ANTH 146 - Book Report Instructions

In this assignment, you will discuss the significance of Native American cultures in a work of fiction of your choice. Select and read a 200-page non-juvenile novel, perhaps from the list of suggested books listed online at the course webpage, and let me know by Feb 2 which book you have selected. Historical or biographical books (non-fiction) will not work for this assignment. Note: you must have my prior approval on your book title to receive credit for this assignment.

Then write a 4-6 page report (double-spaced, 12pt font, 1" margins) which includes the following information:

1. Author, title, date of publication
2. Taking only a couple paragraphs, concisely introduce a reader to the story, emphasizing its central themes and ideas. However, please do not provide a lengthy, extensive plot summary (this will cost you many points), but rather introduce me to what you felt were the most important aspects of the book; what stands out in your mind after reading the book? Also, please explain what "kind" of book this is, and why you think so (Romance? Mystery? Historical fiction? Fantasy? Adventure? Sci-fi?)
3. Your appraisal of the specific relevance of Native Americans to the story (support, where necessary, with quotations from the novel):
   - Why are Native Americans included in the plot?
   - Is the presence of Native Americans essential to the story line? Could they simply be replaced by any “foreign” or “other” (non-Western\American) society?
   - Are Native American characters portrayed by the author in a flattering or unflattering manner?

   - Is the portrayal of these characters affected by the fact that they (the character or characters) are Native Americans?
   - How does the portrayal of these characters compare to the portrayal of non-native/Anglo-American characters or society?
   - Is the author a Native American?
   - Describe any aspects the author mentions of Native American society and their interaction with the natural environment? Discuss how it agrees with or varies from what we've discussed in this course?
4. Personal comments or opinions about the book.

Please do not be too casual about the report; do several drafts and edit your work carefully. I will evaluate your work on content, spelling, and form. Note: The most common mistake that students make in writing papers is that they write poorly-constructed paragraphs, and hence, have difficulty focusing their written arguments. The most useful rule-of-thumb I've found is to have at least FIVE sentences per paragraph...and this includes introductory and conclusion paragraphs. In contrast, however, do not limit yourself to the "five paragraph essay" format.

 

Start with an introductory paragraph that features the major point want to make about your book , or perhaps by describing a key passage that shows Native Americans in action. Then in subsequent paragraphs, explain their role and significance to the piece as a whole. What does this work of fiction tell you about the writer’s perspective of Native American groups?

 

PAPERS ARE DUE ON: Monday, March 22nd