CON E 101 Construction and Culture Fall 2015
BOOK REPORT ASSIGNMENT
Read the book assigned to you on the group discussion board. You will read one of four
books on fires affecting elements of the built environment, covering a wide range of time.
Upon completion of the book (and no later than October 19 at 1130pm) submit a Word
document (pdf, .doc, or .docx ONLY) via this turnitin assignment.
Be sure that your report answers the following questions:
1. WHAT BOOK did you read (give a full bibliographic citation)? (attach after report as
2. What HAPPENED in this book? You should be able to describe some particulars such
as when did the fire occur, what type of structure was it, how severe was it – basically
telling the story of the fire. Also, think about the kinds of destruction that are described –
where was there significant damage, and why? (1.5 pages max)
3. Can you CONFIRM that the author is accurate? You will want at least two other
sources (only one of which is internet based) that will allow you to opine on whether the
author(s) of your book got the big picture, and some specific details, correct. (mixed into
the text, not a separate section)
4. How did the built environment influence survival in positive AND NEGATIVE ways?
Were there people who owed their survival to elements of the built environment? How so
(specific examples)? Were there people who put their faith in elements of the built
environment to tragic effect (specific examples)? How did the cultural systems of the
day, perhaps as reflected by government agencies or institutions, influence the outcome?
Be sure to describe any specific, physical features of the built environment that were
directly related to the ability of people to survive the fire, and any specific cultural
features that had similar impact.
5. Would a similar structure built today potentially suffer the same fate? Did the fire lead
to any changes in either physical or cultural features in buildings built afterwards? Are
you safer in buildings now (give specific reasons).
6. Did YOU like this book? Would you recommend it to others? Produce a review of it
as an object of entertainment, perhaps using a review of a book in a magazine or
newspaper as an example. (0.5 page max)
The overall report will be 5-6 pages in length, not counting any cover, table of contents,
or appendices. You should use space-and-a half, 12 point font, 1 inch margins all around.
Number your pages. Spelling, grammar, presentation will be graded.
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