Book Review From Praha to Prague: Czechs in an Oklahoma Farm Town

You should fully answer all questions in complete sentences using paragraph form. Do not number your answers. This should be a book review and not a numbered assignment. I have numbered the questions for your benefit, only.

If you get information from the book, please put page number in parenthesis after the appropriate sentence or paragraph. This is the way I want your page references: (129). You should have page references for all of your factual answers. — (23) is the only way I want your reference noted.

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You do not need footnotes unless you refer to an outside book review. If you use a book review or any other source you will also need to include a works cited page. Footnotes or Endnotes should be done according to the Chicago Manual of Style.

I would much rather you just read the book and think about it for yourself.

Remember, write in complete sentences using paragraph form.

Things you need to include in your Review:

1. Early in your paper, identify the thesis of this book. In other words, what is the author trying to say? What is his primary point(s)?

2. Give a quick discussion of the sources the author used in this work. Were they mainly primary or secondary sources? Please do not only look at the bibliography for this question. Look at the footnotes. Many times, a primary source will be used over and over while a secondary source might be used only once or twice. Remember, a primary source is material written during the period studied. Primary sources include newspapers, census records, diaries, journal accounts, church records, fraternal association records, etc… Secondary sources are books, articles, and other material written long after the events of the period studied.

3. Describe the formation of Prague, Oklahoma. What was the importance of the railroad in the creation of Prague? Don’t forget important people in the formation of the town.

4. Was religion important in the early days of Prague? Discuss the religious landscape of the frontier farming town.

5. How did the Prague Czechs attempt to maintain their social, cultural, and linguistic heritage in their new environment? Be specific.

6. Did the Czechs of Prague participate in the local economy and other activities of the town? Discuss and give examples.

7. Discuss the everyday life of the Prague Czechs. Be specific.

8. How did the educational system change for the Prague Czechs? How do public schools affect the community?

9. Did the Prague Czechs participate in politics? Explain. Did they participate in community activities? Discuss.

10. Did the author convince you of his thesis? Why or why not? Give your overall feeling of the book. Did you like it? Why or why not?
1. Papers should be at least three pages in length, 12 point, using a standard font like Times or Calibri or something similar. (In order to receive at least a grade of “D”, your paper must be three full pages. However, a poorly written three-page paper would still receive a failing grade. I would expect good papers to be over four pages) There is no maximum number of pages.

2. Papers should be double-spaced and written in Microsoft Word.

3. In making a point, when you gain information from the book put the page number in parentheses after the sentence. For example: (71). If you use outside book reviews you will need to footnote the source using Chicago Manual of Style (Turrabian Style). You will also have to include a Works Cited Page. If you only use the book as your source you do not need to either footnote or include a Works Cited Page.

4. I would much prefer that you only use the book. You really do not need any outside sources to make a good grade. I want your thoughts and ideas, not a professional reviewer’s. However, I do not subtract any points if you use outside sources – as long as they are properly cited with a works cited page.

5. Your Book Review should include a Title and each page numbered. Your name must be typed in the top right corner of the first page.

6. The introductory paragraph of the paper should be a brief summary of the book, including the author’s thesis (the main point(s) the author is arguing). See Question 1.

7. The middle paragraphs should answer questions 2 – 9 on the Book Review Questions. Do not number your answers. However, answer the questions in the order they appear on the handout. You should have a paragraph for each question.

8. The concluding paragraph should sum up the book. Here, include a few sentences about your overall perception of the book. Did you like the book? Why or why not? (This is also included in question 10.)

9. Papers should be written in your own words. Avoid quotations as much as possible. Plagiarism is unacceptable. (Plagiarism is the stealing and use of the ideas or writings of another as one’s own. “Another” includes books, articles, and other sources, including other individuals.)

10. Papers should be straightforward and direct in language. Do not use words unless you are sure of their meanings. Avoid slang, unnecessary words, contractions (don’t, can’t, won’t etc…), and run-on sentences. Watch capitalization. I will subtract points for all of the above.

11. Papers should be free of grammatical errors and misspelled words. Use SpellCheck!

12. Have a friend or relative proofread your work. I do! He/She will find mistakes that you overlook.

13. Probably the best way to prepare your Book Review is to download/print these instructions and the questions. As you read the book, write out the answers to the questions as you come across them. Then use the answers to construct your review. It will make your life a lot easier if you do it this way.

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