Friday, February 27, 2009

AP Squaring JFK

AP2 JFK’s speech this weekend.  Remember that you’re looking for Persona, Audience, Argument, and Purpose.  As we said in class, he may have one overarching argument or purpose, but he likely has sub-arguments and purposes as well.  The same goes for audience.  Think about this one – don’t just gloss over the assignment with surface analysis.

We will be doing an activity on Monday where everyone will end up with a working thesis and at least two topic sentences that contain claims.  After looking at some example theses, we will start writing.  To help us get started, we have some computer lab time next week (2nd half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday).  We’ll talk more specifically about the essay requirements and question on Monday.

Remember that if you are taking the opportunity to rewrite your Lord Chesterfield paper, that is due Monday as well.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


If you would like to take the opportunity to rewrite your Lord Chesterfield paper, then your rewritten draft is due on Monday.  Do not, under any circumstances, waste either of our time by simply editing your paper and resubmitting it.  That alone will not get you a better grade and it will make your instructor grumpy.

Some tips for your rewritten essays:

  • Answer the prompt.  General analysis that was reasonably capable, but that did not answer the prompt earned up to a C or so the first time around.  The second time around, such papers will receive an F.  I had more than one college professor who used the same type of policy.

  • Write a clear, specific thesis that addresses the prompt.  Without this, you're likely to wander aimlessly and end up with a D or worse.

  • Write topic sentences including claims that support your thesis.  If your topic sentence is summary, it's hard to write a paragraph that isn't primarily summary.

  • Keep Lord Chesterfield's purpose in mind as you analyze the text and answer the prompt.

What to turn in:

  1. Rewritten essay

  2. Analysis of rewritten essay

  3. Original essay

Your write-up on your rewritten essay should explain how you used the feedback and the information above to revise your paper.  What did you consider and where did you focus your attempts to improve?  What do you consider to be the strength of your paper?  Based on your first grade and the revisions you made, evaluate the overall quality of your revised paper. 

Happy revising! 

Remember that tomorrow we have a test on Vocab 3!

Also tomorrow the University of Washington Tacoma, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Gene Juarez, and Green River Community College will all be on campus during both lunches.  Check out this guide to help you know what to talk about at college fairs (even tiny ones in the school cafeteria).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

JFK Rhetorical Questions

As you finish the questions we started in class, remember that the depth you answer them now will determine how useful they are to you as you write your paper.  You do not need to blog the answers.  Bring them in on paper and I’ll look them over while you do your timed write tomorrow. 

Those of you with junior conferences tomorrow, see me to arrange a make-up time for the timed write. 

You’ll also be getting your Lord Chesterfield papers back tomorrow and we’ll talk about what we can learn from them as we prepare to write our analysis papers on JFK’s inaugural address.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Step one with JFK

jfk Tonight you need to annotate JFK’s inaugural address.  As you think about the speech, keep in mind the context in which it was given to help ground your observations and analysis.

Once you’ve finished your annotation, blog your thoughts on JFK’s speech.  This could be a summary of your observations, general reaction to the speech, or an expanded discussion of one or more of your observations you made in the course of your annotation.

Don’t forget your DGP and to study Vocab 3 for Friday.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Class Notes

For those of you who were gone for FBLA, Junior Conferences, or other sundry reasons today, this post is for you!

With so many missing, we postponed the vocabulary test to Monday (to Caleb's delight and Hayley's consternation).  Remember you are responsible for the Monday work on DGP sentence #2 as well.

Otherwise this is a nice, unencumbered weekend before we begin the JFK paper (whoo hoo!!).  Enjoy.  :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mid-Winter Break…uh, 4-day weekend

Remember that your Chesterfield paper is due on Wednesday when we return.  Use the FHS English Department standards as your formatting guide for this one.  We didn’t end up talking about how to format your header in order to not have your page number on the first page, so if you you don’t know how to do that, don’t worry about it.  If you do know how, go ahead and do it correctly.  I have some notes on formatting page numbers in the post for the metacognition paper if you don’t remember how to do the page number with your name.

You can find the original post about the Lord Chesterfield paper below.

Have a great long weekend and remember the plan for success I gave you the other day:
You have a 4-day weekend coming up!  You’re probably not even going to start until 8 o’clock in the morning on Saturday! Of course you’ll finish sometime on Sunday, probably meet with someone Monday to peer review and revise (maybe do this over email), and then have a day to relax on Tuesday.

See you Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sweetheart Friday

We have 30-minute periods tomorrow.  Here’s the plan:

  • DGP

  • rhetorical vocabulary quiz

  • return meta-cognition papers

  • Fun with analyzing Super Bowl commercials

There is no homework other than to do DGP and study for the vocabulary quiz (oh yeah, and work on your Chesterfield paper! 

Who am I kidding?  You have a 4-day weekend coming up!  You’re probably not even going to start until 8 o’clock in the morning on Saturday! Of course you’ll finish sometime on Sunday, probably meet with someone Monday to peer review and revise (maybe do this over email), and then have a day to relax on Tuesday. :)

Visual Texts

think different Read pages 49-51 in your texts on analyzing visual texts.  Then, just like we did in groups the other day, analyze a print ad using the AP2 method and then write up your conclusions on the blog.  We will present these as we have time, so prepare for that.  We’ll try to get to some of the people who didn’t get to go last time.


  • Don’t forget to do your DGP every day (different font as requested, Cody)
  • Rhetorical vocabulary quiz on Friday
  • Timed write tomorrow!  Last ungraded analysis write…

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reading Response and the American Idea

A Guide to Writing Reading ResponsesA Guide to Writing Reading ResponsesExamine Just Asking by David Foster Wallace that we read earlier today.  Use the guide to writing reading responses that I gave you in class (or linked on Class Info & Docs) to craft a thoughtful blog on the article.

If you are intrigued by this concept of the "American Idea", you can read other articles The Atlantic published on that topic in their 150th anniversary issue.  They are mostly small, about the same size as Just Asking and represent many different perspectives from a broad range of American voices.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lord Chesterfield's Values

Homework tonight is to read pages 35-38 on analyzing style then annotate the Lord Chesterfield letter.  We'll use both the reading and annotation in class tomorrow and the reading should also help you with your annotation.

As was mentioned last week, your next paper will be to answer the 2004 analysis prompt concerning a letter Lord Chesterfield wrote to his son. You’ve already written an initial rough draft in the practice timed write we did on that question.  Now, with what we’ve learned in that process and the whole class discussion we’ve done on the letter, your task is to write to this prompt as a take-home essay.

Vital Statistics:

  • Due Wednesday February 18th

  • 600 words long, give or take 10%

Friday, February 6, 2009

Practicing Rhetorical Analysis

Diana,_Princess_of_Wales This Weekend: Blog the assignment on page 28 of our textbook.  You’ll be reading 4 separate texts surrounding the death of Princess Diana and evaluating them based on the purpose of each text and how the relationship between speaker, audience, and subject affects the text.  This is essentially an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned thus far.  Give this some good thought; next week is our last practice analysis timed write – the following week it counts.

Next Week: Monday we’ll do our AP2 presentations and go over the Chesterfield timed writes.  After looking at the released information, you’ll have the opportunity to score each other’s work (yes, I’ve already scored them, but you won’t see that when you’re scoring them yourself).  If there’s time we’ll take a look at an example of when rhetoric is poorly applied that is somewhat amusing.  As the week progresses, we will spend some time analyzing advertisements to practice these skills on something we interact with everyday, but we’ll also dive a bit deeper into the Lord Chesterfield letter and begin our 2nd paper.  Thursday we’ll have our last ungraded analysis timed write.

Thoughts: We’re going to have to learn a fair bit rather quickly in this class.  I would appreciate communication and feedback from you as we go so that we can get the best results possible.  For instance, if something isn’t quite sinking in and you need more practice and/or instruction, speak up and we’ll work on that.  If this analysis stuff seems hard, it’s not you.  This summer’s AP special focus will be on analysis as students across the country seem to be struggling with it and the analysis question scores have been going down over the past 5 years.  This is why we’re starting with it and, even as we study argument and synthesis, we’ll continue to practice analysis (it helps that they’re all related).  In any case, please don’t be afraid to speak up!  Chances are others in the class are in the same boat.

FFA note for Robyn and Kristian: Notices came for you from FFA.  If you want points for the dress up days, you should wear flannel on Monday.  Also there is hog weighing and lamb shearing at the barn at 10 AM on Saturday.

heart hands Creative Opportunity: If you’d like a creative outlet and have anything, positive or negative, to say about Valentine’s day, you can put that into a poem, story, photo, painting, whatever and submit that to me.  Submissions are due by Wednesday February 13th.  Winners will receive recognition and all entrants are eligible for publication in the Mirror magazine.  Other themed contests will follow and if people in the class are interested, I will put notices on this blog as well as the notices in the announcements and any other advertising the Mirror club decides to do.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Arrangement and Form

Your homework tonight consists of reading pages 13-26 in the Language of Composition and blogging the assignment on page 26.  This assignment and the reading are designed to introduce you to the concept of organization in your essays and expose you to the various types of organization commonly seen in writing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Political Cartoons

downloadFor Tomorrow

Read pages 10-11 in our textbook and do the assignment on page 12 tonight.  Read the assignment carefully so that you are sure to do all that you need to—it’s a short text, but it is pretty packed. 

One great place to find many, many political cartoons for this assignment is  There is a menu on the left that allows you to search cartoons by topic.  Remember to pick a cartoon that deals with an issue that you know something about.  That will help a great deal.  ;)  

Insert your cartoon into a blog post (unless you cut it out of the newspaper, though it would likely be online as well) and blog your analysis in response to the criteria in the book.  We’ll pull them up on the projector tomorrow to talk about them.  Be prepared to present your cartoon to the class. 


  • As mentioned in class today, we are also taking our second timed write tomorrow.
  • Vocab 1 quiz on Friday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Paper Due Tomorrow!

Paper top Remember that your papers are due tomorrow (2/4/09).  As I said in class, you can get the MLA formatting instructions from the MLA at OWL link on the AP menu to the left.  I (and Ms. Robison who you’ll likely have for AP or College English next year) prefer that you NOT double-space your heading or include your name/page number in the heading.  Here are a couple of examples of what that would look like. 

Paper top 2

To do page numbers, use the insert page number function in your word processor to put a page number in the upper right hand corner.  Then edit the header and type your last name followed by a space in front of the page number. 

If you are technically challenged and this poses a major cognitive meltdown, breathe.  The technical difficulties with the Activeboard in the lab today prevented me from demonstrating how to do this, so this format will not be required until the next paper.  Just try to get it as close as you can.

Also, please remember to bring your books tomorrow.  As noted in class on Monday, you should read pages 4-9 in your book by class tomorrow.