History of African Americans II Fall 2017 Book Report
You have more than a month to complete your book report
. Use the first week to identify a title and locate the book. Please use the recommended list of books at the end of this document. Some of the books are available in public libraries. They can also be purchased online for a relatively reasonable amount.
Guidelines: Write a 5-7 page report/review (typed, double space) on one of the books listed at the end of this handout. Your report should include a brief summary (overview) of each chapter. As a general rule, do not simply copy information word for word from the book. Summarize the information. If you do quote the author, the following citation method is acceptable.
Example: According to Roy E. Finkenbine, “Over the past three and a half decades, the importance of African American history has become widely recognized (Finkenbine, p. vii).”
You can use the following set of additional guidelines:
The author, title, date, and place of publication should be placed at the top of the essay in the form of a bibliographic citation. For example, at the top of your paper, you should type:
Roy Finkenbine ed. Sources of the African American Past: Primary Sources in American History. New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004. *Be sure to use the title for your book.
This is simply an example. 2. Introduction: Introduce the book you are going to review. Here, you should also include information about the author’s goals. Why did he or she write the book? Why did he or she write on this specific subject? What contributions to our understanding of African American history did the author intend to make? 3. Overall Summary: In broad terms, what is the book about? How is the book organized? 4. Chapter summaries and assessment: Briefly summarize each chapter. How do the chapters fit into the broader theme of the book? In what ways does each chapter enhance our understanding of African American history?
You should also address the following items: a. Identify the author’s central argument or thesis. The thesis is not the topic of the book, but the specific argument that the author has made about his subject. Sometimes, this is clearly spelled out in the introduction. Knowing the main argument will help you better understand the rest of the book. b. After identifying the central thesis, discuss how each chapter fits (or does not fit) into the overall thesis. c. Identify the author’s perspective, point of view, or purpose.
Does the author have a specific emphasis (economic, social, political, or cultural)? Is the book informed by a religious or political ideology? If the book describes a conflict, does the author, either explicitly or subtly, favor one side over the other? d. What sources does the author use? Did he or she consult archival sources? Did he or she analyze speeches? Did he or she conduct interviews? Was the book a biography or an autobiography? If the book is a biography, does the author give too much praise or criticism? 5. Conclusion: Assess the organization and style of the book.Is it well-organized and clearly written? Does the style or content of the book recommend it to a specific readership? Offer a final evaluation of the book. How valuable is the book? How important is it to read the book? What stood out? What was the main lesson you learned? Does your main book, Freedom on My Mind, discuss the topic you read about for your report? How much more did you learn that was not included in the main textbook? Your reports must be typed, double-spaced, and must be 5-7 pages. Please do not simply copy information word for word. I am not looking for a full summary of each chapter, but an overview.