Lu Hanchao. Beyond the Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century.
University of California Press: 2004. (Paperback). ISBN-13: 978-0520243781.
Read Beyond the Neon Lights in its entirety, then write a 750-900 word (no more, no less) book
review. The word limit includes all words: title, content, etc. This will be in the range of 2-3
pages double-spaced, but run word count to make sure it is within the limit. Do not go over or
under. When periodicals request book reviews they typically give a narrow range for the length.
Writing to a target range is an important life skill. It is essential when writing grant applications,
legal briefs, and many other types of job-related documents. You should first write substantially
more than 900 words, then cut your review down by eliminating less significant parts and
polishing phrasing. Type the total number of words at the end of your review.
Take notes on the book as you go, looking out for things that might be useful in your
Before you begin writing your review, please read the materials pasted below about how
to write books reviews (by Los Angeles Valley College). You do not have to follow all of this
advice, but think about it. Some cannot be easily applied to academic books. Feel free to read
more. There is a short bit in Rampolla (pp. 36-37 in 7th edition., 38-39 in 8th). It also would be
useful to go to the Writing Center, or look at some of their online writing advice. Here are other links:
• Stauffer Library. https://library.queensu.ca/help/guides , then click on “Writing a Book
How to Write a Book Review. Dalhousie University Libraries.
Writing Book Reports & Book Reviews. Internet Public Library.
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