The first documentary is required. Since we may not have time in class, you should watch this documentary in its entirety -- from home (flipped classroom!). Consult your Worksheet (above) in order to understand what you should take away from this documentary.
This second documentary is from the perspective of North Korea on Western propaganda. The film, which could be considered propaganda itself, does address some common propaganda techniques used by western countries, including sloganeering and "globalization." We will likely not have time to watch this one in class. You should watch the first 38 minutes of it at home using the Youtube link given below. Of course, you will need to take some of the material presented with a grain of salt! After all, it's the North Koreans.
Check the assignment center on MoeCampus for all assignments.
Check under the specific topic folders for downloads and links, etc.
Today in class
After the Great Expectations quiz on Volume III, we'll discuss satire. Here are two questions for you to consider:
1, What aspects of Victorian life does Charles Dickens satirize in Great Expectations? How? Through what means? Through which characters? Situations?
2. Which characters change throughout the course of teh novel
You can expect to receive your GE and Dracula in-class essays on Wed./Thu. and we will discuss ways to improve your analytical writing.
I will be handing you a print-out of the following packet. Please treat this as the most important handout of the year.
DOWNLOAD: How to Write a Literary Essay (PDF)
Today is a big day in your high school English career. Today is the day I am going to begin pushing you to move beyond the formulaic 5-paragraph essay. Understanding this formulaic writing -- intro w thesis + 3 bodies paragraphs, each with a topic sentence + a conclusion -- is important to being able to move ahead and develop your own style and tone.
College-level writing is not formulaic. You are expected to bump up to college-level writing as of today. Today, I will be returning your Dracula essays to be revised. You will treat your in-class essay as a "rough draft". Your revision, since you will be taking it home to work on over the course of a week, is expected to be a development of the ideas you put down on paper in 50-minutes. Your revision should reflect your understanding of the PowerPoint above and the "How to Write a Literary Essay" handout (see below).
First, a couple of quick tips:
1. Thesis + Evidence: Every analytical essay you write on the subject of literature will need a controlling thesis. And that thesis will still need to be clear, strongly worded, debatable (not fact), and supportable by evidence (examples, details, etc.) from the text. So, in order to prepare for the next in-class essay, you should review my handout on "How to Write a Literary Essay." Everything in that handout still applies.
2. Avoid All Redundancies / Repetitions: Part of the problem with formulaic 5-paragraph essay writing is that it 1) often sounds like a lab report, and 2) often includes a number of redundancies and/or repetitions. The rule of thumb now should be: avoid all redundancies and repetition. In order to do that, first make sure that you are varying your word phrasing. Second, you probably don't need a blueprint statement that tells the reader the subject of each of your three supporting paragraphs. Third, in the more sophisticated writing that you will be doing, you can almost always dispense with that formulaic topic sentence at the beginning of each support paragraph. Instead you should work on using appropriate transitional phrasing that leads from topic to topic. Fourth, your conclusion absolutely must not repeat your thesis. Instead, your conclusion should focus on providing some insight, tying together your various supports, and driving home your thesis by explaining its importance.
For next class - Fri-B3/Mon-A2
- Review Chapters 1-9 of Dracula and be prepared for a quiz and class discussion
- Complete LRJ#3 for Dracula: "A Definitive Primer..."
Today in class
During our discussion of Volume II, we'll again be looking at the "big ideas" as well as characterization and satire. We'll also discuss the utility of keeping notes on a data sheet, which will be required for every novel and play we study this year.
If you have not done so already, please download the sample completed data sheet:
DOWNLOAD: Sample completed Data Sheet (Jane Eyre)
We'll also be discussing your first LRJ assignment on the term "Dickensian" and its application to contemporary fiction, film, and television.
For next class: Wed-B3/Thu-A2
1. Volume III - Be prepared for a quiz and discussion over Volume III of Great Expectations
2. LRJ #2 - "Your Great expectations"
"A Pound of Flesh": This phrase comes from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. In this play, Shylock, a moneylender, agrees to finance a fleet of ships for a young merchant, Antonio. In the contract, Shylock demands a pound of flesh as payment should anything happen to the ships.
When the ships are lost at sea, Shylock insists that he must have a pound of flesh as the contract demanded. —Antonio is spared only because of technicality: the contract did not say Shylock was entitled to any of Antonio’s blood. Thus, he cannot take a pound of Antonio’s flesh unless he can do so bloodlessly -- an impossibility.
This phrase is used to describe someone’s insistence on being repaid, even if the repayment will destroy or harm the debtor. Example: Sure, that initial low rate for a credit card is tempting, but the credit card company will want their pound of flesh when you get over your head in debt.
Today after our quiz/discussion of Volume One of Great Expectations, you will begin work on your first LRJ writing assignment. Although I will give you a hardcopy printout of the LRJ prompts you can also download them here:
DOWNLOAD: GE+Dracula LRJ prompts -- for your Literary Response Journals
Every LRJ entry must meet the following requirements in order to receive full credit:
1. Each entry must begin on a new page.
2. You must respond thoughtfully in 2-3 pages (or more), single-spaced. (No huge margins!)
3. You must write on one side of the page only – the right-hand side of the notebook.
4. Your handwriting must be neat and legible. (If I can’t read it you’ll get a ZERO.)
5. Your entry must include a heading and the date at the top of the page. The “heading”
is the name of the LRJ prompt heading.
6. Any kind of plagiarism, for example copying from Wikipedia, will result in a ZERO and referral to the Academic Dean. Obviously, always do your own work.
Complete LRJ prompt #1: "Dickensian." Read the prompt on the LRJ assignment download and then complete the assignment according to the guidelines above. This should be completed by next class. I will be checking it for completion at that time, and grading it when you turn your LRJ in to me during the first unit exam.
For Fri-B3/next Tues-A2
Review Volume 2 of Great Expectations and be prepared to take a quiz and discuss this part of Pip's "great expectations."
Today in class: Dracula In-class essay (50-minutes) + Diagnostic European geography
Review Volume One (Chapters 1-19) of Great Expectations. We'll be discussing it and having a brief quiz.
My reading quizzes typically include ten multiple choice questions or fill in the blank short responses + 3 extended response prompts. We'll use these brief quizzes as a springboard for discussion; so, please bring your copy of Great Expectations.
Reminder: You are required to bring your LRJ + your 3-ring binder with you to class heretofore.
Finnegan's Wake Book Club
After an A2 discussion about allusions and James Joyce and the inscrutability of some novels, I've decided to start a book club to read, study, analyze, interpret, and discuss Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce. I'm putting out a call to anyone and everyone who is open to this literary escapade.
The FW Book Club is open to anyone in the Moeller community -- students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, et al. We will do this online in order to accommodate anyone and everyone who is interested.
If you are interested, please let me know by September 15! Drop me an email, and I'll let you know how to join up with us.
Not sure if you should be interested or not? Read this article on Finnegan's Wake:
Today in class (Thu/Fri)
Great Expectations in-class essay first 50 minutes of class followed by review of literary terms you REALLY need to know.
For next class (Mon/Tues)
First off, you should prepare for the Dracula in-class essay on Mon-B3/Tues-A2. Be sure to bring your annotated copy of Dracula.
Also, please read: "Victorian Literature -- An Overview" (DOCX). We'll discuss this after the Dracula essay. (No, you won't have a quiz on it.)
Moeller Brit Lit Tour -- June 2016 (Open to Juniors)
London - Cambridge - Stratford-upon-Avon - Oxford - Greenwich
Discover the many different qualities of England. Oxford and Cambridge evoke a scholarly atmosphere. Literary tradition lives in Stratford, birthplace of Shakespeare, and lurks on just about every street we'll walk on through London. Visit Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. See a West End play. Eat at bustling Borough Market in Southwark and J.R.R Tolkien's favorite pub in Oxford. Ride the tube and a double-decker bus. Take a flight on the London Eye and a river cruise on the Thames. Visit the British National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Explore famous bookshops along The Strand and Cecil Court. Walk in the footsteps of Dickens, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Orwell, Huxley, Tolkien, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelly, Oscar Wilde and G.K. Chesterton!
MORE INFO: Click Here!
I have a few suggestions for you as you begin to prepare to sit your two in-class essays on Thu/Fri (G.E.) and Mon/Tues (Dracula) this coming week.
1. Have a look at the analytical essay prompts for Great Expectations and Dracula. Decide which prompt you would like to respond to -- and then prepare by annotating the pertinent
sections in your book. You will be expected to provide quotations and cite example throughout your analytical essay.
2. Peruse (peruse here means "to look through carefully") my seminal instructional handout for this class: How to Write a Literary Essay. We will be referring to this handout throughout the year.
Here is the PowerPoint on the Five Paragraph Essay -- a review that should prove helpful.
3. Don't forget to bring your annotated books with you. Again, you may use post-it notes if you wish -- these are silly and clumsy compared to making notes in your own book -- but you may not use any notecards, notes, or your laptop on the in-class essays.
4. Don't forget to bring a pen and loose-leaf notebook paper.
Here's the grading rubric I use for essays: Essay Rubric (PDF)
Brit Lit Trip to England -- June 2016
Interested in going to England next summer? The Moeller Brit Lit Trip for June 2016 is now open for enrollment. Space is limited.
FULL DETAILS: Moeller Trip to England (webpage)
Performance by most students on the literary terms part of the first quiz was less than stellar. (I'm using the literary technique of "understatement" here.). The understanding of literary terms and their proper applications is integral to this course. You should review the following PowerPoint because:
1. I reserve the right to quiz you on this material at any time
2. Many of the essay prompts for your upcoming in-class essays refer to these terms.
3. It's difficult to talk about literature without knowing the basic vocabulary of literature.
DOWNLOAD: Review of Basic Literary Terms (PowerPoint)
If you're not a fan of PowerPoints and just want a simple study sheet to print out, you should download the following study sheet;
DOWNLOAD: Overview of Basic Literary Terms (DOC)
If you learn best by the use of mnemonic devices and video/audio gimmicks, check out these two rap videos on Literary devices:
The AP English Lit & Comp Blog is by and for students in Mr. Rose's AP English Lit. & Comp. classes at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
mrose at moeller dot org