Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Essay assignment: Beloved

English IV: Time Out
October, 2013
Essay assignment: Beloved

Assignment: Write an essay of approximately three pages typed (800 – 1000 words, approximately, using one of the following prompts or creating one of your own. (For practical reasons, check with me if you wish to pursue the “one of your own” option.) I will look especially for the following items: 1) specific analytical sentences (thesis, commentary, paragraph conclusions); 2) clear, unencumbered, accurate sentences; 3) precise vocabulary; 4) relevant textual evidence, in bite-size pieces, fully integrated with ideas; 5) mechanical correctness.

Caveat: There is undoubtedly much information available on the interweb. Reading it will probably taint your mind. Steer clear.


Beloved is, among other things, a novel about relationships. Choose two of the main characters and explore the relationship between them as deeply as you can in the space available.

Beloved is definitely a novel of the past. Choose a flashback or memory scene and explore, in some detail, its relationship to the context in which it is “remembered.”

Compare, in as much detail as possible, the two scenes in which white men come into the yard of 124 Bluestone Road. Look at Sethe’s state of mind, her actions, the behavior of the white men, possible ironies of situation, etc.

Look back at your notecards or journal entries for a seed which can be grown into a thesis statement and supported with evidence from the novel.

10/28 & 10/29—Introduce assignment
11/4 & 11/5—complete, typed drafts due in class for peer review
11/6 & 11/7—revised essays due at beginning of class, both hard copy and turnitin (assignment title: Beloved 2013)

Notes on format and heading available via separate link

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reading good literature makes us more human? There's proof!

"A striking new study found that reading literary fiction – as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction – leads people to perform better on tests that measure empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence" (N Y Times). See article here. (A tip of the hat to Mr. Flanagan-Hyde for finding this article.)