Monday, March 19, 2012


Pop Quiz over rest of Act I
Write a creative response to Act I of Death of a Salesman:
journal entry, letter from one character to another, recipe, missing scene, poem, etc.
  • MUST include specific details from the play (refer to particular lines or concrete details)
  • MUST suggest new ideas about characters and their motivations, or the author's argument or themes
See my sample journal entry for Biff from the end of Act I

HW: Finish drafting creative response as needed.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Grammar practice: Semicolons 2
Discuss Death of a Salesman, Act I part i following oral "pop quiz":
What are some jobs that are declining or no longer exist today? How might people who worked those jobs feel about their disappearance?
Describe Willy and Linda's relationship.

HW: Read the end of Act I and answer the following:
1) What "mistake" makes Uncle Ben rich?
2) What do we learn about Willy's car accidents?
3) What does Linda take away and put back each day? Why is it there? What happens to it at the end of the act?

Thursday, March 15, 2012


EAP Essay Test

HW: Read Death of a Salesman to page 28, where it says "Charley appears in the doorway." Be ready to answer questions about your reading!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Review criteria for grading argument essays: Focused Learning Targets (FLTs) for EAP/EPT Argument essays
  • Remember that items 4-7 all deal with body paragraphs; the body paragraphs are the most crucial part of your essay!
  • Remember that items 1-2 both deal with your thesis and that the thesis includes the author's name and a paraphrase of his/her argument. Remember that your thesis should also include TWO reasons WHY you agree/disagree with the author's argument.

HW: Prepare for tomorrow's timed essay.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Discussing Conclusions
Conclusions should extend and deepen your thesis, not just restate it!
Questions to Guide Conclusions:
What does this issue or topic reveal about human nature?
What does this issue or topic suggest about American society or values?
How does this connect to our lives today?
What does this reveal about power, gender, race, faith, culture, class, or status?
What changes should we make? How do we begin to fix this?
What is this really about?
Why does this matter?

Turn in completed "boomerang kids" essay at the end of the period.

HW: None :-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Review components of introductions: hook + thesis
  • Hooks can be real memories, creative short "stories," famous quotations, questions...there are lots of choices!
  • Remember that your thesis must contain two essential ideas: it MUST paraphrase Girard's argument and use her name, and it MUST explain at least one reason why you agree or disagree with her. Your introduction should have the words "Girard" and "because" in there somewhere!
Craft a sample body paragraph
Your body paragraph must open with a persuasive CLAIM stating a reason for your position. The topic sentence of your body paragraph should not introduce evidence.

INCORRECT way to start a body paragraph: My sister, who is 34, just moved back home after she was laid off from her accounting job, and now it is more difficult for my parents to pay their own bills.

CORRECT way to start a body paragraph: Moving home as an adult causes both parents and the adult children stress. My sister, who is 34, just moved back home after she was laid off from her accounting job, and now it is more difficult for my parents to pay their own bills.

Next, your body paragraph needs to include specific evidence. Instead of talking about something that happens "often" or "many times," provide evidence from ONE afternoon. Do not summarize a whole book or movie or TV show; explain what happens in ONE scene.

In class, craft a second body paragraph and revise introduction and first body paragraph as needed.

Pust's sample essay so far: introduction with a hook and a thesis and two specific body paragraphs, one from personal experience and one exploring a scene from The Big Bang Theory
HW: Revise introduction and first body paragraph as needed. Bring a typed or neatly handwritten in ink copy of your introduction and two body paragraphs to class tomorrow, due at the beginning of the period. Make sure that your introduction and your body paragraphs meet all of the criteria we have discussed in class. See my sample to assist you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Analyze and brainstorm reasons for "Boomerang kids" essay prompt
Craft a sample thesis using "While...ultimately...Therefore" structure

Two sample thesis statements:

While returning home may seem like a good idea to adult children as it helps them save money, ultimately it allows young people to avoid responsibility and encourages immaturity. Therefore, Girard's argument that parents should help adult children to regroup and then move out makes sense--Girard is right that teaching responsibility and independence matters most.


While Girard suggests that adult children should not be coddled and she wants parents to push their twentysomething kids out the door, ultimately, the difficulty of the economy and how hard it is for qualified young people to make a living cannot be ignored. And so, Girard's argument misses the point--parents have a responsibility to care for their children and support them, even if it involves some sacrifice in their retirement years.

Notice that successful thesis statements recap Girard's argument and use her name, and also indicate the student's perspective. Like all academic writing, these samples also use formal language.

HW: Write an introduction and body paragraph for this essay prompt. Responses must be typed or handritten neatly in ink and are due at the beginning of the period.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Quickwrite: How long do you expect to live with your parents/guardians? What are the benefits/problems of living with your parents when you're an adult?

Discussion and preparation for essay tomorrow

HW: Be ready to share and write about the details of a personal experience example connected to the topic of "boomerang kids": names, dates, details (did they pay rent? have curfews? etc.) and how well the arrangement went.