Indian Ocean, Maldives
Jason McFaul
Professor of English
Office: 26D-1240E (Box is located in 26D-1471M)
Phone: 909-274-9751

In each of the classes I teach, students will be offered various opportunities to earn extra credit. Since some publications, like the Los Angeles Times, assert that the average American reads "half a book" per year, and the average college-educated American reads "one to two books" per year, it seems like an effort should be made to compel people to read. I can do this, dear students, by dangling glittering extra-credit points in front of you, tempting you with the opportunity to raise your grade by simply reading one of the following books and then composing a review.


[The books change each semester, but typically they have something to do with psychology, sociology, or philosophy.]


Should you choose to read one of these books, here are some of the things that should make their way into your one-page, typed review. Make sure that your title is a quotation (a word, a phrase, or an entire sentence), ideally a quotation you deem valuable. Next, endeavor to answer questions like "What can be learned in this book?", "How did this book benefit you?" , and "Should this book be recommended to others?" 


Know that in addition to submitting the review, we shall sit down for a few minutes so that I can ask you some questions. In this context, I will be a human lie-detector, making sure that you read the entire book and that you are not simply reviewing a book whose reviews you, perhaps, read on Amazon. Once you pass muster (most of my students do), you will have earned 50 extra-credit points. Further, you'll have at least met the paltry average observed by the Los Angeles Times and maybe, just maybe, begun a new habit.


Just as physical exercise is essential, so too is mental exercise. Try to devote at least 10-15 minutes per day to reading. Make it part of your daily ritual in an effort to enhance your mental fitness.






Last Updated: 12/17/19
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