4MAT Book Review Instructions
Please use the following format in preparing 4-MAT Book Reviews:
- Abstract. Summarize what you have read into 300 words (1 page). Prove you comprehend the readings by writing a thoughtful summary. The abstract is not a commentary or listing of topics but rather an objective summary of major themes from the reader’s viewpoint. Use third person to retain objectivity. Abstract equals an overview of contents. This section should include a minimum of 2 footnotes to the text being reviewed.
- Concrete Response. Be vulnerable. In no less than 150 words and no more than 1 page, relate a personal life experience that this book triggered in your memory. Relate your story in first person, describing action, and quoting exact words you remember hearing or saying. In the teaching style of Jesus, this is a do-it-yourself parable, case study, confession. You will remember almost nothing you have read unless you make this critical, personal connection. What video memory began to roll? This is your chance to tell your story and make new ideas your own.
- Reflection. This is the critical thinking part of the review (not critical in the sense of negative, but in the sense of questioning). In no less than 150 words and no more than 1 page, describe what questions are raised for you in response to what you have read. Keep a rough-note sheet at hand as you read. Out smart the author by asking better questions than he/she raised in the book. Tell how the author could have made the book better or more appealing to those in your field of service. One way to begin this section is by stating what bothered you most about the book. This is not a place to provide an endorsement or affirmation of the book. This should be an objective, fair evaluation of the text. Use third person to retain the objectivity.
- Action. So what are you going to do about it? In 2-3 pages, provide at least 3 action steps that describe what actions or changes you are going to make in your life, ministry, and/or work as a result of your reading. Action steps should be measurable and reveal a commitment to specific time, specific people, and identified steps.
- Please provide a Turabian style* title page, pagination, footnotes, and Bibliography.
*Please contact the instructor to ask permission to use an alternate format style.
Total: 5–6 pages
Submit each 4Mat Book Review by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the module/week in which it is assigned.
By David Wheeler