Margin, Restoring emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives By Richard A. Swenson M.D.
BOOK CRITIQUE INSTRUCTIONS For each of the Book Critiques (Harley, Swenson), read all of the assigned book chapters, then, address the following 3 sections in a 3–5-page, well-written paper:
Summary Summarize the themes, concepts, and principles of the book. Do not simply restate the contents of each chapter of section.
In the first section, identify the themes, concepts, and principles the author is presenting. Express these items in your own words and support them with parenthetical references where the material may be found in the text. Demonstrate that you have identified the themes, concepts, and or principles by expressing them clearly in your own words. Note: This must be accomplished in no more than 1–1.5 pages.
Critique Critique what you have read. Most students accomplish the second section well, but remember, your instructor is looking for more than simply, “I liked/disliked this text.” State your position on the text and support it well. If you agreed with the reading, say so, and provide support for your position. If you did not agree with the text, state that and support it equally as well. Here is an important aspect to remember: you must not state your position based upon another text. Your critique of a text must stand on the merits of the text alone. Note: This must be accomplished in no more than 2 pages.
Evaluation Evaluate the book’s value in its larger academic context. Simply state/show if and how the book contributes to the field of pastoral ministry. If you decide the text is beneficial, then once again, support your statement in tangible ways, and do the same if you take the reverse position. Note: This must be accomplished in one-half to 1 page in length.
Final notes: Pastors sometimes slip into what is called ‘sermonizing’ when writing academic assignments. Please avoid this. While it is perhaps second nature to slip in a mode of teaching and preaching, ‘sermonizing,’ and academic assignments do not go together. Always use spell check, and proofread your assignments before submitting.