US History 117
Book Review
Dr. Eric Mayer, Instructor

Book Review Assignment:

Analyze Uncle Tomís Cabin
Identify and explain the main historical themes and arguments, especially the role that Christianity plays in the book. 

Email your finished book review to history117@gmail.comLATE BOOK REVIEWS WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL THE LAST DAY OF CLASS, but will not earn a grade higher than a C.

Essay Format:
Your book review must be at least 1500 words in length.  Only the novel is to be cited as a source in your essay.Do not use direct quotes, paraphrase passages from the novel and then cite them. The easiest way to cite sources is to use parenthetical citations that include the author's last name and page number (Mayer 199).   You need MLA citations from the novel in every paragraph except the intro and conclusion. Your first paragraph must contain a series of causal arguments that you intend to historically prove in the text of your essay. 

Be sure to formally introduce the author and the book in the first couple of sentences of your introduction.  Then identify the main themes of the book and explain why they are important.  You need to tell the reader what caused what to happen, when and why.  Never pose rhetorical questions in your essay.  Rhetorical questions are cheap literary devices that make your writing style non-assertive and give the reader the impression that you are not in control of your essay or the material. 

Immediately give the reader your overall causal argument, and then, in succeeding sentences of your first paragraph list supporting arguments in chronological order.  The supporting arguments should build on each other.
 The topic sentences of your paragraphs must do more than simply describe what the paragraph is about, they must also state why the paragraph is important to the overall argument of your essay. 

In other words, the topic sentence summarizes the paragraph, but also links it back to one of the supporting arguments that you listed in your introductory paragraph or to the thesis itself (Christianity and Abolition) Paragraphs should be one-third to one-half page in length.  Finally, your essay must have a conclusion that restates your original argument in light of the data and facts that were discussed in the text of your essay.  A paragraph is at least four sentences long.

 To obtain an optimal grade your essay must be clearly written.  Clarity of style, proper grammar, spelling, analytical organization and logical coherence are essential if you wish to receive a passing grade.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN IN A FIRST DRAFT as your finished essay.  A decent paper will go through at least three rewrites.  Therefore revision, rewrite, revision, rewrite, etc., is the process that will earn you a good grade. I will be happy to read drafts, outlines, revisions, etc., of your paper.