Friday, May 4, 2018

HW: 5/4 Test Prep Poetry Essay

Nice work this week working on test prep materials!  If you are looking to further refine your skills and continue prepping this weekend, here is my recommendation:

Try another "Essay the Way it Should Have Been Written" exercise -- p.45-53 in the brown AP workbook.  (Read the poem, read the sample essays, read the scoring explanations, and then try your own). 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

HW 5/1: Brown Workbook Writing Prompt

Here's a little twist on practice writing a 40-min essay.  I'd like you to FIRST read p. 114-122 in Dr. Vogel's brown AP workbook, and after considering what others have said, write your own essay -- the one you think should have been written. 

Suggested writing time: 40-60 min. 

Suggested length: 3-4 handwritten pages

Skills to practice:

1. AP: Answer the Prompt!
2. AP: Analysis, Please!  -- focus on tone, style, syntax; get down to the "word level"; demonstrate "flowchart" thinking (WHAT-->HOW-->SoWHAT?)
3. Embrace complexity: consider using an "although" statement or other similarly binary thesis statement
4. Use quotes: a substantial number or "apt and specific" references to the text; integrate phrases; use some quotes as "sentence finishers"; consider including editing punctuation and citations [ ] ... / (Line 32)
5. Reveal what the passage says and does, how the writer does this (diction, syntax, tone, etc.), and why it matters (or so what?)
6. Show off a little: now is the time to show that you know how to use a variety of sentence beginnings; how to use the active voice/active verbs; how to use fancy punctuation and stylish ways to combine sentences to create clear, concise, accurate prose; and how to employ rich, specific vocabulary -- you can do it!

Traps to avoid:
1. Avoid simple, empty restatements of the prompt (such as the line "the author uses tone, diction, and syntax to create meaning")
2. Avoid generalities
3. Explain what is on the page, but don't overstate things just to sound dramatic -- precision counts in your analysis
4. Don't overlook the obvious: if a character is repeating herself, say so, and explain it; if the narrator is being sly or sarcastic, say so and use it; if a character is monologue-ing as a series of rhetorical rhetorical questions, then say so, and explain why it matters

Monday, April 30, 2018

HW 4/30: Test Prep Essays

Please read the Q2 Student Sample Essays for the 2016 Thomas Hardy prompt.  If you read all the way to the bottom, you'll also get to see the rationale for the scores.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Invisible Man Reading Schedule

Week of 4/9:

4/9 Chapter 22, 23
4/10 Chapter 24
4/11 Chapter 25
4/12 Epilogue

Here is a link to an online .pdf of the novel if you need it.  Good luck!  --Mr. G.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Classwork 3/12: Hamlet Q's

If you were not in class on Monday, 3/12, then here are some questions for you to answer.

If you use the link above, just copy the Q's into a new doc and complete.  Or, feel free to just hand-write your responses using the Q's below:

Hamlet Act IV-V.i                                                                                Name:
Make-up Assignment                                                                          Date: 3/12/2018

1.    Hamlet left for England after declaring that he was going to think only “bloody” thoughts from this point onward.  It was going to be pretty difficult to do anything about Claudius from England, though.  What odd, offstage plot device sends Hamlet back to Denmark (

2.            How are the tone and content of Hamlet’s two letters (to Horatio and Claudius) different?  In particular, what is does Hamlet’s diction imply in his letter to Claudius (IV.vii)?

3.            Claudius thinks perhaps that Laertes could kill Hamlet “accidentally” in a fencing match.  Claudius suggests that Laertes could just sort of happen to choose a sword “unbated,” or sharp, as opposed to the blunted weapon Hamlet would be using.  Pretty crafty, Claudius.  What does Laertes add to this plan in IV.vii.152-161?

4.            OK, so Laertes is crafty too.  But Claudius suggests they should have a “second” option, which is … (162-176)?

5.            Ophelia’s death, described in a hauntingly sad, sweet monologue by the Queen (IV.vii.181-198) dominates the ending of Act IV.  Does is come across as swift karma for Laertes’s evil plotting?  Does it seem like a logical or inevitable extension of her descent into madness?  Does she, perhaps, take her own life?

6.            Water is sometimes a symbol of purification, sometimes destruction, sometimes cognition or deep intellect -- sometimes simply a natural, elemental symbol.  Which is it here … or is it all of the above???  Use specific text details (w/line#’s) to support your thinking.

7.            Feeling bold?  Sketch a little image of Ophelia’s death and label some of the key details. (Not feeling bold?  Do a google search of Ophelia or Ophelia’s death and annotate a classic rendition of this scene … or several of them if this is intriguing to you.  Which parts are right out of the text, and which parts does the artist embellish?)

8.            Note: this next sentence completion question is an attempt to get you to consider the significance of the juxtaposition of the death of Ophelia with the Gravedigger scene (V.i.).  We no sooner have processed the tragic death of Ophelia, then we have the “Clown” gravediggers debating whether or not Ophelia … (V.i.1-10)!

Friday, March 9, 2018

HW 3/9: Hamlet Act IV (finish)

Please finish ACT IV in Hamlet:

Here's a link to ... where Horatio receives a letter from Hamlet saying his ship to England was attacked by pirates (!) and they are bringing him back to Denmark.  Pirates!? 

And here's a link to IV.vii. ... where Claudius and Laertes develop a wicked plan, and Gertrude delivers haunting an terrible news about poor Ophelia ... :(

Kahoot for IV.iii.-iv.