Category Archives: Writing Assignments

Writing about Independent Reading

We haven’t been at our independent books for all that long yet, but I’d like you to get some ideas down about how you see it relating to our class. That is, not necessarily related to the current topic in our class, but to the Central Questions. Please take a look at the requirements for “Book Projects” (found under “Assignments” at the top of this blog), so you can begin thinking about what a final project would look like for the book you’re reading. Today you’re going to write a blog post in which you begin to figure out how you will approach this project.

Call the post “Independent Reading” Based on what you’ve read so far, which of our four central questions would you be most likely to use your book to answer? Why? What big ideas would be most important to talk about? What details would you find most useful for answering that question?

MLA Citation

If you’re looking for help citing your sources, or wonder what they should look like in a bibliography entry, look under “Writing Help” links on the left. You’ll find a link to the OWL at Purdue’s MLA Citation Guide. On that page, there are left-hand links to different types of sources.

If you’re using a documentary film as a source, be sure to click on “Other Common Sources.” This includes listings for both film and television, so be sure you’re using the right one.

Recovering from War

Reading such a heart-wrenching book as A Long Way Gone in class presents a difficult teaching dilemma: where do we go from here? It’s so depressing that my gut reaction is a desire to turn away from the subject altogether, to find something happier to discuss.

Turning away, of course, is a possibility for those of us on the other side of the world. It isn’t a possibility for those like—but even less lucky than—Ishmael Beah (who was fortunate enough to get a book deal), or Blood Diamond’s Solomon (who ends the movie having gotten his family out of the country).

So this led me to a question: how did they move on from such a tragedy?

Continue reading

Sierra Leone Wrap-Up

Create a new page. (Hover over the title of your blog in the upper left. Then hover over “new,” and select “page.”)

Call the new page, “A Long Way Gone.”

On this new page, answer the following question:

Which of the four central questions would you be most likely to use A Long Way Gone and Blood Diamond to answer? Why? What three details from each would you find most useful for answering that question?