Archive for the ‘Syllabus and Introductory Material’ Category

Your next two assignments involve writing about poetry.  First we’ll look at how they want you to respond on the AP exam with Tackling the AP Poetry prompt 2017.  In preparation for this, be sure to read, summarize each poem, and characterize the relationships explored in each poem by class on 3/14.

Then, which is much more fun, we’ll write about poetry a bit more openly and less mechanically with our Poetry Reflection assignment.  For this, do some exploring. Sure you can check out canonical poetry like the stuff in our book, but I think Poetry Foundation is much more fun.  (I mean, just listen to one of the recordings of the Douglas Kearney poems:).)  They have a nice list of women’s poetry for Women’s History Month and lots of other classic and current stuff.  Try to find something you like, even if you don’t understand it.  Wait, then I might be wrong.  Well, like Emerson said, “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”  Support your ideas, but don’t be afraid of them.

Still worried about things like “What if this isn’t what the author meant?”  click below.


While this might be creative, it's not really what we mean when we say make your resume attractive :)

While this might be creative, it’s not really what we mean when we say make your resume attractive 🙂

College Admissions Essay: One of the first things we’re doing is writing college admissions essays and resumes.  Here’s a great (and short) article on admissions essays: writing the essay sound advice from an expert.  Or you can read it here.  Bring prompts to class to work on.  (If you aren’t applying to a college that requires an entrance essay, use the Common App prompt).  A polished draft of one of your entrance essays is due on September 19.

Why?  You might ask . . . in most cases it won’t make or break your admission chances, but the entrance essay is an opportunity to introduce yourself, in your voice, and bring out things that don’t normally appear on an application or resume (so don’t just repeat your resume).  Here’s a good article SHOWING what the admissions essay can do: “Hidden Gold in College Applications.”

Resume (also due September 19): As far as resumes, there’s a wealth of information out there — search for it!  Resumes have changed a lot since your parents or I learned how to do them, namely by becoming more dynamic, so I encourage you to do some research on your own beyond what we tell you.  Look at examples and use templates to format your resume properly and attractively.


essay memeHere is a document I gave out during the first week of school on the basics of essay writing including introductions and conclusions, thesis formation, organization, quote integration, and MLA citations: Essay Writing Overview

(A PDF version can be found here: Essay Writing Overview)

We’ll be writing all year, so it’s a good idea to keep this information handy.  There is also a wealth of information on the internet and I highly recommend Purdue OWL as a reference.  It has a detailed MLA guide as well as advice on how to write everything from a resume to a research paper.

Just in case you need it, here’s a link to the short story we read the first day of class, “Girl.”

Here’s a super fun, unique short story originally published in Vanity Fair in 1932: Ordeal by Cheque

Web version can be found here.