People’s of the World: Central America

Paper instructions:
3rd Response Paper- Book Review DUE July 10

Your third writing assignment is to write a 3-5 page book review of the case study, Among the Garifuna: Family tales and Ethnography from the Caribbean Coast, by Marilyn McKillop Wells. The purpose of this assignment is to facilitate an overall and concise review/assessment of a book you have read closely and to apply tenets of ethnology in your assessment. A book review is a critical evaluation of the contents of a book based on the reviewer’s familiarity with the subject matter considered in the book, (for instance your own recent and growing familiarity with the cultures of Central America). Professional reviews are presented in the major anthropology journals and you are advised to read a few professional reviews before writing your book reviews. These will provide you with an idea of the variety of ways in which a book review can be handled. Your success depends on how well you write and organize your review.

A good book review usually contains some or all of the following:

1) A concise statement that tells the reader what the book is about.

2) A statement indicating the type of contribution to knowledge that book represents and the type of audience it will best serve (i.e. undergraduate students, scholars, general audience etc…) make sure to explain why the book suits this reader best.( in other words cite the evidence on which you make your case).

3) A clear statement of its major attributes and weaknesses.

4) Comments on the author’s interpretation or approach/style of writing. Compare how it is similar to or different from the approach / style of other ethnographers you know (support with examples).

5) A bibliography of sources consulted in writing the review, Plan on doing this- make active comparison to other sources employed in course- specifically the other two ethnographies you have read.
Nota Bene- do not simply address these points in sequence and expect it to suffice. Employ your writing craft here.

Citation Style Citations should be placed in the text, not as footnotes or endnotes (if you must, use footnotes or endnotes for supplementary information). General information from an author should be cited as author and date of publication, e.g. (Adams 1956). Specific information and numerical data (e.g. census figures) require a page number citation as well, e.g. (Adams 1956:22). Direct quotes require quotation marks as well. If a source is a chapter in an edited volume, you must cite the author of the chapter in the text, not the editor of the volume. Style guides most commonly used in this department are available on-line at American Anthropologist (

The following are the criteria for evaluating this review:

1) Evidence of original thinking;

2) Evidence of a clear understanding of the subject matter considered;

3) Thoroughness of research;

4) Organization and style; and

5) Grammar and spelling.

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