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xTheDreamer's avatar

What is the best book to use to write an essay of Galileo Galilei?

Asked by xTheDreamer (881points) August 26th, 2010

I have this essay to write for History class, it’s a 15 page essay and my subject for the essay is Galileo Galilei. I have to write about how he had changed the world but in 15 pages. We have to use at least can ONLY use two books for this essay.

But I don’t know what book to use, so I’ve searched on for some Galileo books and I found:
● Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo, Stillman Drake, John Heilbron, and Albert Einstein

● Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo by Galileo Galilei

● The Essential Galileo by Galileo Galilei and Maurice A. Finocchiaro

● Sidereus Nuncius, or The Sidereal Messenger by Galileo Galilei and Albert Van Helden

● Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei by Peter Sis

● Galileo Galilei: First Physicist by James H. MacLachlan

Out of which two of these books I can use to help me write my essay?(Our school language is Dutch so it’s difficult for me to copy text from the book, so don’t worry about it)

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12 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

For a 15 page essay, you’re going to need just about all of them. Each one will offer something different.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

No serious student can rely on one or even two books to write a respectable essay.

lillycoyote's avatar

You’re playing kind of a tough room here, people get little cranky here when you ask them not just for help with your school work but to tell you what to do and how to do it. Students are assigned paper so that they will learn basic research skills like how to find, identify and asses the materials they will need to write the paper, how one approaches primary sources vs. secondary sources, to learn basic critical thinking skills, learn to construct basic, well reasoned argument; to learn how to communicate clearly what they know and why and how they know it and what they think and why and how they came to think it, how to communicate an argument that can be supported by your research and analysis. That fact that your teacher is only requiring you to use a minimum of two books for 15 page paper is pretty sad, I think.

xTheDreamer's avatar

@BarnacleBill @Dr_Lawrence But we can only use two books. So which of those are the best one to suggest?

xTheDreamer's avatar

@lillycoyote But it’s kind of harder for us because our school is not based in the U.S and our school system does not work just the same as the U.S system. Plus to write an essay in an other language and can only use English books is very difficult especially Dutch. I mean I know it’s not right but I really can’t figure it out myself and my parents doesn’t understand Dutch and barely English. So sorry if I’m being so called lazy or unknowledgeable or something along those lines that seem like I don’t want to learn basic critical thinking skills and such. If I was writing an essay for English class I think I wouldn’t even be asking for some help on here because writing an English essay in English is pretty easy but writing an essay for History class in Dutch, well you know.
It’s okay you don’t want to help but I mean I’ve heard this a thousand times already.

But anyway, is all good.

lillycoyote's avatar

@xTheDreamer O.K. Before I get myself in too deep here, let me get this straight. You are an English speaking person, going to school in Holland and Dutch is a second language and your assignment is to write a 15 page paper on how Galileo changed the world, in Dutch, using only two books? That’s a different story. If that’s what you’re saying the good news is I will stop the patronizing lectures and apologize for them, but the bad new is I have no clue what two books you should use. It’s kind a weird assignment, to only use two books.

zophu's avatar

Maybe I’m speaking blasphemy here, but maybe asking for informed opinions is a good research tactic. Especially when a list of options has already been put together.

lillycoyote's avatar

@zophu No, you’re right. I went kind of knee-jerk on poor @xTheDreamer, bad habit of mine. Asking people with knowledge on a subject to help you to find a way to point your research in one or another direction is most certainly a valid approach. One of the things that makes going to school or something like it, with other humans, rather than relying completely on self-study, the preferred approach to education. :-)

augustlan's avatar

I’m not familiar with any of the books you’ve listed, but I’d think a respected Galileo biography would be a good place to start.

xTheDreamer's avatar

@lillycoyote Dutch is actually our first language but I don’t go to school in Holland rather an island that was colonized by the Dutch. It is a weird but that’s how the Dutch system works.

@augustlan Thanks for the information.

lillycoyote's avatar

@xTheDreamer So, let’s see, are you somewhere in The Netherlands Antilles maybe? Sorry, I know this isn’t really helping you get the information you need but it’s interesting to me. I got my last degree about 18 years ago, last time I was in school, so I’m not really up on current Galileo, though I can’t say I was really up on Galileo scholarship then either. Good luck to you though, you’ll do fine.

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