What were the authors intention in writing the book? (What was the director/producers intention in making the movie?) To what degree did he or she accomplish that goal?
A paragraph or two should be devoted to describing the contents of the book/movie. Don’t spend a great deal of time summarizing.
How persuasive is the argument or the main ideas of the book or movie? How does the argument or main idea of the book/movie enhance our understanding of the topic that the author/director is covering?
Make sure you establish some context for your review with a brief introduction and a good conclusion that summarizes your basic assessment of the book/movie.
Spend a paragraph writing a brief bio of the author/director or producer of the books and films. Something about the author/director or producer (a paragraph) is necessary for your reader to understand the expertise, biases, and interests of the person responsible for the work.
Would you recommend the book or movie to a friend who likes history? How about someone who doesn’t read much history?
Is there something the movies or books missed? Is there something you would have added or perhaps even taken out?