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Attempt to summarize the authors thesis in a single sentence.
Who is the author, what is his or her background, how does the authors background affect his or her writing? Is the argument well supported, with good documentation or does it have contradictions? What is new or different about this book, or does it offer anything new?
Developing a good thesis is often the most difficult part of writing.
What happened, why is it interesting, why or how did it happen?
You might have to read the whole book in some cases to determine what the authors thesis is.
Watch out for transitions or verbs that imply proof. An historical book, paper or essay, such as a critical book review is an argument. Books such as Anthony Westons, A Rulebook for Arguments, or Trudy Goviers, A Practical Study of Argument, are very helpful if you are unsure of what an argument is.