The total length should be approximately 5 typed, double-spaced pages (minimum), standard font (12-point or -pitch), with standard margins of 1 inch on all sides. (I know all the tricks.) Please use both upper and lower case letters! Do not feel limited to 5 pages feel free to write as much as you need to cover all the points. But do not just pad it for length, either length alone won’t get you any credit. You do not need a title page just put your name and course at the top of p. 1. (If this course is being offered through Distance Learning, put your location as well.) Number your pages. If you turn it in as a hard copy (not the preferred method, see below), please staple the pages at the top left corner.
You should begin with a correct bibliographical description of the book: John Q. Author, Title (Place: Publisher, year). This only should be single-spaced (except for block quotations in the body of the essay which should also be single-spaced), and may include such things as the number of pages, maps, illustrations, library call number, and so forth. This bibliographic description will serve as your title; you do not need another title. You dont need a fancy title page.
The text of the essay should consist of two parts:
1. A clear, succinct description of:
a. The thesis of the book, or its purpose if it has no thesis to argue. This may be drawn from the author’s own words as long as you properly quote and credit him (or her, but just assume I mean “or her” from now on).
b. A description of how the author develops his argument. This may be a couple of paragraphs summarizing the work, but also be explicit as to whether he tells a story chronologically, arranges his material topically, or whatever. What kind of source material does he draw his evidence from?
c. What are the author’s conclusions, if any? Information about the author himself is not necessary unless it is truly helpful in understanding his work. (As for Primary Sources, see below.)
2. An evaluation of the author’s success in arguing his case, covering his subject (did he answer all his own questions?), and presenting his material clearly and well. Note any themes or theses not explicitly stated by the author, but argued by him. Were you convinced by his argument? Would you recommend this book to someone interested in the subject or in this field of history in general? Is it better suited to a specialist than to a general readership?
a. If you are reading a Primary Source, you need to consider the author’s identity, motives, agendas in writing, limitations, etc. Just how “primary” is he?
b. If you are reading a work of fiction, another obvious question is how accurately this modern reconstruction captures the reality of the time and characters. This assessment needs to be based on facts, not just your opinion.
c. How was this book received by the scholarly community upon publication? Was it praised or panned? Please examine professional review articles such as those indexed in Book Review Index or extracted in Book Review Digest (“Please” is politeness – This is not meant to be optional it is an integral part of this assignment.) These are available in most university libraries and will help you fit the book into its proper historiographical context. (Note: The original review from the original journal as found through Book Review Index is preferred to the out-of-context excerpts in Book Review Digest. If you find references to reviews in Book Review Digest which are available in our library, you must look at the original and not depend solely on Book Review Digest.) You may also search for reviews on the JSTOR database (linked from the NSU Libraries homepage > Databases > Scroll down to JSTOR under Databases by Title). Finally, just Google [author] [title] review and youll come up with scads of hits most of which are worthless, but some are good: Historical journals increasingly post their reviews; A few big newspapers such as the New York Times, Times of London, Guardian, etc., have reviews written by scholars; JSTOR items also come up here but you will need to be careful and pass these by me. Do not use reviews from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or the publishers those have no credibility because you dont know who wrote them, or they are written to sell the book. (If you absolutely cannot find a scholarly review, consult with me, and include a statement to that effect in the essay.) If you incorporate another reviewer’s ideas or observations, you must properly cite them to do otherwise is plagiarism, the mortal sin of academia, and will result in failure for this course (see also under Submission below). A list of works cited or consulted should appear at the end of the essay as a Works Cited or List of Professional Reviews section. At minimum, each review listed should include the Journal Name, volume/issue number, date/year, and page number(s), e.g.: American Historical Review 78 (October, 1973): 1030-32. If you access the professional review via the internet, you must include the URL (web address) and the date you accessed the review. (The work under consideration should not be listed at the end of the essay, however it should be listed in proper bibliographical form at the top of the essay!)
Sources: 1 source will be the actual book, 3 sources need to be book reviews from professional journals that back up the book
The book essay has to be on specific book: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson
Attached is a sample of what the professor gave us.
Please let me know if you need anymore information about the book.Tags: ancient, egypt, essay, specific, wilkinson, write