Homework for Critical Reading Toward Critical Writing


Due 4/18: Read "Speech Sounds" by Octavia Butler (PDF sent through email). Be ready to discuss it in class. Please also bring in any questions you have regarding grammar and/or mechanics. 

Due 4/4: Bring in 2-3 copies of your research essay rough draft for peer review (2 or 3 depending on how large your group is). Your draft should be at least 3 pages long and should incorporate at least one outside source. Include a citation for any sources used. I will check your works cited formatting, and we will go over in-text citation rules. 

Due 3/28: Read "Investigating the Work" (PDF sent through email). As you read, think about your own research project, what kind of sources you will need, and what your first drafting steps will be. Pay close attention to the sections in the chapter on finding and taking notes on outside sources. Be prepared to talk about your research project when we meet. 

Due 3/21: 

  1. Finish Frankenstein. You've read 1/3 of the book, so budget enough time to get through twice as much material as you read for this week. There will likely be a comprehension quiz when we return from break.
  2. Learn your 10 vocabulary words.
  3. Learn an additional 10 vocabulary words from the class list. Email Ms. Conrad a list of your 20 total words (yours + 10 new).
  4. Choose your research essay topic from the list of prompts handed out in class.

Due 3/7: 

  • Read Frankenstein to end of Vol. 1. In some editions, this is the end of chapter 7 and in others it is the end of chapter 8. No matter which edition you have, read up to this line: "But I--I was a wretch, and none ever conceived of the misery that I then endured." In my edition, the volume break occurs about 60 pages into the story. If you do not have a hard copy of Frankenstein, get one. If you can, get the 1818 edition. This is the one I'm using, but it may not be available for expedited shipping. There are plenty others out there, such as this one, which is also the 1818 edition. Again, you do not need to have the 1818 edition, but you do need to have a hard copy of the book. 
  • As you read Frankenstein, select 10 unfamiliar words to look up and define. Look up and record the definition for each word. Next week, bring in a list of your 10 vocabulary words and their definitions. 
  • If you are not able to attend class next week, please email me your vocabulary words and definitions. We will create a composite vocabulary bank from which to choose words for our next quiz. 

Due 2/28: Prepare for the essay exam by studying the documents and PDFs I sent out via email. 

Due 2/21: Read "No Name Woman" by Maxine Hong Kingston. Read "Consistency (Avoiding Shifts)" and complete exercise 11.1. Both PDFs will be sent out by email. 

Due 2/14: Complete exercises 9.1 and 10.1 in the Dangling Modifiers and Parallel Construction packet. Be ready for a quiz. Keep "The Metamorphosis" fresh in your mind as we will continue our discussion of it next week. Bring your copy to class.  

Due 2/7: Read "The Metamorphosis" and finish your long essay on 1984

Due 1/31: Please complete the following this week. Students should check their email for all worksheets and attachments. 

  • Complete the Dangling Modifier Worksheet. Print it out and bring it to class next week. 
  • Complete the Parallel Structure Worksheet. Print it out and bring it to class next week. 
  • Study the 1984 Vocab List in preparation for a quiz next week. 
  • Write a draft of your 1984 Long Essay. Include an outside source. You do not need to print out your outside source, but you do need to refer to it in your essay and include a reference to it on your works cited page. 
  • Print out 4 copies of your draft and bring them to class next week. If you do not have a printer or if you would prefer not to make your own copies, I will gladly do it for you BUT I need you to send me your draft BEFORE next Tuesday at noon, otherwise I too will not have easy access to a printer.

Due 1/24: Students should check their email for detailed Snow Day instructions. Please send your short response on 1984 to Ms. Conrad's email. 

Due 1/17:

  • Read How to Not Write Bad pages 90-96.

  • Short response to 1984 due. Short response prompt: In the world of the novel, do you think Ingsoc can or ever will be defeated? How so or not? Why or why not? 1-2 pages, 12-point TNR font. 

  • Bring 1984 to class to continue discussion.

Winter Break Homework: Read 1984. Be prepared to discuss the book, beginning to end, when we return on January 10. 

Due 11/15: 

  • Read "Poetry is Not a Luxury" by Audre Lorde. 

  • Write a short response on the power of poetry. Prompt sent out via email. 

Due 11/8:   

  • Read Watch this video on quote integration. This one is also helpful, as is this one

  • Short essay on Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (prompt sent through email)

  • Read selected poems by Adrienne Rich (PDF sent through email)

Due 11/1: 

  • Finish A Raisin in the Sun.

  • Be sure refresh your memory by reading a summary of the play before class on Wednesday. The internet abounds with summaries. 

  • Read this article in The Atlantic on "white flight" and the demographic makeup of American neighborhoods since the mid-century. As you read, think about how and why a play like A Raisin in the Sun is still relevant today.

  • Read How to Not Write Bad pages 98-100 and 103-108. 


Due 10/25: Read A Raisin in the Sun up to Act II Scene 2. Google search Lorraine Hansberry and/or A Raisin in the Sun and be ready to share something you learned. Read How to Not Write Bad pages 59-67. 

Due 10/18: Read "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (link: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/theliteratureofprescription/exhibitionAssets/digitalDocs/The-Yellow-Wall-Paper.pdf). Read "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred Lord Tennyson (link: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/the-lady-of-shalott). Print both and bring them to class on 10/19. Be prepared to discuss this question: Consider how both texts follow isolated women in rather different settings. What do these two texts say about the role of women in society, or what it can feel like to be isolated in a room or on an island?

Due 10/4: Finish your Long Essay and submit it in class. 

Due 9/20: Read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time to page 100. Complete the closed-book, take-home grammar and mechanics quiz. Be prepared to contribute to discussion and read aloud on Wednesday.

Due 9/13: Write your Close Reading Literary Analysis on Poe's "The Black Cat." Instructions have been sent by email. Submit a typed hard copy in class. Read A Study in Scarlet, all. Bring the book to class and be ready to discuss it. 

Due 9/6: Read "Reading and Writing about Literature" (PDF, distributed through email on 8/30); Read How to Not Write Bad pp. 30-33, 40-52

Due 8/30: Active (Re-)Reading Notes from Poe's "The Black Cat" (instructions sent through email); Read How to Not Write Bad pp. 1-30

Due 8/23: Read "Annotating While You Read" (PDF) and "New Criticism" (PDF) (Both distributed through email on 8/16--let me know if you haven't received it.)

Due 8/16: Read Poe, "The Black Cat"