September 2009 Archives

Assigned Text:

Roberts Ch 12

Pay special attention to the sample paper.

How does "writing about a problem" differ from simply sharing your interpretation of a work?

Is Roberts introducing a way of thinking that's new to you?  Or does he repeat something you learned from someone else?  Does Roberts introduce a new way of thinking about an issue that your other writing teachers have already addressed?   I'm still interested in reading your thoughts about the sample paper, but I'm also interested in ways your other teachers have introduced similar topics.
Assigned Text:

Frost, "Desert Places"

In Roberts.

(When you're here adding your links, please remember also to add the links to Friday's Wordsworth/Yeats page.)
Find a per-reviewed literary research article.

1. How confident are you that this is a good source?
2. What would be your next step if you were to use this in a research paper?
3. What evidence does this author use?
4. What is this author's thesis (and to what extent do you find it helpful)?
Assigned Text:

Wordsworth and Yeats

I asked you to read the Wordsworth and Yeats selections, and reflect on what we discussed in class Wednesday about romanticism and modernism.
Post a separate response to this text, preferably something responding to Monday's class discussion.


Due Today:

Portfolio 1

If you have been keeping up with your blogging, this assignment will simply involve collecting and reflecting.  If there are gaps in your blogging, this is your chance to catch up.

What is your portfolio?

It begins with a richly-linked blog entry that introduces your reader to blog entries that you have created, and discussions from your peers' blogs in which you have participated, as part of a reflective statement on your progress so far.

Examples of portfolios from previous classes have included a no-nonsense list and a more personal essay. Either format is fine, but however you present your work, it's important to me that you specify where each of your posts falls amongst the categories listed below. The same post can count for more than one category, but if you keep re-using the same handful of posts that's probably a sign you can do a little better next time.

Read the whole play.
To what extent does gender control the way authors represent the world through literature, the way we read those representations, and the methods by which readers (and critics) choose what is worth preserving/embracing/discussing/ignoring/challenging/defending/rejecting?
Due Today:

Paper 1 Draft

First draft of a 4-5 page paper that demonstrates your ability to make an argument, supported by observations taken from a close reading.
  • Note that "There is symbolism in this poem" is just an observation. You might do a wonderful job analyzing the symbolism and describing its components, but a list of observations does not amount to a debatable argument.
  • "The flower symbolism in this work contrasts sharply with the protagonist's uncharitable actions, leaving the reader to question the narrator's reliability, which in turn makes it harder for the reader to empathize with the protagonist's sufferings."
Support your claims with direct, specific references to one or more texts we have studied in class.
  • Remember to make a claim about the literary work, not about "people" or "love" or "nature."
  • You may, of course, make a claim about how this particular work or author represents people, love, or nature; the key is to anchor your observations in the specific words that cause to think one way or the other on the topic you chose.
While I'm not asking for a paper that artificially divides itself up into "pro" and "con" sections, any literary essay needs to argue a debatable point, which means there has to be reasonable evidence that works against your claim.

Resources that you may find helpful:

Bring three printouts of your Paper 1 Draft, to exchange with a peer and discuss in class.

I will ask you to get into groups of three. Each of you will have a draft in front of you.  Peer #1 will read your work aloud, and peer #2 and you will both listen and take notes on printouts.  Then peer #2 will share his/her notes, and #1 and #2 will discuss their reactions.  After they have both shared their reactions, you are welcome to comment. Change roles until every member has heard someone read their papers aloud.
Assigned Text:

Plath (in Kelly, 237-243)

Assigned Text:

Roberts Ch5

Assigned Text:

Roberts, Ch4

In Roberts.
Assigned Text:


Read the Billy Collins section (73-77) in Kelly.

You don't need to blog about each poem individually, but do make some specific references, rather than simply reporting your general impressions.
Due Today:

Ex 2: Close Reading

3 pages.

Choose a passage from any of the literary works we have studied so far (even if we didn't say much about them in class).

Defend a non-obvious claim about that passage.  Be sure your claim is about the literary work, not about our world. ("People can be thoughtless. Mathilde is an example of such a thoughtless person, who...")

Remember to defend a claim about the literary work itself, supported with quotations from the work.  I'm not asking you to do any outside research into the author's life or current events that might have affected the creation and reception of the work; just focus on the words on the page.

3 pages (about 750 words), in MLA style. I will not actually record a grade until you upload your draft to (and I will send out the login information in an e-mail).  Bring a copy of your submission to class for a peer-review session.

Due Today:

Roberts Ch 3

Recent Comments

Karyssa Blair on Paper 3 Revision: Thank you! I was worried I wou
Dennis G. Jerz on Paper 3 Revision: That's right, you have until T
Karyssa Blair on Paper 3 Revision: Dr. Jerz, I was wondering, by
Kayla Lesko on Portfolio 4:
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