4.Final Assignment: Critical Book Review 25%
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (New York: Random House, 2015)
Critical Book Review Due: Sunday April 26th by 11:59pm
You are to read Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me and use the below directions to write a critical book review of should be a minimum of five (5) to seven (7) typed double-spaced pages. You are to use either APA, MLA or Chicago citation style. Your paper should be 1-inch margins on each side and 12-point font, preferably Times New Roman. Please read your paper out loud to catch grammatical errors and please spell check. Upload the paper to eLearn as a Word document attachment.
Keep in mind that books are written to be believed but are most definitely subject to inquiry. This is what distinguishes a book review from a book report. The purpose of a review is not simply to report on the contents of a book, but rather to evaluate it and provide a critical commentary on its contents.
The format of your book review is as follows:
In your introduction: (one to two paragraphs)
Identify the book, the author, title, date and the place of publication. Give brief biographical information that supports the competency of the author’s ability to write the book. Then state the goal of the author for writing the book and why the author wrote on this specific subject? Explain in your opinion what contribution to your understanding of African women, intimacy and relationships does Some’ make? What questions do you have about this topic that the book attempts to address?
Brief summary: (a few paragraphs)
In the main body of your critical book review, you should begin by describing the content and organization of the book. What are the major chapters and themes? How is the book organized? Please do not get bogged down in details. This section is only intended to prepare you for the critical assessment that will follow.
Critical assessment: (several paragraphs)
Evaluate the book’s contribution to your understanding of the experiences of African men (and boys) as they navigate racism, community and relationships. What is valuable about the ideas offered within the reading? Identify the author’s central argument or his thesis. The thesis is not the topic of the book but the specific argument that he has made about the subject. Keep in mind, the author may state the thesis in the introduction, or sometimes in the conclusion. Knowing the main argument will help guide you through the rest of the book. Such knowledge requires you to step back from the mass of information to identify the larger themes. (The critical piece of the book review is based upon your concluding if in fact the author achieves his purpose.)
Review the book for the author’s perspective, point of view, or purpose. In what way does he substantiate, support, prove his thesis throughout the book? Give examples. Does the author present and refute opposing views? Cite specific examples from the book. Also, look at the author’s evidence–what sources did he use to support his point of view.
Conclusion: (last paragraph or two)
Is the book’s argument convincing? Does the author successfully prove his thesis? How valuable is this book to you? What are the strengths of the book? Is it well- organized and clearly written? Does the style or the content of the book recommend for a specific readership? To what extent did this book answer your questions? How important is it for students in an Africana male course to read this book?
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