Problem: Essay is mostly a re- telling or summary of the story Discussion: Assume the reader has read the book. Your task is not to re-tell what happens in the book. Your task is to answer the question(s) in the assignment. Solution: Read the essay assignment and do exactly what it asks. Do NOT re-tell the story. Any re-telling of the story must directly support your answer to the essay question(s). In other words it must be evidence to help you make a point.
Problem: There is no relationship between your organizers and your essays. Discussion: The purpose of your organizers is to help you organize your thoughts for the essay. Solution: Keep in mind as you read the book, what essay question you will be answering. Use the organizers to help you prepare for that essay.
Problem: Your essay is not an essay. Discussion: Several “essays” were simply one giant paragraph. Solution: Just as a paragraph is made up of sentences, an essay is made up of paragraphs.
Problem: Your essay has a middle but no beginning or end. Discussion: An essay is just like a paragraph. It needs a beginning, a middle and an end. Solution: Make sure you have an introductory paragraph designed to introduce your topic and grab the reader’s attention. Make sure you have a closing paragraph designed to summarize your main points and wrap the essay up by bringing it back to the topic.
Problem: Your essay never mentions the title of the book. Discussion: I did not have a format for a proper heading. My bad. Solution: For future independent reading assignments, use this heading on the first page. On all other pages, make sure your name is in the top left hand corner. Name, Section, Student # Date TitleAuthor
Problem: Title of book not punctuated or improperly punctuated. Discussion: The titles of novels and non- fiction books are underlined or typed in italics. Solution: If you are writing by hand, as in your organizers, underline the title. If you are typing, use italics.
Problem: The essay is not in the proper format. Discussion: Essays improperly formatted or packets that are incomplete may not be turned in on time, resulting in -5 homework points. Solution: The format and all other requirements are spelled out in the handout. Just do it!
Some Final Notes The first independent reading project was worth 1.5 tests. The second will be worth 2 tests. The final project will be worth 2.5 tests. I will grade them based on the criteria in the handout AND the lessons learned (this slideshow). If you read fiction for the first project, you must read non-fiction for the second and vice versa. You may choose either fiction or non-fiction for the final project.