African Studies Reaction Paper

Second Reaction paper due: Talk about Monique and the Mango Rains book, and make connections between it and the readings, lectures, films, slide shows, etc. from the beginning of the course to this point.

Objective: Think of these essays as open-book “essay exams.” The idea is to demonstrate what you have learned about each of these cultures in a focused manner. You can gather information and begin to write while you are reading the books.

Length: 650 words. The 650-word minimum includes only the textual analysis part of the essay (not the title page or bibliography). You can check the word count in Microsoft Word by highlighting just the analysis part of your paper and clicking on Tools – Word Count.

Citations: Students may cite the page number (p.), location number (l.), or slide number (s.) from the source, within the sentence where the source data or examples are used, like this (Worley 2014:5) or (Worley 2014, p. 5) or (Kemil l. 2305) or (Worley: “Culture” s.31). I don’t care what citation format you use, so long as the exact location is documented in-sentence. Be sure to cite every time you use any idea or information from a source.

Bibliography: Students will include bibliographic references on a separate page at the end of the essay, with the full reference information about the source, including the author’s full name, name of the book, place of publication, publishing company, URL if an online book, and date of publication. Anything you include in your bibliography must also be actually used and discussed in the body of your paper, or expect a lower grade. Do not use any sources except the course materials.

Suggested Structure (Rubric): Paragraph #1 – The first paragraph must start out by briefly introducing the specific topic/question, briefly introduce the source (the book and author), tell what specific issues or themes will be explored, and outline the argument (main points) to expect in the rest of the paper (statement of thesis and road map). Since this is a very short paper, three main issues or themes is sufficient. The first paragraph should ideally be less than half a page.

Paragraph #2 – Treatment of issue/theme #1. Less than half a page.

Paragraph #3 – Treatment of issue/theme #2. Less than half a page.

Paragraph #4 – Treatment of issue/theme #3. Less than half a page.

Paragraph #5 – The last paragraph must not simply re-hash what was already said, but make some insight into overall patterns that the student perceived in the analysis. Less than half a page.


Total: 5 paragraphs minimum, each less than half a page, 650 words (two or more full pages). The number of pages does not matter – it’s the 650-word minimum that counts. Essays with fewer than 650 words in the analysis will not receive the highest grades.

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