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..."