2 Page Book Review Assignment

Attached are the instructions as well of list of books to choose from. You can choose any of them except The plague.2 pages single spaced
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GCH205 Global Health
Extra Credit Assignment
Guidelines and Rubric
Your task is to conduct a book review on a book that addresses a topic of global health significance. You
will provide your own individual considered opinion of the book.
At any point during the semester before our final class, you may submit one book review for a work of
fiction AND/OR one review for a work of non-fiction, for a maximum of 2 extra credit assignments each
worth 5% towards your final course total.
You may review any of the books listed below without prior approval from the professor.
OR
You may select any book of your own choice that addresses a topic of significance to the field of global
health, including fiction and nonfiction. Once you have chosen your book, seek the approval of the
professor by email – provide the title and author and indicate the global health issue addressed by the
book. No credit will be given for selecting a book that has not received prior approval from the
professor.
Fiction
Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi
Adichie
Saving the World – Julia Alvarez
Moloka’i – Alan Brennert
The Plague – Albert Camus
Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingswood
The Constant Gardener – John Le Carre
The Painted Veil – Somerset Maugham
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
State of Wonder – Ann Patchett
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
Blindness – Jose Saramago
Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese
Germinal – Emile Zola
GCH205
Extra credit assignment
Non-fiction (including biography and
autobiography)
Poor Economics – Abhijit Banerjee and Esther
Duflo
Behind the Beautiful Forevers – Katherine Boo
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down – Anne
Fadiman
– Paul Farmer
Betrayal of Trust – Laurie Garrett
The Coming Plague – Laurie Garrett
Mountains Beyond Mountains – Tracy Kidder
Half the Sky – Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
Christ Stopped at Eboli – Carlo Levi
The Emperor of All Maladies – Siddhartha
Mukherjee
The Wisdom of Whores – Elisabeth Pisani
The Hot Zone – Richard Preston
The End of Poverty – Jeffrey Sachs
And the Band Played On – Randy Shilts
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca
Skloot
The Vaccine Race – Meredith Wadman
Extra credit guidelines and rubric
Page 1 of 3
Katie D. Schenk, Ph.D.
kschenk@gmu.edu
In your review, address all of the following questions:
• What global health topics does this book address? Try to step back and take a broad view of
implications and relevance.
• What did you enjoy about this book? What did you not enjoy?
• What new perspective on this topic did you learn from this fiction or nonfiction portrayal? How
did it complement or challenge views on the topic that we have discussed in class?
• Help to develop a broad extra-curricular reading list for students of GCH205: would you
recommend this book to future students of GCH205? Why?
The aim of this assignment is to encourage students to look beyond textbook sources to find and
contextualize other modes of learning and reflection upon critical issues of global health. Assignments
are to be completed and submitted individually. This is NOT a group work assignment. A large number of
students reviewing the same book will be regarded with suspicion! Emphasis is on providing evidence of
independent thought, therefore neither citations nor bibliography are expected. However, if you make
comparisons to other sources, make sure to provide complete references in APA style.
Write a critical analysis of your chosen book, using the questions suggested above. Use the rubric below
to guide and structure your critical analysis. Feel free to give both positive and negative feedback on the
book wherever appropriate. Whether you passionately enjoyed or hated the book (or somewhere in
between), you are encouraged to create a rational, well thought-out argument in which you justify your
opinion. Spoilers are fine – don’t be coy. Quotes are discouraged. Above all, keep an open mind.
Assignment submission instructions
This extra credit assignment may be submitted at any time during the semester before our final class.
Save your completed written assignment as a Word file, indicating your name in the filename. Submit
your assignment through Blackboard.
Required length: 2 pages, single spacing
GCH205
Extra credit assignment
Extra credit guidelines and rubric
Page 2 of 3
Katie D. Schenk, Ph.D.
kschenk@gmu.edu
GCH205 Global Health
Extra credit assignment
Rubric
Name_______________________________________________________________ Score ________/100
/20
/20
/40
/20
/100
Summary and housekeeping
• Is the book review clearly labeled with the complete title and author of the book under
review?
• Does the review start with a clear summary describing the main elements of the book (e.g.
setting, characters, themes, genre)?
• Have assignment instructions for file submission, naming, formatting, length, etc been
followed correctly?
Organization
• Is the book review organized in a way that is sensible and appropriate and makes sense?
• Do the ideas flow nicely together (e.g. logical sequence of paragraphs with appropriate
transitions)?
Content
• Does the review spell out the global health issues at stake? Comment on how the book
addresses any live controversies in the field.
• Does the review provide an original reaction to the book?
• Does the review comment on what the reader enjoyed or did not enjoy about this book?
• Does the review comment on the perspective offered by this book, compared to how the
issue has been treated in class?
• Does the review make a clear, strong recommendation for other GCH205 students (to read or
not to read)?
Style
• Is the review written in an interesting voice (e.g. catchy opening, active and interesting use
of language)?
• Is the review written in good, proficient English and presented with appropriate formatting?
• Is the review written with good grammar and without spelling mistakes?
TOTAL
GCH205
Extra credit assignment
Extra credit guidelines and rubric
Page 3 of 3
Katie D. Schenk, Ph.D.
kschenk@gmu.edu

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