All posts for the month March, 2010

I can’t believe how time is flying by . . . we are already almost done with our section on fiction!

I must confess that I am a little worried that some students in the class needed a little more time with poetry.

How does the class feel? How do you feel about your own ability to read poetry?

I saw improvement in the writing about poetry from the OED paper to the poetry close reading. For example, I saw students using the text much more effectively–not only quoting the poem more but explaining more thoroughly how a particular quotation supports an argument or piece of analysis. Students are not only quoting a passage and saying this line is key to the poem’s tone, but they are also taking it to the next step to point out how the word choice, rhyme scheme, meter, etc. in that line work together to establish the tone.

However, I wonder if another week or another writing assignment with poetry would be helpful.

What is your comfort level with poetry at this point? Do you feel more confident so when you are assigned poetry in your future or current literature classes you have a set of tools that will help you come to a coherent reading of the text?

If you have thoughts about this topic, please let me know. I will be teaching this class again, and so some feedback (in your blogs, in a response to this blog entry, or some other format) would be appreciated.

Just as I did before the poetry paper was due, I want to share with you a few extra links and hints that you may find helpful as you begin to think about your close reading of fiction.

Still in the early stages or having trouble drafting a thesis/focus? This site from Purdue’s OWL should help as it takes you step-by-step through the process.

Want to read a sample of a close reading of fiction? Well, look no further than your very own copy of the Norton Anthology. I recommend Bethany Qualls’ essay “Character and Narration in ‘Cathedral'” (pgs. 162-64). While it’s a first draft, it can serve as a helpful model and as a tool to get you started.

While this link will not necessarily help you with your paper, those interested in elementary education might find it helpful. This link provides tools for helping younger readers close read fiction.

Happy writing and revising! Drop by my office hours if you want to chat about the paper before the final draft is due.

Thesis statements are probably on your minds these days. You have two more papers due in this class that require thesis statements: your fiction paper and the final analysis paper. (You might also consider crafting a thesis or controlling statement for your final Weblog self-analysis.)

Here’s a great link on thesis statements from UNC’s writing center:

What I like about the above site is that it has specific examples–which can really help you see what makes a strong and a not so strong thesis.

This site also has a pretty good page on MLA citation:

If you have papers in other classes where the topic is assigned, this site can help you craft a strong thesis:

And, last but not least, running out of time? Here is a good site that breaks down the main ideas about thesis statements into short and sweet statements: