You are on page 1of 5

Foun1101: Book Report

This is an important part of your assessment program and is intended to ensure that the student of Foun1101 has focused knowledge on the published discourses concerning Caribbean culture and civilisation. The book report is largely a factual based exercise with some leeway given at the end for the student to include an opinionated assessment of the book. 1st stage: Procure the Book: Students have asked repeatedly whether there was a recommended text for the Course. The answer is no. Instead, there is a book report requirement for the course. The book chosen for the book report is relevant to the course and, as explained in the plenary lectures, the use of the book is not constrained to the book report but will be useful for general preparation for the final exam. You will be allowed to use the book in the exam room. So please do not write any notes in it if you wish to answer a question on it in the final exam.. 2nd Stage: Read the Book: To effectively do this most students prefer to find a quiet place where they can settle down and immerse themselves in the text. The caf, games-rooms or around the quadrangle (outside the library), is probably not a good idea. Reading, while taking care of children may also prove distracting, as is trying to steal time between the periodic passes of a vigilant supervisor or boss at the workplace. A far more effective strategy (especially for working students), might be early in the morning, before preparing for work or, late at night after a relaxing bath. Similarly, one often cannot focus properly if one is hungry so .having some snacks around or having a full stomach is probably a good idea (Not too full though as you may be tempted to take a nap first!). The point is that one should try to be as comfortable as possible with the minimum of distractions in order to be an effective reader. The book outlined for the FOUN1101 report cannot be read at one sitting. Do not attempt to do so. Reading, like many other activities, improves with practice. The sad point is that many of us have not really practiced the art and often approach reading as a chore. Re orient your thinking! The FOUN1101 report is not intended to be a choreit is to be a rewarding exercise. To this end you have been given five (5) weeks to READ the book. Please do not wait till the last minute! (Especially as other course work assignments may begin to pile up etc!!) Know your limitations do not force yourself to read a certain number of pages or chapters every day. If you feel tired or sleepy stop reading! A relaxed mind absorbs much more than a tired one. Keep a pencil and highlighter handy to make jottings as you go along and to highlight important sections in the books. You may even find it helpful to re-read the book a couple of times to really become familiar with it! Hence the reason to start your reading NOW!!!

General Guide for Writing the report

You may try different approaches and only a suggestion is given below:

DO NOT WRITE YOUR REPORT AND DIVIDE THE SUBMISSION INTO SECTIONS AS GIVEN BELOW!!!. Your report must be in an ESSAY format with subheadings within the body of the essay!


1st give the context: Bibliographical information: Full title of the book, author (s), ISBN number, publisher, place of publication, year of publication, hard cover or soft (cloth) cover, cost price of book , number of chapters and pages in the book etc The subject- what is the narrative mostly about? Make an initial statement on the general subject of the book. Then give a brief description of what is in the book (Be careful to only choose the main ideas/points! No more than two or three). Is the book/section mainly concerned with a person, intellectual activity, subject? Etc Are there main and supporting characters or are there main and subsidiary themes dealt with in the book? The settingwhere do the events take place? What is the geographical location of the focus? What else can you tell about the location from the authors description? One island or many islands? The time periodis it present day (contemporary) or past? Can we be specific ie 18th century etc Is it a present day analysis of past events using present day analytical tools? How appropriate is this? 2nd Assess the effectiveness of the work What was the writers aim/intention when he/she decided to write? Are you convinced about the aim? If you found the presentation convincing state why you do giving references from within the book (Footnotes required here using the MLA style of footnoting). If you were not impressed by the arguments presented in the book/section state why you were not. For edited books you may comment on the appropriateness of the sections and the grouping together of the essays. Were they well done or poorly categorized etc? Were the subjects of the essays suited to the title of the book section? 3rd relate the Book to what you have been doing in FOUN1101 Does it relate to ideas of definition of the Caribbean? Issues of culture? Issues of truth telling and the past? Issues of gender? The creation of collective social memory etc Does the content relate to what you know historians do? Did you learn something more or was the author deficient in his/her knowledge of the topic? What was missing from the book/readings that you felt would have made it a better book? Was the book worth the price you paid for it or did you get more than your moneys worth? Give reasons why.

Please read the more detailed format and layout instructions given at the end of this document!

1. You cannot write a good book report without reading the book itself! 2. Do not be too descriptive. The Book Report limit was deliberately set at 3 pages to ensure that you practice economy of words. Any essay going beyond 3 pages would suffer a penalty of 10 percent! (Does not include cover page, bibliography)

3. All essays must be submitted via MyE-learning for verification. Instructions on submission will be given in the third week of preparation. 4. All essays will be scanned by the FOUN1101 Staff using plagiarism software. BE WARNED! Any essay found to be plagiarised will receive an automatic failing grade. Details on what constitutes plagiarism will be placed on MyE-learning for students to familiarize themselves with. 5. While group discussions can at times be helpful, the submitted work MUST be your own! Be sure that the final product is original in its construction. Remember that this is a very serious exercise which, even though you are completing outside of an official examination room still accounts for 30% of your final mark. As a result all marking will be VERY stringent and will follow closely all marking guidelines on coursework as established by the Faculty of Humanities and Education. ** before submission ask at least one friend or family member to read your book report and give you their comments on it. Give them a pencil and encourage them to critique it rigorously. Often we miss errors while re-reading for ourselves. Additionally, they may come up with new ideas or comments that you did not initially consider! Remember, in doing this exercise you wish to ensure that a good job is done in order to ensure maximum coursework marks thereby relieving some of the pressure of the final exam mark requirement!


Foun1101 Book Report

This page is designed to provide you with the basic stylistic requirements for your coursework. The format used is the MLA style and all coursework for this course should conform to it. While much of what follows may seem incredibly pedantic, it is VITAL that you get into the habit of writing your essays in the correct academic format. Bear in mind that you may be marked down if you don't follow the MLA format! COVER PAGE FORMAT Ensure that you download and insert the Cover page for the Report that is available online. Book Reports will not be accepted without this cover sheet. Do NOT submit hard copies with fancy covers and binders etc. NO Binders etc are to be used. SUBMISSION GUIDELINES All essays are to be submitted in electronic format via MyE-learning (sent to the email address found at the submit book report link which will only be active in the final week of the Book Report. It is found on the MyE-learning homepage.) and as a printed hard copy on A4 Letter size paper. There are to be NO binders, folders or other covers on the printed Reports. The report should have one staple at the top left hand corner of the page. Do not use paper clips or similar such fasteners. Hardcopies of the Report are to be submitted to the Foun 1101Office. PAGE FORMAT All Reports should be double-spaced (i.e. there should be a line's space between each written line) to provide the marker space to write comments through the body of the text. This should be consistent throughout the entire body of the work. Each page should also

have your name and page number in the top right hand corner. This can be achieved on a word processor by using the header function, which will duplicate this information on every page. QUOTATIONS (The citation format outlined below is acceptable as well as the MLA format and Chicago Manual format) There are two basic ways of presenting quotations in your work. Small quotes under two lines in length can be incorporated into the text itself, but should always be contained within quotation marks. e.g. Other writers assert that the nature of "the very thing itself" (Madison 98) is in question. You will notice that after the quote the author's surname and the page number of the quote are placed in parentheses or brackets. This then provides a reference to the full book title in the bibliography (of which more later). The second way to present quotes is in relation to larger quotes that can't be built into the body of the text. These should be indented 5 spaces (or tabbed) from the left margin with no quotation marks. e.g. One might then go on to suggest that the queen's relationship to Ripley is altered, The alien queen has altered the nature of Ripley's lived embodiment. Ripley's new identity as 'the monster's mother' is conveyed through her new-found physical attributes and her fluid bodily gestures. This is important because her new identity can therefore be seen to arise through her materiality: 'it erupts from the flesh' in a non-hylomorphic way. (Constable 193) Again the author and page number are given in parentheses after the quote. If the quotation spans more than one page in the source text reference it as (Constable 193-195) as appropriate. BIBLIOGRAPHIES A bibliography is designed to provide information on any texts that you have used in the course of your Report. Any references after quotations in the body of the text are there to point the reader towards the bibliography for further information. Each entry in your bibliography should tell the reader 1 who wrote the text (or edited it in the case of collections), 2 what the title is, 3 where it was published, 4 by whom it was published, 5 and when it was published. Obviously this information will change depending upon a number of circumstances so you will find below some of the most common forms of bibliographical reference. Note that bibliographies should be put in alphabetical order by author's surname. Single author Wilson, Frank R. The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture. New York: Pantheon, 1998. Notice the order in which the elements of the reference appear; name, title, place of publication, publisher and year of publication. Also note the placing of full stops, commas and colons within the reference. All book titles are underlined or italicized (either is acceptable). Also note that as the entry goes onto a second line, the second line

is indented. Two authors Eggins, Suzanne and Diane Slade. Analyzing Casual Conversation. London: Cassell, 1997. Anthologies or Collections Feldman, Paula, ed. British Women Poets of the Romantic Era. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. Notice that the author has been replaced by the editor of the collection which is denoted by the inclusion of ed. after the name More than one editor Lopate, Phillip and Derek Griffiths, eds. The Art of the Personal Essay. New York: Anchor-Doubleday, 1994. Two or more books by the same author Borrof, Marie. Language and the Past. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979. ---, Making Language. New York: Norton, 1968. ---, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. New York: Norton, 1967. An entry by the same author as the entry above is denoted by three hyphens and a comma in place of the author's name. Entries should be put in alphabetical order by title. A work in an anthology, an essay or article Allende, Isabel. "The Toad's Mouth." A Hammock Beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America. Ed. Thomas Colchie. New York: Plume, 1992. 83-88. Here the author of the article and the article title are placed first. The article title is placed in quotation marks to differentiate it from the title of the book it is from. The final part is the page number for the start and the end of the article. An anonymous book Encyclopedia of Virginia. New York: Somerset, 1993. A translation Dostoyevsky, Feodor. Crime and Punishment. Trans. Jessie Coulson. New York: Norton, 1964. A sound recording Simon, Paul. The Rhythm of the Saints. Warner Brothers, 1990. Here we have artist, album title, record company and date of release. A film or video recording It's a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. RKO, 1946. Here you have the title of the film, the director and the year of release. If you are concentrating on more than one film by a particular director, put the director's name first and then reference in the same way as with more than one text by one author i.e. with ---, An article on a website The Transformative Revelations of Palmer Eldritch. 1998. Robert John Godfrey. 17 October 2002. Here we have the article title, date of publication, author, date of access (i.e. the date you viewed the article, as web pages can change frequently) and the web page address. Not all of this information may be available so put what information you have. The above examples are the most common types of bibliographical entry that you will come across.