This analytical book report will critically examine an important scholarly book covering some aspect of United States history up to 1877. The purpose of this report is twofold: first to acquaint the student with a classic volume of historical scholarship and second, to allow the student to think critically and comparatively about an important facet of American history while organizing thoughts in clear, cogent prose. The student should not view this assignment simply as a hurdle to overcome in order to earn the grade of “B”, but rather approach it as an opportunity to expand creative thinking and writing, two very important aspects of any individual’s life skills.
Each book report will be approximately 1500 words long, typewritten or word processed, although this length is a general guideline and not an absolute requirement. The main objective of this analytical book report is to comprehensively cover the three sections of the following book report outline:
Part I: This is a brief outline of the essence of the book. In the space of two or three paragraphs you should be able to convey the parameters of the book’s contents.
Part II: Here is the place for a careful summary of the author’s thesis. The thesis is the primary idea the author is trying to prove and convince the reader to accept as valid. You must first identify the thesis and then show how the author either substantiates or fails to substantiate these theses. You should quote portions of the book in order to answer this part of the report. This will undoubtedly take you a page or two in order to do a good job.
Part III: This is your personal evaluation of the book and is the MOST important part of the analytical book report. Here is where you describe your reaction to the book and put its contents in a comparative perspective with your textbook. Some of the questions you must answer include: Do you agree or disagree with the book’s conclusions? Why or why not? Did the book support or contradict what you read in your textbook on the same subject? (You MUST quote some of the relevant passages in both books to support your conclusion for this question.) How, in your opinion, could the book have been improved? You must be specific and keep in mind there are NO perfect books. What was the author’s background and why did he or she write the book? Did you enjoy reading the book? Why or why not? Would you recommend it to others?
This book report will be graded “ACCEPTED” or “NOT ACCEPTED”. If you submit your book report before the deadline date in the syllabus (May 7, 2013) and it is graded “NOT ACCEPTED”, you may rewrite it and resubmit it prior to the deadline date. NO ANALYTICAL BOOK REPORT WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DEADLINE!
The A-Level Objective is a term paper.
This term paper provides an opportunity for the student to examine, in depth, one specific event, topic, or person in American History up to 1877. It will enable the student to research an area of personal interest, define an specific area of particular significance for further research, and then present the results in a well-written research paper. General Requirements:
1. The student must select the topic of the term paper in consultation with the Professor by the date specified in the syllabus—January 29, 2013. This ensures a prompt start and a workable topic. In the past, students have proposed topics that combined the subject of their major with local events or institutions. Therefore, if you are enrolled as a student in pre-law, nursing, engineering, or business, among many other disciplines, you can chose a topic that would pertain to your interest. The idea is to involve you with a topic that will be of benefit to your chosen career, and allow you to become familiar with sources of information that are available.
2. The paper will be approximately 1500 to 2000 words long. This translates into six to eight double-spaced, typewritten or word-processed pages. The Professor must approve exceptions to these limits before the paper is submitted.
3. The term paper must include at least THREE primary sources and THREE secondary sources. A primary source is something written by an individual who lived at the time and took part in the event being described. Primary sources usually take the form of letters, diaries, journals, newspapers, government documents, and autobiographies. Secondary sources are books and articles written at a later time, usually by historians who were not participants in the event. No term paper will be accepted unless it contains the requisite number of primary and secondary sources. If you have a question about a source, be sure to ask the Professor.
4. Consult the Professor for direction in finding your sources. Austin has numerous libraries and depositories including the University of Texas General Libraries, the Benson Latin American Collection, the Barker Texas History Center, the Travis County Collection of the Austin Public Library, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, and many others all in addition to the resources available at ACC. Your Professor will be most helpful in guiding you to the appropriate sources.
5. Notes are required in the term paper. Modern Language Association Style Sheet, The University of Chicago Manual of Style, and Kate Turabian A Manual for Writers, located in the ACC libraries, are but only three of the manuals available. Notes are mandatory for both direct quotations AND information you use from other sources.
6. A bibliography is also required. The form can be found in any of the above manuals.
7. The term paper must be formatted as a double-spaced standard letter-size document. Several ACC campuses (Cypress Creek, Eastview, Northridge, Pinnacle, Rio Grande, Riverside, and South Austin) have Computer Based Instruction labs where you can do your term paper, if you cannot do it at home.
8. Any form of scholastic dishonesty, especially plagiarism, in the production of this term paper or in any other part of the course will NOT be tolerated! The student will receive the grade of “F” for this course and be reported to the proper ACC authorities for further disciplinary action.
9. If you have any questions concerning the term paper at any point in the process, be sure to contact the Professor.
This term paper will be graded “Accepted” or “Not Accepted.” If you submit your term paper before the deadline date in the syllabus (may 7, 2013) and is graded “Not Accepted,” you may rewrite it and resubmit it prior to the deadline date.