Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All. Bruce Potter

Book Report Guidelines Introductory Paragraph Most book reports begin with the basic information about the book: the book’s title, author, genre, and publication information (publisher, number of pages, and year published). In the opening paragraph, establish interest in the book. An interesting fact or a recent public topic or enduring social problem can be a way of establishing interest. Avoid listing questions. The book\’s popularity, the author’s credits and other works are other ways of establishing interest. Book reports are personal too, so it’s perfectly acceptable to state why you chose to read it from the list of books offered in the syllabus. What’s the Book About? In the body of the book report you will describe what the book is about. This is your chance to show you have read and understood the book. If you are writing a book report on a biography or other factual text, you will want to devote the body of your book report to a description of the book’s subject and the author’s points of view. Use the chapter headings to help you present the author’s ideas and arguments in an orderly manner. You don’t have to cover every argument made by the author. Instead, choose the main ideas and the ones most interesting to you. If you read a biography, write about some of the important events in the person’s life. Do not simply give a summary of the plot or narrative. Use events and narrative to illustrate the bigger ideas that are present in class. Specific quotes that represent critical ideas, themes or overarching ideas are important. Random quotes that are filler are easy to identify because they will not be connected to themes. Use quotes with purpose and planning. Be very careful of over using quotes. In a 5 page paper you do not want more that 3-5 specific quotes. Remember all quotes must be introduced and then explained. You need not address each question, but there are some questions that might stimulate your thinking. • How much does the book agree or clash with your view of the topic? • How were your views and opinions of the topic challenged or changed by this text, if at all? Did the text communicate with you? Why or why not? • How well does the book address things that you, personally, care about and consider important to the world? • How does it relate to things that are important to your family, your community, your ethnic group, to people of your economic or social class or background, or your faith tradition? The answer for each of the questions must be supported by quotes or passages. Personal Evaluation and Conclusion In the final section you should offer your own critique of the book. What are the book’s strengths and weaknesses? Did the book hold your interest? What did you learn from the book? Remember this book was selected to illustrate larger ideas and themes that were presented in class. Tying the book back to the larger topics and themes of class is critical. Try to be balanced in your opinions, and support your statements with examples from the book. Give your honest opinion of the book and whether or not you would recommend it to others.

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