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Book evaluation essay on Grass Roots: In his book, Nick Johnson offers an argument about the
historical roots and contemporary environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation in the American West.
To support his claims, he did an enormous amount of research—books, articles, and reports—and spoke
to a lot of people—experts, friends, and strangers. You will follow in his footsteps. Imagine that you are
writing a letter to Johnson in which you engage his claim that “the history of cannabis, like the history of
anything, is useful because it reminds us of things that can help us plan for a better, or at least a saner,
future (7),” specifically how the most environmentally-damaging agricultural practices originated in
prohibition and continue through legalization. Since Johnson is a writer, you want to impress him with
your thoughtfulness and your prose. Your reply will have two parts: an evaluation and a source reflection.
Each part will be about two pages (about 4 paragraphs) each, with page numbers, double-spaced, 12-point
font with polished prose.
First, you will tell Johnson how well he made his argument. In other words, you will review the
book. A well-written review is not the same thing as a book report. A good review not only
summarizes what the author wrote, but a good review evaluates how well the author accomplishes his
goals AND explains whether the book matters in some kind of larger sense. Name two things that the
author does well and two things that he might have done differently. What did he do less well and how
might he have done those things differently? Here is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills in
constructive feedback, because it is not only about what you say, but how you say it.
Second, you will address specifically his use of primary sources. Choose ONE of the sources
listed in pages 183-224, read that source, summarize that source, and then review how well the author
HIST 173T/ENV S 173 American Environmental History 3
used that source. Reflect on how the author used a range of primary and secondary sources as evidence to
support his claims. How does the author move between synthesizing sources and reflecting on
implications? We will discuss finding and evaluating primary and secondary sources in greater detail.
Don’t forget to include an introduction and conclusion that brings together all the parts. Your
essay should be about five pages (about 10 paragraphs) long.12-point font, double-spaced essay.

  

Book evaluation essay on Grass Roots: In his book, Nick Johnson offers an argument about the
historical roots and contemporary environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation in the American West.
To support his claims, he did an enormous amount of research—books, articles, and reports—and spoke
to a lot of people—experts, friends, and strangers. You will follow in his footsteps. Imagine that you are
writing a letter to Johnson in which you engage his claim that “the history of cannabis, like the history of
anything, is useful because it reminds us of things that can help us plan for a better, or at least a saner,
future (7),” specifically how the most environmentally-damaging agricultural practices originated in
prohibition and continue through legalization. Since Johnson is a writer, you want to impress him with
your thoughtfulness and your prose. Your reply will have two parts: an evaluation and a source reflection.
Each part will be about two pages (about 4 paragraphs) each, with page numbers, double-spaced, 12-point
font with polished prose.
First, you will tell Johnson how well he made his argument. In other words, you will review the
book. A well-written review is not the same thing as a book report. A good review not only
summarizes what the author wrote, but a good review evaluates how well the author accomplishes his
goals AND explains whether the book matters in some kind of larger sense. Name two things that the
author does well and two things that he might have done differently. What did he do less well and how
might he have done those things differently? Here is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills in
constructive feedback, because it is not only about what you say, but how you say it.
Second, you will address specifically his use of primary sources. Choose ONE of the sources
listed in pages 183-224, read that source, summarize that source, and then review how well the author
HIST 173T/ENV S 173 American Environmental History 3
used that source. Reflect on how the author used a range of primary and secondary sources as evidence to
support his claims. How does the author move between synthesizing sources and reflecting on
implications? We will discuss finding and evaluating primary and secondary sources in greater detail.
Don’t forget to include an introduction and conclusion that brings together all the parts. Your
essay should be about five pages (about 10 paragraphs) long.12-point font, double-spaced essay.