Sunday, January 27, 2013

Friday, January 25

Dear Students,

After much deliberation, and as you already know, I have decided to not collect your SSA's today, Monday, January 28th. However, if you are prepared to do so, please come ready to turn in your essay with all your rough drafts included to class. Only if you hand in your essay today, you do not have to read the below and can skip down to the *** at the bottom of the page. Also, you do not have to do the assignment listed below.

After our in-class meeting on Thursday, I must admit that I was quite crestfallen after noting the lack of progress and polished quality of your work, but your lack of progress also indicated to me that perhaps you needed more time. Thus, I'd rather give you an extension than get back papers that were rushed and do not reflect instruction.

It is essential that you recognize the manner in which your class and yourself have not worked within the time allotment and must identify this misappropriation of time as something
utterly un-dismissible. In fact, it was an egregious error on the part of your class collectively to be
unprepared to turn in a summative piece. If there were any deficits in your understanding of how to write an analytical essay, the obligation to seek instruction beyond what was offered in class belongs to the student. However, requests for appointments have only recently flooded my inbox.

This isn't a hand slap. This does not change the way I believe in all of you as talented, kind and warm-hearted young people who I intensely believe in and am proud to teach. I want to celebrate your learning with you. However, I must react to your actions because I would not be a good teacher, mentor, fellow human if I did not hold you to a certain level of expectation. So, please take responsibility by completing the following assignments.


1. Please reflect on the above and respond on this blog no later than Wednesday, January 30th. A suggestion would be not to make excuses or assign blame. Instead, demonstrate that you have understood in 75 - 100 words by summarizing the key points above.

2. Also include in your comments your due date assigned by Mrs. Lee for your individual paper and list three areas of your essay you intend to fix and how. You may want to refer back to your outline or ask Mrs. Lee to see your midterm to help you articulate your needs.

3. In reflection of the way you used your time, indicate 3 or more concrete method you intend to use going forward to make sure you meet your due dates (e.g. allot 2 hours a weekend just for editing, journal about my topic before attacking the conclusion or introduction, keep my lecture notes out while writing my essay so I know I am fulfilling the writing expectations of an analytical essay, hold myself accountable for my actions, ask a peer to be my partner so that we would both keep each other on track, set my own due dates for myself for preliminary steps, etc.)

*** Some of you have been asking how to write a Conclusion Paragraph. Please take note of additional instruction indicated below, a review of our lectures and adapted from

Conclusions vary widely in structure, and no prescription can guarantee that your essay has ended well. If the introduction and body of your essay have a clear trajectory, your readers should already expect you to conclude when the final paragraph arrives, so don’t overload it with words or phrases that indicate its status.

Below is an outline for a hypothetical, abstract essay with five main sections:

V: Conclusion
    1. Transition from last body paragraph
    2. Sentences explaining how paper has fit together and leads to a stronger, more emphatic and more detailed version of your thesis
    3. Brief mention of the counter argument, to be dismissed by (e.g. Although Mr. Kapasi's actions may suggest he struggled to maintain emotional fidelity, under close inspection Lahiri rather presents a man whose central motivation was [reinsert observation in thesis]).
    1. Final comment or BIG SO WHAT
    1. Why is the essay important or may be interesting to a wider audience?
    2. What are areas your essay highlights? An ethical dilemma that is universal?  A practical applications that was overshot? Mores or scruples that were overlooked? A political/moral stronghold?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday, Jan. 14th


Place: Robb Hall (NOT Black Box Theater!)
Time: 8:15 - 10:15
Bring: Black or Blue pen, notes on writing process and Gryphon annotations.
Note: I will be available at 8:00 on exam day outside Robb Hall so feel free to ask questions. Also, be sure to check out the exam study guide on Edline.
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