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University of Toronto Mississauga
Department of Geography • Spring 2017

GGR 209H5F Economic Geography

 

Instructor: Pierre Desrochers

 

 Lectures: Tuesday 15:00-17:00

 

 Phone: (905) 828-5206

Office: Davis Building, room 3273

 

 Lecture room: IB 150

 

 E-mail: pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca

 

General Guidelines


The University of Toronto Mississauga Library staff has compiled  several links on researching and writing term papers. Look them up:
Writing
The Book Review or Article Critique
Advice on Academic Writing

You are asked to write a 15 page review essay of a book of your choice dealing with topics covered in this course.

Your choice of book must be approved by the instructor before turning in your review essay proposal. Send me an e-mail with the course number in the title. In the message, include the author's name, the book title, the book publisher, the year of publication and a link to the publisher's Webpage where I can find a summary of the book. If there is no publisher's page, give me a link to the Amazon.com page devoted to the book. (You can also use another Internet book seller. They key point here is that I want to read a summary of the book.)

Your paper should follow one of the Standard Documentation Formats.

Failure to turn in your proposal at the beginning of class will result in a penalty of 1 point (out of 5). Failure to turn in your proposal immediately once the class has ended will result in a grade of 0.
Note that a change of topic after the proposal has been submitted is possible, but it must be approved by the instructor at least one month before the deadline for the term paper.
 

Please make sure to keep the marked copy of your proposal. You will need to include it in the appendix of your term paper or review essay.

 

Review Essay Proposal


Deadline January 24 - failure to turn in your proposal on a hard copy at the beginning of the lecture will result in a grade of 0.

Review essays are due on Tuesday, March 28, 5 PM. There will be a drop-off box in front of Room Davis 3284.

Your book must be approved by the instructor. Please send me an e-mail (pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca) with the course number in the subject heading and a link to the book publisher's page for the book in your message. If there are no such page, provide me with a link to the Amazon.com or another seller's webpage for the book.
 

• No cover page (but name and student number, course number and title) 
• 1-2 page(s) (ideally 1 page, or 1 sheet of paper printed on both sides)
• Book title, author, publisher, year of publications, number of pages. 
• 1-2 paragraphs on who the author is, what the book is about and why you chose this particular book.
• 4 book review references (include name of the author, title of the review (if any), journal, journal issue, year of publication, pages). Please make an effort to find good reviews. Short description of a book content posted on a publisher's or a booksellers' Website or reviews posted on personal websites are not acceptable.
• If you are unable to locate 4 book reviews, list the periodical indexes consulted.

Any review published in an academic journal is acceptable. Reviews published in specialized magazines and professional Websites might also be acceptable, but contact me if you're not sure. Avoid listing reviews published on personal Website's, although you are free to use some of the arguments you might find in these reviews.

Suggested Format for the Review Essay Proposal
 

Review Essay Guidelines

Detailed instructions

The first thing to do is to look up the Review Essay Evaluation Sheet (PDF document).

It will tell you exactly what I am looking for in your paper and how it will be graded. Please read it carefully, try to address each point and don’t forget to include it with your review essay. This is not only an evaluation sheet, but also an instruction sheet.

In short, 2 sections of roughly equal length

Section 1: Summary

Who is the author?
What is the book about?
Where does it “fit” into the literature? (In other words, why was the book written? Is the author answering someone else's book? Is he/she part of a larger debate?)
What are the main arguments?
(Don’t use too many quotes.)

Section 2: Critical analysis

What do you think (don’t criticize for its own sake)?
Build upon the argumentation 
    Summarized earlier
    Book reviews 
    Other sources (you are expected to be familiar with all the relevant suggested readings). 

At the end of your review essay, include the following 3 attachments
Appendix 1: Marked Proposal
Appendix 2: 4 Printed Book Reviews (to clarify, I want the whole review, not just the reference)
Appendix 3: Review Essay Evaluation Sheet (identified) 

Other considerations

It is acceptable to use the "I" form in a review essay.
You can use whatever referencing style you like as long as you are consistent.
You can suggest a change of topic up to, but no longer than, 4 weeks before the final deadline.
Please note that you have all semester to write your assignment. No extra delay will therefore be given with the exception of a documented
  sickness that might prevent you from delivering your assignment on time.
 

Choosing a book


Your choice of book should be guided by the general goal of this course, i.e., the study of the interaction of the economic, social and political institutions that determine the quality of life in a particular place. This can mean everything from a book about the history of the economic development of a particular city or of a particular industry in one region to a study of the spatial organization of one multi-national corporation. Look up the list of subjects covered in the textbook. The following entries on About.com will also help you understand the scope of economic geography:
- Economic Geography: Overview of Economic Geography
- Economic Geography (Articles) 

I caution you to stay away from books authored by multiple authors (e.g., 18 authors have contributed to 13 chapters) as they typically lack focus, and from textbooks as they typically cover too much ground in a noncontroversial manner.

You can browse the University of Toronto library’s Website or any book seller’s Website to identify one that you would like to review.

Again, your choice of book must be approved by the instructor before turning in your review essay proposal. Send me an e-mail with the course number in the title. In the message, include the author's name, the book title, the book publisher, the year of publication and a link to the publisher's Webpage where I can find a summary of the book. If there is no publisher's page, give me a link to the Amazon.com page devoted to the book. (You can also use another Internet book seller. They key point here is that I want to read a summary of the book.)
 

Finding book reviews


Slides from Andrew Nicholson's presentation on the art of finding book reviews.
(Note: You can avoid the first steps by cliking on the links below)

Book Reviews - Interdisciplinary Indexes 

Read the instructions for each database carefully. The UTL personnel have gone to great length to help facilitate your use of these resources.

Not all indexes provide direct links with the journals in which you will find the book reviews. You might have to go back to the UTL Website and look up the catalogue to find the issue of the journal in which the book review was published.
 

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