Subject: Human Geography
Review a recent book and connect course content, ideas and theory.
Read a book, discuss it in book club and write a review.
A strong review will introduce the text, its context, the author, and other background information. Reviews should summarize the text on a whole and by each individual chapter or section of chapters. Be sure to think about the evidence and theory presented in the book. A strong review will carry out additional research to better critique or contextualize the text. This can include reading and interpreting some of the source material the author draws on. It can also include finding more recent or contrarian sources of knowledge and evidence. The book review should synthesize the central argument and discuss its significance and application. Personal reflection on what this book means to you or whether you enjoyed reading can be helpful, but not necessary. Below are a series of prompts that can help you write, there is no need to answer all of these, rather use these as inspiration:
What context, setting or geography is this book about?
Who is this book written for?
What research went into this book?
How is this book different from other books in the discourse?
What vision does the author present of the urban landscape?
How might a planner use the knowledge in this text?
How does the text think about ones right to city?
What course themes and reading relate to this text?
2300 – 2500 words (not including title page and bibliography, only the main body text is counted).
In-text Citations (APA Style)
Bibliography (APA Style)
Double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, Garamond (or similar serif font)
Cite all lecture and course material
Diane Arbus says that the more specific you are, the more general it’ll be. Too much summary might mean less engagement with actual ideas, while too little summary might mean that you arent engaging with the whole of the text. As the quote above suggests, often by being very specific you can be more general at the same time.
What order or how long each section is up to you.
Read slowly and closely. Take notes while you read. Summarize as you go. When you finish a chapter or long section, summarize what was said. Write down important quotes, facts and arguments.
Personal writing using I and My pronouns are useful for personal reflection. It is appropriate to reflect personally on these text in this assignment, however, the goal is to critically assess the text. Avoid using personal pronouns when trying to write persuasive rhetoric.
The review should have a creative title. Titling it Book Review is lazy and uncreative.
At the very least, include the book itself in the bibliography. A strong paper will also discuss the texts discussed in the book. Include those. Very strong papers will carry out additional research, draw from course materials, and incorporate other knowledge. Cite these too! An extensive bibliography shows that research was carried out.
The book review is worth 40% of your course grade.
The review will be evaluated as a whole following multiple criteria, including: how well the text is summarized, how specific details from the text are incorporated, how well the paper connects the chosen text to course material, the strength of the overall engagement, how well the paper summarizes theory and empirical observations in the text, how well the paper is presented including correct use of APA style, the depth of research and engagement with scholarly concepts, and clear communication of ideas.
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