AFAS 160A1 – The Africana Experience

General Book Review Guidelines

1. What is the subject matter of the reading? You may start with a broad contextualization of the subject matter, main idea, or argument.

2. What are the salient and auxiliary ideas, issues, and/or arguments? These two pointers will guide you in crafting an introduction.

3. Discuss each of the salient points/issues and their supporting facts or arguments.

4. Do you find these arguments, discussions, and expositions convincing?

5.What knowledge or experience of the issues, ideas, or events discussed in the reading do you have that supports your position above?

6. Evaluate the organization of the reading. Is it easy to understand?

Your essay should be free flowing using full sentences and paragraphs to structure and organize your thoughts and ideas. The guidelines above are just that: guidelines.

Note: The title of your review should be: the author and title of the reading being reviewed.

Additional Book Review Guidelines (Things Fall Apart)

1. Your discussion should be carried out within the context of this class.

  • The first part of this class is concerned with the early history of Africa with particular focus on ancient African civilizations. This reading and the society it referenced should be seen in the context of this early history of Africa and the ancient civilizations that emerged on the continent. In fact, about 50% of the book (all of Part I) is on aspects of Igbo civilization. The only video material we have watched in this class also weighed in on the debate on whether African peoples had any civilization before the coming of the Europeans into Africa or not. This reading and the video material will enable you focus on the theme of Igbo culture and civilization in your discussion.
  • Another theme covered in this reading that is important to us in this class (see course syllabus) is the expansion of the Europeans into Africa (colonialism) as from the 1880s. This book not only painted a vivid picture of how the Europeans carved Africa into colonial enclaves (process) but it also discussed the EFFECTS of colonialism on the African civilization referenced.
  1. As far as this class is concerned, these are the issues that are important. Do not waste your time on minuscule issues like: the character of the protagonist, polygamy, the inferior status of women, masculinity, domestic violence, how repulsed you are with infanticide (e.g., killing of twin babies), etc. These issues may be mentioned to the extent that they illuminate the big picture (main themes) described in 2 & 3 above.
  2. Avoid the temptation of plagiarizing the myriad of sources that are online (e.g., Wikipedia, Sparknotes, etc.). Be warned also that I have an archive of past essays on this assignment for the past 10 years. Any plagiarized work will score a zero. In addition, the student will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for additional sanctions.
  3. Pay attention to the formatting requirements for this assignment on page 5 of the Course Syllabus.
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