Scholarly Chapters Analysis-GENDER IN HISTORY COURSE

This assignment asks you to analyze a scholarly work by examining its introduction along with two chapters of your choice. You will choose a book relevant to your Final Paper from the Course Bibliography, located in the Course Home section in the left-hand navigation.

Your objective is to explain the scope of the book, the central proposition of the work (the thesis), the structuring of material into a coherent argument, the use of sources to build this argument, the attention given to the historiography of the topic (if any), and the central conclusions as supported by the author’s use of method and sources.

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Head your analysis with a bibliographical citation, single spaced, of the book you are reviewing in either APA or CMS format.
Perry, Mary Elizabeth. Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990.
Identify the author’s thesis and scope of the book. In your first paragraph, based on the Introduction, provide an overall description of book:
What is this book about?
What is the author’s thesis?
What is the author’s methodological approach?
What are the major themes?
What is the overall conclusion?

Read the introduction carefully. Many authors will explicitly state their central argument in the introduction along with the general contents of each chapter.

Middle paragraphs: Critically appraise two chapters of your choice.
Identify each chapter’s main points, including the author’s arguments and how they are or are not substantiated.
Provide specific references to author’s use of sources.
Primary sources: Note specific examples to back up statements like “the author uses a lot of great primary sources.” What types of sources are being used (e.g., letters, law codes, chronicles, etc.)? Why is the author’s analysis of them “great”?
Secondary sources: Note specific examples to back up statements like “a lot of scholarly sources.” Does the author rely on, build upon, challenge, or refine the work of other scholars on this topic or related topics? How so?
What do you consider the most significant sources cited? Why?
Identify the author’s methods and use of theory.
Does the author state a particular methodological approach (or combination of approaches)? If so, what is it/are they?
Although not explicitly stated, can you detect a certain methodological approach (or combination of approaches)? If so, what is it/are they?
What are the strengths or special insights granted by this approach?
What are the potential weaknesses of such an approach?
Does the approach seem “appropriate” to the material/arguments being put forward?

In the body of the review, you are offering critical analysis of the book, not just description.

Final paragraph(s): Summative critique of introduction plus two chapters.
Provide your final critique by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the book.
What is the most important sentence you read? (Include the full citation for this quotation.) Why is this the most important sentence to you?
What did the author do best? What is convincing? What is not convincing? Why? Can you provide specific examples?
Were there areas that you feel need more attention? What were they? Why do they need more attention? Can you make recommendations for remedies to shortcomings?
Can you note what further study this book suggests (e.g., another interpretive model, greater depth on a sub-topic, etc.)?
What questions are you left with and why do you have them?
Are these due to the author’s failing to substantiate the thesis adequately? Or does the study open up new avenues of investigation? What are they?
Finally, offer a final critique (thumbs up, thumbs down) along with suggestions of appropriate audience.
To whom would you recommend this book? For example, an insomniac, a scholar, your best friend, your worst enemy, your dog who likes a meaty read. Why would you make this recommendation? What would they get out of it? In other words, what is the intended audience and/or for what audience would this book be most appropriate.
In the course of your conclusions, be very specific. Do not rest with these sorts of statements: “it was a good read,” or “it was relentlessly dull,” or “the author used a lot of good sources,” or “someone could write more on this.” You need to clearly substantiate all general appraisals. Remember that provision of specific examples is always a good tactic.

The Scholarly Chapters Analysis

Must be at least 750 words or three double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style or Chicago Manual of Style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center
(Links to an external site.)
or CMS Quick Reference Guide
, respectively.
Must include a cover page that includes:
Title of paper
Student’s name
Course name and number
Instructor’s name
Date submitted
Must analyze the Introduction, plus two chapters from a scholarly book found in the Course Bibliography, located in the Course Home section in the left-hand navigation.
Must head the analysis with a bibliographical citation, single spaced, of the book you are assessing in either APA or CMS format.
Must address each of the following required components with critical thought:
Identification of the author’s thesis and scope of the book, as informed by the Introduction.
Critical appraisal of two chapters from the book.
Summative critique of introduction plus two chapters.
Must document all sources either in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center or according to the Chicago Manual of Style. If using Chicago style, use endnotes or footnote; notes do not count toward minimum word requirement.
Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to either APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center or the Chicago Manual of Style.

For guidelines regarding the Chicago Manual of Style, see the following resources:

Ashford University: Chicago Manual of Style Overview
(Links to an external site.)
The Chicago Manual of Style Online
(Links to an external site.)
Purdue Online Writing Lab: Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition
(Links to an external site.)
University of Wisconsin: The Writer’s Handbook: Chicago/Turabian Documentation
(Links to an external site.)
Williams University: Chicago Manual of Style: Documentary Note or Humanities Style

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