Book Critique Instructions

The goal of this assignment is for you to explore the unique relational dynamics of the formation of Blended Families. The Deal textbook is not necessarily a graduate-level text, but it provides you, as a graduate student, with opportunity to explore this dynamic from the end user perspective. This book is written to the couple themselves and is presented in a basic, approachable way. Your task is to write a critique of the text from a graduate-level perspective. You will do this by analyzing the material from 3 points of view: (1) summarize the key ideas in the book, (2) discuss the potential for its use for Christian premarital couples, (3) critique at least 2 ideas in the book from a studied, theological perspective.

The paper must be 5–7 pages (not including a title and reference page) and must be written entirely in third person (no personal reflection such as “I think” or “I knew this couple…”). Section headings must be used to clearly show each of the areas addressed. Each section must address the following:

Summary – This must be a well-written summary of the entire book. Make sure that you cite the text at least once and address the key ideas presented in the text. This must not be a narrative of the table of contents but must show a real understanding of the concepts being discussed. A good way to approach this is to take notes and to highlight the key ideas as you read the book. Then, create an outline of the main ideas so that, when you write the summary, you are sure to address the concepts, not just the chapter titles. Avoid writing things like “the book is broken down into 10 chapters. Chapter One says…” A better approach is to identify the major ideas and to explain what the author is suggesting. Chapter and section titles are irrelevant to a summary.

Potential Use for Christian Couples – This section focuses on how the book’s content would be valuable (or not) to premarital couples in the church. You get to add some opinion here, but it must still be written in third person. For information on integrating opinion statements in third person, you may want to use resources from the Online Writing Center.

Critique – A critique is not necessarily negative. You may agree or disagree with a point, but, to critique it, you must break it down and discuss its value in relation to other ideas. For example, if you think that the author’s ideas on the fears of children being an important factor in dating are wrong, you must explain what the author is suggesting and develop your ideas on why you disagree. Pick 2 ideas from the book and support them with scholarly references.

This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 7.

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