Writing Assignment

ENGL 1117:Writing Assignment 2

Special Helpful Note:  With the previous THREE assignments it has become pretty clear that some of you need listen to and adhere to the following requirements for success:

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  1. A) Read the assignment sheet more carefully!
  2. B) Re-read and refer to the assignment sheet as you are working, for the answers to your questions are likely on it!
  3. C) Get started on your work immediately, resisting the real trouble that procrastination will cause!
  4. D) Work on your essay in drafts, embracing (rather than fighting) the fact that you cannot compose effective submissions in a hurried and/or single draft!
  5. E) Use the Discussion Board from the very beginning of this assignment–making thesis statement posts within a few days of the assignment’s due date just does not work, and you all know this is true

Now here is your assignment!  READ!  RE-READ!  POST!  GET STARTED!

The assignment sheet is rather long; it has to be in order to be clear to help you succeed!

TOPIC:

This Writing Assignment will be based upon the novel, The Book Thief, and the film, The Book Thief.

Answer the following question in an essay:What messages is The Book Thief delivering about the concept of literacy? 

Notice that the question uses the plural of the word messages.  Your task is to reveal multiple messages the novel sends to its readers AND multiple messages the film sends to its viewers.

Think of literacy in a broad sense.  As defined, literacy means the ability to read and write and communicate, and that definition is applicable to this film.  However, broadening the definition will enable you to make interesting and different arguments.  Try using the following fill-in-the-blank statements or some of your own to brainstorm potential thesis branches:

Literacy is ___________ for character X

OR

Scene Y demonstrates ____________to be true about learning in the film

OR

Casting the actor Z to play to role of Hans delivers ______________ as a message about literacy.

-1-

Just as was the case with your Writing Assignment 1, your thesis should have branches; you should have a FOUR or SIX part thesis MINIMUM (see examples below). 

-Your thesis branches will likely identify characters and/or scenes that you will use to make your claims about literacy messages.  You might also use film specific issues, such as casting or camera angles or costumes, etc. as thesis branches.

Two VERY CLEAR EXAMPLE THESIS STATEMENTS & OUTLINES appear below.

 

THESIS AND ORGANIZATION:

-Your thesis WILL have four parts/branches, MINIMUM.

You SHOULD strongly consider the value and impact of adding a 5th, and possibly a 6th, thesis branch; these branches would be E and F–you would repeat the pattern of TWO body paragraphs of support for each additional thesis branch.  DO NOT EXCEED SIX thesis branches, for to do so is unnecessary.

-You will NOT use a general thesis such as

“There are many messages about literacy delivered in The Book Thief.”

-Instead you WILL use a SPECIFIC thesis WITH BRANCHES.  Here is an example of HOW to do this:

“A, B, C, and D are all messages about literacy delivered by the novel and the film, The Book Thief.”

*This is EXAMPLE 1, and it corresponds with OUTLINE 1 (below).

-Since you have two SEPARATE sources to use, the novel and the film, it might be useful to construct your thesis in recognition of the two sources.  Here is an example of how to do this:

“An examination of The Book Thief reveals many messages about literacy:  the novel speaks to its reader about A, B, and C; while the film speaks to its viewers about D, E, and F.”

** This is EXAMPLE 2, and it corresponds with OUTLINE 2 (below)

-Notice the second thesis statement example (above) demonstrates how to do TWO THINGS EFFECTIVELY:  

1) Make distinctions between the novel and the film and their messages;

AND

2) Stretch yourself and your thinking to include not just 4 thesis branches, but 6 thesis branches, instead.

-2-

-If you use a thesis such as EXAMPLE 1 (above), an outline would look like the following:

Paragraph 1:  Introduction, containing 4-5 sentences MINIMUM; the LAST SENTENCE must be your THESIS with a method of development/branches

Paragraph 2:    Support for thesis branch A for the BOOK

Paragraph 3:    Support for thesis branch A for the FILM

Paragraph 4:    Support for thesis branch B for the BOOK

Paragraph 5:    Support for thesis branch B for the FILM

Paragraph 6:    Support for thesis branch C for the BOOK

Paragraph 7:    Support for thesis branch C for the FILM

Paragraph 8:    Support for thesis branch D for the BOOK

Paragraph 9:    Support for thesis branch D for the FILM

Paragraph 10:  Conclusion, containing 4-5 sentences MINIMUM

*Note the permissible length differences of your introduction and conclusion paragraphs*

**If you add a E and/or an F to your thesis, then you would, of course, need to add the corresponding extra 2 or 4 paragraphs.I recommend adding at LEAST an E branch.

 

-If you opt to use a thesis such EXAMPLE 2, then an outline would look like the following:

Paragraph 1:  Introduction, containing 4-5 sentences MINIMUM; the LAST SENTENCE must be your THESIS with a method of development/branches

Paragraph 2:    Support for thesis branch A for the BOOK

Paragraph 3:    Support for thesis branch B for the BOOK

Paragraph 4:    Support for thesis branch C for the BOOK

Paragraph 5:  Transition paragraph from the BOOK to the FILM—think of this like a bridge paragraph from WA 1

Paragraph 6:    Support for thesis branch D for the FILM

Paragraph 7:    Support for thesis branch E for the FILM

Paragraph 8:    Support for thesis branch F for the FILM

Paragraph 9:    Conclusion, containing 4-5 sentences MINIMUM

-3-

*Note the permissible length differences of your introduction and conclusion paragraphs*

**If you add a E and/or an F to your thesis, then you would, of course, need to add the corresponding extra 2 or 4 paragraphs.I recommend adding at LEAST an E branch.

 

LENGTH AND FORMAT:

-Your paper WILL be 7 – 8 pp., double-spaced, and in MLA format—you NEED THIS MUCH SPACE TO DISCUSS BOTH A NOVEL AND A FILM.  Do NOT submit a text that is 4 – 5 pp., as you will have ½ of what the assignment requires. 

-An example of what your essay should look like can be found in your text within the Appendix, on page A-2.  The fact that this example is a research paper, using sources, is helpful, as you will be using the two sources of the novel and the film in your essay.   So this example illustrates not only how your pages should be set up with title placement, double-spacing, first page left-side header, and page number right-side headers on all pages; it also demonstrates how to successfully use sources in your paper (just as you did with Quiz 2!)

 

OTHER IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPOSING A SUCCESSFUL ESSAY:

-You must carefully read the text ANDcarefully view the film in order to succeed on this assignment.  Do NOT attempt to write a paper without completing BOTH tasks, as your essay MUST contain specific reference to BOTH the novel AND the film.

-You WILL use writing as a process for this assignment.  This means you will DRAFT. RE-DRAFT, AND REVISE!  To do so, is to acknowledge and embrace what we all know to be true about effective writing:  it takes several versions (and improvements upon those versions) of a paper to make it the best it can be!

-Your paragraphs MUST be college-level in length.  This fact has been discussed with NUMEROUS TIMES, BUT SOME OF YOU REALLY MUST LISTEN TO IT:COLLEGE-LEVEL BODY paragraphs are 8-10 sentences in length, MINIMUM. Strategies for lengthening paragraphs and deepening your detail and development will be posted in a future News Announcement.

-You WILL use an effective and catchy title—examples of titles were posted in a News Announcement during your Writing Assignment 1 work; refer to that Announcement for help.

-Try brainstorming as an initial step to help you find your topic. Chapter 12 in your text discusses many various strategies for generating ideas; use your book to help you THINK ON PAPER BEFORE you try to start writing your essay.  Brainstorming is an essential strategy, and it REALLY WORKS if you take the time to complete it.

-4-

 

USE YOUR BOOK for assistance in many ways on this assignment.  At this point in the term, Chapters 1, 11, 2, 10, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, and 15 are all assigned readings from your syllabus (you should have completed ALL OF THIS READINGby now, if you are being a conscientious student!).  Each of these chapters contains plenty of strategies designed to help you move yourself along with this Writing Assignment 2.  Even if you have read this material, remember your textbook is designed to assist you, so re-reading and referring to at least some of this chapter reading would be a wise and informed move.  In short, use a resource for this course upon which you spent money!

 

-USE THE DISCUSSION BOARD for this assignment, in the following ways:

Make a post in which you offer ideas as to how you are deciding upon your focus:  what aspects of literacy are you thinking about using?

Make a post in which you talk about your focus:  what characters or scenes are you using to support what claims about literacy?

Make a post in which you ask questions about your focus:  perhaps you have one character you are sure about using, but you wonder about a 2nd choice?

Respond to posts made by other students concerning their focus:  help each other, as some of you who are posting have been doing, by making a suggestion!

            Make a post in which you offer a working thesis statement for your paper

            Make a post in which your ask questions about your thesis branches

            Respond to posts made by other students concerning their thesis statements

            Talk about the novel and the film:  this is an interesting story, so discuss it

 

NOT ENOUGH POSTING IS HAPPENING IN THIS CLASS.Or perhaps better put, the same students are posting (KEEP IT UP!) & the same students are not posting (change this fact!) The following equation holds TRUE:  STUDENTS WHO POST EARN BETTER GRADES!

Let me also be as clear as possible:  I have a checklist beside my computer, and on that checklist I monitor who is posting in this class and who is not posting.  Frankly, I know who is posting, anyway, as I read and reply to posts.  But the list serves as a written document of your posting activity, and I refer to it when I am grading your work.  Now don’t you want your name on the list of those who posted and worked towards their own success?I CANNOT BE ANY CLEARER HERE! 

**SEE THE DOCUMENT, ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES, FOR ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE AND EXAMPLES. 

-5-

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