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Foun1101: Book Report

This is an important part of your assessment program and is intended to ensure that the student of
Foun1101 has focused knowledge on the published discourses concerning Caribbean culture and
civilisation. The book report is largely a factual based exercise with some leeway given at the end for the
student to include an opinionated assessment of the book.

1st stage: Procure the Book

Students have asked repeatedly whether there was a recommended text for the Course. The answer is no.
Instead, there is a book report requirement for the course. The book chosen for the book report is relevant
to the course and, as explained in the plenary lectures, the use of the book is not constrained to the book
report but will be useful for general preparation for the final exam. You will be allowed to use the book in
the exam room. So please do not write any notes in it if you wish to answer a question on it in the final

2nd Stage:
Read the Book: To effectively do this most students prefer to find a quiet place where they can settle down
and immerse themselves in the text. The caf, games-rooms or around the quadrangle (outside the library),
is probably not a good idea. Reading, while taking care of children may also prove distracting, as is trying
to steal time between the periodic passes of a vigilant supervisor or boss at the workplace. A far more
effective strategy (especially for working students), might be early in the morning, before preparing for
work or, late at night after a relaxing bath. Similarly, one often cannot focus properly if one is hungry so
.having some snacks around or having a full stomach is probably a good idea (Not too full though as you
may be tempted to take a nap first!).
The point is that one should try to be as comfortable as possible with the minimum of distractions in order
to be an effective reader. The book outlined for the FOUN1101 report cannot be read at one sitting. Do not
attempt to do so. Reading, like many other activities, improves with practice. The sad point is that many of
us have not really practiced the art and often approach reading as a chore. Re orient your thinking! The
FOUN1101 report is not intended to be a choreit is to be a rewarding exercise. To this end you have been
given five (5) weeks to READ the book. Please do not wait till the last minute! (Especially as other course
work assignments may begin to pile up etc!!)
Know your limitations do not force yourself to read a certain number of pages or chapters every day. If
you feel tired or sleepy stop reading! A relaxed mind absorbs much more than a tired one. Keep a pencil
and highlighter handy to make jottings as you go along and to highlight important sections in the books.
You may even find it helpful to re-read the book a couple of times to really become familiar with it! Hence
the reason to start your reading NOW!!!

General Guide for writing the report

You may try different approaches and only a suggestion is given below: DO NOT
BELOW! Your report must be in an ESSAY format with no subheadings within the body
of the essay!
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1st give the context:

The subject- what is the narrative mostly about? Make an initial statement on the general subject of the
book. Then give a brief description of what is in the book (Be careful to only choose the main ideas/points!
No more than two or three). Is the book/section mainly concerned with a person, intellectual activity,
subject? Etc Are there main and supporting characters or are there main and subsidiary themes dealt with in
the book?
The settingwhere do the events take place? What is the geographical location of the focus? What else can
you tell about the location from the authors description? One island or many islands?
The time periodis it present day (contemporary) or past? Can we be specific ie 18 th century etc Is it a
present day analysis of past events using present day analytical tools?How appropriate is this?

2nd Assess the effectiveness of the work

What was the writers aim/intention when he/she decided to write? Are you convinced about the aim? If
you found the presentation convincing state why you do giving references from within the book
(References require the MLA style of footnoting). If you were not impressed by the arguments presented in
the book/section state why you were not. For edited books you may comment on the appropriateness of the
sections and the grouping together of the essays. Were they well done or poorly categorized etc? Were the
subjects of the essays suited to the title of the book section?

3rd relate the Book to what you have been doing in FOUN1101
Does it relate to ideas of definition of the Caribbean? Issues of culture? Issues of truth telling and the past?
Issues of gender? The creation of collective social memory etc Does the content relate to what you know
historians do? Did you learn something more or was the author deficient in his/her knowledge of the topic?
What was missing from the book/readings that you felt would have made it a better book?
Was the book worth the price you paid for it or did you get more than your moneys worth? Give reasons

1. You cannot write a good book report without reading the book itself!
2. Do not be too descriptive.
3. All essays must be submitted via My E-learning for verification.
4. All essays will be scanned by the FOUN1101 Staff using plagiarism software. BE WARNED! Any essay
found to be plagiarised will receive an automatic failing grade. Details on what constitutes plagiarism will
be placed on MyE-learning for students to familiarize themselves with.
5. While group discussions can at times be helpful, the submitted work MUST be your own! Be sure that
the final product is original in its construction.
Remember that this is a very serious exercise which, even though you are completing outside of an official
examination room still accounts for 30% of your final mark. As a result all marking will be VERY stringent
and will follow closely. All marking guidelines on coursework as established by the Faculty of Humanities
and Education. Before submission ask at least one friend or family member to read your book report and
give you their comments on it. Give them a pencil and encourage them to critique it rigorously. Often we
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miss errors while re-reading for ourselves. Additionally, they may come up with new ideas or comments
that you did not initially consider! Remember, in doing this exercise you wish to ensure that a good job is
done in order to ensure maximum coursework marks thereby relieving some of the pressure of the final
exam mark requirement!


This page is designed to provide you with the basic stylistic requirements for your coursework. The format
used is the MLA style and all coursework for this course should conform to it. While much of what follows
may seem incredibly pedantic, it is VITAL that you get into the habit of writing your essays in the correct
academic format. Bear in mind that you may be marked down if you don't follow the MLA format!
Ensure that you download and insert the Cover page for the Report that is available online. Book Reports
will not be accepted without this cover sheet. Do NOT submit hard copies with fancy covers and binders
etc. NO Binders etc are to be used.
All essays are to be submitted in electronic format via My E-learning. Hardcopies of the Report are to be
submitted to the Foun 1101Office. There are to be NO binders, folders or other covers on the printed
Reports. The report should have one staple at the top left hand corner of the page. Do not use paper clips or
similar such fasteners.
A copy of the UWI Accountability Statement and the Book Report Assessment Sheet must also be attached
to the hardcopy.
Please see the following external sites for MLA Guidelines:

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