Essay Writing Unit


We will be polishing your academic and professional writing skills over the next two weeks. Our goal is to bolster your academic success, as well as engage you in a topic of your choosing, about which you are interested in learning more.

  1. Choose a topic about which you are interested in learning more.
  2. Spend time gathering. Research, read, immerse yourself. Breathe in.
  3. Develop your first draft. Your draft does not need to be polished, but it must be complete in the following ways:
    1. Intro, body, and conclusion each do their job
    2. References are cited
    3. A bibliography is present
    4. MRCS Header
  4. Turn in your first draft by Wednesday 21st September
  5. Receive feedback, incorporate feedback into your second draft.
  6. Turn in second draft by Wednesday 28th September.
  7. Receive feedback and six-traits-writing-rubric.
  8. Choose to keep your mark or resubmit a third draft by end of week.
  9. Keep your final copy for your end-of-term Portfolio.

Lazy Word Choice


by Maeve Maddox

Thanks to today’s instant communication, words used by one blogger or celebrity catch on at an astounding rate, spilling over into advertising, entertainment, and website comments.

One evening I became aware of two television ads airing back to back. One was for a telephone service; the other for a car. Both hammered the word crazy to describe features of their products: “crazy, crazy generous, crazy efficient, crazy protection.”

This mindless kind of usage strips words of meaning. It wastes the power of words that have more appropriate uses. Take this headline, for example:

Daylight Saving Time Is America’s Greatest Shame

Shame can be used in more than one sense, including a fairly meaningless social convention: “It’s a shame you couldn’t join us for dinner.” Used as it is in the headline, however, shame is a strong word, calling up images of the Indian removals known as the Trail of Tears, the WWII internment camps for U.S. citizens of Japanese descent, and the Tuskegee syphilis experiments that used untreated black Americans as a control group.

Daylight Saving Time may be a fraud. It may be annoyingunnecessary,disruptive or any number of disagreeable things, but is it really “America’s Greatest Shame”? Sometimes the intended purpose of a piece of writing calls for deliberate misuse of words. Advertising and political speeches come to mind.

We live under a constant verbal barrage. It’s impossible to ignore the catch phrases of our culture. They enter our minds and speech. If we are writers, they creep into our first drafts. Happily, we can replace poorly chosen words as we revise.

Film Review Workshop

What are the elements of film?  How can you write a good film review?  What do you need to know to achieve this purpose?

Today you will be walking through several tutorials that will help you learn more about the elements of film and how to write a good film review.  You will:

  1. Create a Google Doc titled “Film Review Notes-Your Name”
  2. Walk through the following tutorials taking notes in the Google Doc as you go:
    1. Tutorial #1
    2. Tutorial #2
    3. Tutorial #3
  3. Remember as you go through to take good notes.  You are SUMMARIZING the information from these tutorials.  On your Google Doc write the title of each tutorial and then put your notes in bullet form beneath.
  4. When you have finished all three, share the Google Doc with Mr. Ketchum AND Mrs. Sowerby.  You will be receiving participation marks for the work that you do today and what you put down in the document.

Things to Remember:

  • Copy and Paste is fine but then you MUST EDIT!
  • Create a Bibliography where you cite the sources in proper MLA format.
  • Summarizing is not just copying, it is creating your own set of notes that is not too wordy but contains the important information. You are showing us evidence of decluttering and simplifying.
  • You must work efficiently!

DUE DATE:  THURSDAY, October 31, 2013 

Final Autobiography Details

  1. Memoir
    1. Today students should begin working on their memoir.  This is the last part of their Autobiography Project.
    2. They should do it in journalistic style.  We discussed it yesterday and they each brainstormed in their journals about it for 10 minutes.  They should have something to start from.
  2. Work Completion Schedule:
    1. Opinion of Me Free Write:  Most have turned this in.
    2. Life Map:  Some have turned this in.
    3. Biography:  Some have turned this in.
    4. Memoir:  Start today.
  3. THIS PROJECT IS DUE ON MONDAY!  Time this week should be used WISELY.