia Cornwell,
2002)
o The Hot Zone (Richard Preston, 1995) (The frightening story of an
Ebola outbreak)
o Mutants: On genetic Variety and The Human Body, 2003) (Discusses
race and strange genetic conditions such as those of the ostrich-footed
people and conjoined twins)
o Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s Most Dangerous
Creatures (Carl Zimmer 2000)NF A thorough look at parasites.
o Rosalind Franklin:The Dark Lady of DNA (Brenda Maddox 2003)
o Darwin’s Ghost (Steve Jones, 2000) Modern examples of natural
selection. This is a modern version of, “The Origin of Species”, which
was written by Charles Darwin in the 1800’s.
o The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science that reveals our genetic
ancestry (Brian Sykes, 2001)
** Please email the review to me by August 1, 2013 at [email protected]
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