To complete this assignment, you will need to select a book relevant to the historical period we are studying in class, Out of the following:
–Black Americans In World War ll by: A.Russel Buchanan (D 810.N4 B82)
–The Cambridge Companion To MALCOLM X by: Robert E. Terrill (BP 223.Z8 X1825)
–Black Nationalism in American Politics and Thought by: Dean E. Robinson (E 185.61.R679)
–Black Americans in the Roosevelt Era by: John B. Kirby (E 185.6 K548)
The topic can be anything you choose within this framework, so choose something of interest to you personally- it may be about an event, a time period, a person, an organization, a profession, etc. The book must also be an academic type of history text (titles published by university presses are generally a good bet). No diaries, memoirs, or autobiographies and also, no children’s books, picture histories, etc. The purpose of the assignment is for you to a) experience how historians work and how history is written and b) apply the analytical skills and historical knowledge you have acquired in the course. To ensure that you select a proper book for the assignment, I will need to approve of it. When you have a selection, or even several possible selections, please email me with the author and title of the book(s). You will then submit your choice of book as a bibliographic entry in Chicago Style no later than December 4 at 11:59 p.m.
See http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/03/ “corresponding bibliographic entry” for an example of how to do a proper bibliographic entry.
Note: If you have trouble finding or selecting a book, please email me for suggestions.
Your review should be from 3-5 pages long, typed in 12 pt. font, one inch margins, and double-spaced. Your name and course number and section should go in the header in the top right hand corner. The first line of you review should begin with the bibliographic citation of your work that you submitted earlier.
The review will include four elements. First, an introductory paragraph or two should introduce the book, a brief biography of the author (where available), and the main topics, themes, and thesis of the work. Part two will consist of a chapter by chapter summary of the work in enough detail that the content and theme of the chapters is apparent. However, this section should not constitute more than 50% of your review. If your book is comprised of a significant amount of small chapters, it is acceptable to group them together in your summary. Often, books with many chapters are subdivided in sections, so it would be appropriate to summarize the sections rather than the individual chapters. Part three will consist of your analysis of the work.
This is where you add your voice and thought process to the review. Did you like the book? Was it well- written? What were it strengths and weaknesses? Were the main arguments convincing or not? Did the author not cover something you felt was important? Also discuss how the book enhanced your understanding of U.S. History and the period/topic you studied. Finally, a conclusion should be added that sums up the work and your feelings about it in a brief and general fashion.
Included in the course content is a short article entitled “How to Write a Book Review.” If you have never done one before (and even if you have!), then it is well worth your while to read this article and take the author’s suggestions on board- it forms the basis for how I will be grading your assignments.
The Book reviews will be graded as follows: correctly formatted according to the instructions (5 pts.), of appropriate length (5 pts.), correctness of spelling and grammar (10 pts.), clarity of writing and ideas (10 pts.), and correctness of content (20 pts.). You will not be graded on the opinions and/or feelings you express about the work, or your assessment of the work. In grading the content, I will be looking for the following things: did you clearly identify the thesis and themes of the work? Did you summarize the contents clearly enough that I can discern the shape and scope of the work? Were your assessments rationally made?
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