What are the author’s biases

BOOK: The Weimar Republic by Detlev Peukert TURABIAN FORMAT Write a 5-7-page, typed and double spaced. The first paragraph of the book report will be an explanation of the author’s credentials for writing this book (what makes the author an expert in the field?). This information must be cited in endnotes using the Turabian style of citation. The book report must include an overall discussion of the book demonstrating that the student actually read the book; an assessment of whether or not the author has proven his or her point; and a discussion of what the student learned from reading the book (see the outline of the analytical report below – students must follow that outline). To begin the process of analysis, the students must establish the themes of the book in the second paragraph of their reports. Themes are ideas that flow through the book, not parts of the book or single chapters. The students will then explain how the author addresses and supports each of the themes and whether or not the author adequately defends his or her position. The analysis will be an ongoing process in the writing of the report instead of simply waiting for the last paragraph of the report. Students are expected to analyze the author’s themes within the narrative of their reports. The analysis must be intellectual and not emotional. The analysis should include a critique of the author’s main points or themes as they are discussed in the report. “Analysis” is more than narrative; it is not a summation or recapitulation of the student’s discussion of the theme. Analysis comes from understanding the meaning, significance, and implications of the author’s concepts. Students are expected to address those notions in their analytical paragraphs. Students should begin the process of analysis by answering some simple questions: Does the author use primary and secondary sources or just secondary; are they in the appropriate language? Then ask, does the author make a reasonable argument or not and then explain how that conclusion was reached. Finally, if the student knows of another source that confirms or disproves the author’s theme, explain that. What are the author’s biases (historical biases can be either positive or negative)? What else did the author write, and what does that reflect about his or her interpretation of the past? In the penultimate paragraph, students may want to focus their analysis by answering the question, would they recommend this book to their friends (without using the pronoun “I” or referring to themselves in the third person as “the reader”). The last paragraph or two should be a very specific discussion of how the student would use an idea from the book (not the entire book) that struck him or her as particularly useful for teaching a concept to his or her students. Students must explain, very specifically, what this idea is, how they would present it to their students, what they want their students to get out of this experience, and how they would assess their lesson. Students must frequently make citations indicating from where in the book they derived their information not just direct quotes (direct quotes should be used sparingly, if at all). References to the book under discussion should be cited parenthetically (just use the page numbers) within the text of the report. All ideas not the student’s (not just direct quotes) must be cited as close to the idea as possible, not the end of the paragraph. However, any other, outside references, such as those for the opening paragraph, must be cited according to the Turabian (or Chicago Manual of Style) format in the form of endnotes. The primary focus of the report must be a thorough analysis of the author’s main points and ideas. The outline of each analytical report should look like this: I. Author’s bona fides II. Themes III. Theme 1 a. Explanation b. Discussion c. Analysis IV. Theme 2 a. Explanation b. Discussion c. Analysis V. Theme 3 a. Explanation b. Discussion c. Analysis VI. How to use an idea from the book to teach a concept VII. Conclusion
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