Tag Archives: writing

Hurston’s Use of Dialect

zora2In addition to being a fine writer of fiction, Zora Neale Hurston was a folklorist and cultural anthropologist. About her writing, Hurston once said, “I tried…not to pander to the folks who expect a clown and a villain in every Negro. Neither did I want to pander to those “race” people among us who see nothing but perfection in all of us.” In a letter to her friend and fellow writer Fannie Hurst, Hurston wrote, “I know I cannot straighten out with a few pen-strokes what God and men took centuries to mess up. So I tried to deal with life as we actually live it–not as the sociologists imagine it.”

Hurston’s efforts were not universally appreciated by other members of the Harlem Renaissance, most notably Richard Wright. In a 1937 review for New Masses, Wright chided Hurston for not focusing on “motive fiction” or “social document fiction” and had particularly stinging things to say about her use of dialect in Their Eyes Were Watching God:

Her dialogue manages to catch the psychological movements of the Negro folk-mind in their pure simplicity, but that’s as far as it goes.

Miss Hurston voluntarily continues in her novel the tradition which was forced upon the Negro in the theatre, that is, the minstrel technique that makes the “white folks” laugh. Her characters eat and laugh and cry and work and kill; they swing like a pendulum eternally in that safe and narrow orbit in which America likes to see the Negro live: between laughter and tears.

Like Mark Twain before her, Hurston was exacting in her reproduction of speech patterns, both writers valuing authenticity over the preferences of the time. The following is a passage from “Characteristics of Negro Expression,” written by Hurston and published in Negro, 1934.

If we are to believe the majority of writers of Negro dialect and the burnt-cork artists, Negro speech is a weird thing, full of “ams” and “Ises.” Fortunately, we don’t have to believe them. We may go directly to the Negro and let him speak for himself.

I know that I run the risk of being damned as an infidel for declaring that nowhere can be found the Negro who asks “am it?” nor yet his brother who announces “Ise uh gwinter.” He exists only for a certain type of writers and performers.

Very few Negroes, educated or not, use a clear clipped “I.” It verges more or less upon “Ah.” I think the lip form is responsible for this to a great extent. By experiment the reader will find that a sharp “i” is very much easier with a thin taut lip than with a full soft lip. Like tightening violin strings.

If one listens closely one will not too that a word is slurred in one position in the sentence but clearly pronounced in another. This is particularly true of the pronouns. A pronoun as a subject is likely to be clearly enunciated, but slurred as an object. For example: “You better not let me ketch yuh.”

There is a tendency in some localities to add the “h” to “it” and pronounce it “hit.” Probably a vestige of Old English. In some localities “if” is “ef.”

In story telling “so” is universally the connective. It is used even as an introductory word, at the very beginning of the story. In religious expression “and” is used. The trend in stories is to state conclusions; in religion, to enumerate.

I am mentioning only the most general rules in dialect because there are so many quirks that belong only to certain localities that nothing less than a volume would be adequate.

Additional material from the National Endowment for the Arts’ “The Big Read” Reader’ Guide to Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Short Story Bootcamp: Writing Assignment

Now that you and your cohort have had an opportunity to read and discuss your selected short story, it is time to move to the final skill of the bootcamp: writing a literary analysis paper. Using a retired AP prompt as a guide, you will will select and analyze specific textual evidence from your story in order to support a coherent thesis.
  1. Choose a character and write an essay in which you (a) briefly describe the standards of the fictional society in which the character exists and (b) show how the character is affected by and responds to those standards.
  2. Identify a specific inanimate object (e.g., a seashell, a handkerchief, a painting) that is important in your story, and write an essay in which you show how two or three of the purposes the object serves are related to one another.
  3. The significance of a title such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is so easy to discover. However, in other works (for example, Measure for Measure) the full significance of the title becomes apparent to the reader only gradually. Show how the significance of the title of your story is developed through the author’s use of devices such as contrast, repetition, allusion, and point of view.
  4. An effective literary work does not merely stop or cease; it concludes. In the view of some critics, a work that does not provide the pleasure of significant closure has terminated with an artistic fault. A satisfactory ending is not, however, always conclusive in every sense; significant closure may require the reader to abide with or adjust to ambiguity and uncertainty. In an essay, explain precisely how and why the ending of your story appropriately or inappropriately concludes the work.
  5. Choose an implausible or strikingly unrealistic incident or character in your story. Write an essay that explains how the incident or character is related to the more realistic or plausible elements in the rest of the work.
  6. Select a moment or scene in your story that you find especially memorable. Write an essay in which you identify the line or the passage, explain its relationship to the work, and analyze the reasons for its effectiveness.
While you can analyze the nonfiction pieces in AP Language and Composition using the rhetorical triangle (Purpose/Audience/Speaker), literary works require a different approach. A literary work rarely has a stated or implied purpose the way an essay or editorial will; instead, a literary work will more likely explore a universal theme or idea of some kind, like coming of age, sacrifice, epiphany, etc. Your essay should focus on what the author is employing (point of view, setting, specific diction, etc.), how that tool is being used (look for patterns of words/phrases, how the story structure reveals information, where in the narrative or dialogue the technique is being employed, etc.), and why (what point about love/honor/growth or what have you is the author intending to make).
Here’s an example of the what—>how—>why relationship applied to Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”:


Vonnegut’s fantastic imagery (what) reaches its climax when Harrison and his chosen empress abandon “Not only…the laws of the land…, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well” and “leap like deer on the moon.” (how – examples from text) These improbable actions underscore the absurdity of their situation and the lengths people are willing to go to overcome it. (why)

Because your paper should be limited to two pages, choose your evidence carefully. Remember, you are not expected to comment on every aspect of your selected story. Focus on selecting multiple examples from the text that support your thesis. Avoid the “drive-by” reference (Hey, look! A symbol! On to the next paragraph…). Your goal should be to create a persuasive case for your answer to the prompt, revealed through your reading/interpretation of the story and its construction.


  1. Your cohort is encouraged to mark your story text and comment using a Google Doc through Collaborations in Canvas. 
  2. Cohort members should assist each other in the writing process by providing feedback, answering questions, and suggesting evidence to support an individual writer’s chosen prompt.
  3. Final papers must follow standard rules for formal paper submission. The first page of the document should list your name, name of course and instructor, and the date. Your last name and page number go in the document header. The whole paper should be in 12 pt., left-justified, and double-spaced. You don’t have to use TNR, but you do need to choose a professional-looking, readable typeface–this is a paper, not a party invitation. If you do not know how to format documents properly, ASK. A title is not required, but an appropriate and thoughtful one is welcome. Name your file Bootcamp QuestionNumber LastName: Bootcamp Q3 Smith, for example.
  4. Papers will be scored using the AP 6-point scale.
  5. Papers are due Wednesday, September 16 to Canvas by 11:59 pm. At midnight, your grade turns into a pumpkin.

As always, if you have questions, see me. Happy writing!

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Short Story Bootcamp: Writing Prep

bootsWe’re in the home stretch of our short story boot camp, and now it’s time for you to put your knowledge to work. You will work with a cohort to discuss and analyze a story from an assigned group. The ultimate objective is to write a paper about the story which uses specific examples from the selected text to answer an AP-style prompt.

Your cohort will complete the following tasks:

  • Read and discuss your story – you may mark your electronic copy either with notes/highlighting in Google Docs or through a PDF markup tool like Acrobat or Kami
  • Select an AP prompt from a provided list
  • Collaborate to plan and write a formal paper – all members of the cohort should assist each other in gathering evidence and refining the paper draft

You and your cohort should confer to select ONE story from your assigned group. You may access/download a copy of your story from the following links:


Gina Berriault, “The Stone Boy

Ha Jin, “Saboteur

Tillie Olson, “I Stand Here Ironing

Alice Walker, “Everyday Use


Sherman Alexie, “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona

William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily

Frank O’Connor, “First Confession

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, “The Medicine Bag


Arthur C. Clarke, “The Nine Billion Names of God

Nadine Gordimer, “Once Upon a Time

Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Gabriel García Márquez, “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World


In your cohort, you will first discuss and expand your knowledge and understanding of your selected story. Use the Literary Elements diagram to guide your analysis and discussion. Consider which of the tools are being employed in a way that reveals the author’s overall meaning in the story. For example, John Updike’s “A&P” is successful because of his choice of the first person point of view, which helps to create the indelible character of Sammy the checkout clerk. You can discuss strong characterization, the success of the use of dialogue, diction and syntax choices that reveal tone, how symbols in the story convey meaning—your choices are open. You could also refer to the Exploring and Identifying Theme handout to begin crafting a MOWAW for your story. Remember, a statement of meaning cannot be a single word; it must be expressed in a phrase.

Your discussion and analysis will be used to select a prompt for your final 500-word paper, which will be due next week. Prompts will be made available tomorrow.

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What’s Your Word? Essay

After reading the excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love, you will craft a short essay in which you explain your word and why it fits you. Your essay should include three elements found in Gilbert’s original piece:

  • A detailed description of something – Emulate her description of the “quintessential Roman woman” in the first long paragraph of the excerpt. Your description may be of anything (person, item, etc.), but it must contain the same level of focus and detail. Your description should fit with the tone of your overall piece.
  • One sentence containing a string of participles, like the one from the first long paragraph at the top of page 2: “Thinking about it, dressing for it, seeking it, considering it, refusing it, making a sport and game out of it—that’s all anybody is doing.”
  • A contrast paragraph in which you further define yourself by including several brief explanations of words you are not, as she does in the final long paragraph of the piece.

Your elements do not have to come in the same order as they do in the excerpt, but they must be included somewhere in your response. Your final piece must be typed (double-spaced, 12 pt. font) and is limited to two pages. Please use Google Docs to prepare your response. A carefully-crafted paper might be revised as a potential college essay, so take care to do a good job.

Your final completed essay must be submitted to Canvas. Have fun!

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Filed under AP Literature, Honors IV




Are we actually reading all these books? Do we read the whole book of each selection? How many books do we read this year? Do you do in class group readings?
You should complete an “elite eight” of titles by the end of the course. Some we’ll read in class together, and the others you’ll read on your own. I’ll assign the bulk of the works, but you’ll have a few opportunities for input into what we’ll be reading. If you’re talking about reading aloud for the class, no.

Will we be reading more modern or older books?
The works I’ve selected are a blend of both. We’ll be spanning the gamut from ancient Greek drama to 20th-century masterpieces. And no, they won’t all be Shakespeare.

Are there other readings other than listed?
We will read a few short works at the very beginning of the course to warm up your literary engines. We will also study poetry throughout the course alongside the major plays and novels.

Is the reading going to be very hard to understand?
Some works will be more challenging than others. If you work diligently and ask questions, you should be fine. Students who complain that books are impossible are usually the ones who either 1) Haven’t read them at all and are trying to justify using the SparkNotes instead (not recommended) or 2) Procrastinated until they couldn’t complete the assigned reading, even if they intended to, and are therefore lost because they have no idea what everyone else is talking about. But if you ever do hit a snag, ask me. Helping you is my job!

What is the workload like? Will we have a lot of homework?
Plan to do some reading nearly every night when you have an assigned novel in hand. Other assignments, like out of class essays, will have due dates for both the initial draft and the final copy to be submitted for grading posted well in advance so you can plan for them. Class will be a mixture of individual and group work, while homework is usually reading, completing tasks associated with the reading, poetry journals, and occasional out of class writing assignments or projects. Socratic seminars will be conducted at the end of each major work; you will be expected to prepare for these by completing a Six Pack Sheet as you read. More details later.

Will I be expected to read at my own pace, or are we given a schedule for when certain books should be read?
I don’t usually specify a certain number of pages per night, since all of you differ in the kind and amount of homework you have. I will post on the class calendar how far you need to progress at certain points, like everyone being at the end of Chapter 10 on a particular date. Those days are usually posted on the whiteboard in the front of the class as well.

How often will we write? How many essay types will we work on?
Writing practice happens frequently. Expect either an in-class timed writing or an out-of-class prepared essay for each major work. Out-of-class essays and the occasional revision of an in-class writing will be submitted electronically. You’ll also be practicing the prose and poetry questions of the AP exam. AP Lit essays, since they explore themes within works, are nearly always a kind of analysis. There is no synthesis-style question on the AP Lit exam. Figure on about an essay a week, on average. Alas, there’s very little time available for creative writing (short stories/poetry), but if you’re inclined to write that, I’d love to hear about it!

Is this class harder than AP Lang?
That’s tough to answer. Both Lang and Lit are asking you to analyze writing at some of the highest levels. They’re designed to stretch you. They look at two different things, though. Lang focuses on claim and support for argumentation and primarily focuses on nonfiction works (essays, letters, speeches, etc.), while Lit asks you to provide textual evidence for interpretation of meaning. The claim and evidence structure is the same, but the type of claim and the evidence differ. If you tend to love novels and plays more than nonfiction, you might find Lit “easier,” although that’s really not the best word for it.

How many tests but we have per month? Is there a curve on tests?
You’ll be writing far more often than you’ll be taking a test. An occasional reading quiz (quote and short answer format, primarily) might pop up, but old-school, end-of-chapter tests with a bajillion multiple choice questions? Not in here. Most of the multiple choice questions you’ll see will be AP practice items, and they aren’t graded like regular tests. I rarely curve because I rarely need to.

What materials do we need?
Didn’t you read the syllabus? Notebook paper, a writing utensil (preferably pen), and a composition book. NO SPIRALS. Why? Because spiral notebook paper likes to have inappropriate relations with other spiral notebook paper, littering my desk with wee spiral shrapnel and generally making a nuisance of itself. Spiral paper is no bueno. If you can tear pages out of a spiral neatly and without that evil shredded wheat on the side, okay—but you’re pushing it!

majestyWhat is life like when you take AP Lit?
Pretty much like life without it, but with more books. Seriously, though, that depends on what kind of reader you are. If you enjoy reading and writing or are really good at planning your study time, you should be able to fit things in just fine. If you put it off or take shortcuts, it will start to dog your life and make you say naughty things. If your procrastination level equals the completion date of the Majesty Building, then ask me for tips on how to become a ninja in completion rather than avoidance.



How is the exam going to be set up?
The AP Literature exam has two parts. Part I, the Multiple Choice section, comprises 45% of the overall score. The section has 55 questions which will test your close reading of both prose and poetry. Selections will be drawn from pre-20th century and post-20th century works. This section takes one hour. Part II, the Free Response, comprises 55% of the overall score. You will write three essays. One asks you to respond to a poem, one asks you to respond to a prose passage, and the third asks you to select a work of literature to illustrate/explore a given theme. This section takes two hours. There is no reading period on the AP Literature exam.

Will I be surprised by the AP exam?
The only thing that will be a surprise on this exam will be the content of the questions themselves. You will practice every type of question several times so that you can be relaxed and ready to rock on test day.

What happens if I don’t pass the AP exam?
Technically, there is no “passing” an AP exam, since the 1-5 composite score expresses the College Board’s recommendation for conferring college credit for the coursework. Typically, most colleges award credit for a score of 3 or higher, which means less money coming out of your pocket for tuition. The course is designed to train you to produce college-level work. Regardless of your score on the exam, if you do your work diligently for me and listen to me when I try to help you improve, you should be just fine in college. Your high school credits and graduation status are not affected by your AP score.



Do you write recommendation letters? How about help with college essays? Scholarships?
Yes, and yes. For letters, you might want to consider waiting until second semester, when I know you better, and ask me for scholarship recommendations or assistance. I’m happy to review essays as long as you give me some lead time. Last minute requests for either make me cranky; if I’m feeling benevolent, I might help you out—but you’ll have to grovel first. And I’ll put that picture on Instagram (you can bow your head in shame to hide your face, though).

Can you help with finding scholarships? What scholarships are available to seniors? How to obtain as much scholarship money as I can?
Attaining scholarships can feel like a real burden, but they don’t have to be. The main thing is to stay organized and apply, apply, apply. The best scholarships, and the ones you’re more likely to earn, usually require effort: a full application, an essay, etc. Make sure you qualify for the scholarship you’re applying for so you make the best use of your time. And keep checking the Dr. Phillips Student Services page—it lists scholarships all the time, usually organized by deadline.

Where did you go to college?
I earned my bachelor’s at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. I double-majored in English and Fine Arts (drama/speech concentration) and minored in history. I earned a master’s at UCF in secondary English education. College was awesome. I highly recommend it.

What’s the best tip for doing well in senior year?
Plan. Schedule your commitments, including homework, community service, jobs, etc., and stick to it. Remember that even though it feels like you’re done with high school, it ain’t over ’til it’s over, and it ain’t over until May. Keep on pushing!

What are some good anti-procrastination techniques?
If I knew a great answer to that, I’d be a gazillionaire. Since I’m not, I’ll refer you to some great time management apps you should install on your phone or extensions to add to Chrome. Check out links to some of them in the “Simplify Your Life” menu to the right.



Can we eat in class?
I’ve had seniors who swore to me that they would be neat but who actually turned out to be Visigoths. Don’t be like them. I’m fine with drinks in containers with caps. Finger snacks like Goldfish crackers or carrots are okay, but save anything you have to eat with utensils for later. And pick up your trash!

Can we listen to 70s/80s music all year? Can we listen to music in class? What’s your favorite band? What’s your favorite rapper/rap group?
I actually have pretty wide musical taste, so you’ll hear a little of everything except things I can’t concentrate to (sorry, screamo and hardcore rap). I won’t play music every day, but it makes regular appearances. As far as bands go, I have a bunch of music from R.E.M., Rush, Sting, The Police, U2, Jimmy Buffett, Foo Fighters, big band orchestras, Miles Davis, Liz Phair, and 80s music. I’m always open to new artists as long as they’re melodic, which is how my kids got me into Alt-J and St. Paul and the Broken Bones. And although rap is a genre I don’t listen to often, I like artists who have something intelligent to say in an interesting way, so bring on the Public Enemy, De La Soul, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, and Missy Elliott.

How long have you been teaching? What is your favorite thing about teaching?
Since last century. It’s never the same day twice, and being around young people keeps me young.

What’s your favorite children’s book/book?
Children’s books: Go, Dog. Go!, Charlotte’s Web, the Little House, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Nicholas Flamel series, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and The Phantom Tollbooth.
Grown people books: Pride and Prejudice, Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Winter’s Tale.

Other favorites (color, animal, country, TV show, movie, thing ever)?
• Blue, green, or purple (depends on the day)
• Horses for beauty and dogs for loyalty and companionship
• Scotland, because it’s the home of one of my hidden talents—traditional Scottish Highland dance. My other “hidden” talent is that I’m a published author.
• British murder mysteries, especially those with history like Foyle’s War and Grantchester, The Big Bang Theory, classic Star Trek. I also enjoy hate-watching House Hunters.
• The Princess Bride, Better Off Dead, Raising Arizona, Young Frankenstein, Galaxy Quest, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And Star Wars. All of it. Even The Phantom Menace, because you should always be kind to the awkward people.

What was your hair color before it was grey?
Medium to dark brown. It’s still in there, but the white is taking over. Look closely and you’ll see.

What’s something you’ve never said aloud? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
If I’ve never said it aloud, why would I write it down? And probably agreeing to an AMA with high school seniors, LOL.

What is your favorite subreddit? Do you use Reddit a lot?
Actually, I don’t use Reddit at all, but if I did, you’d find me with the writers and geeks and general know-it-alls. I’m all over Twitter, however.

Could Ned Stark have found a way out of that “situation”?
Not really. His loyalty was to Robert Baratheon, so it’s not like he could refuse the request to become the Hand of the King. And he was basically too honorable to think that Cersei Lannister was plotting to get him and King Robert out of the way, but he figured it out. Too bad it was too late when he did. I’m sure Arya will set things straight, though. She’s on a roll.

Is this class going to be lit?
If you’re being literal, then of course, because it’s already LITerature. If you mean the colloquial phrase closely related to “turnt,” then clearly you haven’t received proper intel, or you’d know the answer to this question already.

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?


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Semester Reflection: AP

self reflectionNow that we have completed the first semester, it is time to reflect on your performance as a student of AP English. For this assignment, you will need to review the items in your portfolio and the scores you received on the semester mock exam.


1)    Review your written responses for commonalities. Is there a comment that keeps recurring? Record it. What are the most common problems on your papers? 

2)    What can you do to address and correct your writing problems? Is there a specific lesson I could give that would help? 

3)    Compare some earlier papers with papers written more recently. Where do you see that you have grown/improved? 

4)    Think about your reading habits for the class. Have you read all the works? If you haven’t read all of the assigned works, what is preventing you from finishing them on time? 

5)    What else do you need to do to be a successful student in the course and on the AP exam? Consider such things as distractions during class (phone/talking/other work you’re doing instead), scheduling, navigating Canvas, etc.



Review your mock exam and respond to the following questions.

1)    MULTIPLE CHOICE: Review your score. Did you earn at least half of the points (26+)? If so, how can you continue to score well? If not, what prevented you from scoring at least half?

2)    FREE RESPONSE: Skim each of your three essays. Then for each, respond to the following:
—Is your score for the question LOW (0-3), MIDRANGE (4-6), or HIGH (7-9)?
—What would you need to do to move this essay into the next score range?

3)    Overall, what would help you feel more confident on the exam? Consider such things as practice items, workshop, tutoring, etc.

When you have finished your reflection, please file your mock exam in your class portfolio. Take the time to weed out your portfolio. Remove any extraneous papers that do not relate directly one of the exam questions, i.e. old homework, classwork, etc. Keep the copies of your Six Pack Sheets and Window Notes from your play’s lit circle for review before the exam.

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Problem-Solution Paper Guidelines

You will be writing a short problem-solution essay of your own which incorporates research material to define a problem of your choice, explore potential solutions, and lead to a conclusion in which you promote one selected solution as the most efficient choice.

First, you must define, or draw a boundary around, the problem you will be exploring. “Environmental change” is too big, but “negative effects of overdevelopment” is more manageable. “Politics” is too broad, but “increasing voter participation” is clearer and easier to discuss. You may use some research material here to help define your problem, like statistics that reveal the decline in voter participation rates or quotations from policy experts on overbuilding in sensitive environmental areas. This section provides a frame of reference for the paper as a whole and should inform the reader about the aspect of the problem you wish to address.

In this section of the paper, you will explain two or three potential solutions that should lessen the overall effects of the problem you identified. None of the problems you selected  can be solved by one simple solution (if they could be, we’d have fixed them already!). Instead, you will talk about some potential solutions that should mitigate, or lessen, the problem as a whole. For the voting problem, this might include a “motor voter” law that makes it easy for people to register to vote while they are renewing a driver’s license, making Election Day a national holiday so people are free to go to the polls, or changing our voting method to mail ballots or secure electronic voting. All of the solutions you suggest should include research information that explains why the solution is viable and what effect the selected solution can have or will have on the problem you have defined.

Out of the solutions you have discussed, you need to choose one as the best solution to your problem. Note that this is not the only solution, but the one you think will have the strongest or most positive impact on your original problem. In this section of the paper, you will use your research to back up your conclusion. Explain why this choice is the best one. What effects has this solution had in other circumstances? Is this solution being implemented somewhere else in a positive way? What results have occurred?

Your finished paper should meet the following guidelines:

  • Typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. standard font
  • 2-3 pages of text
  • Research information should be cited internally using MLA format (quick guidelines here)
  • Works Cited page at the end in proper format listing the sources you have used in the paper

Your final paper should be uploaded to Google Classroom no later than Friday, December 16. Remember to revise and proofread before submitting!

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Take Your Mulligan

Golf+Ball+HoleIn golf, a mulligan is a do-over, a chance to take a second swing at a ball for a better result. Now that you have reviewed your graded essays, you have the chance to do just that.

In class, you worked through the TEASE organizer to identify specific ways to improve one of your submitted essays. Here is your mulligan: If you are willing to rewrite the essay with an eye toward improving at least one score point, then I am willing to adjust your score card (grade) for that essay. Here are the requirements:

  1. This is a voluntary assignment. If you choose not to do the rewrite, please consider the improvement suggestions as you complete your essays for the semester mock exam.
  2. The essay must be typed, double spaced, 12 pt.
  3. Your essay must include a separate paragraph at the top that summarizes your revision goals and what you have done differently on this essay than on your original draft to improve. Follow this format:
    My original essay received a score of ____ because ____. I have done _____ so that I may improve to at least a score of _____.
  4. The opportunity window closes at 11:59:59 pm. At midnight, the assignment locks. You will not be allowed to submit a late mulligan.

Mulligan essays must be submitted to Edmodo by Friday, January 8. Good luck!

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Selecting the Proper Voice



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Fine-Tuning the LOTF Essay


As you complete your revisions for your Lord of the Flies archetype essay, please consider the following:

DO: Include Golding’s full name and the name of the work in the first paragraph.

DON’T: Refer to Golding as “William” unless he’s your uncle or regularly comes to your house for dinner.

DO: Include a strong thesis in your first paragraph. It should be obvious which character, archetypal role, and theme/MOWAW you have chosen to explore.

DON’T: Summarize!

DO: Integrate appropriate quotations or examples into the essay to illustrate your points. For example, let’s say you wish to include the following quotation from Ralph on p. 54: “I was talking about smoke! Don’t you want to be rescued? All you can talk about is pig, pig, pig!”


“I was talking about smoke! Don’t you want to be rescued? All you can talk about is pig, pig, pig!” (54) This is what Ralph says when…

Don’t plop quotations in and expect the reader to connect the dots for you.


Ralph’s frustration with Jack’s focus on hunting boils over when he yells, “I was talking about smoke! Don’t you want to be rescued? All you can talk about is pig, pig, pig!” (54)

Reveal your thinking about why you chose the quotation or example and how it connects to what you’re developing in the writing.

Anything quoted directly from the book, whether dialogue or description, needs to be cited with a page number.

DO: Include the bibliographic citation for the work at the bottom of your last page:

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Perigee, 1954.

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Filed under AP Literature