For this paper, you will choose a book (from a list I will give you) and complete a review and analysis of the book. This is a research paper. Your conclusions will be based on:
Your reading of the book,
Experts’ reviews of the author and the book,
How others have interpreted the historical time and event.
1. Discuss the contents of the book:
-What thesis does the author argue (summarize this in a single sentence and then explain)?
-On what events or phenomena is the author focusing?
-What are the major points of the story?
-Discuss the author's arguments and evidence that support the thesis.
2. How do scholars and academics view the book? Use data bases to access authoritative information about your author and the book.
-Do you trust your author's qualifications? If you cannot find your author, indicate in your review the sources you consulted. Does the lack of biographical information cause you to question the author's qualifications for writing on this subject?
-How has the book been received by the academic community (as opposed to the Amazon.com or Oprah community)? Consult at least one academic review of the book from the data base and other library resources and discuss what the experts say about the book. Use a data base as opposed to Amazon.com, Borders.com or similar internet sites.
-Do not use the publisher's information that appears anywhere on/in the book. Let James Frey's experience speak for the honesty of publishers (Hint: Oprah made him cry).
3. How accurate, based on others’ treatment of the subject, is your book? This is the heart of your paper.
-Consult at two (2) other sources from the library or data base related to your book’s time period or thesis (one can be a general reference, such as an encyclopedia) and discuss your topic from this/these other perspectives.
-This section of your paper should add depth to the material you learned from the book – it should take you beyond what you read.
-If your book is very long or deals with multiple topics or time periods, choose the aspect that is most compelling to you to discuss.
-Use this information to determine if there are discrepancies or glaring omissions. How do you account for these differences and who do you trust most?
-Remember, this is not an English paper where you are analyzing the book. This is a history research paper. It is not designed to be your analysis of the thesis, but a historical analysis and extension of some aspect of the history addressed in the book
4. What is your opinion of the book? Is the author swayed by a definite
prejudice or bias? Is the thesis convincing? Has the author persuaded you to accept his/her point of view?
-Note: you are not doing original research, so failure to give citations within the paper is plagiarism. Be sure to use quotation marks and to cite any and all direct quotes, indirect quotes, and references. Be sure to clearly show where you have summarized your article.
-You may not use any Internet resources. Use either books or periodicals in print or in the college's data base.
-On a cover sheet state the title of the book, the author's name, the city in which the book was published, the name of the publisher, and the date of publication. This information is located on the title and copyright pages of every book.
-Anything by David McCullough
-Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (Pilgrims)
-In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick (tragedy of whaleship-cannibalism)
-Rough Crossings by Simon Schama (slaves promised freedom to help britian w/ american revolution)
-American Creation, Founding Brothers or His Excellency: George Washington all by Joseph Ellis
-The Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust
-Power, Faith and Fantasy: America and the Middle East by Michael B. Oren
-Ladies of Liberty of founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts
-Thirteen Moons (Fiction) by Charles Frazier (native americans and trail of tears)
-Mississippi in Africa by Alan Huffman (Slavery in deep south, creation of Liberia, ramifications)
-Dangerous Nation by Robert Kagan (Revisionist look at american foreign policy-through chapter 10)
-A people's history of the united states by Howard Zinn (through chapter 10)
-Team of Rivals: The political genius of Abraham Lincoln Doris Kearns Godwin
-The Crucible (Fiction) by Arthur Miller ( a play about Salem with trials)
by Thomas Paine
-Song Yet sung (Fiction) by James McBride (slavery on the eastern shore in 1850, the underground railroad)
-Mercy by Toni Morrison (indentured servitude/slavery in Maryland, New England 1680's or so)
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